Category Archives: Selling a Home

Selling a Condo or Home Within a HOA? Make This Info and Documentation Available Now

Selling a Condo or Home Within a HOA?  
Make This Info and Documentation Available Now

http://www.genemundt.com/Default.aspx     If you’re a prospective Home Buyer and considering the purchase of a Condominium … or a home located in and governed by a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), there is important information you need to know regarding prior to signing a contract.

(For further info, read 2 of my previous posts on Condo/HOA buying: “To Condo or Not to Condo”. That Should Be the Question …”  and … How to Determine if You’re Viewing a Condominium or Townhome”.)

Some of the details a new Home Buyer should know regarding Homeowner’s Associations are:

  • Rules governing the Homeowner’s Association (HOA)
  • Restrictions attached to the ownership and use of the property
  • Assessments, Fees, Dues *

* Are any of these Assessments past due?  And if so, what percentage?

  • Budget of the HOA
  • “Health” of the HOA
  • Status of Reserve Funds
  • Percentage of Owners versus Renters

If you’re on the flip side of the transaction and the SELLER of a property impacted by a Homeowner’s Association, what information and documentation should you disclose and make available to prospective Buyers?  https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/FreeConsult.aspx

As most Buyers will also be utilizing a Mortgage to purchase the property, the following info and documentation will most likely be required from a Seller, the HOA, or the Signee (property holder) involved in the transaction.

Note:  Be aware that the Mortgage Lender representing the Home Buyer will need or request some of the following info/documentation also.

    • A copy of the HOA Budget/Accounting
    • Declaration and By-Laws
  • HOA Questionnaire and/or Survey  

In Illinois and the Chicagoland area, a HOA Questionnaire/Survey will be requested by the Mortgage Lender or Buyer’s Attorney.  There is typically a charge for the Homeowner’s Association to fill-out and prepare this document.  The person responsible for this payment is often designated as part of the Real Estate Contract.

Sellers that make these documents and information available to potential Home Buyers (and their representatives) and take measures to act proactively provide a great service.  They help facilitate their sale, the transaction, and the Buyer’s mortgage application more quickly and smoothly.

Should you be thinking of selling a home or condominium located within a Homeowner’s Association, start gathering this information and documentation sooner than later in the sale process.  That way there will be opportunity for fewer delays caused by a Buyer’s questions or requests.

As an added piece of information: 

Please be aware that in the cases where the Seller is a Bank, or an Entity such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, or VA, often times there will be little or NO information made available to the Buyers from the Sellers.  In other words, the Buyer MUST track these down themselves through whatever means.

Bottom line, there may be some “inherent” risks and extra “work” involved when buying a property that has been Foreclosed upon.  The “price” may be discounted, but so may the “offerings from the Seller”.  This can be especially true when the property is a condominium.  That’s why working with a Mortgage Lender, Realtor, and Attorney experienced in these types of transactions is so very important.

If hoping to buy a Chicagoland Condo, or home located within a Homeowner’s Association … contact me today.  I’ll put my 37 years of Mortgage experience and knowledge hard to work on your behalf.

I can be easily found at any of the following:

Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell/Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281

 

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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender, a Lender with 36 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL. 

 

15 Summer Chicago-Area Home Maintenance Tips

15 Summer Chicago-Area Home Maintenance Tips

 

     Temperatures in the Chicago area are to be in the mid-80’s today.   Finally!  Warmer weather has arrived!

     If you’re a Chicago-area homeowner like I am, this means you’re heading outdoors to perform routine summer maintenance chores.  Particularly after this year’s hard and long winter, there’s plenty to be tackled.

