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July 30th, 2010

Chicago Rate Lock Advice – 7/30

Are you currently in the process of buying a home or refinancing?  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.  Although risk has tapered off, there is still too much risk to justify floating.
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING  but the market is losing momentum and there is increasing risk of rates increasing
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING but markets could begin to shift and you should be ready if they do. I would keep vigilant over the next few days.
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING

Click here for more information or to discuss your real estate deal in greater detail

July 29th, 2010

Chicago Rate Lock Advice – 7/29

Are you currently in the process of buying a home or refinancing?  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 as there is little chance of securing a better rate
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING  but the market is losing momentum and there is increasing risk of rates increasing
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING but markets could begin to shift and you should be ready if they do. I would keep vigilant over the next few days.
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING

Click here for more information or to discuss your real estate deal in greater detail

July 29th, 2010

It’s The Least Wonderful Time of the Year for Chicago Lenders

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TI time is here again and lenders throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs are cringing as they prepare to explain to home buyers and home owners in the midst of a refinance that they will have to bring a little more to the closing.

What, might you ask, is TI and why does it affect the bottom line? Well, TI stands for Title Indemnity and it provides a means for title companies to ensure that property taxes for transactions occurring at the end of the property tax billing cycle are paid in full.  While this should be as simple as looking at a property tax bill and paying the balance, it is more complex that that.  In many counties, the tax period has ended without actual property tax bills available to pay.  So the installment is due, but without a tax bill, there is no way to figure out the required payment.  The solution is to collect a best guess amount plus a cushion in anticipation of the bill and paying it when it comes due.

To execute a TI, a title company collects a multiplier of the last installment and holds it in escrow until the tax bill comes out.  The reason they collect a multiplier is to ensure they have a sufficient cushion to account for any tax increases.  The total amount is typically around 1.5%, but some title companies, such as Chicago Title, will collect as much as 2.5% of the last installment.  As an example, if the last tax bill was $5,000, you could be required to escrow as much as $12,500 with the title company for the period from the closing of your mortgage loan to the day the tax bills become available.  In most counties, like DuPage and Kane, this is only a month or so.  In places like Cook County, however, this period can extend for up to 5 months; so planning for this inconvenient aspect of real estate finance is a must.

Let me know if you need help navigating the lending process. And if you’re still in the home exploration process, there’s never a better time to ramp up your home search!

July 28th, 2010

Effectively searching for your new Lincoln Park home, Part 1…the Funnel

According to the National Association of Realtors®, approximately 90% of all home buyers*  begin their search on the internet. With all those companies and individual agents vying for such limited shelf space, how do you make sure you’re selecting the best agent to help you find your new home? As an internet savvy Realtor®, I’ve likened the internet home search to a funnel, National aggregators like Realtor®.com are at the widest part, then corporate sites and finally, individual agent sites being at the smallest end of the funnel. This means buyers start with generic searches and work their way to an individual.

With the “National sites” you can probably click through to schedule an appointment with a listing agent, but keep in mind, they represent the seller, not you, the buyer. The company sites are trying to get you to register or request a showing for one of their listings; odds are, they will be referring you to one of their agents and you’ll be you’ll have no idea what that agents’ level of experience is.

With the individual sites, you’re communicating directly with the person that you will actually be working with. You have the chance to build some rapport, making sure that your wants & needs will be listened to, that your overall style will mesh with your agent and if your home search is extended over a long time period, you’ll know that your agent is keeping an eye on the market and letting you know of new homes that hit that market that match your criteria. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Relationships, Trust & Confidence?

*Information sources used in home search courtesy of the National Association of Realtors Field Guide:

  • Internet: 90%
  • Real estate agent: 87%
  • Yard sign: 59%
  • Open house: 46%
  • Newspaper ad: 40%
  • Home book or magazine: 26%
July 28th, 2010

Chicago Rate Lock Advice – 7/28

Are you currently in the process of buying a home or refinancing?  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 as floating is not worth the risk
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING  but keeping a very watchful eye on the market as it has been tumultuous lately
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING but markets could begin to shift and you should be ready if they do. I would keep vigilant over the next few days.
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING

Click here for more information or to discuss your real estate deal in greater detail

July 27th, 2010

Chicago Rate Lock Advice – 7/26

Are you currently in the process of buying a home or refinancing?  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 as the credit situation in Europe may be better than expected with favorable results from stress tests
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING  but keeping a very watchful eye on the market as it has been tumultuous lately
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING

Click here for more information or to discuss your real estate deal in greater detail

July 27th, 2010

Chicago Rate Lock Advice – 7/27 (No Change)

Are you currently in the process of buying a home or refinancing?  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 as the credit situation in Europe may be better than expected with favorable results from stress tests
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING  but keeping a very watchful eye on the market as it has been tumultuous lately
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING

Click here for more information or to discuss your real estate deal in greater detail

July 25th, 2010

Chicago Rate Lock Advice – 7/23

Are you currently in the process of buying a home or refinancing?  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 as the credit situation in Europe may be better than expected with favorable results from stress tests
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING  but keeping a very watchful eye on the market as it has been tumultuous lately
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING

Click here for more information or to discuss your real estate deal in greater detail

July 23rd, 2010

Chicago Rate Lock Advice – 7/22

Are you currently in the process of buying a home or refinancing?  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 as equities are still on a tear fueled by favorable earnings reports and risk outweighs benefit
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING  but keeping a very watchful eye on the market as it has been tumultuous lately
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING

Click here for more information or to discuss your real estate deal in greater detail

July 21st, 2010

Chicago Rate Lock Advice – 7/20

If closing your Chicago mortgage in:

  • 5-7 Days: I recommend LOCKING as equities recovered yesterday adversely affecting mortgage pricing.  While there was improvement today, timing is too short for this risk.
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING as there will likely be opportunity in the for securing a better rate.
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING

Click here for more information or to discuss your real estate deal in greater detail

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