November 2009

Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending November 27th, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. Rates slid a little farther last week, and we are now at the lowest rates of the year. This was a holiday shortened week, but it was jam packed with market moving information. Consumer confidence ticked slightly higher, home starts increased slightly and the Case Schiller Index showed that the housing market is coming back, but still a long ways down from where it was a year ago. The Fed Open Market Committee released their minutes from last month’s meeting, and it amplified what they said earlier in their news release. The upshot is that in order for the economy to continue to recover, they need to keep rates low for an extended period of time. In the…

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When Refinancing Your Mortgage Look at the Best Deal, Not Just the Best Rate

How Much Does It cost to Refinance, and How Long is the Pay Back? With mortgage rates down near their all time lows again, refinancing is getting hotter (purchases, too). Low mortgage rates give you a chance to lock in the low rate for the long term, lower your payment and take some pressure off your budget. The rates now are the lowest I’ve ever seen and I expect when we look back at this a few years from now, they will seem like the bargain of a lifetime. But while rates are low, if you have compared rates you see in the newspaper or on-line, you might think rates are better than they really are. You might also see that some lenders are showing much lower rates than others, when the reality is that we all get our funds from the same sources, and the true rate shouldn’t vary…

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They’re Back!!! Mortgage Rates Are Down to Their Lows For the Year – Again

Mortgage rates are down to the lowest rates of the year, again. We are now hitting the best rates we saw last Spring in the midst of the refinance boom when the economy was still in free fall. Back then, from the beginning of the year until the start of the Summer, mortgage rates were in a flat, even pattern and the low rates were as stable as I have ever seen. By nature, mortgage rates are volatile. Mortgage rates aren’t set, but determined in a market (mortgage backed securities, a type of bond), just like with stocks or other financial instruments. Mortgage bonds bounce around from day to day based on economic reports and changes in trader sentiment. Mortgage bonds are long term investments, so the traders are looking for signs of inflation, which is the enemy of any fixed rate investment. Back in the Spring the big worry…

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Looking for a Wisconsin Mortgage? We Do Wisconsin Home Loans

As a life long Illinois resident, I’ve spent a lot of time in Wisconsin. Anyone living in Wisconsin knows that Wisconsin is the preferred vacation destination for Chicagoans and Illinois residents in general. Wisconsin has the lakes and open areas that we don’t have around Chicago, and it is a great place for fishing, boating, hunting and snowmobiling, not to mention just hanging out and enjoying nature. And if you are from Wisconsin, that’s not always a good thing. If you live in Wisconsin, it’s not just your playground, it’s where you set down your roots, work and raise your family. And then there’s the rivalry between the Bears and the Packers (though rivalry might not be the right word anymore, since it’s been awful lop sided in the Packers favor over recent years). The point is that Wisconsin and Illinois are linked together, and its sometimes a love/hate relationship….

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending November 20th, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. Mortgage rates are still holding near the lowest rates of the year. These low rates are compounding the experts. The stock market shows signs of faltering, but it is still up near the highs for the year. Oil and gold have had major run ups, and the dollar keeps getting smacked around on the currency market. The government holds new auctions for debt nearly every week and the money supply continues to grow. The economy is still soft, but we are long past the panic and slowly moving forward. At the same time, the Fed is nearing the end of its commitment to buy mortgage backed securities to keep rates low (the Fed has purchased over $1 trillion…

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How to Claim Your First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit Now

We are getting toward the end of the year, but if you bought a home this year and qualify for the first time home buyers tax credit, you don’t have to wait until you file your taxes next year to get the credit. There is still time to apply and modify your 2008 taxes and get the credit early. In order to do this you will need a copy of your HUD1 closing statement from your closing (it is a legal sized document with 2 columns of figures showing credits and charges for both the buyer and seller) and two IRS tax forms, the IRS Form 5405 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Form and the 2008 Amended tax form. The two IRS documents are easy to fill in one page forms. Have your tax return handy and you can use it to fill out everything. It should only take…

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending November 13th, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. The big news this week is that rates are back in the 4s. This wasn’t supposed to happen. All the experts have expected that mortgage rates would start to rise as the Fed slowed down on their buying schedule of mortgage backed securities. Stock prices are still hovering at the top of their range, and oil prices have gone up, a sign that inflation fears are in the air. None of this seems to matter. Mortgage bonds usually do best when bad news abounds and fear is in the air, right now all the signals are mixed. Housing is still a mess and unemployment is likely to continue to be bad through all of next year. But there…

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FHA Condo Approval Process Start Date Pushed Back – Again.

New Features Will Mean a Smoother Transition and More Condos Eligible for FHA Financing FHA has pushed back their new condo approval process, again. The new condo approval guidelines were originally due to go into effect back in October. Then  it was moved to November, then December, and now we have one more push back to the beginning of February. The reason they keep pushing these dates back is that they need to get the process right, and there is a running battle over how to do this. Part of this is due to the fact that under these new rules, it will be the FHA Direct Endorsement lenders who will need to certify that the condo project meets all the guidelines. This is a much higher level of accountability than lenders had before with the FHA Spot loan, and the lenders are taking on more risk (If any of…

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending November 6th, 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Chicago Illinois mortgage rates. This was a big week for mortgage and real estate related news. This week we had a Fed Open Market Committee meeting, the President signed an extended and expanded Home Buyers Credit, and the unemployment numbers, the biggest market mover, were released. This meant a lot of fear and anticipation, and a greater share of market volatility for the week, but the end result was that mortgage rates trended lower. There is always anxiety whenever the Fed meets. Once they release their statement at the end of the meeting, the market gurus all go over the wording of the statement looking for secret meanings or clues that point to any change in direction. The statement this time was…

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Senate Extends Home Buyers Tax Credit – New Home Buyers Credit Now Also Good for Move Up Home Buyers

UPDATE – It’s official. President Obama signed the bill on Friday November 6th and the bill is now law. As expected, the Senate has now passed the bill extending the home buyers tax credit and expanding it so that move up buyers will also now qualify. The tax credit was an add-on to a bill that extends aid to the long term unemployed, and it passed by a 98 to 0 margin (you don’t see that very often these days). The current first time home buyers tax credit was due to expire at the end of this month. The new bill will extend the date to properties that are under contract by the end of April, and they will have until the end of June to close. It also expands the credit (at $6,500 instead of $8,000) to move up buyers who have lived in their homes for at least…

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