Illinois 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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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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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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13 Reasons Why This is a Great Time to Buy a Home in The Chicago Area

The purchase market has been picking up steam over the last few months.Most of the activity is with new buyers coming in to buy their first home (they have a great advantage, not having a home to sell) and a good portion of what they are buying is the distressed properties, short sales and foreclosures, which are weighing down the market. Recently Fed Chairman Bernanke said that he saw signs that the real estate market is bottoming out and stabilizing. We won’t know if that is the case until after the fact, but there is no doubt that the market is buzzing now. Here are some of the reasons you should (especially if you are a first time home buyer) buy a home now: $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit – This is one of the biggest reasons for home buyers to buy now rather than waiting. If you…

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How to Get the Best Rate – Shopping for your Illinois Mortgage – Part 4

In the first installment of this series we looked at some of the things to look out for when shopping for your mortgage . In the second part we talked about hidden fees and pre-payment penalties.  The third installment covered APRs and how important it is to know how to read a Good Faith Estimate of closing costs.. In this, our last installment, I’ll go over what may be the most important factor in choosing where you will get your mortgage, reputation and integrity. So many people focus on getting the lowest mortgage rate, but the lowest quoted mortgage rate isn’t always the best deal. I’ve heard too many horror stories over the years of buyers who were promised one rate, but when they got to closing they found the rate was higher, the costs were considerably more, or the program was different than what they were promised. If you…

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A Look Back and a Look Forward: 2007 Illinois Mortgage and Real Estate Market Predictions for 2008

2007 is almost over. Good riddance. It’s been a turbulent, crazy, chaotic year in the real estate and mortgage industry. This was the year when it all hit the fan. The real estate market slowed down and home prices stagnated or fell. The sub prime mortgage sector imploded and hundreds of wholesale lenders went out of business. The sub prime virus became a credit crunch, infecting the biggest conforming mortgage lenders. One top 10 mortgage lender bit the dust, and some of the biggest names hung on by the skin of their teeth. The costs of getting a mortgage went up, especially for those with good, but not great credit . The cost of a Jumbo loan moved up sharply and still hasn’t recovered . We saw a return to more traditional underwriting. Income verification is now the norm. Good credit  and down payments are now expected, too. Foreclosures and…

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Illinois Mortgage Rate Weekly Update

It’s time again for the Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Illinois mortgage rates. We are still in a bi-polar market with no consensus on whether our biggest problem is a rise in inflation or the fear of a coming recession. The big news this week showed how world events can move the mortgage market. Add in the Christmas vacation slowdown and it was another roller coaster week in the mortgage backed securities arena. It is Holiday time and most of the bond traders took the week off. That meant the markets were thinly traded. On weeks like this a small volume of buying and selling can move the markets in a big way. The week started out following the trend from last week with mortgage bonds falling and interest rates moving higher. The expectation was that…

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My Christmas Miracle – A Close In Parking Space at the Mall

I just finished off my last minute shopping at the mall. My family get together’s were earlier, so this was just getting some odds and ends for the kids. I hate shopping, and I do tend to procrastinate so it’s not unusual for me to be out on Christmas Eve. What was unusual was the state of the mall. I usually need to park in the back reaches, a long hike from the stores. This year I parked close and had my choice of open spaces. The stores seemed less crowded inside, too. There was no wait at the registers and I was in and out of the stores in record time. The part of Illinois I live in, Dupage County, is fairly well to do, so I can’t imagine that this is a direct reflection on the economy. People here may be concerned but it is not going to…

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