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301 Greenview Drive, Crystal Lake, IL 60014

773.818.9054 office/cell
866.381.4238 efax

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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Friday, October 31, 2008

Sunrise Equities Abandons Another Project
About a month ago, I blogged about a client who was buying a condo from Sunrise Equities, whose developer, Salman Ibrahim, had left town, abandoning all of the investors for that property. We are currently working to get my client's earnest money back, and now, Crain's Chicago Business just published another article in their October 27 issue about another property that Sunrise owned that is going into foreclosure at 4700 N. Clarendon Avenue.

Sunrise purchased the site in June 2007 with financing from Cole Taylor Bank and disappeared in August, leaving all of the investors in the lurch, including a group of Irish investors. Cole Taylor has file a $15.5 million dollar foreclosure suit against the project, and the group of Irish investors is suing to recover the $250,000 in earnest money that they put down to buy 16 units in the 162-unit project.

Apparently the project was a very "ambitious" one and would have been the tallest building in Uptown.

Another sad chapter in the saga of Sunrise Equities....
4:07 pm cdt 

Friday, October 24, 2008

Is Paying Off Your Mortgage Early a Good Option?
A friend and real estate agent I know, Jean-Marie Minton, with Keller-Williams, Lincoln Park, sent out a very interesting mailer this week on paying off your mortgage and I'd like to share some of the tidbits with you:

One additional mortgage payment per year can save you thousands in interest. You can cut years off your mortgage by doing so! Even paying an additional $20/month on a $100,000 loan at 6.5% interest can save you $13,000 in interest over the course of your loan.

If you are paying PMI, it's even more important to pay down your mortgage. You can stop paying PMI premiums once you reach 20% equity in your home.

Also, if you would like to feel secure and have peace of mind in knowing that you're debt-free, paying off your mortgage is a good idea.

However, if you prepay your mortgage, you may be subject to prepayment penalties if your mortgage calls for them, and you will also lose your tax deduction, so keep this in mind as well.

If you choose to pay off your mortgage early, or pay additional funds, make sure that you specify the payment is to go to principal, not future payments.
1:13 pm cdt 

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Press Debut!
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the Chicago RedEye newspaper to contribute to an article on buying/sharing property with a person not related to you.
It was published today, here it is! Thanks to Kyra Kyles from the RedEye for thinking of me!
3:10 pm cdt 

HUD Changes to RESPA Too Expensive and Not Effective

Earlier this year, HUD proposed changes to RESPA. While these changes are probably necessary, this is a very difficult time in the real estate market, as anyone knows.

Here are some of the proposed changes:
1) The proposed Good Faith Estimate is four times as long as it is today. The proposed form also fails to accomplish the changes that HUD and the Federal Reserve Board set out to do.
2) The packaged-services provider provision favors discount pricing over quality services and skews the playing field for the largest lenders.
3) The required "closing script" for settlement officers comes too late in the transaction and opens title agents to new liability and ignores closing procedures in several states.

In early August, close to 2/3 of the House urged HUD Secretary Steve Preston to withdraw the changes and work to repair them. We'll see where it goes!

(Information taken from "HUD Push on RESPA" article in Realtor magazine, October 2008 issue.)

9:29 am cdt 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Real Estate Market Dead Unit 2010?
The September 29, 2008 issue of Crain's Chicago Business had a great article on predictions involving when the real estate market will turn around. Previous predictions I have read had put the turnaround in 2009, but now experts are saying it won't be until 2010 or 2011 before the market starts getting better. In a survey of 424 real estate executives, 90% of them said they have a "bearish" outlook on the market for the next 12 months, compared to 68% a year ago.

Also, 62% of them say that the market will stabilize in 2010, while 12% believe it would be 2009. Another 22% indicated they thought it would be until 2011 before the market starts getting back to normal.

In the presidential election side of things, the Chicago respondents indicated by a whopping 64% that they believe the election of John McCain would have the most favorable impact on commercial real estate. Surprising considering Illinois is a traditionally Democratic state, and of course, the home state of Barack Obama.

Of Chicago respondents, 56% of the executives chose multi-family housing as the best investment in the next few years.
12:45 pm cdt 

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