     Having a Checklist of items helps me remember what needs to be accomplished around my home and property for the hot summer months ahead.  Below you’ll find the handy checklist I use.  Hope it proves useful as you assess and maintenance your home …

Warm Weather Home 
Maintenance Checklist
 
    1.  Evaluate and inspect your roof.  Check for missing or loose shingles.  Examine the flashing around the chimney and any skylights.
    2.  Inspect your gutters, downspouts, and exterior drains.  Clean them of any debris.  Make sure gutters and downspouts are securely attached to your home.
    3.  Check your HVAC system.  Have a professional perform a thorough check-up.  An annual check-up should include the changing of any filters and cleaning.
   4.  Repair your driveway and sidewalks.  Freezing cold, salt, and snow can be damaging.  Patch cracks and re-seal, where applicable. 
   5.  Inspect the siding of your home.
   6.  Check and/or replace window and door seals.  Caulk so windows and doors remain airtight and watertight and you keep pests/bugs out.
   7.  Check your window and door locks to make sure they are working properly.
   8.  Check pipes inside and out for leaks caused by winter’s freezing.
   9.  Clean and pressure-wash any decks.  Repair any loose handrails, boards.  Re-stain, seal, or paint to protect the wood and improve curb appeal.
 10.  Take a good look at your lawn and landscaping.  Repair, rake, clean, prune, and weed away winter’s remains and dead vegetation.
 11.  Trim back tree, bushes, and shrubs.
 12.  Inspect and repair any fencing on your property.
 13.  Open up basement windows and air your basement out.
 14.  Inspect all detectors in your home.  Replace batteries.
 15.   Inspect your attic for leaks or infestation.  
 
     Note:  I recently found an App that offers seasonal home maintenance tips and suggestions.  It will remind you when to perform valuable routine maintenance around your home.  You can download it to either iPhones or Androids.  
 
     Click here to get this helpful App:  
 
 
     You’ve now maintenanced, protected, and increased the value of your home.  Relax and enjoy beautiful Chicagoland … 
 
 
 
     *  Hoping to become a Chicago-area Home Buyer?  Looking to Build or Refinance in the Chicagoland area?  Contact Me now!  I’ll put my 37 years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
     I can be easily found at:
Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell or Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281
 
Click HERE for your 
FREE Mortgage Consultation! 
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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender, a Lender with 36 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL

Oo Oo-oo oo That Smell! Can You Smell that Smell?

Oo Oo-oo oo That Smell!   Can You Smell that Smell?

https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/FreeConsult.aspx     Read almost any real estate-related magazine or blog and it’s highly likely that you’ll stumble upon an article regarding the odors and smells that can be found in a home.  And how important it is to remove them from your home while it’s for sale.

     It’s generally accepted that all scents … potporri, deodorizers, pet smells, tobacco, foods and spices, etc. …  should be eliminated from a home during its sale and showings.  Fresh and clean is always best. 

     Why?  Odors, scents, and smells can prevent some potential Buyers from viewing your home.  If sensitive to smells, Buyers can be driven from a home quickly or actually be kept from even entering a home.  Simply … smells can trigger all sorts of reactions, both physical and mental.  So it’s best to avoid them.

     But if you’re presently hoping to buy a home, have you considered the outdoor smells and air-quality of a potential home purchase?  Nearby factories, restaurants, farms, heavily-traveled roads … a host of things at and surrounding a property can also produce “smells”.
    

http://www.genemundt.com/PageContent.aspx?PageID=53

     Having grown-up in a more rural town, I can tell you … smells and odors coming can travel long distances.  Giving consideration to what types of properties and businesses also surround your potential home purchase is just wise.

     I’d recommend driving the neighborhoods and surrounding areas of a home you’re considering for purchase a few different times.  And at differing times of the day.  

     Give special consideration to those times that you would typically be at home, might be outside, or opening your windows. Do some investigative work.  

     Take deep breaths.  Do you smell anything?  From which direction is the smell coming?  It is something that smells good or bad to you?  Could you live with it on a daily or frequent basis? 

     Beyond the types of properties mentioned above that can be odor producing … stop and think about other odor-producing activities and elements.  What are the local municipality’s laws, rules, and regulations governing them?

