October 2009

Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending October 31st, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. This was a scary week in the markets with a good share of both tricks and treats. The week started out with the release of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP, the measure of all the goods and services sold in the economy, grew by 3.5% in the third quarter of 2009. This news brought out the expected end of the recession talk, and the stock market surged on the news. But almost all of the increase was due to the cash for clunkers program and other government stimulus. The other reports released this week showed that the economy was still not quite in boom mode. The good news is that inflation is still not a problem….

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Home Buyer Tax Credit Extended and Will be Available to Some Move Up Buyers? Senate is “Close to an Agreement”

Bloomberg News service is reporting that the Senate is close to passing a modified extension of the first time home buyers tax credit, which will extend the dead line from November 30th on to April 30th for getting a home under contract, and another 60 days to close the loan, making the credit available for closings up to the end of June. The proposed bill will lower the amount of the credit from $8,000 to $7,290 (or 10% of the sales price, whichever is less) and make the credit available to move up buyers who have owned their home for at least 5 years. Under the proposed agreement, the income caps for first time home buyers would remain at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples, but move up buyers would still qualify with incomes of $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples. This bill will be added…

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending October 23rd, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. The stock market is still running on better than expected earnings, but the mood is starting to change. About 3/4s of the major companies reporting their earnings last week came in better than expected. But almost all of this increase was a result of cost cutting and layoffs, not increases in sales. The rally is starting to lose steam, and their may be a correction in the future. Mortgage bond prices were mixed for the week, often getting worse in the morning and recovering by the end of the day. Over the course of the week there was a lot of intra-day volatility, but rates are still in a range, and stayed about the same from the beginning…

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New FHA Condo Approval Process Delayed Another Month – Spot Approvals Are Still Available

    The new FHA condo approval process is being pushed back another month, until December 7th. The new process will make FHA financing available for a lot more units, but get ready for a long wait for closings until the kinks are worked out.   New FHA Condo Process Chicago FHA Spot Condo Loans FHA Approved Condo Search Tool  

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending October 16th, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. Euphoria reigned on Wall Street this week as the Dow topped 10,000 for the first time in the last year. The gain didn’t last long, and the market finished the week just below the mark. This level isn’t technically significant either, it is more psychological. But it is one more sign that investors, if not consumers, are bullish and think that the recession is over and normalcy has returned. When stocks are running higher, money flows out of the bond market, including mortgage bonds. This caused the yield to rise which means that mortgage rates bumped up this week. This is earnings time again on Wall Street, and the focus was on the big banks and brokerages. The…

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Is FHA about to Implode? Why FHA is Getting a Bad Rap

FHA has been getting a lot of bad press lately. A former Fannie Mae executive recently testified before congress that he expects FHA will need a government bailout within the next 24-36 months. A new bill has been introduced in Congress to raise the FHA minimum down payment from 3.5% to 5%. I have read a whole bunch of articles on why FHA loans are a ticking time bomb, the new version of sub prime, and how the government should stop trying to prop up the housing market and leave financing to the private market. Are these critics right? Is FHA the next disaster in the making? Should FHA clamp down and make it tougher to buy a home? As a mortgage lender who has worked with FHA home buyers for over 18 years, I admit that I am biased in favor of the program. But it seems to me…

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending October 9th, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. Easy come, easy go. Mortgage rates were sitting at all time lows earlier this week, but the direction shifted sharply on Thursday and Friday, sending mortgage rates higher. That’s not to say that rates are awful, they are still near their all time lows. It doesn’t mean that the direction of the market has changed, either. The mortgage rate market is moving up and down based more on traders profit motives and technical factors than because of the economic fundamentals or any change in sentiment. What it does mean is that if you were holding out for even better rates, you missed the boat. Throughout this year, every time that mortgage rates dipped into the 5.0 or below…

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Lombard Mortgage Rates and Lombard 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. Lombard Illinois is located in Central Dupage County about 20 miles from Chicago, and is known as the Lilac Village. This town of 43,000 people is known for its quaint downtown, its beautiful parks and its great schools and easy access to transportation to and from Chicago and other Chicago suburbs. Lombard is famous for its Lilac Festival in mid May, which is marked by a parade and a festival. Lilacia park, next to the Helen Plum public library, has over 8 acres of gardens with 200 different types of flowering plants including a variety of Lilacs. The Yorktown Shopping Mall is at the border of Lombard and Downers Grove. Lombard schools include Glenbard East High School (some neighborhoods go to Glenbard South High School in…

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How do You Know if This is the Right Time to Refinance Your Mortgage

Mortgage rates have dropped again, and we are now back in the all time low range we were at earlier this year. If you didn’t refinance your mortgage earlier this year, it might be time to look at it again and see if lowering your mortgage rate and payment would help you now. A few years back refinancing your mortgage was an automatic any time that mortgage rates dropped. It is more complicated now because mortgage guidelines have gotten tighter, making it harder for some to qualify, and with home prices down it isn’t a slam dunk that your home will appraise out to the value needed. But there are programs which make it easier to refinance even if you don’t have a lot of equity (or none) in your home.   The FHA Sreamline Refinance – This is available only if you already have an FHA mortgage. This (up…

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