Zillow Advice RSS: Discussion,All Real Estate Advice Topics,IL http://www.zillow.com/advice/IL/all/discussion/ Zillow Advice search results | Zillow Real Estate How much does a Home Inspection cost? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-much-does-a-Home-Inspection-cost/424379/ You would think that this is an easy question to answer, but for the home buyer, it is not.&nbsp; Most <a href="http://www.zillow.com/directory/real-estate-services-inspection/">home inspectors</a> do not post there prices and are reluctant to give a price until speaking with the home buyer and determining the location, size and age of the home.&nbsp; I know home inspectors that charge $1,500 dollars for larger homes and one inspector here on the North Shore of Chicago who charges a flat rate of $250 regardless of whether it is condominium or a lakefront mansion.&nbsp; I try to keep my pricing in the middle of the pack, making it reasonable and reflective of the degree of difficulty.&nbsp; For instance a condominium is generally a relatively easy inspection and I charge $300 for it and my prices increase as a I move through townhouses, bungalows, 2-story homes all the way to a 6 bedroom, 100 year old Winnetka home for which I charge upwards of $750.&nbsp; Check out my pricing on the home page of my website.<br \><br \>16 replies Wed, 30 Nov 2011 16:34:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-much-does-a-Home-Inspection-cost/424379/ 2011-11-30T16:34:00Z Has anyone dealt with Ocwen http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Has-anyone-dealt-with-Ocwen/445615/ Recently loan was sold by Bank of America and will serviced by Ocwen going forward. &nbsp;I did a quick Google search and have read some pretty bad things. &nbsp;But I have also read people have had success with them when it comes to load mods or other internal programs. These people usually are facing foreclosure or behind on their payments -- I am in neither of these scenarios. However, I am underwater (~135%).<br/><br/>Ocwen specializes in loan modifications (HAMP) and other loan modification programs. &nbsp;As I stated above, I'm not facing foreclosure, hit any hardship, or behind on my payments -- just underwater. &nbsp;I've read the criteria for HAMP and I don't fit the bill.&nbsp;I can't find any information on the Ocwen site about HARP, just loan mods. &nbsp;I'd want to get a good idea of what I can expect from Ocwen and how they can help me (technically they don't start servicing the loan till mid-June). &nbsp;<br/><br/>Has anyone had dealings with them in the past and can offer any insight?<br/><br/>Much appreciated.<br \><br \>91 replies Tue, 05 Jun 2012 15:46:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Has-anyone-dealt-with-Ocwen/445615/ 2012-06-05T15:46:00Z Seller not turning on water prior to closing http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Seller-not-turning-on-water-prior-to-closing/498896/ Hello all. I am a first time homebuyer. Me and the wife zeroed on a foreclosure property in a neighborhood we really like. We went to see it and it was in an ok condition overall (needs lots of fixing like window screens, door knobs, sinks, etc). Water heater was also missing. But nothing major or serious.<br/><br/>Except the water utility. The problem is that seller stipulates on the listing website that "Water will not be turned on prior to closing. Please confirm with lender that they can close without water being turned on PRIOR to making any financed offer." Well, how would I perform a water inspection then? What if toxic waste starts coming out of faucets once it's turned on? We both really like the place and want this annoying condition out of the way so we can perform the water inspection by a certified professional. Can a seller make this stipulation? Is it allowed under Illinois law? What are my options?<br/><br/>Sorry for being so eager and having so many questions. But if anyone can show me how to deal with this condition, I will REALLY appreciate it. Thanks!!<br/><br/>Regards<br \><br \>17 replies Tue, 25 Jun 2013 16:54:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Seller-not-turning-on-water-prior-to-closing/498896/ 2013-06-25T16:54:00Z Anyone have Info on HomeTown Aurora? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Anyone-have-Info-on-HomeTown-Aurora/27604/ <p>Why are there so many <a href="http://www.zillow.com/homes/">homes for sale</a> in this subdivision and why are the values dropping so dramatically? Why are they priced so low to begin with? It seems like such a nice concept and such a nice subdivision? Does anyone know if there are problems with the buliding materials?