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301 Greenview Drive, Crystal Lake, IL 60014

773.818.9054 office/cell

866.381.4238 efax



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This office serves clients in real estate transactions of all types. I also assist clients with estate planning for everyone, including the GLBT community, and represent Illinois condominium associations as needed. I help real estate investors who are renting their properties deal with difficult renter issues, and I advocate for renters dealing with difficult landlords.

I work with clients in Chicago and all over the Chicagoland area, including Wilmette, Skokie, Morton Grove, Plainfield, Wheaton, Glencoe, Lake Forest, Naperville, Oak Park, Winnetka, Des Plaines, Orland Park, Berwyn, Carol Stream, Arlington Heights, Crystal Lake, Barrington, Palatine, Park Ridge, Gurnee, South Holland, Park Forest and more.
My goal is to give each and every client personal, friendly and competent service at a reasonable price. I also strive to use technology in the best way possible to keep my clients informed.
My legal background includes working for a major Chicago developer and working for a boutique firm in their real estate division. I am also a landlord of a three flat building in Rogers Park and I am managing broker of a small real estate brokerage.
I work with all different types of clients, including developers, first-time buyers, buyers of second (or third!) homes, all sellers and the LGBTQ community. 
My real estate blog is below. Please make sure to check back on a regular basis to check out what's new. I update my blog about once a week and welcome any questions that you may have.
Ask me too about help with personal injury, divorce, and any other legal issues! 

301 Greenview Drive, Crystal Lake, IL 60014

773.818.9054 office/cell
866.381.4238 efax

Recommend my site by clicking here!

Check out my interview, Expert Advice on Buying a Foreclosed Home on Illinois Homes, one of the top sites for Illinois homes for sale, including Wheaton, IL real estate. Illinois Homes also services Michigan homes for sale and Pennsylvania homes for sale.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Should I use my equity in my home to pay off credit cards?
Is it a smart idea? Probably not. Tapping into your home equity to pay off credit card debt could mean financial disaster for you! David Bach, the author of the book Smart Women Finish Rich says that if you use your HELOC to pay off credit card debt, you may not learn from your money-managing mistakes. Yes, HELOC's do offer the benefit of consolidating your high-interest rate for a smaller interest rate. The interest is tax-deductible and the HELOC's are easy to get. However, most HELOC's come with an adjustable rate that adjusts monthly with the going (usually LIBOR) rate plus a margin. If you like a fixed payment, this may not be for you. The biggest problem with using your equity to pay off debt is that if you default on the loan, the bank can take your home! Are you willing risk that? The bottom line is that your home is the largest asset you own. It's your security for the future. Use your equity wisely! You can always renegotiate your rates on your credit cards. Use cash until you pay them off. Put yourself on a budget. Eventually your balances will go down, and you won't have jeopardized your interest in your home.
8:33 pm cdt 

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Choosing a Mortgage Broker
The right mortgage broker is key! This person can put you into the best mortgage at the best rate. The wrong broker will cost you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars. How do you know you've chosen the right one?

First of all, if you're financially savvy and keep abreast of the rates and products, you may not even need a broker. Lots of mortgage products are advertised and available online. Brokers have the time to shop for you. It's their job! However, if you are not confident on hunting down your own loan, you should have a broker.

If you can, get someone who is recommended and someone who is not new to the field. The number of mortgage brokers in the United States has increased in the last decade exponentially. You can also research your potential brokers at the National Association of Mortgage Brokers website (NAMB.org). The site will give you the broker's names and many times, the rates and fees that they are quoting.

When you call, ask how much your broker will make on your loan. How upfront the person is may tell you everyting that you need to know. Choose someone who is reachable, who you feel comfortable with, and who will provide everything in writing. Most brokers make money in two ways: collecting part of your closing fees (origination, document prep, processing, application, etc.) and on a yield spread premium. The yield spread premium is an amount of money the bank give to the broker for selling, among other things, a higher interest rate.  The yield spread premium gives the broker an incentive to sell a higher rate, a prepayment penalty and in other words, to act in the bank's favor, not yours. Ask your broker to set his fee up front (you can find up-front brokers, who, by the way, are rare to find) at www.upfrontmortgagebrokers.org)

Here are a few tips when shopping around:
1) Don't pay an application fee or rate lock fee (for rate locks less than 60 days). The only fees you should pay in advance are appraisal and credit report.
2) Know what the worst case scenario is if you are choosing an adjustable rate loan. Know when and how much it will adjust.
3) Negotiate fees. (Origination, processing and document preparation fees are usually negotiable).
4) Tolerate no changes. Once your rate is locked and they have given you an estimate of fees, make your broker stick to that estimate. Request right before closing a final Good Faith Estimate.

Good luck!
12:51 pm cdt 

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