March 2011

Chicago Area Realtors – FHA 203k Rehab Loan Seminar on April 7th, How to Sell and Close More Transactions in a Foreclosure Dominated Market

A fact of life in the housing market today is that a substantial amount of the inventory for sale is made up of foreclosed homes and pre-foreclosed or short sale homes. One of the biggest issues for buyers of these properties is that the condition of the homes can range from move-in ready to ready to be knocked down, and a good portion of the homes available will need some work. Sometimes this work is required before anyone can even get the loan. Other times the home is in livable condition, but needs modernizing and upgrades before most buyers would consider it a place they would want to call home. Usually the best and often only financing option for these homes is the FHA 203k renovation loan. This loan allows the buyer to buy a home and add the cost of repairs and improvements into the purchase price. Because this…

Read More

Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Week in Review for the Week Ending 03/25/2011

It is amazing how fast news can fade. Disasters grow stale after a few weeks and as the cable news stations move onto whatever seems fresher at the time, the implications of even the worst disasters seem less important when the story is considered old news. We are seeing some of this now with the aftermath of the earthquake/Tsunami in Japan and the outbreak of war in Libya. It will take a long time before we know the real impact of all the destruction in Japan. Many pundits are expecting a quick reconstruction in Japan. But with the nuclear damage still being determined, an aging population and the highest level of debt in the developed world, this is in no way a certainty. If Japan doesn’t recover quickly it is likely to shave some growth off of the world economy. The Mid East is still unstable, but it hasn’t gotten…

Read More

Are You a First Time Home Buyer in Naperville, Oak Park, Elgin or South Holland?

If you are planning on buying your first home in Naperville, Oak Park, Elgin or South Holland, you may be able to save some extra money. In fact, you could save a lot of extra money if you fit the guidelines for the MCC (Mortgage credit certificate) program. MCCs are issued as part of a state bond program to make housing more affordable. Most communities turn their funds over to the stat and have IHDA (the Illinois Housing Development Agency) use the funds for their low down payment grant programs ( I will have more on that later). These communities keep the funds themselves so that eligible home buyers can take the MCCs which effectively lower the payment for their mortgage by $2,000 per year for every year they stay in the home and the mortgage. The Mortgage Credit Certificate allows up to 20 percent of the mortgage interest (for…

Read More

Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Week in Review for the Week Ending 03/18/2011

The good news is that there are real signs that the economy is getting better. The Philadelphia and New York Fed reports showed strength in manufacturing. Retail sales were up .1% for the month. Initial unemployment claims fell by 16,000 to 385,000 for the week, a sign that companies really are starting to hire new workers. Unemployment is still way too high, but this shows we are headed in the right direction. After finishing their meeting, the Fed also changed the wording on their report to show more optimism about the economy. Though they hedged their optimism somewhat, the statement said that the economic recovery appears to be on firmer footing and their are genuine improvements in the labor market. The Fed did bring up the concern about increasing oil and commodity prices, but their view is that long term inflation is not a threat (unless wages move higher, the…

Read More

Chicago Video Home Buyers Guide – Understanding your Credit Score and How to Qualify for a Mortgage

In this installment of the Chicago Video Home Buyers Guide, we talk about understanding your credit score, and what you need to know when getting a mortgage. With mortgage guidelines tightening, having good credit is more important now than ever before. That being said, you don’t need to have perfect credit to What you need to know about credit to qualify for a mortgage. get a loan. But you do need to show that if you have had credit problems in the past, these problems are behind you and you have control of your credit now. In this video I talk about fico scores and what goes into the credit score, and what you can do to improve your credit and raise your credit score. The truth is, you have more control over your credit than you may think. Even if you have had problems in the past, you can…

Read More

Chicago, Illinois Mortgage Rates Week in Review for the Week Ending 03/11/2011

Mortgage bonds improved most of last week, based mostly on bad news internationally. Oil is still a major factor, and though the rebellion in Libya has stalled, protests are rolling throughout the Arab world. If oil prices continue to climb, this puts more pressure on US consumers. Europe is back in the news as the debt ratings for Greece and Spain were lowered again, and Ireland and Portugal are still on the ropes. Trouble in Europe makes the US look good in comparison. Evidence is now mounting that China’s economy is now slowing down, too. The biggest news from last week hasn’t really been absorbed by the markets, yet. The earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, the world’s third largest economy, will slow their economy more. The devastation has been enormous, and with problems at several nuclear plants, the long term effects will continue to ripple out in many directions. So,…

Read More

Are You Planning to Buy a New Home? Make Sure You Are Working With Experts

It is a simple fact. Buying a home and getting a mortgage today is much more complicated than it used to be. But in many ways, this is a good thing. A few years back it was a strong sellers market. There were more buyers than sellers and as soon as a new listing appeared in a neighborhood, there was already a line of people waiting to buy. Most homes, if they were in decent condition, received multiple offers to buy, and often sold above the asking price. At that time a good Realtor was someone who was connected to the Realtor community and knew who had the pocket listing that wasn’t on the market yet, so they could help their buyers find a property before it even made it to the Multiple Listing Service. On the mortgage side, nearly anyone with a pulse could get a mortgage, and there…

Read More