Morning Minute: Six big housing challenges in 2016

To keep U.S. housing moving in a positive direction during the second half of 2016 and beyond, Chicago Agent Magazine cites six obstacles to overcome.

Citing a U.S. housing report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, those challenges include: rising costs; cost-burdened renters; high percentage of cost-burdened homeowners; complications from cost burdens, such as less income for other expenses; shortage of affordable housing; and concentrated poverty. Find out more.

Five tips to help buyers save for a down payment – (via REALTOR® Magazine Daily Real Estate News)

The link between clutter and depression – Houselogic

Leasing Agent License Renewal period ends July 31, 2016

Copy of Leasing Agent square graphic 504x504 (2)Leasing Agents must renew their licenses by July 31, 2016. The requirements for renewal include:

  • completion of 6 hours of CE (relevant to leasing residential real property and covering recent changes in the Real Estate Licensing Act)
  • payment of the $100 Illinois licensing fee to IDFPR.

The Illinois REALTORS® Leasing Agent CE Package fulfills the CE requirement for Leasing Agent license renewal and is available in the REALTOR® Store for $38.00.

The tools below will assist Leasing Agents with license renewal:





Lawmakers return, but will there be a budget?

Numerous bills were focus of Illinois REALTORS® lobbyists in spring session 

Illinois’ General Assembly will be back in Springfield for a session which begins today.

As they return, Illinois REALTORS® Springfield lobbying team is ready to make sure that nothing gets through without scrutiny that could impact private property rights.

Illinois REALTORS® has had a successful Spring session, as lobbyists were able to kill or reshape a number of bills. Want evidence of their work? Look here for a list of highlights presented at the June Business Meetings.

Lawmakers are grappling with a stopgap budget which, if passed, would at least keep some basic state functions going. The bill might not fix lingering issues with long-delayed bill payments.

Illinois REALTORS® — Show us your flag and your spirit!

Howard and Eloise

Howard Handler and daughter Eloise.

With Memorial Day and Flag Day already behind us, do you have any photos with the American flag like local Governmental Affairs Director Howard Handler and his daughter Eloise?

Have you decorated your office red, white and blue or do you plan to wear those colors to a picnic or ballgame?

In any case, Illinois REALTORS® are invited to submit patriotic photos to this blog for display next week. Please email your photos to the REALTORS® Love Red White and Blue project at

Have a safe, happy and healthy 4th of July!





Illinois REALTORS® learn about an important asset


Dennis Wilmsmeyer (Photo by Matt Difanis)

Dennis Wilmsmeyer, the Executive Director of America’s Central Port, reminded a group of Illinois REALTORS® of the state’s benefits to domestic and foreign investors, including its status as a designated trade zone.

Wilmsmeyer made his remarks to the Commercial and Industrial Committee and the Global Working Group at the Illinois REALTORS® June Business Meetings.

Bill Caton, Chair of the Commercial and Industrial Committee, and Jim Kinney, Chair of the Global Working Group, introduced Wilmsmeyer, who was formerly a REALTOR®.  Wilmsmeyer joined the Port District in 1999 and became the Executive Director in 2010.

While he, like many of us, lamented the state’s current fiscal situation, he said “the port is strategically located and serves one of the busiest waterways to move over $1 billion dollars’ worth of goods each year.”  His presentation included statistics on the port itself but he also spoke about the value of Illinois and its logistics infrastructure and why Illinois is key to getting products to market, both domestically and internationally. As a designated foreign trade zone, the port allows for the import of goods with the benefit of reduced, deferred or possibly elimination of duties on those goods.

He said the designated foreign trade is a great feature our members need to be aware of when helping their foreign investor clients make decisions on where to locate their U.S. facilities.  Known as Foreign Trade Zone #31, it is part of a network of eight others in the state of Illinois. (Get more information.)

So while, there still are hurdles here in the state that need to be overcome, Illinois REALTORS® need to remember the assets we have in order to serve clients as “trusted advisors,” Wilmsmeyer said. “We consider REALTORS® our partners, and we are happy to provide tours to educate you on all we have to offer for your clients.”

He also stressed the importance of residential REALTORS®, their knowledge of the surrounding communities and their ability to share information about the quality of life in the areas where port authorities are located. This information goes a long way since it is part of the decision-making criteria for site selectors and corporate leadership.