Zoning Use Certification for Un-Incorporated Cook County

Attention home sellers and buyers in Unincorporated Cook country regarding a new country ordinance (law) that was passed. The following was published by the Chicago Association of Realtors on Mar 23

“Unincorporated Cook County Zoning Use Certification Effective March 21
Please be reminded, as we’ve previously published, effective on March 21, 2015, prior to the sale of any property in unincorporated Cook County (except condominium or coop units), the Seller must apply to the Cook County Building Commissioner for a Zoning Use Certificate. The stated purpose of this new requirement is to help ensure that the parties in a real estate transaction have knowledge of the zoning and permitted use of the parcel in the transaction.
The Illinois Association of REALTORS® played a role in providing input to the building commissioner’s office on the form.
Pursuant to the new Ordinance: “The owner or owner’s agent or attorney shall make application using a form from the Office of the Building Commissioner.”
The following information items will be on the form:

Name, Address of the owner(s); if the owner is a corporate body, name of responsible officer;
Complete legal description of the property;
A current plat of survey of the property (if available);
Description of present use(s);
A certification that no construction has occurred on the property for which a permit is required without the issuance of such permit;
Proof of compliance with applicable Cook County ordinances pertaining to child support.
A fee of $100 must accompany the Application form.

Within 10 business days after the receipt of the Application, the Zoning Administrator of the County shall either issue the Zoning Use Certificate or deny the Application. Written reasons for denial will be stated. The Certificate will state that the property is being used consistent with applicable Zoning ordinances of the County.
A Certificate of Zoning Use is valid for a period not to exceed six months from issuance. As more information on the application process comes from the County, we will make that available through your local Association.

NOTE: Some municipalities in northern Illinois (including Chicago) have a zoning “check” or certification, like this, to make sure that all parties in a property transfer are aware of the zoning on the property. Some municipalities issue a letter to the prospective buyer to inform of the zoning.”

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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.

How Couples on Social Security Can Learn?

One of the facts of life is that people will age, but for couples of the Boomer Generation, it can be harder than before to manage their expenses as they age. One of the many reasons is that life expectancy is longer and people don’t save. The other is that they have investments in stocks which may have resulted in losses of value time due to the economic climate. Many Seniors rely on Social Security as their main source of income. Here’s a great video on what couples on social security can learn about their benefits that they may not be aware of. This advice in this video could mean whether you are staying in your own home or having to sell or move.