     Also:  If a property you’re considering is located near the border of a municipality, find out if the the connecting municipality allow activities that yours does not?  Think about burning of leaves and property refuse.  Nearby businesses.  More.

     Currently, a very popular feature for homes is outdoor living areas.  Those areas can contain firepits, chiminaria, or fireplaces.  Will the smells (and smoke) coming from those on your property or nearby property be or become an issue for you?

     The reality is:  Smells are everywhere.  They travel long distances.  They can be good and they can be bad.  

     And remember:  There’s much more to contemplate then  the physical construction of a home … or its visual appeal.  If you’re hoping to buy, take the time to recognize ALL the features of a home.  Inside and out.  

     Stop, recognize, and consider what you’ll be breathing in and smelling at any given property too.  Then you’ll be able to make an informed and educated decision regarding buying that property …

     Enjoy the video and song!

 
http://www.genemundt.com/ContactUs.aspx

 
     *  Hoping to Buy, Build, or Refinance a home in a Lincoln-Way Community, Will County, or elsewhere in the Chicago-areaContact Me Today!  I’ll put my 37 years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
     I can be easily found at:

Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell or Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281
Click HERE for your FREE Mortgage Consultation!
Ready to Apply for your Mortgage?
https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/WebApp/FullAppLogin.aspx
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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender, a Lender with 36 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL

 

Is it the Right Time for You to Sell Your Present Home & Buy the Next?

 

Is it the Right Time for You to Sell Your
Present Home and Buy the Next?

 
https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/FreeConsult.aspx     The final decision to Refinance your existing Mortgage (or  not), should be based on one simple thing.  It must make good financial sense …  

     That decision is often times determined by the length of time you, as a Homeowner, “guesstimates” you’ll own your loan (i.e., stay in your present home).  A good rule-of-thumb is that the monthly payment savings received through the Refinancing (at minimum), should “pay back” your Closing Costs for your Refinance.  

     Similar (and additional) considerations need to be made by those Homeowners hoping to upgrade or “step-up” to a bigger and better home and becoming Home BUYERS again.  For those in this situation, it’s important to remember: 

     ALL transactions are not created equal.  In most transactions, Home Buyers pay a “fixed” amount of Closing Costs.  “Variables” that affect that amount could be (but not limited to):

     Sometimes, these costs can be paid for by the Sellers, if negotiated into the Sales Contract.  Otherwise, Home Buyers can easily pay up to $5,000 for costs associated with buying.  In simple math this equates to:  A Homeowner’s 5-year stay in their purchased home costs $1,000 a year.  ($5,000 of totals costs, divided by the number of years in the home (5), equals $1,000 of costs per year.)

     This fact also needs to be considered: During the time you’ve lived in your home you’ve paid down your Mortgage balance … year by year, payment by payment.  Maybe you’ve even paid some extra to the Principal too.  

     On the Sales side of their transaction, Sellers must remember:  Their home’s Appreciation or Depreciation in value must also be considered.  In a good housing market, the home will have appreciated in value during that duration of time.  That Appreciation helps to cover the costs they as Sellers face when they move on.

http://www.genemundt.com/ContactUs.aspx     As a Seller, it’s a good rule-of-thumb to assume that costs will equal 8% to 10% of the Sales Price of your home.  That varies of course, depending on the state, city, county, and the percentage of Real Estate Commission being paid.

     While your decision to move can be ruled by emotional reasons or the need for a lifestyle change, the decision should definitely include financial considerations, as well.  No matter your reasons, if you’re ready to move, it’s important to “do the math” regarding a move and sale.  Obtaining a Realtor’s opinion of what it will take to sell your home is wise.  

     Down Payment funds are critical to any purchase, but especially for those Selling one home and buying another.  BEFORE you agree to list your home and sell it, get Pre-Approved by a Mortgage Lender to discover your options or limitations for purchasing your next home. 