</p><br \><br \>7 replies Wed, 09 Apr 2008 02:49:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Anyone-have-Info-on-HomeTown-Aurora/27604/ 2008-04-09T02:49:00Z Home Staging Cost Is A Taxable Deduction http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Home-Staging-Cost-Is-A-Taxable-Deduction/343579/ <p class="MsoNormal"><img height="103" width="95" src="http://images2.zillow.com/is/image/i0/i2/i4517/ISr1bx4te42en7.jpg?op_sharpen=1&amp;qlt=90&amp;" imageid="X1-IAr1bx4te5gz2p_cu4za" imagetype="8" uploadtype="new"/>The cost of hiring a Certified Home Stager can be used as a tax deduction. In today's economy, we need every deduction we can find to recoup from our 2009 losses. After researching the IRS Publication 523 for an exact statement explaining this question, I found that home sellers can write off selling expenses such as (commissions, advertising, which would includes home staging, legal fees and loan charges or points). With that said, a staging consultation is not a taxable deduction. You must advertise the fact either through your Real Estate Agent or by publicly announcing that your home has been Professionally staged.&nbsp;<br/><br/> The cost of staging your home to sell varies due to your homes&nbsp;sq footage and if your home stager is hired for 1/2 a day or a full day.&nbsp; Color consultations for&nbsp;painting, sugggested&nbsp;hardware and light fixtures to full remodeling can be included in your service. No matter what your selling price is, the current real estate market demands a move-in ready home to entice buyers and increase the overall appeal of your home.<br/><br/>For more information on home selling tax deductions go to: <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p523.pdf" rel="nofollow" title=" (Full address: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p523.pdf)">http://www.irs.gov/pub/ir ... /p523.pdf</a><br/><br/> </p><br \><br \>15 replies Tue, 13 Apr 2010 02:56:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Home-Staging-Cost-Is-A-Taxable-Deduction/343579/ 2010-04-13T02:56:00Z Second Kitchens on a FHA purchase always present a problem http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Second-Kitchens-on-a-FHA-purchase-always-present-a-problem/460168/ I've dealt with a couple of different instances, where &nbsp;my buyer fell in love with a home that had an assisted living space or in-law quarters attached. Basically a second kitchen in the basement. This is a No No for a FHA single family home purchases, buyers beware!<br \><br \>3 replies Mon, 17 Sep 2012 00:51:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Second-Kitchens-on-a-FHA-purchase-always-present-a-problem/460168/ 2012-09-17T00:51:00Z Two flat near Albion and Artesian http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Two-flat-near-Albion-and-Artesian/9408/ Just north of the apartment building on the northeast corner of Artesian and Albion is a really nuisance bunch of people. I wonder what goes on in there. Police are called once or twice a month. Lots of kids. Lots of trash. What's happening?<br \><br \>1 reply Thu, 18 Oct 2007 04:43:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Two-flat-near-Albion-and-Artesian/9408/ 2007-10-18T04:43:00Z How much would a newly renovated unit be worth in 7710 n. Sheridan unit 305 new kitchen, bath, hard http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-much-would-a-newly-renovated-unit-be-worth-in-7710-n-Sheridan-unit-305-new-kitchen-bath-hard/429359/ New rehabbed one bed / bath, fixtures on everything, hardwood maple flooring, new paint, new mirror skidding closet doors be?<br \><br \>5 replies Fri, 20 Jan 2012 02:53:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-much-would-a-newly-renovated-unit-be-worth-in-7710-n-Sheridan-unit-305-new-kitchen-bath-hard/429359/ 2012-01-20T02:53:00Z Pre Approval letter http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Pre-Approval-letter/486356/ In order to receive this letter, I must fill out an application, which asks for a expensive, non-refundable payment- Application fee. Is it really necessary to pay this fee, even in the scenario that I later decide the loan terms are not to my liking, wishing to turn to another bank?<br/>It does not seem to make sense, seeing as how any reasonable person would want to compare offers first. No one would be willing to pay a 400 dollar fee for each and every single application.