Shopping for a Mortgage

What Questions Should You Ask Your Lender When Applying for a Loan?

                  When shopping for renovation loans and FHA 203k renovation loans, what questions should you ask your lender to be sure they are qualified and ensure a smooth process? Renovation loans are popular because they are flexible: you can take a property in need of a lot of work, and turn it into a good-as-new home, or find a home needing minor updates and make it the way you want. Checking Lender Experience While many lenders say they do renovation loans, it is important to find out how many they’ve actually done. One of the most important things to determine is the amount of experience your lender has with renovation loans. Renovation loans are different than traditional mortgages. Not only does the borrower need to be approved, but contractors doing the renovations need to be involved as well. Everything that needs to…

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Making Income Changes While in the Process of Obtaining a Mortgage

                  What happens if you have to change jobs while you are in the middle of getting a mortgage? Lenders typically recommend that you do not make major changes if you are in the middle of trying to get a mortgage, because lenders look for continuity, and will have to re-verify information if major changes are made. However, many folks do not have a choice: sometimes a new opportunity comes up, or are forced to change jobs. The good news is that lenders can work with you, and use the new information (income, salary, etc.) from your new position for your qualifying. This process can be started with just an offer letter, so the terms (salary, start date, etc.) are known to get the process started. Typically, at least one pay stub will be required before closing to show that you have…

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Learn About the Illinois Assist Program

                  For first time home buyers, there is a great new program called the Illinois Assist Program. This program is great news for first-time buyers and is a grant that does not have to be paid back, which gives money back at closing towards your down payment and closing costs. If you qualify, you can get up to 5% of the loan amount back, which can be a huge amount. Qualifications for the Illinois Assist Program There are some strings attached – it is not available everywhere in Illinois, but is in a number of areas in the Chicago area: including Cook County, Kendall County, and a number of cities such as Naperville, Schaumburg, and Aurora. There are income caps for the buyer, but they are still relatively high so there is room for you to buy, and there is a cap…

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How Can a 203k Renovation Loan Save You Money?

                  If you’re looking into buying a home in the Chicago area, a 203k renovation loan can end up helping you save money. If you’re looking to buy with an FHA 203k loan, it will allow you to buy a home, and add in some improvements at the same time. While it costs a bit more to buy with a 203k loan than a traditional mortgage, you can still save a lot of money if you know what you’re doing. When a Renovation Loan is Appropriate It comes down to your plans for the home after you buy. Many folks think that a renovation loan is only for buying a run-down property or a foreclosure, and homes that haven’t been cared for very well. However, there are many homes in good condition that are simply out of style, such as homes occupied…

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Down Payment: Where Are The Funds Coming From?

                  One of the issues we see arise during the loan process happen while verifying down payment.  Down payment funds may come from several sources, and all of them have their own unique documentation requirements.  If the underwriter is unable to easily see where the money came from it can cause a huge headache for everybody, including you. Luckily, there are things you can do to help ensure that this part of the process is as smooth as possible.  When reviewing the bank/investment account from which the Down Payment will be coming from, the underwriter is looking over the most current 60 days in the transaction history.  Any deposits into the account, besides payroll direct deposits, will need to be explained. This makes the easiest way to avoid frustration is to have your down payment funds already in a separate account with…

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Are You Thinking About Buying a Chicago Area Home in 2017?

                    With 2016 behind us, and the beginning of 2017 underway, many folks take a step back and look at their New Year’s resolutions and what they would like to accomplish in the coming year. While reflecting on their aspirations for the year, many renters and first-time buyers have the goal of purchasing a new home in 2017. If buying a home is one of your New Year’s resolutions, take some time to figure out and assess where you are now, and where you need to be in order to buy a home. Doing an assessment with a qualified mortgage loan officer will help you determine where you are at financially, and things you can to do to help you prepare to buy a home. Examining Your Savings, Debt and Credit An important aspect of your financial picture is your amount…

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How To Get A VA Loan for 0% Down?

                    We will discuss VA Loans, which are 0% down loans for qualified military veterans. If you are a qualified military veteran, or an active duty Servicemember of the military, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides home loans with special benefits to help you become a homeowner. Special Benefits One of the best perks of being an active member or veteran of the military is the VA Loan, which requires you put down as little as 0% down for a down payment, without the requirement of mortgage insurance. Conventional mortgages require minimum down payment, where buyers have to pay a percentage of the home purchase price up front when buying a home. Other programs such as FHA loans reduce the down payment required, often lowering the minimum down payment to a lower percentage than conventional mortgages. Most loans under…

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How Much of A Home Can I Afford?

                    One of the first steps in purchasing a home is considering how much of a home you can afford to buy. Before you start searching for homes on the Internet or with the help of a realtor, you should have a good idea of what kind of mortgage you can qualify for, and what size payment you can comfortably afford. To help figure this out, you can start by talking to a qualified loan officer. Questions to Consider To start the process, we often ask about your goals, and try to assess your financial picture to help determine what you can afford. For example, we may discuss your work history, your employment income, any debt you may have, and your credit score. This conversation will help determine what you may qualify for, and the best options for your unique situation….

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How Much Cash Do I Need to Buy a Home?

                  One of the most frequent questions from home buyers is asking how much cash they need to buy a home. Answering this question can be complex, as buyers need to determine how much they can afford for a monthly payment, based on their finances, as well as how much savings they need for their down payment and closing costs. Down Payment and Closing Costs When purchasing a home, buyers need to factor in the closing costs and the costs to set up the escrows and other things that are required to buy a home. Typically the largest up-front cost is the down payment, which varies depending on the mortgage used to purchase the home. Some mortgages like FHA loans require a smaller down payment, which can often be as low as 3.5% of the price of the home. For example, when…

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How Soon Can I Buy a House After a Foreclosure?

In my last article, we discussed how soon you can buy a home after a bankruptcy or short sale, and the standard time frames in which you must wait before re-applying for a home loan. Today we will go over deed-in-lieu of foreclosure and foreclosures, and your waiting periods in their wake. Buying After Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure A Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure may happen when a homeowner realizes they aren’t financially stable enough to keep their house, and subsequently offers to deed their property to the lender. If the lender accepts, they in return forgive the homeowner’s debt and waive the right to pursue them for further payments. This situation is rare, but not unheard of. If you find yourself in this way, and would like to apply for a conventional home loan, you will need to wait four to seven years depending on your specific case. You may find…

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