mortgage rates

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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….

Read More

What Is Happening To Mortgage Rates?

Over the last month mortgage rates have moved steadily higher, and over the last week rates have spiked to the highest point in the last 2 years. For most of the last year rates have been stable and hovering around 3.5% (before pricing adjustments). This has been a result of the Fed’s program to buy mortgage backed securities (which determine mortgage interest rates) as a way to stimulate the economy by driving down mortgage rates. The concern has always been:  What will happen when the Fed pulls out of the market? The experts have expected that rates will go up over time, but that the rise would be gradual. Rates moved higher over the last month when the Fed indicated that the economy was growing at a good pace, and they expected to start tapering off of the stimulus program by the end of the year. This last Wednesday, Fed…

Read More

Can You Believe the Mortgage Rates You see in the Paper (or on the Internet)? Why Advertised Mortgage Rates are “Never Right” – Factors Affecting Mortgage Pricing – Part 2

(This is an update of a previous blog post) The one question I am asked more frequently than any other is, What is your rate? This is a great question because you obviously want the lowest rate, but it’s a question that is impossible to answer. First of all, the rate will depend on what type of loan you are getting, whether you want to pay extra money in points and fees to get the best rate (which is what happens with the low rates you see in ads). Even if you were comparing apples to apples and making sure the loans are priced the same way, you can’t compare mortgage rates without without taking into account all the factors in your personal situation which go into pricing a loan. When  a lender takes on a new mortgage their goal is to minimize their risk and make sure that they…

Read More

What is Going On With Mortgage Rates?

If you’ve been following interest rates lately, you might have whiplash. Rates have gone up, then back down, then up again. And that’s all in the same day.  Over the last year mortgage rates have been more volatile than at any time in the nearly 17 years I’ve been following them. But in the last few weeks, since the credit crunch hit, the volatility has gone through the roof. Mortgage rates have tested their high point for the year, then swung around and dropped to the best rates we’ve seen in the last few months, before swinging back the other way and nearing the yearly highs again. What is going on with mortgage rates? In normal times, mortgage rates go up and down based on activity in the mortgage backed securities market, and the prices move based on how traders read the state of the economy and the possibility of…

Read More

Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending October 11th, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Illinois mortgage rates. The view on the economy this week changed from fear and concern to outright panic. The markets, both here and globally were in free fall this week. Stocks, bonds, you name it, this week was a bloodbath. When the $700 trillion dollar economic bailout bill failed to gain the markets confidence and get the credit markets moving, Treasury secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke pulled out some more tricks from their bag and did everything but drop money from the sky. The Fed doubled their auction capacity from $450 billion to $900 billion, opened their lending window to commercial paper and dropped the discount rate by .5% in conjunction with a consortium of global national banks. And none of it…

Read More

Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending September 19th, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Illinois mortgage rates. I expected this to be a wild and volatile week. I never expected it to be this wild. There was a near melt down in the financial markets and at the end of the week in an unprecedented move, the government was putting together a bailout of the entire banking system. Ever since the credit crunch kicked in over a year ago, the economy has been crippled by a lack of credit. All this goes back to the banks and brokerage company’s exposure to bad mortgage loans. While the real estate market was hot, they loaded up on loans that seemed risky at the time, and down right stupid in hindsight. It was a herd mentality that said risk didn’t…

Read More

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Bailout – How Will This Affect Mortgage Rates?

As expected, the US government stepped in today and placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into a conservatorship under federal control. This is the long talked about bailout of the two mortgage giants. This action has been anticipated for a while as both the Fed and Treasury Secretary Paulson announced a month ago that they were ready to stand behind and guarantee any losses. Announcing the guarantees calmed the markets at first, but further losses have now forced the Government’s hand. The new plan means that the Federal Government is not just standing behind Fannie and Freddie, but propping them up completely. They now have virtually unlimited access to capital. This plan will dilute common shares of stock in the companies to the point they are near worthless. Preferred shares (owned mostly by big banks) will still be viable, but a new treasury class of preferred stock (owned by the…

Read More

Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending September 5th, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Illinois mortgage rates. It’s official. The biggest threat of inflation has passed and the weakening economy is our worst fear going forward (for this week anyways). Mortgage bonds are in full rally mode now, which means Chicago mortgage rates are moving down. Rates are at the best level in months, and this rally may have some more room to go. Over the last 3 months all the talk from the financial pundits (and many Fed Chairmen) has been about how inflation is set to ravage our economy. But now oil prices are down to $105 per barrel (from a high of $147 in July), and the economies in Europe and Asia are skidding to a halt. The dollar is showing signs of life…

Read More