The City has two official websites that are chock full of helpful information about each piece of real estate in the city.

First you have to check the County Assessor's website (there is a link right here) to get your PIN number. PIN stands for Property Index Number. Input you PIN number on the County Treasurer's website (linked right here) and you can pull up all sorts of information that may save you money. For instances, several times every year I call my real estate sales clients to tell them that I just put a $450 or so "gift" in their pocket. How? By checking to see if they filed for their "homeowner's exemption." If you qualify and did not get it, the Treasurer's site let's you file for the refund (retroactively!) via computer.

There are also several senior citizen's exemptions. You can learn about these on the Treasurer site. Also did you know that sometimes, though not at all often, your mortgage servicer does not pay your tax bill or sends the money in wrong? It's a good idea to check the Treasurer's site every once in a while to show that the money your mortgage company is escrowing monthly for taxes is getting credited to your account.

Have you ever wanted to email a photo of your home to someone? Well, a photo of your home's facade is accessible to you on the Assessor's web site. Or maybe you are just curious what your boss' house across town looks like but would never drive out there; check it out from your laptop!  The Assessor's site is also the one on which you do your homework when you file for a reduction in property tax assessment and taxes.

Contact Ellen Silverman at RE/MAX anytime at 773-758-3950 if you need help with any of this. Or email her at or email Ellen from the home page in the top right corner.