Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation's 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.

Mistakes buyers are making

This summer has been the hottest housing market in almost seven years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported that new construction grew at an annual rate of 6.9 percent in June of 2012. In addition, home prices rose for the first time in seven months, according to the Home Price Index, and homes in pending status rose 9.5 percent from June 2011 to 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors. This supports what I have discussed in a previous column: That multiple offers are back, and can cause buyers to pay more than they would prefer, and …

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Thinking about becoming a landlord?

With the abundance of distressed and low-priced properties for sale, many people are considering becoming first-time landlords. But before you embark on such a venture, it’s important to fully understand landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities. A landlord usually is responsible for keeping the unit in a livable condition, which includes making the necessary repairs along with ensuring that the property is in compliance with all state and local housing codes. The landlord sets the rental amount for the property, and being a first-time landlord, it is best to research the area and charge a few dollars lower than the …

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Winning the bidding war

Are you always placing offers on properties only to be outbid? What do you do when you are placed in this situation, whether you are the buyer or seller? Once an endangered species, multiple offers on properties are returning to the market, and buyers have to play their cards right if they want to come out on top Homes that are priced right will always see plenty of activity, and many times sell for above the asking price. However, the sales price is not the only item to consider on the contract. Three other crucial items to bear in mind …

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Pros and cons of condos vs. homes

Many times when working with a client we start out looking for condos and end up purchasing a home or vice versa. There are many differences between owning a home and a condo, and it’s important to know them before making your decision. A condo unburdens you of the direct responsibility of intensive maintenance. Many things like lawn care, snow removal, garbage removal and exterior maintenance are usually taken care of by an association. On the other hand, you pay for these conveniences in monthly association dues. There are other convenience to owning a condo aside from maintenance issues. Some …

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Why is your home sitting?

Today’s real estate market is very different from five years ago, when buyers were paying “over asking price” for a home. Today, the homes are sitting on the market much longer, and sellers are asking themselves, “Why isn’t my home selling?” and “what is wrong with my broker?” Many factors should be taken into consideration when deciding on an asking price for your home: How many properties are currently on the market in your area? How long have they been on the market? And when they sell, what was their list price compared to their closed price? When realtors suggest …

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Does your home have curb appeal?

I cannot tell you how many times sellers focus on the inside of the home while neglecting the outside. Do you know how often buyers don’t even want to walk inside because of that? It is estimated that 90 percent of buyers start their search on the internet, and after seeing photos of the outside of the home, they do not want to see it in person. A seller should first walk outside, stand in front of their home, and pretend it is not their home while asking themselves the following questions: * What would you not like about it? …

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Buying a foreclosed property

Many analysts suggest the financial crisis in the United States began in September of 2008, and since then there have been more than 3.2 million homes foreclosed on, with Illinois having one of the highest rates in the country at 5.4 percent. Investors looking to take their cash out of a low-interest savings account and purchase income property could potentially come out ahead with a foreclosed property. They can be very lucrative investment, but buying foreclosed homes is not for everyone! Many foreclosures have been abandoned by the previous owners and could have major damage to them. Bear in mind …

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A good homebuyer is always prepared

If you’re a first-time buyer or you’re upgrading to a new home, your motto should be “sooner rather than later.” It is never too early to start doing your research, whether it’s on the internet or taking that late night drive through a desired area. Some internet sites offer detailed information on school districts, taxes, dining, parks, and much, much more. To surround yourself with a knowledgeable team, you also have to do your research. That team should include a Realtor, loan officer, attorney and home inspector. A Realtor can assist you in finding homes along with pricing and recent …

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Home buying: the big picture

Thinking about buying a home can be a little intimidating, this being one of the largest purchases of your life. Looking at the big picture can help reduce that sense of intimidation. The first thing you have to do is make a list of “Must Haves” and “Plus Haves.” Your “Must Haves” might include three bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a fenced yard, etc., and your “Plus Haves” might include an attached garage, a finished basement or other things that you might be able to live without. The most important factor in your decision will be location. This often drives your search …

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Meet our new columnist!

Hi. I’m Giuseppe Zerillo and I’m Fra Noi’s new real estate columnist. Born and raised on the Northwest Side of Chicago, I learned my work ethic from my mother, who taught me to work hard, treat people fairly and always put others before myself. She used to tell my sisters and me while growing up that “People who work hard while their hair is still dark will not have to work as hard when it turns gray.” How true is that! I work for Gateway Realty & Builders, the first and only company I have worked for since I’ve been …

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