Winter Low Temperature Maintenace Tips

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When temperatures get below 15 degrees it dramatically increases the possibility of frozen pipes and breakage. When temperatures drop this low, we ask that you do the following preventative measures:

* Please keep your heat set to at least 66 degrees or higher even when you are not home.

* At least one inside faucet, preferably more, should continually drip warm water so that both hot & cold water lines are kept flowing to prevent freezing.

* Pipes for the kitchens and first floor bathrooms tend to be more vulnerable to freezing pipes. Cabinet doors should be left open to allow heat from your unit to enter.

* All faucets should be checked in the morning and evening to insure there is proper flow of water.

Google Driver-less Vehicles

What would you do with the time you spend in your daily commutes if all you had to do was get in the car, enter your destination and press Go?

The Google Prototype Driver-less car is fast getting around this holiday season in California with plans to have approximately 100 of these vehicles operating in the next year on actual roads. Even at the current 25 MPH speed limit, it’s a step in the right direction to minimize in-attentive drives who often use their commute time to perform other tasks while driving. As testing of the prototype progresses over time, I’m sure they will be able to update the software to react much quicker and provide safe operations at higher speeds of movement for the vehicle.

In urban areas like Chicago, it’s a great alternative to traditional public transportation offering some flexibility and privacy. It’s also a way for those who transitionally have limitations to driving (seniors, visually impaired, persons with other disabilities) to be able to operate their own vehicles without having to rely on others to get them around.

The Wait to Climb Is Over – Brooklyn Boulders Chicago Opens

It’s been under construction in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago for several months and it’s been a hidden secret, but not for much longer! Brooklyn Boulders has just opened their newest location for enthusiasts in the sport of climbing. The space is uniquely designed for the sport and it will also have work spaces and conferences rooms that are available for rent by entrepreneurs and the community. In addition to allowing members to practice their rock climbing skills, other fitness classes and yoga are offered at the new space. Their target market includes user of Zip Cars and Uber who enjoy the simplicity and cool factor.

Several membership plans are available starting at $25 for a day pass, $225 for a 10 Pack and other monthly and yearly plans are available.

You can find more information on this cool, new addition to the West Loop Neighborhood at http://www.BrooklynBoulders.com

If you don’t already reside in the neighborhood and would like to, contact us for available inventory and pricing or visit our website to learn more about us visit www.LoftsNHomes.com

Tis The Season – “Let It Go” from Frozen By Idina Menzel

Holiday Light Show Synced to "Let It Go" from Frozen.

Holiday Light Show Synced to “Let It Go” from Frozen.

Tis The Season and the weather could not be better to go out and take in the holiday decorations and lights around town. Homeowners are putting up their lights this time of the year and of course some of the best holiday light shows from homeowners can be found right on the internet.

“Let It Go” from the Disney Movie Frozen is one of the hit songs this past year (released December, 2013) sang by Idina Menzel who has a fantastic voice and has dawned many Broadway productions that I love. Check out this homeowner’s holiday light show synchronized to this song.

Idina Menzel is a fantastic actress, performer and always comes across to be so humble and sincere when she appears in public like at the recent CMA Country Christmas Show where she appeared with Jennifer Nettles.

And there there are other special performances by Idina Menzel that is near and dear to me from the first Broadway Show I saw “Rent where the audience Mooooo’d with her.

And this performance of “Defying Gravity” in “Wicked” with Kristin Chenoweth who also has a strong and powerful voice.

But let’s get back to the holidays with this special song that Indina Menzel sings with Michael Bubble for the holidays. “It’s Cold Outside”

Local Broker Receives Certified Negotiations Expert Designation

loftsnhomes_bcard_back

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: KYLE CHANG
MEDIA@LOFTSNHOMES.COM

LOCAL REAL ESTATE MANAGING BROKER KYLE K CHANG RECEIVES
“CERTIFIED NEGOTIATION EXPERT (CNE®)” DESIGNATION

Professional negotiation skills are necessary for all real estate agents
in helping home buyers and sellers, especially in the current market

Chicago, Illinois USA, September 29, 2014 – Kyle K. Chang, Managing Broker, Realtor, ABR, GRI, SRS of C&C Realty Group, Inc www.LoftsNHomes.com has been awarded the Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) designation from the Real Estate Negotiation Institute (RENI). The CNE is earned by real estate professionals after successfully completing formal negotiation training over two days. Agents who receive this certification are among the top agents in the country in negotiation skills. With professional negotiation skills, agents are able to help clients obtain better results in the sale or purchase of their home. CNE agents have a higher skill level which enables them to 1) communicate more effectively to uncover desired information, 2) help clients understand their options, 3) work collaboratively with others, and 4) resolve deadlocks. CNE agents have a thorough understanding of how to negotiate effectively to help achieve their client’s goals.