<br \><br \>24 replies Thu, 04 Apr 2013 20:28:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Pre-Approval-letter/486356/ 2013-04-04T20:28:00Z Beginning stages of foreclosure http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Beginning-stages-of-foreclosure/516951/ I am in the beginning stages of foreclosure. We still have time to come up with a plan to keep the home. This is a second home and occupied by my son. We fell behind on our property taxes and my lender paid them. Giving us an escrow shortage and putting us into foreclosure. They wouldn't accept payments and now we are 4 months behind. For reinstatement they want almost a $20,000 lump sum. I only have about $6,000. We don't have a "lease" agreement with my son. He wants to stay in the home and hopefully some day purchase it. We have no equity because of a refinance last year. I'm in such a bind. I have no idea what to do or where to start. Would I be able to have my son sign a lease as proof to the lender we have found a tenant. He pays the mortgage anyways. Any suggestions would be welcome.<br \><br \>5 replies Mon, 28 Oct 2013 06:38:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Beginning-stages-of-foreclosure/516951/ 2013-10-28T06:38:00Z Buying a Home with plans to build an addition.. http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Buying-a-Home-with-plans-to-build-an-addition/488931/ Hello,<br/>My wife and I plan to buy a home for around $200k and spend upwards of $100k renovating the house before we move in.&nbsp; We are looking to move into an old neighborhood, but would like a house with newer amenities, so we plan to buy one of the cheaper houses in our ideal location, and build a new addition on it.<br/>As we drive around the neighborhood, we see many different types of houses, and many different types of additions.&nbsp; It is difficult to judge which houses would be good candidates for an addition, and how much our desired amenities would cost, and how that would vary based on the house we buy.<br/>I guess what I am looking for is an agent, or a team, similar to the Property Brothers on HGTV, who can properly guide us.&nbsp;&nbsp; How would you suggest finding the right advice?<br \><br \>12 replies Mon, 22 Apr 2013 00:54:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Buying-a-Home-with-plans-to-build-an-addition/488931/ 2013-04-22T00:54:00Z Do I really need to paint? Let's sell it "as is"... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Do-I-really-need-to-paint-Let%27s-sell-it-as-is/516697/ Other than the obvious, price competitive, the biggest mistake is not neutralizing your home. I always recommend that my sellers take a step back and view the house as if you stepped into it for the first time. I know that is hard but if you see things that bother you it will bother the buyer walking in.<br/><br/>"You never get a second chance to make a first impression..."<br/><br/>Paint color is usually the easiest and least expensive thing to do. Look at some model homes to get ideas. You will notice that the paint palettes are very neutral and light. Stay away from dark colors. "As is" will only invite low-ball offers and questions like "what is wrong with this house?" Most people I speak with usually keep up their home but often have incorporated much of themselves into the home naturally. A good paint job is inexpensive and freshens up the place.<br \><br \>3 replies Fri, 25 Oct 2013 20:33:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Do-I-really-need-to-paint-Let%27s-sell-it-as-is/516697/ 2013-10-25T20:33:00Z New Agent http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/New-Agent/516030/ <em>What's the best way to build my client list and market my company on a limited budget .</em><br \><br \>13 replies Sun, 20 Oct 2013 21:32:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/New-Agent/516030/ 2013-10-20T21:32:00Z How do I sell my house while living out of state? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-I-sell-my-house-while-living-out-of-state/468423/ I have a 3b 2 ba condo on the NW side of Chicago that I've owned for about 3 years. Because of a new job, I'm now living in NC. I'd like to sell the place but have no idea of how to go about doing so while I'm living on the east coast. Does anyone have any tips/suggestions or even things NOT to do in order to make sure this process goes smoothly?<br/><br/>I have renters now but am thinking after their lease is up I should sell. I won't be able to let the place sit for long bc I can't afford the mortgage plus the rent that I'm paying for my place here (so it needs to be a quick sell). Any help would be appreciated.