     Most U.S. Homeowners consider a move within the third and fifth year after their first purchase.  National averages have shown that most 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgages last an average of  7 years (approximately).  When Sellers retain control of the timing of their moves from one home to another, they are more likely to come out ahead.  

     Is it the Right Time for You to Sell Your Present Home and Buy the Next?  Possessing the facts and information needed to make sound financial decisions greatly reduces the stress that accompanies the Buying and Selling of a home.  

     In Chicagoland, contact me so we can discuss your plans and do the math for your personal scenario.  We’ll discover what options exist for you.  That way you’ll be better prepared to make sound Sellingor Buying decisions …        

http://www.genemundt.com/ContactUs.aspx

     

*   I can be easily found at:

Direct:  815.524.2280
eFax:  815.524.2281
Cell or Text:  708.921.6331

 

Click HERE for your FREE Mortgage Consultation!
Ready to Apply for your Mortgage?
https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/WebApp/FullAppLogin.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender, a Lender with 36 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL

 

 

 

Preparing to Buy a Chicagoland Home: Seller-Paid Closing Costs

Preparing to Buy a Chicagoland Home:

Seller-Paid Closing Costs

– See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4308152/preparing-to-buy-a-chicagoland-home-seller-paid-closing-costs#sthash.spFanGOx.dpuf

Preparing to Buy a Chicagoland Home: 
Seller-Paid Closing Costs
https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/FreeConsult.aspx     Looking out my office window right now, you’d never know that Spring … and Spring’s busier Chicagoland housing market isn’t that far off.  Yet, it’s true …

     Chicagoland First-time Home Buyers (those typically purchasing homes from the low $100K’s to the low-$200K’s) and anyone else hoping to buy during this upcoming Spring’s warmer-weather market, should be making their plans NOW, while winter snow is still on the ground and temperatures are frigid. 

     So, if you’re a hopeful Chicagoland First-Time Home Buyer (or anyone seeking Mortgage financing) what should you be considering or educating yourself about right now … at the beginning point in your process?

     First of all, find yourself a knowledgeable, experienced Mortgage Lender to work with.  Not sure how to do that?   

     Here’s a few suggestions:  

     Inquire with Real Estate Agents that transact in Chicago or the Chicagoland area in which you hope to live.  Check with Real Estate Attorneys, your friends or family members that have Closed on a Mortgage loan recently. Talk to Insurance Agents or others that work in the local real estate industry.  Gather names and note those mentioned multiple times. 

     Don’t skimp on the attention you give this matter.  Do your homework.  Find the right person for you.  (For more help and guidance, click HERE.)

     Once you’ve found your Mortgage Lender, have a long talk with them about your finances and your Credit.  Get Pre-Qualified to discover:

  •   What Home Buying options exist for you
  •   Your Credit Scores 
  •   Your Credit capabilities
  •   If elements of your Credit need polishing 
  •   The Price Range of home you can buy
  •   Establish a timeframe for your upcoming purchase

     
     One of the most important topics you’ll talk about with your Mortgage Lender will be regarding a Down Payment on your home purchase.  At this time in the year, I often hear from Borrowers that Income Tax Refunds will be a contributing source to their Down Payment funds.  

     For Buyers hoping to utilize Income Tax Refunds during their home purchase (or Agents working with those Buyers), it’s critical to make sure that Income Tax Returns are filed as early as all supporting documentation (W-2’s, etc.) is received.  Tax Returns should be filed electronically, as this  expedites the depositing of Tax Refunds into Checking or Savings Accounts.

     It’s important for Home Buyers to know:  Income Tax Refunds ARE acceptable to Lending Underwriters when saving/accumulating assets to buy a home.  Since most loan programs require Down Payment funds to come from the Buyer, it’s important to demonstrate Down Payment funds as verifiable money in accounts.  (Accounts can be Savings, Checking, Money Market, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Stocks, and Retirement.)

http://www.genemundt.com/MortgageChecklist.aspx

      

Keep in mind that the:
  • Minimum Down Payment on FHA Loans is 3.5% 
  • FHA requires a 3.5% Down Payment, but ALL or PART of that Down Payment can be a Gift
  • Minimum Down Payment on most Conventional Loans is 5% 
  • At this time, it remains totally acceptable for Sellers to pay Closing Costs.  