Kyle K. Chang, Managing Broker, Realtor, ABR, CNE, GRI, SRS C&C Realty Group, Inc. www.LoftsNHomes.com

Kyle K. Chang, Managing Broker, Realtor, ABR, CNE, GRI, SRS
C&C Realty Group, Inc.
www.LoftsNHomes.com

About Kyle K. Chang, Managing Broker, Realtor, ABR, CNE, GRI, SRS

Kyle has been involved in real estate, starting with personal property management and income properties since moving to the Chicago area in 1996. A graduate of California Polytechnic University in Pomona, CA, he obtained his B.S. in Management with minors in Business Administration and Marketing. He has worked in a variety of industries that has helped developed his entrepreneur skills with such companies as Hyatt Hotels, Sears & Roebuck and McDonald’s Corporation, Wheels, Inc. just to name a few.

Kyle first obtained his Illinois Broker’s license in 2002 and worked for a local firm in the Lakeview neighborhood. Prior to coming on board as the managing broker for C&C Realty Group, Inc – LoftsNHomes.com in 2003, Mr. Chang ran the Chicago operations for a Financial Services firm based in Massachusetts and in a variety of technology & training positions for a Chicago based fleet vehicle leasing firm. He is also an expert marketing and operational consultant for the Retail and Hospitality Industries since 1996 and a contractor to work high level sporting events such as the Super Bowl and Olympics.

About C&C Realty Group, Inc. www.LoftsNHomes.com

C&C Realty Group, Inc. www.LoftsNHomes.com is a full service boutique brokerage with our main office located in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago. Our brokerages handle transactions involving residential, commercial and property management areas of real estate. We represent buyers, sellers tenants and property owners. We use the latest technology to market our client’s property and to electronically transact and store property information and client data securely. We offer our brokers continuous training throughout each year. The firm was founded in 2003 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. For more information, please visit www.LoftsNHomes.com

Logo Certified Negotiations Expert

Logo Certified Negotiations Expert

About the Real Estate Institute:
The Real Estate Negotiation Institute is the leading negotiation training and coaching company in the real estate industry. Collectively, the Real Estate Negotiation Institute’s instructors have over 300 years of real estate and negotiation experience. Tom Hayman, the CEO and Co-Founder of the Real Estate Negotiation Institute, asserts: “Any Buyer or Seller who hires a CNE agent can feel confident they have one of the best trained negotiators in real estate. They should achieve superior results and have better resolution of all issues when represented by a CNE agent.”

For more information visit www.theRENI.com.

Chicago Area Market Update – September, 2014

Some great news for the economy and housing was published today regarding the local Chicago surrounding suburbs of Chicago that the local MLS MREDLLC.com services and maintains the data. What this suggest is that for seller’s who previously were not able to sell due to low prices, it might be time to re-consider. With the low interest rates expected to sustain in the short term (next 6 to 18 months) by the Fed., it is likely that the trend of multiple buyer offer for sales is also likely to sustain in popular neighborhoods. Keep in mind that this latest update does not necessarily apply directly to your specific property and / or local neighborhood. It is best in those situations to contact a real estate broker (like me) who is familiar with the properties that is more specific to your situation.

Source: MREDLLC.com September 29, 2014

“Most local markets continue to recover from a soft patch earlier this year. The macro trend is still positive; the micro trend involves more moderate pinching up and down the month-to-month timeline. This is not uncommon in a balanced market, but it’s been so long since we’ve seen one that we’re watching it with perhaps too much trepidation. Metrics to watch include inventory and prices, but also days on market, months’ supply and percent of list price received at sale. Declines in pending and closed sales activity may reflect strong decreases at lower price points and may not indicate softening demand.

New Listings in Chicagoland were up 4.6 percent for detached homes and 1.1 percent for attached properties. Listings Under Contract increased 4.6 percent for detached homes and 3.1 percent for attached properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 8.1 percent to $219,900 for detached homes and 9.3 percent to $177,000 for attached properties. Months Supply of Inventory increased 4.4 percent for detached units but was down 4.4 percent for attached units.

Sustained job growth, lower mortgage rates and a slow rise in the number of homes for sale appear to have unleashed at least some pent-up demand. Since housing demand relies heavily on an economy churning out good jobs, it’s encouraging to see second quarter GDP growth revised upwards to a 4.2 percent annualized rate and stronger-than-expected job growth in recent months. Further improvements are still needed by way of wage growth and consumer confidence but recovery continues.”

REALTOR® AWARDED SRS DESIGNATION

loftsnhomes_bcard_back

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Kyle K. Chang, Managing Broker,
Realtor, ABR, GRI, SRS
E-mail: Media@LoftsNHomes.com

REALTOR® AWARDED SRS DESIGNATION

Chicago, Illinois, September, 23, 2014 — Kyle K. Chang with C&C Realty Group, Inc. www.LoftsNHomes.com, has been awarded the Seller Representative Specialist (SRSsm) designation, the premier seller agency designation in the country. The SRS is conferred by the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB) and is an official credential of the National Association of REALTORS®. Kyle joins an elite group of real estate professionals in North America who have earned the SRSsm designation. All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in seller representation, pass a comprehensive exam and subscribe to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. As of the time of this press release, Kyle is one of 24 SRS Designees serving the Chicago land market.

