04.13.17

Why Are Rental Properties Such A Great Investment?

DSC00553

Rental-property owners take note: With tax season just around the corner, we compiled a list the best reasons rental properties are such great investments:

 

Residential rental property is the only investment asset that both appreciates and depreciates at the same time. When the value goes up on your property, the increase in value is money you can keep. Depreciation offers you a level of compensation for that wear and tear in the form of substantial write-offs.

 

Deductions that are less obvious include expenses to obtain a mortgage and fees charged by an accountant to prepare are Schedule E. A rental home can even be a houseboat or trailer, as long as there are sleeping, cooking, and bathroom facilities. The location of the rental home doesn’t matter—It can be in the United States or overseas.

 

For any business or property owner, the importance of keeping good records on a consistent basis is of the upmost importance.

 

The following is a list of some of the best write-offs regarding rental properties (each may have certain restrictions):

 

  • Homeowner’s association (HOA) or condo fees
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Property taxes
  • Management fees (e.g. Property Management)
  • Pest control
  • Landscaping
  • Mortgage interest
  • Other interest
  • Bank fees
  • Supplies
  • Education/professional development
  • Licenses/permits
  • Leasing fees
  • Legal & professional fees
  • Office/telephone
  • Postage/shipping
  • Travel
  • Meals & entertainment
  • Automobile/car expenses
  • Repairs*
  • Appliances/fixtures/equipment*
  • Minor improvements*
  • Major improvements/new assets*
  • Depreciation

 

 

For More Information:

 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219474

 

https://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/rental-tax-write-offs/

 

https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/taxes/tax-deductions-rental-homes/

02.17.17

Our Top 7 Housing-Market Predictions for 2017

1668 Olive New Exterior

As we approach the upcoming busy spring Housing market, we took a closer look at the many predictions various experts have made for the housing market in 2017. Here are some of the most noteworthy ones:

1. Prices will continue to rise–but more slowly. Redfin predicts the median home sale prices to gain 5.3% in 2017 compared to 2016, which would not be a major change from the 5.5% year-over-year gain expected to close out this year.

2. More people will have access to home loans. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will raise its loan limits for the first time since 2006, increasing the the limits to $424,100 for most of the country and to $636,150 for the most expensive markets. “This change makes it easier for more homebuyers to qualify for a mortgage in high-priced markets,” Redfin said.

3. Fewer homes on the market and fast-moving markets. Inventory for 2017 is down an average of 11 percent in the top 100 metro markets, and improvement is not expected this year. Homes are selling 14 percent faster based on the tight inventory.

4. Housing Construction Starts Will Slowly Rise.  New construction is not expected to keep up with demand in 2017. More and more renters are expected to become homeowners in the next decade as the market continues to recover.

5. Mortgage rates are forecast to stay low.

With Trump in power, lending requirements are expected to be eased, land opened up for development, and some experts predict this will stimulate home purchases. With employment slowly growing and wages moderating upward, the market may be set for more growth.

6. Millennials and boomers will be big buyers. More jobs are being created for 25- to 34-year-olds than any other age group, and wages are rising. Baby boomers are also looking to move as they reach retirement years.

7. Cities will see dense development with smaller homes near public transit. “Affordability” is a major issue that many mayors and cities see as issues for home owners. A solution is to build smaller homes in more dense areas near public transit.

For more information, see the following:

http://www.gordcollins.com/real-estate/us-housing-market-looking-strong-2016-to-2020/

http://www.cbsnews.com/media/9-real-estate-trends-to-expect-in-2017/2/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/where-we-live/wp/2016/12/19/2017-housing-market-forecasts-suburbs-are-in-low-mortgage-rates-are-out/?utm_term=.2be1d205ca08

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/six-predictions-for-the-housing-market-in-2017/

 

08.01.16

Pilsen: Summer Neighborhood Spotlight

National Museum of Mexican Art

Pilsen is rich with traditions and community activities– a great place to live, work and dine at some of Chicago’s most authentic Mexican restaurants. Located about 12 blocks south of downtown, Pilsen took its name from Czech settlers in the 19th century who eventually made way to many generations of Mexican immigrants.

 

Here are some of our favorite Pilsen attractions:

 

Chicago Arts District—2nd Fridays: Centered around South Halsted and 18th Streets, 2nd Fridays Gallery night features opening receptions at galleries and artists’ studios in 30+ creative spaces, showcasing Chicago and national artists.

 

National Museum of Mexican Art: Located on 19th St., the free-entry museum showcases 3,000 years of art from both sides of the border through its vast 10,000-piece permanent collection. The National Museum of Mexican Art is the only Latino museum accredited by American Alliance of Museums.

