Real Estate Market

In The Loop: Real Estate Chicago Style

June 2014 Market Update

If you sold your primary residence and made a profit, you may be able to exclude that profit from your taxable income. Here's how it works.

Individuals can exclude up to $250,000 in profit from the sale of a main home (or $500,000 for a married couple) as long as you have owned the home and lived in the home for a minimum of two years. Those two years do not need to be consecutive. In the 5 years prior to the sale of the house, you need to have lived in the house for at least 24 months in that 5-year period. In other words, the home must have been your principal residence.

Just like calculating capital gains, the formula for calculating the gain or loss involves subtracting your cost basis from your selling price.

The formula for calculating your cost basis on your main home is as follows:

Purchase price

+ Purchase costs (title & escrow fees, real estate agent commissions, etc.)

+ Improvements (replacing the roof, new furnace, etc.)

+ Selling costs (title & escrow fees, real estate agent commissions, etc.)

- Accumulated depreciation (for example, if you ever took the office in the home deduction)

= Cost Basis


And then calculating your profit or loss would be:

Selling price

- Cost Basis

= Gain or Loss

Take a look at how many home sold in the Chicago real estate market for June 2014.

Chicago Real Estate Sales – Detached Single Homes

The number of Chicago detached single homes selling in June 2014 increased 4% for the month compared to June 2013. The average selling price increased by 5% to $831,445 and the average market time increased by 15 days. Homes sold for 97% of the listed price.

Neighborhoods included in these statistics are: Avondale, Albany Park, Edgewater, Irving Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Loop, Near North Side, Near South Side, Near West Side, North Park, North Center, Rogers Park, Uptown, West Ridge, West Town.
 

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

June 2014

238

$831,445

97%

66

June 2013

228

$790,819

96%

81

 

Chicago Real Estate Sales – Attached Single Homes

The number of Chicago attached single homes selling in June 2014 increased by 4% for the month when compared to June 2013. The average selling price increased 7% to $414,754 and the average market time decreased by 10 days. Homes sold for 98% of the listed price.
 

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

June 2014

1,537

$414,754

98%

60

June 2013

1,477

$384,605

98%

70

 

Chicago Real Estate Sales – 2-4 Flats

The number of Chicago multi-family properties selling in June 2014 increased by less than 1% from June 2013. The average selling price increased 2% from June 2013 prices, and the average market time decreased by 28 days. Homes sold for 98% of the listed price.
 

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

June 2014

110

$519,254

98%

53

June 2013

109

$428,663

99%

81

 

Curious about the value of your home? Get your home's value here!

Selling this summer? 6 upgrades to secure a speedy sale

carpetWhen the weather warms up, so does the real estate market. Spring and summer are traditionally the seasons when both home buyers and sellers are most active across the country. If you'll be putting your home on the market this year, simple, cost-effective upgrades can help ensure a speedy sale at a good price.

In the world of real estate, it's often necessary for sellers to spend a little on upgrades in order to achieve a satisfying home sale. Fortunately, some of the most impressive upgrades, such as new carpeting, are also affordable. Such upgrades ensure that you don't have to spend a lot to achieve a better selling price.

Here are six easy-to-do upgrades that are both cost-effective and high-impact:

1. Replace carpet

It's easy to see the impact of worn or dated carpeting. New carpet is one upgrade that has a high ratio of value to cost. It substantially increases perceived value for homebuyers without requiring home sellers to spend a bundle. Even less expensive carpet styles will freshen the look of a room and prepare it for sale.

2. Clean flooring

If your carpet is still in great shape, then simply having it professionally cleaned can make it look even better. A deep professional cleaning helps lift tough soils and provides a cleaner, fresher look to rooms.

Not only is carpet a good value, it's healthy, too. People with allergies or other sensitivities are installing carpet to improve indoor air quality. Recent studies support previous findings that carpet, when effectively cleaned, traps allergens and other particles, resulting in less dust, dander and airborne contaminants escaping into the air.

Don't forget to clean all other flooring, including hardwood, laminates and tile. Buyers will appreciate a sparkling clean appearance throughout the house.

3. Repaint in neutral shades

Fresh paint is another smart and cost-effective upgrade for sellers. Buyers expect it, yet many sellers hesitate to repaint. Yet repainting in neutral colors makes a room look fresher and brighter, and gives buyers a visual "blank slate" against which to imagine their own decor.  Do the work yourself and you can reduce the cost of repainting even further.