Kyle K. Chang, Managing Broker, Realtor, ABR, CNE, GRI, SRS C&C Realty Group, Inc. www.LoftsNHomes.com

Kyle K. Chang, Managing Broker, Realtor, ABR, GRI, SRS
C&C Realty Group, Inc.
www.LoftsNHomes.com

Kyle has been involved in real estate, starting with personal property management and income properties since moving to the Chicago area in 1996. A graduate of California Polytechnic University in Pomona, CA, he obtained his B.S. in Management with minors in Business Administration and Marketing. He has worked in a variety of industries that has helped developed his entrepreneur skills with such companies as Hyatt Hotels, Sears & Roebuck and McDonald’s Corporation, Wheels, Inc. just to name a few.

Kyle first obtained his Illinois Broker’s license in 2002 and worked for a local firm in the Lakeview neighborhood. Prior to coming on board as the managing broker for C&C Realty Group, Inc – LoftsNHomes.com in 2003, Mr. Chang ran the Chicago operations for a Financial Services firm based in Massachusetts and in a variety of technology & training positions for a Chicago based fleet vehicle leasing firm. He is also an expert marketing and operational consultant for the Retail and Hospitality Industries since 1996 and a contractor to work high level sporting events such as the Super Bowl and Olympics. Currently, a large part of Kyle’s business is focused on Lofts N Homes around Chicago land whether it be representing buyers, sellers, landlords, investors or renters with his team of Brokers.

SRSsm is a wholly owned division of CRB and focuses specifically on representing the real estate seller. Founded in 1968, CRB is a not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®. You may contact SRS by telephone, 800-621-8738, by e-mail, [CustomerService@SRSCouncil.com], or by visiting the SRS website, [www.SRSCouncil.com].

SRS Color_with_Text

It’s Almost Tax Time – Rental Property Deductions

Time to VOTE!

Time to VOTE!

It’s almost tax reporting time and some of you have been rental property owners for awhile and some have you have started!

Common business deductions on rental Properties include assessments and Condo fees are often allowable as maintenance expense and brokerage fees can be considered either marketing expense. If you have hired us as a property manager for your property that is also typically allowable as an operating cost to be deducted on your property against the rental income earned — This saves you time and headaches from dealing with the tenant on your own for various book keeping and maintenance issues.

If you have just started to be a rental property owner, be sure to keep good records of expenses so you have them ready for next year’s tax filings.

Other Common Expenses
In addition to repairs and depreciation, some of the other common expenses you can deduct are:

*Insurance
*Taxes
*Lawn care, Snow Removal or other landscaping related costs.
*Repairs and Maintenance (plumbing, electrical, etc.)
*Utilities: Gas, Electric, Telephone, Internet, etc. (if owner pays and tenant doesn’t or when property sits vacant).
*Tax return preparation fee
*Legal fees
*Automobile (mileage or actual costs) for usage while conducting business on your rental property.
*Office supplies, Postage
*Losses from causalities (hurricane, earthquake, flood, etc.) or thefts

As always, we recommend that you consult a tax preparation professional or CPA to find out what is allowable in your particular filing situation and what deductions might be better for you to take than others.

Let me know I can answer any of your real estate questions or you know of someone who would benefit for my services! Referrals are always appreciated!

Hints To Keep Plumbing In Working Order During Winter

When temperatures drop to freezing lows, plumbing problems are very common. There are many things that homeowners can do to prevent these problems that have the potential to cause severe damage to your home. Rescue Rooter® has provided the following tips to keep homeowners and their families throughout the nation and warm as freezing temperatures take over.

Avoid frozen pipes. Watch your water pressure this time of year because the first sign of a frozen pipe is restricted water flow. If you notice this, be sure to act quickly and call a professional.

Let cold water trickle from your faucets, slightly smaller than a pencil’s width, during the evening when the temperature is the coldest. This helps prevent freezing as moving water does not freeze.

Garden hoses can cause major damage if not disconnected. During cold snaps, if a garden hose is left connected, ice will form and pressure will build up in the water lines inside your home. Once this occurs, a water line leak or break is common. This can cause severe damage to the home. Disconnect garden hoses and drain outdoor pipes to prevent damage during the winter.
After disconnecting hoses, you should install an exterior, insulated faucet jacket. This will protect your outdoor faucets, as well as the connecting lines running into the home, from freezing temperatures. Also, be sure to utilize the shut-off valves located inside your home to drain water from pipes leading to outdoor hose bibs. These valves can typically be found under sinks, in crawl spaces or basements, near your water heater or your meter, but every home is different and some homes may not be equipped with these valves.

Circulating warm air helps keep pipes in the walls from freezing. Keep your house temperature above 55 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing and open cabinet doors under sinks and faucets and near exterior walls to help circulate warm air and keep pipes warmer.

Close crawl space vents and garage doors, especially if your water heater is in the garage.

Check to be sure that snow is not restricting your water drainage. Watch the area around your sump pump discharge line used to avoid flooding indoors, as this line drains from a basement to an outside area. If the drainage area is blocked by snow or flowing into a puddle, freezing could occur as well as water backing-up into the house.

If you do find leaks, even if it’s a small one, try to find the soure and remedy it as soon as possible. Call a plumber if necessary as the small leaks can end up causing big, costly damages if left un-remedied for a period of time.