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April 8th, 2011

The Savvy Buyer…Is Buying Lincoln Park Real Estate!

Are you one of today’s savvy buyers who are capitalizing on the current market dynamics, taking advantage of the low housing prices and the near historic low interest rates? A buyer who realizes that they may not be buying at the absolute bottom of the market but who is astute enough to understand they will never be able to time the absolute bottom of the market?  A buyer who understands that over the short term they will be enjoying their new home and over the long term perhaps have greater equity appreciation.

Or are you a wannabe quasi astute buyer who thinks they will know when the market bottoms out and be ready, willing and able to pull the trigger and purchase that home?  The odds are you’ll miss the bottom of the market and be sitting on the sidelines after the turnaround commiserating with your buddies about ‘the one that got away’.

What most people don’t understand is that when home prices turn the corner, the market won’t change by small amounts, dribbling its way to recovery. It will bounce back and increase by large amounts. The odds of being able to continue to save enough money to meet the new down payment requirements before the price increases again are pretty slim.  Think of it this way – for every $1,000 in price increase, you’ll need to save an additional $200 to stay within the 20% down payment guidelines.

Bottom line…are you a wannabe or an astute & savvy buyer?

March 7th, 2011

Oil woes keep low mortgage rates alive, but bearish mortgage market may be around the corner

Are you currently in the process of buying a home or refinancing in Chicago or vicinity? Trying to decide when to lock can be a stressful and difficult decision. In my job as a mortgage lender, I watch the markets daily to keep my clients abreast of changes to assist them in securing the best mortgage rate possible. Please see my recommendations below.

If closing your Chicago mortgage in:

  • 5-15Days: I recommend LOCKING
  • 15 + Days: I recommend FLOATING

It is important now to realize that although rates are down, markets can turn bearish very quickly.  Fence-sitters should decide soon on their course of action or risk higher rates .  Economic data that can affect mortgage interest rates.

Monday

  • January Consumer Credit

Tuesday

  • $32 Billion 3-year Treasury Auction

Wednesday

  • MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications
  • January Wholesale Inventories
  • $21 Billion 10-year Treasury Auction

Thursday

  • Weekly Jobless Claims
  • January Trade Deficit
  • $13 Billion 30-year Treasury Auction
  • February Treasury Budget

Friday

  • February Retail Sales
  • University of Michigan Sentiment
  • Business Inventories
March 2nd, 2011

Helping your children buy Lincoln Park Real Estate part II

We’re two months into the  new year, spring is right around the corner and hopefully things are looking brighter for all of us!

For those of you that took advantage of my advice in December, and gifted some or all of the allotted monies to your children, are you ready to make this year’s gift contribution? Why not help your children take advantage of the buyers’ market that we still find ourselves in?

It’s never too late to help your children get a jump start on building wealth through real estate ownership. What’s holding you back from getting started with your home search!

February 28th, 2011

East Lakeview Vintage Condo

If you’re not familiar with East Lakeview, there’s no time like the present to get a better understanding of all this neighborhood has to offer. It is bound by Halsted on the west and runs north along the lake front from Diversey to Irving Park.

Many of the  condos are vintage and the high rises offer wonderful examples of what life was like in the early 1900′s. Buildings like 3750 Lake Shore Drive and 3400 Lake Shore Drive have exceptional layouts with spectacular lake views. But, not all of the prime vintage buildings are high rises.

As seen here, 445 W. Briar provides a wide, spacious floor plan with high ceilings, generous room sizes and modern amenities like in-unit laundry and central heating and air conditioning. There are also multi-piece crown moldings, vintage baseboard trim and french pane doors. This home is an excellent example of classic vintage meeting modern convenience.

If you’re an aficionado of vintage condos, in almost any price range, East Lakeview has a lot to offer. If  vintage living isn’t your cup of tea, and you’re are looking for more contemporary and traditional condos, you can search Lakeview condos on the MLS and find your perfect next home!

February 22nd, 2011

Protests in Libya crush stock market and drive mortgage rates down

Are you currently in the process of buying a home or refinancing in Chicago or vicinity? Trying to decide when to lock can be a stressful and difficult decision. In my job as a mortgage lender, I watch the markets daily to keep my clients abreast of changes to assist them in securing the best mortgage rate possible. Please see my recommendations below.

If closing your Chicago mortgage in:

  • 5-7 Days: I recommend LOCKING
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend Cautious FLOATING
  • 15 + Days: I recommend FLOATING

This is a unique week as turmoil has continued across the Middle East.  Libya specifically has broken out into the most violent and brutal of the countries experiencing unrest and the current regime has voiced that they have no intentions of backing down.  Backed by loyal militia and mercenaries, they have moved to crush opposition.  This has savaged the equities markets and driven oil prices up significantly.  As a result, bonds are once again in vogue and mortgage rates have responded favorably.  Ratewatchers stay tuned as this is the opportunity for which you have been waiting.

The week ahead for economic data that can affect mortgage interest rates:

Monday

  • December Consumer Credit

Tuesday

  • Case/Shiller Home Price Index
  • Consumer Confidence
  • $35 Billion 2-year Treasury Auction

Wednesday

  • MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications
  • Existing Home Sales
  • $35 Billion 5-year Treasury Auction

Thursday

  • Weekly Jobless Claims
  • Durable Goods Orders
  • FHFA Housing Price Index
  • New Home Sales
  • $29 Billion 7-year Treasury Auction

Friday

  • Quarterly GDP
  • University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment
February 14th, 2011

The Hidden Cost of Fence Sitting with Lincoln Park Real Estate

I was talking with a perspective buyer the other day. They were doing all the right things; lease ending in 6 months so begin the home search process online, find a Realtor (me), talk with a lender and determine affordability. Then…decision time…they decided to wait another year. Not necessarily a bad choice. Everyone has different needs & tolerances for the idiosyncrasies of this economy. However what I think many fail to consider is the cost of waiting to buy. While this approach has rewarded those that held off the past 2 years in the form of lower prices and lower interest rates, rates are rising and according to the many economic experts, prices are stabilizing. In fact, in Lincoln Park, some individual home prices seem to be up slightly. When comparing the overall condo sales prices for the year to date in 2011 vs the 4th quarter of 2010, the average closed price is up 5.3%!

