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Researchers from several universities have just completed a paper that looks at what they call the hurdle rate. This is the point at which it’s equally smart to rent or buy if your only criterion is to build wealth. Based on today’s hurdle rate, it’s a better time to buy than to rent, because you can build more wealth owning than renting.
By: Dave Matthews February 14, 2012
(Updated 5:55 p.m.)
(Crain’s) — Procrastination could come with a big price for local real estate agents who face a looming deadline to comply with new state licensing requirements.
Agents have until April 30 to complete the training and tests to meet the new rules, but only about 14,000, or 21 percent, out of 67,095 real estate professionals in the state have done so, says Jill Johnson, real estate coordinator at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which grants real estate licenses.
Those who miss the deadline must go through the onerous process of getting relicensed — if they want to stay in the profession.
Under the new regulations, real estate agents, or “salespeople” in regulatory parlance, will be called “brokers,” while professionals who head real estate offices, now known as “brokers,” will become “managing brokers.”
The new rules are part of a law passed in 2009 to “increase consumer protection and increase professional competency of real estate licensees,” Ms. Johnson says. Lawmakers “thought it would be helpful if the profession had higher requirements for learning and continuing education.”
But Chris Eigel, CEO of Chicago-based Prudential Rubloff Properties, doesn’t expect the new rules to make much difference beyond culling the real estate herd.
“It’s a lot more time and a lot more money than we’re used to, and when the dust all settles it’s the same thing as we had before, but different names,” Mr. Eigel says. “I’m not quite sure what it changes except that it will reduce number of licensees.”
Amid the residential slump, that is already happening naturally. The number of licensed real estate professionals in Illinois has fallen 16 percent since 2007, when 80,000 people held licenses, according to the state.
Salespeople have until March 15 to take a shortcut to a new broker license by taking a prep course, passing a proficiency exam and completing 15 hours of continuing-education courses, says Tina Stepaniak, director of professional development at the Chicago Association of Realtors. Managing brokers can do the same but must also take a 12-hour management course.
Brokers who miss the March 15 deadline must take a 30-hour course and a longer exam by April 30. Managing brokers who miss their deadline must complete a 45-hour course, take an exam and complete 15 hours of additional continuing education courses.
If professionals miss the April 30 deadline, they lose their license and must be relicensed all over again. A broker, for instance, must take 90 hours of coursework and pass exams to get a new license.
“As if they’re entering the field for the first time,” Ms. Stepaniak says.
Brokers must pay $275 to renew their licenses under the new law, up from $150 for a standard renewal in the past.
Between the time and money, many less active agents may just choose to let their licenses expire. Ms. Johnson, the state regulator, declines to speculate on how many will do that but says about 20 percent of the total typically chose not to renew each year under the old regulations.
(Note: This story has been updated to correct specifics on the continuing education required for real estate agents to be able to renew their licenses under the new state regulations.)
Read more: http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.com/article/20120214/CRED0701/120219906/deadline-near-for-new-agent-license-requirements#ixzz1mUd2AYs2
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(Crain’s) — Chicago-area home sales jumped 20.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the year-earlier period, a strong finish that led to the first yearly increase in sales since 2005.
For the third time in the past six months, NAR is being inundated with questions about a real estate transfer tax enacted as part of the Health Care reforms in 2010. THERE IS NO SUCH TAX. A viral Internet posting is riddled with errors.
The Health Care legislation did create a new tax that would apply to a portion of the gain on the sale of any capital asset (including real estate). That tax will apply ONLY to individuals with more than $200,000 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) (or $250,000 AGI on a joint return). The tax does not apply to any amount excluded from taxation under the $250,000/$500,000 principal residence rules. The tax is never imposed directly on the full amount of any capital gain.
The tax is computed under a multi-step formula that captures only a portion of any gain and will only affect those with total AGI above the amounts noted above. Links are provided for a Q&A on the tax and to a brochure with examples of the tax.
If you are in real estate, and even if you are not, you will want to check out RealEstateTechno.com
This site has a wealth of good and current information on a variety of real estate technology tools, many of which can be used by all of us!
We are excited to announce that, for every new agent that joins the company in Illinois between Feb 1 and April 30, 2012 as a result of being referred by a CRR agent, that referring agent will receive one chance in a drawing for a new iPad2. This is in addition to the $75.00 appreciation gift we will also send to the referring agent. The drawing will be held the first part of May 2012.