<br \><br \>15 replies Tue, 13 Nov 2012 21:50:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-I-sell-my-house-while-living-out-of-state/468423/ 2012-11-13T21:50:00Z Ugggghhhhh... the house is no longer available. I thought it was a buyer's market. http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Ugggghhhhh-the-house-is-no-longer-available-I-thought-it-was-a-buyer%27s-market/516700/ In most cases when I place an offer for a client, we are generally competing for the home. The best homes always go quickly. Inventories are down and prices are now starting to rise. The best advise I can give a buyer is to have:<br/><br/>1) Get financing in order (Make sure you have given everything to your lender so that you are absolutely sure you can afford the homes you will be bidding on.)<br/>2) Act quickly (The best homes are gone sometimes within days if not hours.)<br/><br/>I am not suggesting that you place a offer on a house without seeing it first. I do suggest that you see the house as quickly as possible and decide whether you want it or not.<br \><br \>1 reply Fri, 25 Oct 2013 20:47:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Ugggghhhhh-the-house-is-no-longer-available-I-thought-it-was-a-buyer%27s-market/516700/ 2013-10-25T20:47:00Z Is that all my house is worth?... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Is-that-all-my-house-is-worth/516698/ We have definitely seen the market turn for the better but values are still no where near what they were 5-6 years ago. As a rule-of-thumb, I always show my clients the comparables so they can see for themselves what their home is worth. It starts by making an honest assessment based upon prices, pictures, condition, etc. Ultimately, no matter how much homework you do, the market is the ultimate teacher.<br/><br/>The good news is that rarely list a house without getting multiple offers. You will know within the first 2 weeks whether you are competitive or not.<br \><br \>0 replies Fri, 25 Oct 2013 20:40:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Is-that-all-my-house-is-worth/516698/ 2013-10-25T20:40:00Z Chicago South Loop Motor Row Loft rental http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Chicago-South-Loop-Motor-Row-Loft-rental/516658/ [Promotion removed by Zillow moderator. Please see our&nbsp;<u><a style="text-align: right;" rel="nofollow" title="Good Neighbor Policy" href="http://www.zillow.com/howto/GoodNeighborPolicy.htm">Good Neighbor Policy</a></u>&nbsp;for information.]&nbsp;<br \><br \>0 replies Fri, 25 Oct 2013 15:26:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Chicago-South-Loop-Motor-Row-Loft-rental/516658/ 2013-10-25T15:26:00Z What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - October 21, 2013 http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/What%27s-Ahead-For-Mortgage-Rates-This-Week-October-21-2013/516087/ <p>Many of the economic and housing reports typically scheduled were delayed by the federal government shutdown.&nbsp;</p><div class="column "><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/></div><br \><br \>4 replies Mon, 21 Oct 2013 14:54:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/What%27s-Ahead-For-Mortgage-Rates-This-Week-October-21-2013/516087/ 2013-10-21T14:54:00Z Home Improvement http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Home-Improvement/515784/ I have an out of state buyer interested in updating his new home.&nbsp; Anyone have a home improvement specialist they would recommend.<br \><br \>3 replies Fri, 18 Oct 2013 15:44:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Home-Improvement/515784/ 2013-10-18T15:44:00Z Any ways to appeal for property tax reduction ? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Any-ways-to-appeal-for-property-tax-reduction/514821/ We do have a home which we tried renting and now at a phase where we have to evict the tenants. If we get successful in evicting, there's a strong chance that we won't be able to find a new renter at this time of the year. So the home will be there with a second mortgage and 2nd property tax now. Yes we moved to a better school district.. Since the home is just remaining there, is there anyway to try to lower the property tax ? Any tips? Thanks<br \><br \>6 replies Thu, 10 Oct 2013 17:07:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Any-ways-to-appeal-for-property-tax-reduction/514821/ 2013-10-10T17:07:00Z