     In the case of Sales Prices under $100,000, it’s almost necessary to get Seller-paid Closing Costs due to new regulations in place as of January 10, 2014, per the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  Certain Closing Costs ARE allowable when Seller-paid.  That simply allows your Mortgage Lender, to cover the cost of traditional fees incurred in a Real Estate purchase at Closing time. 

     I’ve included a breakdown of the guidelines (as of this writing) on the maximum allowable Closing Costs that a Seller can pay.  These Costs are expressed as a percentage (%) of the Sales Price …

     For Conventional Loans:

  • Fannie Mae –  3% if Owner-Occupied  *
  • Freddie Mac – 3% (2.5%in some cases) if Owner-Occupied
  • Investment Property – 2%

    *  Can be greater, if Loan-To-Value is less than 90%
     
     For FHA:

  • Up to 6%

     For VA:

  • Up to 4% 

    
Preparing to Buy a Chicagoland Home: Seller-Paid Closing Costs …  As you can see, there’s quite a list of things to talk over with your Mortgage Lender when you hope to buy a Chicagoland home.  It’s normal to have lots of questions.  So, let’s get started and get those questions answered.  Contact me now so together we can best prepare you to buy a home …

http://www.genemundt.com/ContactUs.aspx


     *  Hoping to Buy, Refinance, or Build a Home in Chicago or the greater Chicagoland area?  Contact me!  I’ll put my 36 years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
     I can be easily found at:

Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell or Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281
Click HERE for a FREE Mortgage Consultation!
Ready to Apply for your Mortgage?
 Twitter Account of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   LinkedIn Account of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Facebook Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Pinterest Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Digg Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender
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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender, a Lender with 36 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL.

Real Estate Round Table #1: Making Chicagoland First-Time Home Buying Easier

Real Estate Round Table #1:     Making Chicagoland First-Time Home Buying Easier

     They say stepping out of your “comfort zone” and showing a willingness to do new things is good.  That lesson is valid whether you’re talking about buying a first home … or doing your first webinar.  I did the latter just  this morning …

     With the assistance of small business and real estate consultant, facilitator, and wonderful friend Carra Riley, I tackled my first online webinar today.  A webinar that addresses the other “first” I speak of above … Buying a First Home.  

     There were a few minor hiccups with sound (at first), but all in all this first video webinar went well.  Many of the fears I had previously have now disappeared.  Truth is, the unknown was far more scarey than the actuality.

     Much the same can be said about Buying your First Home in Chicagoland.  Education and preparation are key, as is who you choose to work with during your transaction. I learned during the making of my first video that sometimes it’s best to learn as much as you can, make your preparations, and then dive into the waters. 

     I had great professionals at my side … and that made all the difference to my mindset and to the outcome.  Do the same during your First-Time Home Buying transaction … and you’ll end-up successful too.

     My new webinar featured two of my Chicagoland referral partners … 

Anne McMillin of Starting Point Realty …

Anne McMillin 
Real Estate Broker
Starting Point Realty
anne@StartingPointRealty.comCell:   708.601.1530 

   

Richard Stringham of Stringham Insurance Agency in Mokena … 

Richard Stringham – Owner/Agent
Stringham Insurance Agency
19646 South Wolf Road
Mokena, IL  60448
dick@stringhaminsurance.com 

Office:   708.479.2526  

     We hoped that the info and assistance provided within the video would aid Chicagoland First-Time Home Buyers.  Each of us was hoping to take the “fear factor” out of first-time home buying transactions for our viewers.  I hoped we accomplished that and more.

