REALTOR® AWARDED SRS DESIGNATION

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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].

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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.

Snow Days – Winter Parking Ban

El Trains (Elevated Trains) which are running overhead and underground as a Subway in certain parts of the City.

El Trains (Elevated Trains) which are running overhead and underground as a Subway in certain parts of the City.

Hopefully, everyone had a great New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebration and are excited about 2014!

In the Chicago area, we have had the biggest accumulation of snow for the season so far putting down at least 8 inches of snow on the ground and we are expected to have snow all day today. This is a great time to remind folks and new comers to the Chicago land area of the Winter Parking Ban that’s in effect when 2 or more inches of snow is on the ground.

This parking ban is around most neighborhoods within the City of Chicago limits to allow the city crews access to major streets and to be able to clear the snow from the streets in a timely manner.

Violation of this could result in a parking violation to be issued (at least a $60-100 ticket) and possibly the towing or your vehicle and storage an impound lot which could result in a couple of hundreds out of your pocket.Video Jan 02, 8 36 01 AM

We recommend that you find a paid parking lot to park your vehicle in the City in order to avoid these fines and fees and consider taking public transit which might also save you some aggravation on the roads.

Visibility, January 2, 2014

Visibility, January 2, 2014

Normal Snow Day Visibility

Normal Snow Day Visibility

Chicago Offers Tree Recycling

The official City Christmas Tree at Daley Plaza with Chriskindle Market

The official City Christmas Tree at Daley Plaza with Chriskindle Market

So now that the Christmas Holiday has passed, what do you do with that fresh tree that you bought just to celebrate the Season? How about recycling it at one of the City Park District locations for FREE?? Okay, you may have already paid for it in the property taxes or city sales tax throughout the year.

Trees can be dropped off for recycling at the following locations between January 4-18th

Bessemer Park, 8930 S. Muskegon Ave.
Clark Park, 3400 N. Rockwell St.
Forestry Site, 900 E. 103rd St.
Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave.
Grant Park, 900 S. Columbus Dr.
Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1369 N. Sacramento Ave.
Jackson Park, 6300 S. Cornell Ave.
Kennedy Park, 2427 W. 113th St.
Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Lake Meadows Park, 3117 S. Rhodes Ave.
Lincoln Park, Cannon Dr. at Fullerton Ave. (Parking lot east of Cannon Dr.)
Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine Dr.
Marquette Park, 6700 S. Kedzie Ave.
McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Rd.
Mt. Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111th St.
North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski Rd.
Norwood Park, 5801 N. Natoma Ave.
Portage Park, 4100 N. Long Ave.
Riis Park, 6201 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Rowan Park, 11546 S. Avenue L
Sheridan Park, 910 S. Aberdeen St.
Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Ave.
Wentworth Park, 5701 S. Narragansett Ave.

You just need to remove the decorations in order for them to accept your recycled tree.

The holiday tree on the plaza shared by The Tribune Company and NBC Tower

The holiday tree on the plaza shared by The Tribune Company and NBC Tower

The Bears Lost, But A Productive Sunday

This afternoon, I was able to process two contracts, meet with clients and applicants and watched the Chicago Bears loose their playoff chances to the Green Bay Packer while working in the 1st floor of our office where I can work and watch the game at the same time.

1st Floor Conference Room known as the Board Room.

1st Floor Conference Room known as the Board Room.

TV in Lobby usually has CNN on during the weekdays.

TV in Lobby usually has CNN on during the weekdays.

Public Transit For Visitors

El Trains (Elevated Trains) which are running overhead and underground as a Subway in certain parts of the City.

El Trains (Elevated Trains) which are running overhead and underground as a Subway in certain parts of the City.

Chicago is a major city with a great transportation infrastructure. Most of the folks who relocate to Chicago in living in some of the more popular downtown neighborhoods like the West Loop, South Loop, River East, River North, LakeView or Lincoln Park usually abandon their cars after the first year because there is ample and affordable public transportation across the City. Even folks who live in other neighborhood will opt for the public transit system and let their car (if they own one) sit on the street or garage.

