Britta Rivera Venture



639 DIVISION ENTRY smallMany have asked…How much can I save on a homeowner’s exemption?  Well, it’s important to make sure you first apply for one or you could miss out on thousands in savings.   The website below actually breaks it down for you in simple terms and describes the many exemptions available.

This is an important part of the benefits of homeownership, so make sure to go this link and check your status.  In most cases, the senior citizen homestead/homeowner exemptions are most often missed.

Cook County homeowners may take advantage of several valuable property-tax-saving exemptions. There are currently four exemptions that must be applied for or renewed annually: The Homeowner Exemption, Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption, Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Exemption, and the Home Improvement Exemption.

Homeowner Exemption

Taxpayers whose single-family home, townhouse, condominium, co-op or apartment building (up to six units) is their primary residence can save $250 to $2,000 per year, depending on local tax rates and assessment increases. First-time applicants must have been the occupant of the property as of January 1 of the tax year in question.

The Cook County Assessor’s Office now automatically renews Homeowner Exemptions for properties that were not sold to new owners in the last year.

In neighborhoods where assessments have increased sharply, this exemption also now can help buffer the reassessment and be worth as much as $2,000 ($20,000 in Equalized Assessed Value multiplied by the local tax rate).

This program is administered by the Cook County Assessor’s Office. New owners should apply to:

Cook County Assessor’s Office
118 North Clark Street, Room 320
Chicago, IL 60602

You may find applications and additional information at:

Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption

Seniors can save up to $250 a year in property taxes, and up to $750 when combined with the Homeowner Exemption. For the 2012 tax year, the applicant must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1, 2012 and must have been 65 years of age or older during the year for which you are applying.

Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Exemption

Qualified senior citizens can apply for a freeze of the assessed value of their property. Over time, in many areas, this program results in taxes changing minimally and often decreasing as surrounding properties continue to rise in assessed value. This is the most valuable homeowner exemption program. The value increases over the years as it eliminates the impact of regular reassessment increases that may occur every three years.

For the 2012 tax year, the applicant must have owned and occupied the home on January 1, 2011 and January 1, 2012 and have been responsible for the 2011 and 2012 taxes.

Home Improvement Exemption

Homeowners can make up to $75,000 worth of property improvements without an increase in property taxes for at least four years. The value varies depending on the reduction of the assessed value and the tax rates where the property is located.

There are also several state and city programs now available.

Senior Citizen Tax Deferral
The household income limit to participate in this program has increased to $55,000. This program works like a loan from the State of Illinois to qualified senior citizens, with an annual interest rate of 6%. Any portion or all (up to $5,000 per year) of the tax may be deferred until the house is sold or until the death of the taxpayer. To apply, contact the Cook County Treasurer’s Office at 312.443.5100.

Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption
Administered through the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Call 312.814.2460.

Circuit Breaker Program
Seniors and disabled citizens receive a state grant based on property taxes, nursing home costs or pharmaceutical expenses. For information, call the Illinois Department on Aging at 1.800.252.8966.

FULL SUMMARY OF SAVINGS exemptions – from the Cook County Treasurer’s Office…..


February 23, 2013 Posted by | CHICAGO REAL ESTATE | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


BOLINGBROOK residents seem thrilled about the addition of a new Chick-Fil-A restaurant in the neighborhood.  The grand-opening was held on September 6, 2012 and dozens camped out for a freebie.  The “First 100” who stayed at the location until 6 a.m. Thursday, received gift certificates for 52 combination meals.

The Village of Bolingbrook made the list of Best Places to live in 2010 published by CNN Money.  As the Bolingbrook area continues to grow, so does the expansion of eateries and shopping.o their decision to open a new store in the area comes as no surprise.  As a long-time resident of Bolingbrook…I have to agree with it being a great place to live!

News sources report that no protests were planned after the recent controversy regarding same-sex marriages.  In my opinion, business owners should keep their personal feelings separate and focus on operations, if they want to stay successful.  While some may protest their position by not supporting the new chain, the chicken sandwich is undeniably tasty.

The new Chick-Fil-A is located at 245 N Weber Road, in front of Meijer grocery store…


September 8, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


FREDDIE MAC First Look Initiative is a great program offered to buyers since last year and is being utilized more than ever.  If you are considering purchasing a home at incredible prices, this program is designed to give owner-occupants first opportunity to contract on a Home Steps residence.

In the past, investors kept a close eye on new homes coming on the market at extremely low pricing, and quickly bought them before potential homeowner’s even knew they were available.  But this program gives owner occupied buyers an advantage above investors.  During the first 15 days (in Illinois), buyers have the ability to purchase a Freddie Mac HomeSteps home without competing with an investor, who typically pays cash.

HomeSteps is the real estate sales unit of Freddie Mac and markets a nationwide selection of Freddie Mac-owned homes.  The variety of homes and locations is appealing to many buyers, therefore, this has become a popular choice.  If you are interested in securing a HomeSteps  home, start viewing incredible homes or register here for your FREE list of available residences.

 Below article is posted on the Freddie Mac website.

Freddie Mac First Look Initiative Gives Homebuyers 15 Days to Buy Homesteps® Homes Without Investor Competition

For Immediate Release

September 15, 2010
or (703) 903-3933
McLean, VA – Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) today announced it is expanding the Freddie Mac First Look Initiative on September 17, 2010 so any home shopper can buy a HomeSteps® home as their primary residence during the first 15 days of the property’s listing without competition from investors. HomeSteps is the real estate sales unit of Freddie Mac and markets a nationwide selection of Freddie Mac-owned homes.

News Facts

  • The Freddie Mac First Look Initiative supports Freddie Mac’s mission to stabilize communities and foster affordable homeownership opportunities by giving homebuyers 15 days to buy a HomeSteps home as their primary residence without investor competition.
  • In Nevada, the Freddie Mac First Look Initiative offers buyers who plan to become owner-occupants a 30 day window to shop without investor competition.
  • Investment, vacation or second home purchasers are ineligible for the Freddie Mac First Look Initiative.
  • Today’s announcement builds on the national First Look effort the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) launched on September 1, 2010 to provide an exclusive 12-day window to owner-occupant buyers working with Neighborhood Stabilization Programs (NSP) grantees non-profits working with NCST.
  • The Freddie Mac First Look Initiative will provide a 15-day window to buyers working with NSP and NCST affiliated groups.
  • Home shoppers should contact their local real estate broker or visit for more information about the Freddie Mac First Look Initiative.


September 4, 2011 Posted by | REAL ESTATE NEWS | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Donald Trump’s former “Apprentice” winner, Bill Rancic and wife Giuliana Rancic (E! News anchor), have plans to team up with R. J. Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. 

They are scheduled to open an Italian restaurant in River North this January at 52 W. Illinois St.  The eatery will replace Ben Pao, which is closing next month after a long and successful stint in the neighborhood.

Anyone who watches the reality T.V. show “Giuliana and Bill” knows they fly between two cities, but purchased a home in a Chicago suburb to begin their family.  Looks like Bill is the big winner in their ongoing debate on which city to hang out more, because we all know the restaurant business takes hard work and commitment.  No time for small trips until it is up and running!

It should be a great partnership and don’t be surprised to see the restaurant tied into their reality show in the future.

August 29, 2011 Posted by | CHICAGO BUSINESS - TOP PICKS | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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