Conducting a self-appraisal is difficult using publicly available information from sites such as Zillow. Most Realtors will prepare comparable from actually market sales in the MLS and present that to you free of charge. You can request information on selling your home here - http://www.harahomes.com/sell/
This website will allow you to search by the MLS#. It will also work from an iphone or android. www.harahomes.com
Typically less than 20lbs. If you go over, some landlords will negotiate a pet deposit as long as the building will allow for it.
I manage a couple of properties out of state and while it makes things a bit more difficult, if you find a Realtor you can trust, you can get things done. I have also found it helpful to retain a cleaning service, carpet cleaning and painting crew as well. Typically your Realtor can assist with this as well.
You can link to the date via this website. - http://www.harahomes.com/mimarket/zip/60601/
The property taxes will go up with the home values. In most areas (you will need to check with your local county), there are exemptions for both homeowners and senior citizens which limit the amount the tax bill can go up on a single year to help avoid your concerns. There will be some risk for the next 10 years, but after that, in most areas, once the senior exemption kicks in, it will protect you.
Robert, one of the negatives to Zillow is that the methodology to Zestimate is not accurate. It takes sales in the zip code but cannot break out items such as the age or level of finish. With the slow sales pace in your area, one sale of home can drastically impact the results. If you would like, go to my website www.noelhara.com and from there, you can email some details on the home, such as number of beds, baths, age condition.. and I can put some more accurate numbers together for you.