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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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Thursday, February 26, 2009

How to Be a Good Borrower

Today I'm going to blog about how to be a "good" borrower. The best type of borrower, the ones that lenders are really looking for, have the following qualities:

 Number one is good credit. "Good" credit these days is a FICO score of 720 or over. This will give you access to the best rates today.

Number two is be a light debt carrier. Lenders want to see a debt load of 43 percent or less - a $430 monthly commitment to mortgage and debts if your income is $1000 per month.

Number three is a down payment. Expect to put at least 10 percent down for a "conforming" loan. You can get away with as little as 3 percent on an FHA loan, or if you put down as much as 20 percent, you will not have to pay private mortgage insurance.

Be prepared to provide paperwork. Lenders will want to see W-2's, tax filings, paystubs and documents for your income and savings. Have them together and ready.

My next blog will be on how to get and sustain that good credit score.

12:19 pm cst 

Monday, February 16, 2009

International Buyers are Buying Here
I've had quite a few international buyers coming here to buy with the price of the dollar being so weak comparatively. It's been very interesting to deal with them and get their perspective on what's going on. The great thing is, these international buyers are infusing our economy with money and strengthen and stabilizing home prices. Be sure that if you are working with, or are an international buyer, that you also consult with a competent accountant to advise you as to the tax ramifications of buying and owning property in the States.
2:26 pm cst 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Foreclosure and Short Sale Experiences....

If you are a first-time buyer, there are some things you need to know about buying short sales or foreclosures.

For those of you who don't know what a short sale is, it's when the Seller owes more money on the home than what it is worth, and the Seller asks the bank to take less of a payoff on the mortgage(s) owed in order to sell the house. Understand that as a buyer, the person you're not really negotiating the final deal with is the Seller. It is the bank (or bank(s)). They are the final decision maker on how much to sell the home for, when to close and even what to pay for as far as closing costs. I have a nice young couple that I am working with now whose closing date was moved up and survey is not being paid for because the bank dictates the terms. Know going in that whatever you negotiate with the Seller is subject to approval by the bank.

Back in September, I had the buyer of a short sale actually end up paying more than the listing price for a home because the bank wouldn't otherwise approve the short sale. She didn't have to do it, of course, but even at the higher price she paid, it was still a great deal and she was happy. But that deal that she signed in May didn't close until September. Short sales take time!

Foreclosures are a bit easier in the fact that the bank already owns it and you deal and negotiate directly with them. However, buyer beware! The contracts for sale of these places are strictly AS-IS meaning you don't have any guarantees or warranties as to the condition of the property. 

Do an inspection! A thorough one. And please, please make sure all utilities are working and on when you do the inspection. It may be a pain to have them turned on, but it will be well worth it. You don't know what types of electrical or plumbing problems there could be if the water and electricity is turned off.

And of course, have a competent real estate agent and real estate attorney represent you.

11:36 am cst 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mortgage Application Charges Double

It has just been announced that Bank of America, Chase and Harris Bank are all doubling their mortgage application fees to as much as $750. This decision comes in the wake of increasing demand for refinancing and more consumer rejections because of tightening lending restrictions.

With fewer banks making home loans, existing banks are free to start charging higher fees. The country's four largest banks made most of last year's mortgages nationwide. Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo made 63.8% of the loans in 2008, up sharply from 35.8% last year.

9:56 am cst 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Fannie Mae Fee Will Cost Condo Buyers

If you're thinking about buying a condo, you might want to close prior to April 1.

It's just been announced that as of April 1, any condo buyer who puts less than 25% down on a condo will pay an extra fee of .75% on a 30-year fixed loan. To do some simple math, if you are buying a $300,000 condo with a $240,000 loan and a $60,000 down payment (20%), you'll pay an extra $1,800 fee to Fannie Mae. For most people, it won't completely kill the deal, but with the City of Chicago transfer stamp and all other fees you pay if you're buying a condo in the City, that could really add up.

10:12 am cst 

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