August 2009

Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending August 28th, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. The end of August is traditionally one of the slowest times of the year in the real estate market. Kids are going back to school, some are taking end of the Summer vacations and for those working, the pace is just a little slower than usual. In the mortgage market purchase business is hotter than usual, but rates are stable, almost exactly the same at the end of this week as they were last week. The reports released this week were mostly encouraging. Case Schiller housing report shows that home prices are stabilizing. Home prices were up 1.4% on a month to month basis, and though they were still down over 16% from the year before, this was…

Read More

Why You Should Get Your FHA Spot Condo Approval Now – Expect a Backlog in Condo Approvals after October 1st

FHA condo spot approvals have been one of the best things going in the real estate market over the last few years. Most condos have traditionally been financed with conventional loans, but once the financial markets imploded, conventional mortgage options for condos quickly dried up. Mortgage insurance became harder to get and underwriting guidelines tightened so that many other wise strong borrowers, couldn’t meet the new requirements. Conventional condo loans are still available, but FHA financing means a lower down payment, and for most borrowers, a lower interest rate. The only issue was that condos have to be approved by FHA to show that the condo project is financially viable and doesn’t discriminate. With so much conventional financing available when times were good, few developers applied for FHA approval over the last 10 years, so most buildings in the city, and especially the newer, more desirable buildings, weren’t FHA approved….

Read More

Naperville Mortgage Rates and Naperville Real Estate Profile

This is one in a series of community profiles and a look at how the real estate market is holding up in the community. Naperville Illinois, a city of 145,000 people located 28 miles west of Chicago in Western Dupage County, is one of the largest cities in Illinois. Naperville has consistently been named by national magazines as one of the best places to live and a great place to raise a family. Naperville’s school system is recognized for it’s quality nationwide, and most of the students from its 4 high schools go on to college (the ACT ranking is among the best in the state). Unlike most of the nearby suburbs, Naperville is a destination on its own. It anchors the I-88 high tech corridor, and is home to several Fortune 500 companies and the most lively down town shopping and entertainment district outside of Chicago. The Naperville Settlement,…

Read More

Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending August 21st, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. All summer long the mortgage market has been range bound. The pattern has been two steps forward, one step back, then one step forward, two steps back. That’s the mortgage rate shuffle. This week rates improved over most of the week before getting slaughtered on Friday. That is one of the key elements of the mortgage rate shuffle, the direction changes on Friday. What this means to you as a consumer, is that the news effects mortgage rates on a day to day basis, but right now the bigger picture is that mortgage rates are more influenced by the price levels of Mortgage Backed Securities, and the traders are watching the range and selling as prices get high,…

Read More

Elmhurst Mortgage Rates and Elmhurst Real Estate Profile

This is one in a series of community profiles and a look at how the real estate market is holding up in the community. Elmhurst Illinois is a city of about 45,000 people located at the Eastern border of Dupage county, in Chicago’s western suburbs. Elmhurst prides itself as the Tree Town, and is home to Elmhurst College and Elmhurst Memorial Hospital and  the Lizzardo Museum of Lapidary Arts. Elmhurst is an affluent area with a median household income of over $100,000 and an average home price of over $400,000. Elmhurst is more of a bedroom community than an employment center, and most of it’s residents work in Chicago or in other suburbs. There is a thriving downtown, and restaurants range from fast food to white linen fine dining. The Elmhurst real estate market ranges from some condos and starter homes, to homes priced well over the one million dollar…

Read More

The $8,000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Expires November 30th, and There May Be Less Time Than You Think

About a month ago, I wrote that it was too early to panic if you were a first time home buyer and counting on the $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit. Home sales have been inching up each month, and a big part of the increase is due to first time home buyers. The $8,000 tax credit is a big incentive, and predictions call for a surge in first time home purchases as the November deadline approaches. But it takes more time than most people realize to find and finance a home, and too much of the process is outside of the buyers control. Too many things can happen to delay a closing, or worse, kill the deal. If you are one of those people who wait until the last minute to get things done (I know I’m guilty of that), this isn’t like pulling an all-nighter to get…

Read More

Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending August 14th, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. What a difference a week can make. Last week signs of a rebound in the economy were everywhere. The conventional wisdom was that the economy was not only over the worst of the down turn, but on the cusp of a strong upswing. This week the message was slow down, we might not be done with this mess yet. In a week with lots of data, a Fed meeting and 3 treasury auctions bringing about $75 billion of new bonds on the market (which is generally bad for mortgage rates) the mortgage market rallied and mortgage rates dropped sharply. Over the last several months, since May when rates jumped out of their all time low range, mortgage rates…

Read More

Fed Open Market Committee Policy Statement – How Will it Effect Mortgage Rates?

  One of the favorite parlor games for economists and financial analysts is reading the Fed statements and interpreting what the language really means. Like Sovietologists back in the Cold War, these analysts look for the meaning between the lines. Maybe it is how a word is substituted from the way the statement was worded the previous month, or something that is missing from the statement, but each little clue has a meaning. The markets rely on these interpretations, because by themselves, the statements could lead to any of several competing policies. The markets are looking for evidence of how the Fed will move forward and whether their biggest goal will be to fight inflation by tightening the money supply, or to try and grow the economy with a loose money policy. Interest rates have been set at 0 all year, and no one expected that would change and most…

Read More

Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Market Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending August 7th, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. Mortgage rates jumped again this week as more good news on the economy was released. The stock market is the highest it’s been since last October, and I’m wondering, was it really this easy? Less than a year ago the entire world financial system was on the brink of collapse. A new great depression was discussed as a real possibility and fear was so thick you could smell it. The government went on an unprecedented and massive spending spree, borrowing trillions to prop up our banks, pump cash into the system and stimulate the economy in an effort to avert a complete crash. The crash was avoided, but unemployment has surged and foreclosures are now commonplace in the…

Read More

How do you choose the right mortgage lender?

Some of life’s decisions are more momentous than others. Where you go to school, who you marry, what career you will pursue or where you buy your first home, these decisions are biggies, and they will shape what happens in your life going forward. Who you work with to get a mortgage? Not so much. Using a bad mortgage lender won’t change your life. But it will make for a miserable experience while you are going through it. A lot of people look at a mortgage as a commodity, especially now when the entire market is made up of fixed rate conventional or FHA loans. The truth is, who you choose, both from a company and individual standpoint, will make a big difference in the price you pay and how satisfied you are with your experience. If you are in the market to buy a home, it pays to do…

Read More