Buyer Resources - Articles

Buying Your Home - Property Taxes

Are taxes on second homes deductible?
Mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible on a second home if you itemize. Check with your accountant or tax adviser for specifics.

Do all loans require escrow accounts?
Most lenders require an escrow account to pay real estate taxes and hazard insurance premiums.

Are property taxes deductible?
Property taxes on all real estate, including those levied by state and local governments and school districts, are fully deductible against current income taxes.

Where can I learn more about appealing my property taxes?
You can learn more about appealing your home's assessed value by visiting the Cook County Assessor's website at

How do property taxes work?
Property taxes are what most homeowners in the United States pay for the privilege of owning a piece of real estate. These annual local assessments by county or local authorities help pay for public services and are calculated using a variety of formulas.

What is a homeowner's exemption?
This is an exemption you can claim on your property taxes for your principal residence if you live in the property on January 1st of the tax year.  A discount will be applied to your tax bill in the second half of the year.  If you have missed claiming your homeowner's exemption, you can claim up to 3 years retroactively.  Visit for more information.

Are there any other exemptions available?
A senior exemption and a senior tax freeze are available to qualified homeowners.

What is an escrow account?
An escrow account is a trust account established by the lender to hold money to pay for real estate taxes, and mortgage and homeowners insurance premiums as they are received each month.

Where can I learn more about my property taxes?
You can visit the Cook County Treasurer's website at

Christie Carmody
Christie Carmody
932 W. Grace St. Chicago IL 60613