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Showing posts from November, 2009

CITY CLERK DEBUT'S NEW TIF PROPERTY SEARCH

WHY EVERY CHICAGO PROPERTY OWNER OUGHT TO CHECK IT OUT

Those property tax bills every Cook County owner received over the last week or two? Did you notice how they have that very detailed table that shows you "who gets what" from your tax dollars? Pretty detailed, right?

Well maybe not so much, if your property is in one of the City's Tax Increment Financing districts (TIFs). TIFs cover nearly one third of the City now. TIF districts divert money from the regular property tax stream to help "combat blight" in those areas.

For years, there has been no public accountability or accounting of its use. Property tax bills do not show any amount of directed being directed to the TIFs (nothing). In reality, TIFs fund a budget nearly 1/6 as big as the "official" city budget. Some quirk in the law or other allows them to hide the numbers from us.

A stunning Chicago Reader expose on TIF financing here. Among the many revelations - City funds will be used to refurbi…

THANK YOU

More than 2,300 new Illinois lawyers will be admitted to the bar today, nearly 1,900 more for the Chicago area. Welcome to the fraternity - make sure they show you the secret handshake.

That swells our ranks to roughly 86,000 souls.

Collectively, we only closed 76,800 or so home and condo sales in the first 9 months this year - which works out to fewer than one contract per counselor - ok - 2 per, if you allow for a buyer's lawyer and a seller's lawyer on each deal.

I have been fortunate to work with a good many terrific buyers and wonderful sellers this year. There are obviously a great many lawyers to choose from. Thank you, for everyone's kind referrals, and Thank you to everyone who has referred a client or two along the way.

NOVEMBER MONTH END CLOSINGS - A Warning

Many are first time home buyers trying to squeak "under the wire" in hopes of closing contracts before November 30th - the sunset date for the Federal First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit. The impending deadline presents some unique challenges for Buyers and Sellers.

That November 30th deadline comes smack dab at the end of the Thanksgiving day weekend. (What genious in Washington did that?) That means a host of closings are being scheduled for Friday the 27th and Monday the 30th the last two possible days to get closings done.
Will the title companies and lenders cancel all holiday vacations and work at full capacity to get these closings done expeditiously, or will be have to sit for hours at the closing table while closers handle multiple simultaneous closings? Will loan officers and processors get files to the underwriters with time enough for review and to satisfy conditions before the inevitable holiday slowdown, or will some Buyers be disappointed when there lenders …