     Here’s my video/link:

Image

     I know I learned a lot today.  And again, I must say thank you to Carra Riley for that.  Making this video certainly reinforced a lesson about the “comfort zone” thing too.  Because of Carra’s generosity and efforts I know I’ll definitely be much more relaxed and educated about the ins-and-outs of video, webinars, and Google+ Hang-Outs in the future.  

     I’m looking forward to adding even more informational Mortgage financing videos and webinars in the future.  Be watching for them as I hope to share more on the topics of Mortgage financing, Credit/Credit Scores, Mortgage Pre-Qualification, preparing to Buy a Home, Mortgage Application, Chicagoland Construction financing, and more soon. 

     *  Have questions about what you heard in the video above?  Contact Me!  I’ll be happy to hear from you, answer your questions regarding Mortgage financing, refer you to  great professionals within the Chicagoland area, and more.
     I can be easily found at:

Direct:   815.524.2280
Cell or Text:   708.921.6331
eFax:   815.524.2281
Click HERE for your FREE Mortgage Consultation!
Ready to Apply for your Mortgage?
https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/WebApp/FullAppLogin.aspx

Decide Which Size Fish You Want to Be

Decide Which Size Fish You Want to Be
 
“It is better to be a big fish
in a small pond, than to be a
small fish in a big pond “
The Galveston Daily News, June 1881
Contact Me for a quality referral to an experienced agent today!
     It was reported recently by the  National Association of REALTORS  (NAR)  that “median existing single-family home prices are rising in more metropolitan areas, but a lack of inventory  –  notably in lower price ranges  –  is limiting buyer choice in an increasing number of markets around the country”.  (Latest Quarterly Report)
     They have evidence of rising home prices too.  Prices rose in 110 out of 147 metro areas.  And another statistic of interest that configures into the overall picture on current market status is this … Distressed homes (foreclosures and short sales) accounted for 26% of recent sales.  That percentage being down from 33% a year ago.
     Many other news and housing data sources report much of the same.  Housing inventory is down in many markets.  Selection is suffering.  Look at these examples:
Selling your present home with the hopes of buying another?  Contact me Today!
     And while inventory definitely influences purchases and housing prices, other things, such as Buyers’ ability to purchase, also are playing a big part.  Recent indications show that current home buyers are now proving ample income and can meet down payment requirements when seeking financing for their new home purchases.  Don’t forget too, interest rates are at historic lows, and monthly payments on home purchases remain favorable to home buying.
    So … what should all these reports and facts mean to someone thinking about SELLING their home?
     It means, if you’re contemplating a sale, NOW might be the time to act.  It means, that the old adage shown above … “It is better to be a big fish in a small pond, than to be a small fish in a big pond” … could definitely work in your favor as you list and sell your home.
     How?? As I see it, it boils down to this:  Choices.  Which size … and what kind … of home-selling fish do you  want to be?
  •  Do you want your home to stand-out?  Create curb appeal.
  •  Do you want potential Buyers to imagine themselves living in your home?  Make any needed repairs.  De-clutter, clean, and stage your home well.  Modernize.  Make it appealing.
  •  Do you want Buyers that fall in love with your home .. and then act decisively, and respond quickly with an offer?   Price your home realistically.
  •  Do you want to be the best and most desirable home in your area’s “pond”?  Act now to take advantage of current low inventory levels.  Contact an agent today.
     I can tell you, as a  Mortgage Lender,  what I’m hearing backs-up the stats and news articles currently being reported above.  I’m hearing complaints about home inventory and property choices all the time, from both home buyers and agents alike.  Good condition, well-priced homes are scarce.
     But I’m also hearing … Good condition, well-priced homes get attention.  Good condition, well-priced homes sell quickly.  And I know for a fact that … Good condition, well-priced homes arrive at their new Buyer’s Closings successfully.  They appraise out.  Underwriters find fewer issues to raise.
    “Good condition, well-priced”.  Does that describe your  home?  It can, if you prepare properly for your sale.  It can, if you listen to and follow  the experienced advice of your real estate professional.
         Now is the right time to list and sell your home. Recent NAR reports and statistics back that decision up.  So do others.  They also prove the wisdom of the old saying,   “It is better to be a big fish in a small poContact Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender for an Agent Referral todaynd, than to be a small fish in a big pond.”
 