 

Thalia Hall: A historic landmark building located at 1807 S Allport, the structure was modeled after the Prague Opera House. Thalia Hall was founded by John Dusek at the turn of the century as a meeting establishment for locals. In 2013, Bruce Finkelman and Craig Golden created three new concepts inside the property including a beer-inspired restaurant, a cocktail bar and a public hall for national entertainment acts.

 

Community Lowrider Fest: August 21. A community festival based in the industrial corridor of Pilsen, this Chicago festival brings together car and bike clubs from all across the Midwest, and features a curated line-up of local talent, mariachis and a special awards ceremony.

 

Laguanitas Brewing Company: The 2nd location of this well-known California brewer, the brewery opened last summer in a former steel warehouse. The building features a taproom, walking tours and daily live music.

 

More information on the Pilsen community:

 

http://www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org

 

http://chicagoartsdistrict.org/events_main.asp

 

http://www.chicagolowriderfestival.com

 

https://www.timeout.com/chicago/pilsen

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/01/travel/a-chicago-neighborhood-follows-a-latin-beat.html?_r=0

05.05.16

Six Chicago Destinations You Don’t Want To Miss in May

 

Adult Night at Lincoln Park Zoo

Chicago is never at a loss for activities. We culled the lists of the hundreds of events/activities taking place in the Chicago area during the month of May, and came up with our list of 6 personal favorites…

Vincent van Gogh’s Bedroom Exhibit

Through May 10, 2016

Vincent van Gogh’s bedroom held special significance for the artist, who created three distinct paintings of this intimate space from 1888 to 1889. This exhibition—presented only at the Art Institute of Chicago—brings together all three versions of The Bedroom for the first time in North America.

http://www.artic.edu/exhibition/van-goghs-bedrooms

Creativity Expo

May 13 – 15, 2016

Hear experts speak about art, fashion, film, food, and music at Lake FX Summit + Expo (formerly called Chicago Music/Film/Fashion+ Summit) at Chicago Cultural Center. Free.

Craft Beer Week

May 19 – 29, 2016

Chicago Craft Beer Week features hundreds of craft beer events in the greater Chicago area, from special $4 tastings of rare beers to beer dinners. The event is sponsored by the Illinois Craft Brewer’s Guild.

Food Truck Evening

May 21, 2016 (6:30 to 10:30 p.m.)

Food Truck Social features 30 trucks selling food and beverages, activities, live music, and an opportunity to wander Lincoln Park Zoo after hours.

Frank Lloyd Wright Architectural Tour

May 21, 2016

Greater Chicago area

Tour innovative homes and buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on the Wright Plus walk.

Walk With The Dogs

May 21, 2016 (9 a.m., register 7 to 9)

Walk a 5K along the lakefront with your dog during Bark in the Park, followed by games and activities on the green near Soldier Field

For more events, see:

http://www.events12.com/chicago/may/

03.14.16

4 Prime Chicago Neighborhoods For Investment in 2016

845 Leavitt Exterior

Whether you are evaluating property for your own personal residence, or you would like to invest in a property separately for short-/long-term financial gains, one consideration you will want to make is which Chicago neighborhoods have the most potential for the highest returns on your investment? Here are some of our top recommendations:

 

Logan Square—The opening of The 606 trail last summer and the continuing evolution of some of Chicago’s best restaurants and drinking establishments has continued to make Logan a prime destination for first-time buyers, investors and renters alike.

 

https://www.thrillist.com/eat/chicago/logan-square/best-restaurants-in-logan-square-the-11-coolest-places-to-eat

 

https://www.thrillist.com/drink/chicago/lincoln-square/best-bars-in-logan-square-the-13-coolest-places-to-drink

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-606-bloomingdale-trail-opening-met-20150606-story.html

 

Albany Park—One of Chicago’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods, with excellent proximity to public transportation, highways, parks, etc., Albany Park has reasonable rents and is an excellent target for growing property values.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albany_Park,_Chicago

 

https://www.zagat.com/c/chicago-il/albany-park-restaurants

 

Pilsen—Home to the city’s largest Hispanic population, Pilsen has a rich and vibrant Art history including home to the National Museum of Mexican Art. Artists have flocked to Pilsen’s loft-style buildings for its reasonable rents. Pilsen is also home to some of the best Mexican cuisine in the city.

 

http://chicagoist.com/2015/05/28/its_a_beautiful_day_in_the_neighbor.php

 

http://www.chicagoneighborhoods.cc/neighborhoods/pilsen.html

  

West Town—With its close proximity to downtown, West Town is full of unique architecture—small brick cottages to historic churches. Many flock to the numerous coffee houses, bars, theaters, galleries, music venues, street festivals and restaurants. Although new investors have targeted this area for the last few years, there are still solid properties to be found.