Unlike many other urban cities, the public transit system in Chicago is only $2.25 per ride regardless of distance. There are a lot of FREE transfer stations across the city to move between EL Train lines (Elevated Trains / Subway) or sometimes between a bus and a rail line. If a transfer fee is charged, it’s typically 25 cents for the transfer (up to two transfers within a two hour period).

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Visitors to Chicago can also opt for the 1 day, 3 day or 7 day unlimited rides visitor’s passes that you can purchase at kiosks located at Chicago O’Hare and Midway International Airports, or at the visitor’s centers at the Chicago Cultural Center or Water Tower locations. Reduced fares are offered to students and qualified persons. Local Chicago’s who rely solely on the public transit system also receive discounts for unlimited rides at only $100 per month.

The Public Transit System is called the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) and PACE for the suburban public systems which all operate on the same fare system and utilize the same fare cards. Commuter Trains are part of the METRA system and they operate on different fees and fare card system, but we’ll talk more about METRA and other affordable transportation options in another blog post.

The public transit system is a great way to move around town whether you are a local, transplant or a visitor to Chicago. Their schedules are available via phone, text message, Google Maps or one of the applications on your smartphone that support transit directions.

WEBSITES:
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA Buses and EL Trains) www.TransitChicago.com
PACE (Suburban Buses) www.PaceBus.com
METRA (Commuter Trains) www.MetraRail.com

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It’s a Season of Giving!

This is often the time of the year where folks think more about giving then receiving. Amongst the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping, it’s good to keep in mind those who have less than you do.

It’s also fun to buy toys and other gifts for local area school kids who may not be fortunate enough to get some of the fun stuff they want for the holidays.

C&C Realty Group, Inc www.LoftsNHomes.com Holiday Toy Drive

C&C Realty Group, Inc www.LoftsNHomes.com Holiday Toy Drive


C&C Realty Group, Inc www.LoftsNHomes.com Holiday Toy Drive

C&C Realty Group, Inc www.LoftsNHomes.com Holiday Toy Drive

C&C Realty Group, Inc www.LoftsNHomes.com Holiday Toy Drive

C&C Realty Group, Inc www.LoftsNHomes.com Holiday Toy Drive

Helping Santa out this holiday season

Helping Santa out this holiday season

What is your way to give a little of yourself this holiday season? I would love to know!

Chicago Is Great for Tech Giants and Tech Start Ups

Willis Tower in the downtown financial district

Willis Tower in the downtown financial district

Chicago is often referred to as the capital of the Midwest. Many people from other Midwestern cities and neighboring states choose to have a residence or business presence here. Some of the giants in the area now including United Airlines, Google, Motorola, Groupon all have major technology headquarters around Chicago.

Google just signed a lease in the a building in the West Loop Fulton Market District where an El station was just opened within the past two years. New restaurants and galleries are opening next to what used to be a cold storage building and it’s convenient to existing West Loop Restaurant Row along Randolph Street. They are in the process of designing their new space and expected to occupy the new space in 2015.

United Airlines has a technology and operations center located in the Willis Tower (formerly Sear’s Tower) which also houses several small technology start up firms.

The Merchandise Mart

The Merchandise Mart

Groupon starting their business model here in Chicago and have made River West their headquarters in a technology building that was formerly the Montgomery Wards Catalog Distribution Building. This building was converted into mixed use space with high end technology amenities and condos.

Several technology start up firms share space in 1871 which is a technology incubator space housed in the Merchandise Mart Building. This historic building was once owned by the Kennedy Family and was exhibit space and show rooms for various house and decorating shows.

Cold storage building in West Loop's Fulton Market District being converted to Class A Office Space in which Google will be a primary tenant

Cold storage building in West Loop’s Fulton Market District being converted to Class A Office Space in which Google will be a primary tenant

There are many more example to be found all over town, but with two major international airports which provides flights to every state in the nation within 2-4 hours, the ample and convenient public transportation options and plenty of housing stock and fun neighborhoods to choose from, Chicago is a great place to live, work and setup your technology business.