Morning Minute: Before you file your taxes, check these potential homeowner deductions

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If you are a homeowner, you might qualify for a number of tax deductions that could save you money on your final tax bill. In the article, “Your Home Tax Deduction Checklist: Did You Get Them All?” outlines potential deductions including the mortgage interest deduction, private mortgage insurance, home improvement loan interest, energy-efficient upgrades and more. Learn how you could save yourself money this tax season.

In other headlines:

Realtors: Consumer confidence surge is good news for housing – HousingWire

A Glance at Homeowners’ Equity by State – REALTOR® Magazine Daily Real Estate News

5K REALTORS® need you to join fight against rent control too

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More than 5,000 members of Illinois REALTORS® have submitted emails to their state representatives in the last eight days, asking them to reject House Bill 2430. But even more members need to join in if the bill is to be stopped.

The bill will repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act of 1997. Although the intent of the bill is to create rent control in Chicago, repealing the act would by default make rent control an option for all home rule units in Illinois, not just Chicago. To join your colleagues and tell House members HB 2430 is a threat to private property rights, click here.

Rent control is widely discredited by many – if not most – economists and many housing advocates. Rent control is counterproductive, is very complicated to administer and would have many unintended consequences. For a summary of reasons why REALTORS® object to HB 2430, go here.

On March 6, Illinois REALTORS® initiated a Call for Action regarding the bill. In one day, about 1,800 members responded, and participation has continued since then.

Join 3,800 Illinois REALTORS® and voice your concerns about Rent Control bill

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Approximately 3,800 Illinois REALTORS® have asked their state representatives to reject House Bill 2430 since Monday afternoon because it will repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act of 1997.

The intent of the law is to create rent control in Chicago but repealing the act would by default make rent control an option for all home rule units in Illinois, not just Chicago. To join your colleagues and tell House members HB 2430 is a threat to private property rights, click here.

After less than 24 hours, 1,800 members of Illinois REALTORS® participated in the Call for Action regarding the bill. Since then, 2,000 more have joined the cause.

For a summary of the reasons REALTORS® and clients object to HB 2430, go here.

Sign up to learn about changes to Guaranteed Rural Housing Program

REALTORS®, lenders and mortgage bankers can register now to learn about modifications to the Illinois Guaranteed Rural Housing Program, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Free 90-minute sessions will be held at 12 different sites across the state, and will explain changes to the Guaranteed Handbook 3555, file submissions and marketing the program. To register, send your name, organization, and email address to, and don’t forget to indicate which session you’d like to attend. To register multiple attendees, include contact information for each person.

Dates and sites for the scheduled training sessions are:

  • April 11 – LaSalle County Farm Bureau, 4201 Columbus St, Ottawa (10-11:30 a.m. or 1-2:30 p.m.);
  • April 12 – Macomb City Hall, 232 E Jackson St., Macomb (10-11:30 a.m.);
  • April 13 – Effingham County Farm Bureau, 1102 W Evergreen Ave., Effingham (10-11:30 a.m.);
  • April 18 – Ogle County Farm Bureau, 421 W Pines Rd., Oregon (10-11:30 a.m.);
  • April 19 – Peoria County Farm Bureau, 1716 N University St., West Peoria (10-11:30 a.m.);
  • April 20 – U of I Extension, 535 S Randall Rd., St. Charles (10-11:30 a.m.);
  • April 26 – Illinois Department of Agriculture, 801 E Sangamon, Springfield (10-11:30 a.m.);
  • April 27 – Madison County Farm Bureau, 900 Hillsboro Ave., Edwardsville (10-11:30 a.m.);
  • May 2 – Geneseo Public Library, 805 N Chicago St., Geneseo (10-11:30 a.m.);
  • May 4 – USDA Rural Development, 2118 W Park Ct., Champaign (10-11:30 a.m. or 1-2:30 p.m.)
  • May 9 – Farm Credit Services, 2601 Henry St., Marion (10-11:30 a.m.); and
  • May 11 – U of I Extension, 1650 Commerce Dr., Bourbonnais (10-11:30 a.m.).

Williams to receive NHS honor March 16

Frank J. Williams

REALTOR® Frank J. Williams will receive the Gale Cincotta Community Visionary Award from the Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago, Inc., on Thursday, March 16 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.

The NHS gives the Cincotta Community Visionary Award to leaders who help make their communities better places to work and live.

Williams (F.J. Williams Realty in Evergreen Park) has earned a reputation for encouraging fair housing legislation in Illinois during the last 20 years, reports the NHS. As early as the 1970s, he fought for African Americans to live in white dominated neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago. During this time, his own home in the Beverly neighborhood was bombed.

As president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS (CAR) from 1989 to 1990, he fought for fair housing and diversity. In 1991, he received the Illinois REALTORS® the first Distinguished Member Award for Community Service, and in 1992 he was CAR’s REALTOR® of the Year. He helped create a $25,000 scholarship for minority students to pursue real estate careers. Former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Williams to serve on the Affordable Housing Task Force and the Real Estate Services Advisory Council.

From 1979 to 1985, he was president of the Southside Chicago branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He helped create a housing discrimination monitoring program, and he campaigned for minority hiring in the real estate industry.

Williams will receive the award at the NHS 42nd Annual Awards Dinner, Sheraton Grand Chicago, 301 E. Water St., in Chicago. Tickets are available by contacting Lakesha Nelson by phone at 773-329-4138 or email or online.