 

http://www.choosechicago.com/neighborhoods-and-communities/west-town/

 

http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=west+town+restaurants&find_loc=Chicago%2C+IL

 

02.05.16

Should You Consider Hiring A Property Manager?

homeawayMgmt.8-8-07.jpg 

A good property management company does not just take care of small repairs, maintain common areas and collect rents for a reasonable fee. The best property manager can provide expertise in market rental rates, screen for the best tenants and advise on all facets of major repairs/capital improvements and neighborhood trends.

 

Here are some of the top reasons you should think about hiring a property manager:

 

Maximize your time. What is your time worth to you? Bringing in a great property manager can not only free up your personal time, but can give you more time to investigate further investment opportunities.

 

Collecting rents and managing tenant requests/relationships. Communication is essential in property management.  An effective property manager provides timely service related to repair requests, move-in/move-outs and rent/lease-related issues.

 

Bringing in the best vendors. Effective property managers typically have a well-vetted, in-house and third-party list of vendors who can take care of everything from minor repairs to more substantial electrical, plumbing and capital-improvement repairs/renovations.

 

Setting proper rental rates for your property and ensuring you are in compliance with all housing laws.  There are many factors that contribute to determining market rental rates for your property. A reputable property management company is up-to-date on market/neighborhood conditions and new laws/regulations related to all housing matters.

 

Marketing and advertising your property. An experienced property manager is well-versed in the best marketing (digital and analog) channels to market your units in the most effective ways. Filling vacancies quickly is a top priority for the best property management companies.

 

For more information on hiring property managers, please see the following articles:

 

https://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2011/02/25/hiring-best-property-managers/

 

http://www.managemyproperty.com/articles/hiring-a-property-management-company-25

 

http://www.wistv.com/story/5297931/10-tips-for-hiring-a-competent-property-manager

01.04.16

High Fidelity’s Favorite Articles of 2015

Chicago Winter Pic

 

Now that it’s the new year, we decided to take one last look at our favorite real estate and Chicago neighborhood-related articles we’ve shared via our Twitter page (@HighFidelityPM) in 2015:

23 Reasons Why Chicago is the Best Damn City in the World

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jonmichaelpoff/reasons-chicago-is-the-greatest-city-in-the-world#.ky3rO5kR2

 

Chicago’s Greatest Surviving Gilded Age Mansions, Mapped

http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2015/12/10/surviving-gilded-age-mansions-map.php

 

Maps of Chicago Are as Varied as its Neighborhoods

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-christopher-devane-chicago-map-ent-1208-20151207-story.html

 

What Makes a Neighborhood Successful?

http://curbed.com/archives/2015/12/17/tech-and-urban-planning-expert-on-what-makes-a-successful-neighborhood.php

 

What if Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Chicago’s CTA map?

http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2015/11/30/frank-lloyd-wright-cta-map.php

 

What American Shopping Malls Looked Like in 1989

http://mashable.com/2014/12/02/80s-shopping-malls/#gpe5XCe6O05z

 

Where Chicago Home Prices Have Risen the Most

http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2015/11/where-chicago-home-prices-have-risen-the-most/

     

Why These 6 Out-of-State Startups are Thriving in Chicago

http://chicagoinno.streetwise.co/2015/11/13/best-startups-chicago-6-out-of-state-apps-thriving-in-windy-city/

 

Of the World’s Largest Cities, Chicago is the Most Undervalued

http://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2015/10/30/ubs-says-chicago-housing-market-is-undervalued.html?ana=twt

 

Remember These Places? Some of Chicago Best Shuttered Businesses Come Alive in Videos

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20151023/ashburn/remember-these-places-chicagos-shuttered-businesses-come-alive-videos

  

7 Tax Tips for Home Owners

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/04/04/irs-taxes-homeowner/23938151/

   

 

11.23.15

The 2016 Real Estate Outlook For Chicago and National Markets

Housing Pic Chicago

2015 has been a strong year for Real Estate, but where is the Chicago and national market headed for 2016? We’ve been watching the market closely and have carefully tracked other experts in the market, as well.

Chicago Real Estate Market Forecast Predictions For 2016:

Economists at Zillow predict that the market will slow for Chicago in 2016…

“The economists at Zillow are making more conservative predictions for the Chicago real estate market in 2016. When this page was last updated, in September 2015, Zillow’s economic team was predicting a 12-month home prices increase of 3.6%. That’s half the amount house values rose over the previous 12 months (7.2%). So here again, we have a Chicago housing market forecast that calls for a more gradual rise in prices through 2016.”

Other real estate forecasts for the Chicago housing market in 2016 predict additional home gains, but will likely be smaller than 2015.

