December 2010

Chicago Video Home Buyer’s Guide – The Financial Benefits of Owning your Own Home – Building Equity as You Pay Down Your Loan

#1 Financial Benefits of Owning Your Own Home – Building Equity Whether you are a first time home buyer or looking to move up, buying a home is a big decision, and not one to take lightly. One of my missions with this blog is to help people make the best decisions possible when buying a home or taking on a mortgage. I do this regularly through the information on this blog, and through my free Chicago home buyer’s guide – the Real World Home Buyers Guide (just click to download – it’s 55 pages of information and you don’t need to give up your email to get it). I get a lot of great comments about how helpful this is, and how knowing how the process works, and what to expect when buying a home or getting a mortgage, takes the stress out of buying a home and getting…

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Chicago, Illinois FHA Approved Condo List – Expiration for FHA condo Re-Certification is Extended

As part of the new FHA condo approval process adopted earlier this year, all condominiums on the FHA approved list had to go through a recertification process to make sure they still met the FHA condo approval guidelines. The deadline for the recertification was this past week, December 7th. As it turns out, many associations didn’t even start the process until the deadline was almost on them. Part of this is the normal human tendency to procrastinate, and I’m sure another big factor was lack of communication and not knowing what to do or how to do it. But in today’s market, having an FHA condo approval is more important than ever. Mortgage underwriting is much tougher now than it has been in recent years, and if you are buying a condo it is even tougher. Not only do you have to qualify, but the building has to hit all…

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Week in Review for the Week Ending 12/03/2010

(Sorry this is out late – had internet issues.) William Goldman, the screenwriter of such hits as Marathon Man and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, made a famous comment about Hollywood and the folly of predicting which movies would hit it big – “Nobody knows nothing.” The same sentiment could be applied to what happens in the markets and the economy in general. A great example of this happened Friday after the release of the monthly employment report. Over the last few weeks, the stock market has climbed and bonds have been punished with the belief that the economy had turned the corner, and was on the brink of a rebound. The conventional wisdom now, was that inflation was the major risk now, not a slowing economy. But on Friday morning the employment report came out and it was absolutely miserable. The economy produced 39,000 new jobs and the…

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With Chicago Area Rents Moving Higher, Are More Renters Looking to Buy Their Own Home?

There are few things that are certain in life, but some things you can count on. Death, taxes and the fact that rents will go up, all make the list. Cook county just sent out their tax bills, and, as expected, even though home values were down, real estate taxes increased. Landlords don’t have the home owners exemption, so their rents have increased more. This puts pressure on landlords to increase their rents or find a way to cut more expenses. At the same time, home prices are down to the lowest level in years, and mortgage interest rates are near historic lows. This means that home affordability is better than it has been in years, and very competitive with the cost of renting. Not everyone who rents will be able to buy, but there are many renters who are qualified to buy and still sitting on the sidelines. For…

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