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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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Monday, November 17, 2008

Mortgage Fraud Crackdown by Chicago FBI
The National Association of Realtors magazine's November issue had a great cover story on the crackdown by the Chicago FBI of mortgage fraud.

On June 19, 2008, over 400 people were charged with mortgage fraud in "Operation Malicious Mortgage". These people were all real estate professionals, including mortgage brokers, developers, attorneys and real estate agents. They were involved in more than $170 million fraudulent mortgages.

So what are the red flags to look for?

1) Developer Cash-Back Incentives at Closing - Be wary of a developer who wants to give a client money "under the table" or not disclose the cash to the lender or on the settlement statement (HUD-1). Watch out for falsification of income, employment or assets by clients, or inflated appraisals.

2) Bogus Appraisals - The FBI finds inflated appraisals very common on renovated 8, 12, and 16 flats in Chicago. In a typical scenario the developer buys the building, rehabs one of the units with top of the line items, then guts the rest of the units. In this case, the appraiser knowingly uses photos of the model unit for the appraisal of all other units in the building.

3) Stolen Identity/Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) - Stolen identity is being used to take out home equity lines on property the victim does not even own. When the victim goes to buy or refinance his or her own home, they find out that they have mortgages on properties they don't even own.

4) Release of Liens - At closing, forged documents are provided to show that a lien has been satisfied when it has not.

5) Stalled REO Sales - A common, new tactic is for a listing agent of an REO (bank-owned) property will stall the sale of a home by not returning phone calls for would-be buyers. The home sits unsold and the agent's family or friends buy the property at a greatly reduced rate.

For more information, go to
www.realtor.org/letterlw.nsf/pages/1006mortgagefraud .
12:15 pm cst 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Statistics on First Time Home Buyers
According to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors, the number of first-time buyers rose to 41 percent from 39 percent of transactions in last year’s survey and 36 percent in 2006. According to the NAR study, the median age of first-time buyers was 30, down from 31 in 2007, and the median income was $60,600. The typical first-time buyer purchased a home costing $165,000 and plans to stay in that home for 10 years, up from seven years in 2007.
1:14 pm cst 

Monday, November 3, 2008

More News on the Real Estate Market
The Chicago Tribune had a great "Home Finance Toolkit" in the Home section of the Sunday paper. According to the National Association for Business Economics, "Sales and starts activity should bottom out before the end of 2009, that's if we can get the lending apparatus moving again. But the downward pressure on (home) prices will take much longer, well into 2010, if not the end of 2010, as the credit crunch continues."

BUT, keep in mind that the Chicago real estate market has fared well compared to other markest. The median selling price in Chicago for 2008 through October 27 was $295,000. Overall prices in the Chicagoland area have remained steady, but the average market time is 139 days, up dramatically from the year 2000.
9:31 am cst 

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