Predictions include:

1. Inventory will remain steady throughout the year.

2. Additional job gains could increase demand for homes in 2016 and put upward pressure on home pricing.

Read more: http://www.metrodepth.com/chicago/

National Real Estate Market Forecast Predictions For 2016:

A forecast, produced by the ULI Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate, predicts a healthy pace of economic expansion with somewhat slowing growth…

1. Mortgage rates will increase at the end of 2015 and into 2016.

2. The Western portion of the United States will see the highest home increases.

3. Home prices will rise more slowly in most major cities.

4. Outstanding student loans will prevent many Millenials from entering the home-buying market.

Read more: http://www.homebuyinginstitute.com/news/fresh-batch-housing-predictions-679/#ixzz3rfi3RtZx

10.23.15

Have You “Winterized” Your Property Yet?

HVAC Pic

Much colder temperatures are right around the corner, so if you haven’t taken care of “winterizing” your property for the winter months, NOW is the time. Addressing simple maintenance issues for winter will not only save you from larger near-term repair bills, it will save you substantial $$ on your energy bills.

A recent study (Yale University) found that simply reducing drafts in a residential unit can cut energy use by 5 to 30 percent—A commercial building can show even more savings.

We’ve scoured many of the best sources for “winterizing” tips and have vast experience with our own properties—Here are our top choices:

Inspect and Clean Your Heating System

Have you inspected/cleaned your HVAC unit or other heating system  for the season? Before the winter hits, it is a great idea to have any needed maintenance work done to your building’s systems. Change filters, drain boilers, etc. Otherwise, this could lead to substantial repair bills during the season when it’s very difficult to schedule emergency repair people.

Secure The Exterior

Many buildings experience energy-loss and building damage due to issues with the exterior of the building. Check the roof, weather-strip interior windows, calk/seal cracks, clear gutters, etc.

Secure The Interior

Substantial energy savings can be had if you address the following before the colder months: Calk areas around pipes, weather-strip interior windows, etc.

Looking for more tips? Please see the following resources:

http://www.watersignal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/WS-Winter-Checklist.pdf

http://hpac.com/galleries/seven-tips-winterizing-your-building-it-s-too-late#slide-1-field_images-14721

http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-building-science-hers-bpi/10-uncommon-tips-winterizing-your-home

08.20.15

John McGeown’s Mid-Year Real Estate Update

 

John McGeown Jameson Pic

Mid-year update… with gratitude

Like most people, I sometimes (often) have to remind myself why I love my job. Real estate can be a very challenging path and there’s certainly no shortage of tough times. Take for instance, when I started in the business in 2008 during the beginning of the US Housing Bubble.

The strong survive and each day I make the choice to strive for excellence; to stay the course. In addition to being a passion, like many of you, I see real estate as a path to achieve my lifelong goals. And it feels good to be in a place where I know what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

This feeling comes with great appreciation and gratitude for my clients. 95% of my clients are referrals and I have a vested interest in their success. Helping others achieve their goals is extremely satisfying, especially those who have supported me.

With my highly competitive spirit, and the help of my amazing team, I’m thankful to have already topped last year’s sales and leasing volume… and we’re not done yet.

Market Analysis

With a huge demand for apartments, paired with the city’s employment growth and booming tech industry, the rental market is thriving and in turn, causing rents to raise and encouraging renters to buy. The combination of first-time buyers and limited inventory has lead to multiple offer situations in surprisingly budding markets like Pilsen, Avondale, Humboldt, and Albany Park.

For those of you who like stats, check out this Housing forecast from Multi-Housing News:

“Fueled by the steady employment growth, income growth, urbanization and a booming tech industry, the Chicago multifamily market is expanding at a fast pace. More than 3,100 housing units are scheduled for delivery in core Chicago submarkets in 2015, according to Colliers International, with an additional 6,400 units scheduled for completion in 2016. Multiple condominium developments are currently in the works…”

More info: http://www.multihousingnews.com/market-data/market-snapshot-chicago-multifamily-demand-to-outgrow-supply-in-2015/1004115966.html

Additional links for related articles:

http://chicago.curbed.com/tags/market-reports

http://chicagorealtor.com/june-2015-market-snapshot-infographic/

In Closing

I’m excited to be working closely with a developer, overseeing the construction and sale of a new single-family home project that will be hitting the market next spring.

I’m also really thankful/proud/excited to announce I have recently become a member of the Certified Commercial Investment Management (CCIM) Institute, and completed my first class in financial analysis–allowing me to help clients make better investment decisions and apply analysis tools to quantify investment return.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress, and of share what I’ve learned for those who are interested.

For now, each day presents a new lesson, and every day is different from the one before – this suits my personality well, and I’m thankful for that.

If there’s anyway I can help you, or be a resource to your circle, you know how to find me.