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Showing posts from January, 2013

Tools of the Trade - CookCountyAssessor.com

by Michael H. Wasserman, Attorney at Law

Whenever a client hires me in connection with a local real estate purchase or sale, one of the first things I do is check out the local county assessor’s web site. For Cook County transactions, that would be here. The property search function allows home buyers, owners, and the professionals that represent them, many data points that can be critical to their deals. I am on this site every day.

What the Assessor’s Office Does The Assessor sets the valuations (worth) of each of Cook County’s 1.8 millions parcels of property. These assessments are then plugged into the mathematical formula used to calculate our annual property taxes. Your property’s assessed value, in part, determines how much you will pay in property taxes. Taxes are likewise impacted by the use (or failure to claim) any of several recognized tax “exemptions.”

Why I Search A check in with the County Assessor helps me assure clients that their purchase/sale deals are property docu…

How to Keep Your Mortgage Approval Approved

by Michael H. Wasserman, Attorney at Law

A must read from Broderick Perkins over at Realty Times for all home buyers who want to use mortgage financing. A shocking number of folks manage to sink their own ships by making one of these four mistakes along the way.


Do Not make random, large, undocumented cash deposits, transfers, or withdrawels - Your lender is going to see these on your bank statements and unless you can explain / prove where the money came from / is going, you are at riskAvoid Big Purchases - Resist the temptation to buy a new car or furnishings for your new home until after the closing. It will show up on your credit report, lower your score, and scare the bejeezus out of your lender.Pay your Bills - Harken back on the advertising slogan - Just do it. Even if you want or need to dispute the charges with your creditor. Timing is everything and now is not the time to slip up. Credit scores man. They mark down for late payments. Do Not open a new credit line or account (a…

Doing Good, Doing Good Work

by Michael H. Wasserman, Attorney at Law

My clients, and the friends that refer them mean the world to me.  In their honor, I donate a portion of my fee from each successful Chicago area real estate closing to a worthy charitable organization selected by my clients from a list of ten pre-approved organizations.

The Thanks to You program - now in its third year is both my expression of gratitude to my clients and our collective efforts to build a stronger communities.  Together, we have shared nearly $10,000 with worthy organizations that support better education, better health, and the fine arts. 2011 marked the first time a client matched my pledge. 2012 marked the first time a Realtor did so too. I work with some terrific people.

This year's program should be even better. Our 2013 grant recipients will be:


WORKING IN THE SCHOOLS - Promotes literacy and the love of reading among low-income and minority students in Chicago Public Schools by providing one-on-one tutoring and mentori…