4. Update or upgrade lighting

You may find that disco-ball style globe light charming in your kitchen, but the average buyer doesn't want dated or unusual lighting. Replacing dated or worn fixtures, especially in bathrooms and kitchens, is a cost-effective way to give a room a more up-to-date, contemporary look. If you already have newer fixtures, consider replacing incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency options such as CFLs or LEDs. Although they're a bit more expensive to purchase, these bulbs last years longer - a selling point for buyers who will reap the value of not having to replace bulbs any time in the near future.

5. Install new faucets

A high-end faucet can completely change the look and usability of a kitchen or bathroom. In terms of cost versus value, an upgraded faucet, such as pull-out or even touch-free styles, can dramatically increase perceived value for a relatively modest investment. An upgraded faucet is a thoughtful touch that will set your home apart in buyers' minds.

6. Replace hardware throughout the home

You may have already thought of upgrading kitchen cabinet knobs and drawer pulls, but have you also upgraded hardware in your bathroom or on the front door? These seemingly small items have a major impact on the overall visual effect of a home. In desirable rooms such as kitchens and baths, designer hardware can elevate the entire look of the room. And upgraded door hardware will ensure buyers have a positive first impression from the moment they enter your home. (BPT)

3 ways to jump-start your credit score

credit scoreIt's a common financial predicament for most 20-something-year-olds: You need credit to get credit. But even if you're older and have been through some credit-wrecking havoc in your life, you could face the same issue.

The only way to build a credit history is to use credit. So here are three easy steps to help get you started.

  • Know the score:

Figure out what credit history you've established. Even if you've never had a loan or credit card, there's a good chance you have information on your credit reports that has been compiled by the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. For instance, Experian now collects rental payment histories, so some landlords submit reports to credit bureaus.

Under federal law, the three credit agencies are required to provide you with a free report every 12 months.

Your credit score isn't included in your free annual credit report. In most states, the credit bureaus each charge around $10 for your score.

The higher your score, the lower risk you are to lenders and insurers. This means you'll generally have a better chance of receiving credit along with lower interest rates. Be aware that this all-important number, which ranges from around 300 to around 850, can vary depending on the scoring model used by credit agencies and lenders.

  • Research your choices:

If you have little or no credit history, your choices for loans or credit cards may be limited. Retail or gas cards, and loans secured by property, such as furniture or a car, may be easier to get. Also ask your parents, or someone else with good credit, to cosign on a low-limit credit card with you.

Your bank or credit union may provide another alternative. Sometimes they offer special programs for customers who need to establish credit.

  • Establish a track record:

Once you have some credit accounts, it's important to use but not abuse them. It's counterintuitive, but if you don't use credit, you won't be able to build a solid history.

A good habit: Use your card to make small purchases and pay off the balance each month. By charging a small amount on at least one card and paying the balance on time and, ideally, in full, you'll show that you can manage credit without charging more than you can afford to pay.

Use credit wisely: If you want to be a credit superstar, follow two basic rules: Pay on time and don't go over your credit limits. For those just starting out, this is even more critical.

It is important to start carefully. At this point, you don't have a long and distinguished track record that can help alleviate the impact of a small mistake, so tread carefully. Using credit responsibly means you use and pay off your cards monthly, make payments on time every time, don't apply for numerous accounts and check your report periodically."

Don't make these mistakes:

  • Applying for several lines of credit and loans within a short period of time can give lenders the impression you're in desperate need of money and may have trouble paying back the debt. Keep your number of applications at a minimum and only go for the opportunities that offer the best deal.
     
  • Part of your score is based on the amount of credit you have available but aren't using. The lower your balance (in proportion to the credit limit), the better.
     
  • If you decide you no longer need a particular account, don't close it. The age of your accounts affects your score, so keep the oldest ones to show as long a credit history as possible.
     
  • Don't turn a blind eye on those reports. Once you've established credit, get in the habit of periodically checking for any fraudulent activity, as well as any reporting mistakes. (BPT)

Contact Information

Photo of ChicagoCityHomes Real Estate
ChicagoCityHomes
RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Cell: 773-230-4294
Toll Free: 866-404-3585
Fax: 773-938-1467