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August 30th, 2010

Chicago mortgage rates holding steady, but may be running out of steam

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
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend LOCKING
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING

The week ahead

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

  • Tuesday
    • Case/Schiller 20 City Index – This will tell us a lot about the current health of the housing market
    • Consumer Confidence Report
    • Fed Minutes from 8/11 Meeting
  • Wednesday
    • ADP Private Employment Data – This will tell us a lot about the health of employment outside of government jobs
    • Construction Spending Report
    • Auto and Truck Sales Data – Always a good bellwether of spending
  • Thursday
    • Weekly Jobless Claims – Very important and if negative could help rates
    • Pending Home Sales – Could be an ugly number as housing has suffered in the wake of the expiration of the New Home buyer Tax Credit

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

August 27th, 2010

Chicago Mortgage Rates Remain Low on Weak Housing Data

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
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING

The week that was:

The main driver this week for rate movement was the housing figures and they were not good,  National sales of existing homes dropped by over 27%.  This is not so great for sellers, but for Chicagoland buyers and homeowners considering a refinance.  Rates continue to stay at record lows providing the opportunity to secure some of the lowest interest rates in history.  For National averages of current rates, please see below.

30 YEAR FIXED

National Average Rate: 4.36%

Fees/Points: 0.7

15 YEAR FIXED

National Average Rate: 3.86%

Fees/Points: 0.6

Source: Freddie Mac

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

August 23rd, 2010

Mortgage rates flat in Chicago, but be prepared to lock

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
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING, but the market is losing steam.  Be prepared to lock.
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING

The week ahead

  • Tuesday
    • July Existing Home Sales Report – Will likely reinforce that market is weak
  • Wednesday
    • Weekly Report on Applications
    • July Durable Goods Report
    • July New Home Sales Report – Will likely reinforce that market is weak
    • 5-Year Treasury Note Auction – Will help rates if demand is high
  • Thursday
    • Weekly Jobless Claims – Very important and if negative could help rates
    • 7-Year Treasury Note Auction- Will help rates if demand is high
  • Friday
    • August Consumer Sentiment Report

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

August 19th, 2010

Flood-proofing Your Chicago Basement Floor

I usually write about Chicago real estate &  mortgages, after all, that is what I do.  Sometimes, however, I come upon a subject that  is worth moving outside of the normal bounds of expertise.  In light of the wet summer that we have had, I’ve come across more and more loans where homeowners are dealing with the  unfortunate aftermath of flooding in the basement.  For some homes it is a chronic issue, but for many it is only a problem when we deal with a Biblical rainfall that saturates the ground beyond the point that any drainage system can counteract.  Either way the end result can range from nuisance clean up with a shop vac to massive damage requiring complete removal of carpet,  dry wall and possibly even mold remediation.  Most of the time, the floor bears the brunt of the onslaught. 

Let me preface the unveiling of my particular solution by saying that I do not have a problem in my home.  I have been spared the bailing of many other Chicagoans, but I have 3 kids, which can put a floor through the punishment of a hurricane.  Additionally, I am ex-military and, therefore, habitually plan for any contingency and visions of soggy musty padding provided me sufficient incentive to avoid a full carpet job.  Bare concrete not being an option, I moved to the Internet for some ideas and there I came upon the essence of basement pragmatism, carpet tiles.

I am sure as you read this, you are thinking that this is nothing new, and it truly is not.  Home Depot, Lowes and many other outlets offer carpet tiles  that work.  The problem is in the economics.  I found retail purchasing of carpet tiles to be pretty outrageous from a cost standpoint, so I ventured further into cyberspace and experienced a eureka moment.  I came upon dealers who sell odd commercial lots of industrial carpet tiles at a major discount. 

The pros of this definitely outweigh the single drawback of limited selection.  I have found these to be a fantastic value with some costing as little as $0.50 a square foot.  They wear like iron as they are designed and constructed for extremely heavy traffic.  Installation is a breeze and can be done with a tape measure, straight edge and utility knife or strong scissors.  Best of all, if a tile or section of tiles get saturated with fluid from flooding or a spilled drink, you can merely de-install the affected pieces, dry them out and reinstall when dry.  In the case of major flooding, you can quickly pull up the entire floor. 

As I said, this was a good solution for me.  It is not for everyone and clearly does not offer the comfort of a professionally installed single piece of carpeting.  As I drive through areas like Westchester, which was hit badly by the recent rain, and see heaps of ruined carpeting and padding, I must say that I do pat myself on the back knowing that this is something against which I am protected.  Hopefully you will be as well. 

Some of the dealers who I shopped are as follows:

August 18th, 2010

Chicago Mortgage Rates Holding Steady – 8/18

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
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING as this uptick will likely reverse
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING

There are no major economic announcements today, so it will likely be a quiet one for mortgages.  The weekly report for jobless claims does come out tomorrow, which will likely impact the market.

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

August 17th, 2010

Chicago Mortgage Rates Tick Up – 8/17

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
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING as this uptick will likely reverse
  • 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

August 17th, 2010

Chicago Mortgage Rate Lock Advice – 8/16

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 FLOATING
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 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

August 16th, 2010

Chicago Mortgage Rate Lock Advice – 8/13

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
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 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

August 12th, 2010

Chicago Mortgage Rate Lock Advice – 8/12

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
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 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

August 11th, 2010

Chicago is one of the Top 10 Great Cities for Young Adults

Good news for young people who are considering Chicago as their new home.  A report recently published by Kiplinger rates Chicago #3 out of 10 as one of the Great Cities for Young Adults!

Criteria such as healthy economies, job growth, cost of living, culture, night life and transportation were considered and Chicago was considered ‘an exceptional value, packing the punch of Manhattan at nearly half the cost’.Catch the full story

…then give us a call.  We’ll help you find one of the best homes in one of the best cities for young adults!

Lincoln Park News

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