So here’s our dilemma…Even if prices fall another 10% this year, the cost of a home will increase if interest rates go up more than 1%. And if prices remain constant and rates go up… well…buyers should not worry where prices are going, they should be concerned where their costs will be later in the year (courtesy of the kcm blog).

While none of us have a crystal ball, the option of buying now is definitely worth considering. Indications are that interest rates are on the rise but no one knows just how much they will go up. Where are you in this paradigm?

February 11th, 2011

Rates rise to 10-month high

Are you currently in the process of buying a Lincoln Park home or refinancing your Chicago mortgage?  Trying to decide when to lock can be a stressful and difficult decision.  In my job as a mortgage lender, I watch the markets daily to keep my clients abreast of changes to assist them in securing the best mortgage rate possible.  Please see my recommendations below.

If closing your Chicago mortgage in:

  • 5-7 Days: LOCK
  • 7-15 Days: LOCK
  • 15-30 Days: LOCK
  • 30 or more days: LOCK

The week that was:

This week mortgage rates continued their slow climb.  Coming off of a previous week of generally positive economic data, equities markets continued to charge ahead putting more pressure on bonds.  While there were small glimmers of hope that the trend would cease, these were short lived and resulted in a flatenning of the trend as opposed to a reversal.

30 YEAR FIXED

National Average Rate: 5.05%

Fees/Points: 0.7

15 YEAR FIXED

National Average Rate: 4.29%

Fees/Points: 0.7

Source: Freddie Mac

February 7th, 2011

“Suite” Opportunity in Lakeview Real Estate

A lot of my real estate sales are in Lincoln Park, one of the 77 Chicago community areas. When a great opportunity comes along in any of the other 76 communities, I’m delighted to work with them.

I have recently listed a wonderful 2 bedroom condo on Ashland Avenue that is a surprisingly good value…it has a wide footprint, is only 8 years new and is conveniently located to Whole Foods, X-Sport Gym, the Southport Corridor and the Brown Line. You should check this video out for yourself. In the past 10 days, this particular home has been emailed to perspective buyers 249 times, and that’s just tracking the MLS! Imagine the numbers when you take into account the multitude of home search sites that are out there!

In the past week  ~68 new condos came on the market in Lakeview. While this may sound like a large number, the boundaries of Lakeview are fairly broad; from Diversey on the south to Irving park on the north and the lake to roughly Lincoln on the west. In that area, 21 condos have gone under contract + an additional 13 have closed…that’s pretty good movement!

If this condo doesn’t suite your needs, you can search the entire Chicagoland MLS and find your ideal new home. And, if you are relocating here and your company is offering you relocation benefits as a part of your move, be sure to let me know. Since my company and I cooperate and participate with all of the relocation companies, I want to make sure you take advantage of whatever benefits your employer is offering you.

February 7th, 2011

Rates likely to continue upward trend in the week ahead

Are you currently in the process of buying a home or refinancing in Chicago or vicinity? Trying to decide when to lock can be a stressful and difficult decision. In my job as a mortgage lender, I watch the markets daily to keep my clients abreast of changes to assist them in securing the best mortgage rate possible. Please see my recommendations below.

If closing your Chicago mortgage in:

  • 5-7 Days: I recommend LOCKING
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend LOCKING
  • 15 + Days: I recommend LOCKING

The week ahead for economic data that can affect mortgage interest rates:

Monday

  • December Consumer Credit

Tuesday

  • $32 Billion 3-year Treasury Auction

Wednesday

  • MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications
  • $24 Billion 10-year Treasury Auction

Thursday

  • Weekly Jobless Claims
  • December Wholesale Inventories
  • $16 Billion 30-year Treasury Auction
  • January Treasury Budget

Friday

  • December Trade Balance
  • University of Michigan Mid-Month Consumer Sentiment
February 5th, 2011

Rates rise in the wake of jobs data

Are you currently in the process of buying a Lincoln Park home or refinancing your Chicago mortgage?  Trying to decide when to lock can be a stressful and difficult decision.  In my job as a mortgage lender, I watch the markets daily to keep my clients abreast of changes to assist them in securing the best mortgage rate possible.  Please see my recommendations below.

If closing your Chicago mortgage in:

  • 5-7 Days: LOCK
  • 7-15 Days: LOCK
  • 15-30 Days: LOCK
  • 30 or more days: LOCK

The week that was:

This week unfolded a bit unexpectedly.  Egypt exploded in riots and Yemen followed suit.  The accompanying jump in oil prices coupled with uncertainty that this brought to world markets should have staved off the recent upward pressure on rates, but this was not to be.  A mix of favorable earnings and positive jobs data pushed the Dow over 12,000.  The dragged pricing for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage pricing up with it.  The big day is Friday when official employment data hits the street.  This will either be a boom or bust for mortgage rates.

30 YEAR FIXED

National Average Rate: 4.81%

Fees/Points: 0.8

15 YEAR FIXED

National Average Rate: 4.08%

Fees/Points: 0.8

Source: Freddie Mac

Lincoln Park News

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