Illinois REALTOR® Magazine  | April 2013
REALTORS® build communities and believe people have a right to live wherever they can afford to live. April is Fair Housing Month. Show you support equal opportunity in housing with this declaration of support for fair housing laws and professional service.
I agree to:
Provide equal professional service without regard to the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin or sexual orientation of any prospective client, customer, or of the residents of any community.
Keep informed about fair housing law and practices, improving my clients’ and customers’ opportunities and my business.
Develop advertising that indicates that everyone is welcome and no one is excluded;, expanding my client’s and customer’s opportunities to see, buy, or lease property.
Inform my clients and customers about their rights and responsibilities under the fair housing laws by providing brochures and other information.
Document my efforts to provide professional service, which will assist me in becoming a more responsive and successful REALTOR®.
Refuse to tolerate non-compliance.
Learn about those who are different from me, and celebrate those differences.
Take a positive approach to fair housing practices and aspire to follow the spirit as well as the letter of the law.
Develop and implement fair housing practices for my firm to carry out the spirit of this declaration.
A new study from the Pew Research Center finds that second-generation Americans are more likely than first-generation immigrant adults to own their own homes. In 2012, the homeownership rate for second-generation adults was 64 percent while the rate for immigrant households was 51 percent. The homeownership rate for all households was 65 percent.
Source: “Second-Generation Americans: A Portrait of the Adult Children of Immigrants” by the Pew Research Center, www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/02/07/second-generation-americans/ 
With 90 percent of buyers searching online during their home shopping process, mobile devices have become an important tool in finding the right home. But how and where are they using these devices? The answer is everywhere, but the most popular place by far is at home. Find out more about how today’s buyers use technology in the joint report from NAR and Google, “Digital House Hunt.” www.realtor.org/reports/digital-house-hunt 
Replacing a front door with a steel entry-door yields the biggest return – 79.8 percent – at resale, according to the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine, in conjunction with REALTOR® Magazine. What other improvements make the list in the East North Central Region, which includes Illinois?
Which day of the week you pick to list a home could make a difference in getting more buyer interest or a higher selling price, according to a survey by real estate brokerage Redfin.
When it comes to buying a home, women value good aesthetics, functionality and a smart layout, according to consumer surveys from Coldwell Banker. What specific features top their list?
FHA raises fees
Beginning April 1, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will charge more, an increase of 10 basis points or 0.10 percent, for annual mortgage insurance premiums on new loans. Premiums on jumbo loans over $625,000 will jump 5 basis points, or 0.05 percent. Under changes aimed at strengthening its capital reserves, FHA will also require borrowers to pay the premiums for the life of the mortgage. Learn more at www.realtor.org/articles/hud-announces-changes-to-fha