   You as the home seller just need to wisely … “Decide which size fish you want to be” …
     * Hoping to become a successful home seller in  Will County, Chicagoland, or elsewhere across our nation?  In need of a referral for an experienced, successful real estate agent to help you sell your home?  Contact me  today.  I’ll be happy to refer you to the best in the business.
     I can be found at any of the following:
Cell/Text:   708.921.6331
Email:  genemundt
Skype:   630.219.1316
Mobile:  m.genemundt.com

The Spring Home Market. A Thaw After a Hard Cold Winter?

    

     As I mentioned in a recent blog, “What is the state of the Boxers and Briefs in your home? Spring sales indicators … “,  I found an article on Kiplinger.com that addressed the question that is on most real estate professional’s minds …  “What is the financial outlook for this Spring?”

     According to the Kiplinger.com article mentioned, “10 Signs the Economy is on the Upswing”, there are 10 everyday life-indicators suggesting that our economy is improving. I made some folly within my post of the #1 indicator speaking of boxers and briefs … but truly, most of the indicators mentioned made sense when analyzed.

     A comment I received regarding my post from  SarahGray Lamm, Alan Tate Realtors, Chapel Hill, NCsuggested that this article was correct. The public’s personal perception of indicators is perhaps the most reliable measure of how our economy is presently doing or where it’s heading. The public is afterall, the frontline of the economy.

     And SarahGray Lamm is right.  Even though many economists speak of the current recession having actually turned the corner in fall of 2009 … most Americans said “it ain’t so!”  Today’s statistics, measured and reported by  The Conference Board  (conducted by the Nielsen Company), indicate that consumer confidence is again on the rise.  I believe that they are right, as I am personally hearing comments in that vein and business calls I receive certainly reflect that as well.

     This Spring’s real estate market will most definitely be more sensitive than in the past due to the personal indicators talked about in the Kiplinger.com article. But there are other very large reasons that will most likely factor into making Spring 2011 atypical for real estate professionals and the public alike. They are, IMO:

     •Major changes in the Financial Industry, effective April 1st (and that’s no fooling!) Higher rates, higher lending costs, tightening of standards, etc., are all going to contribute to the effects seen.
     •Interest Rates will most likely move firmly into the 5% – 6% range.
     •Another wave of foreclosures is said to be lurking and predicted to hit the market sometime this Spring. That means more housing inventory to move through.
     Although none of the above sounds optimistic, public sentiment and the statistics measuring them are proving to make an opposite case. “Hits” to Trulia.com saw an increase of 40% in January 2011 page visits over the same time as one year previously. Other similar websites are reporting much the same. I am seeing the same results on my own personal website.

     An active interest in home buying seems to be re-emerging. There may be pockets of areas that may see further dips in home prices, but the pendulum seems to have already steadied or started to upswing in many major areas.

     Now is the time for Realtors, as well as Lenders, to send an united message to the public that buyers can’t afford to wait any longer. It’s most likely to be a losing gamble if they do. (See my post “Reality Home Buying … The Numbers Don’t Lie. Buying NOW vs Later”.

     Spring is just around the corner. The mood and optimism of Americans is hopefully warming along with the temperatures. In the meantime, those thinking of becoming buyers and sellers need to prepare themselves for their possible entrance into the home market.

     Real estate professionals should and can help them accomplish this preparation during these weeks leading up to Spring. Education and preparation is key to buying and selling success .. buyers, sellers, … and professionals.

What Kind of Personality Do YOU Have? Take This Quiz!

     My wife has a friend, that as of these last few weeks … you’d better not be found standing still around her.  If dormant even for a second, she’ll clean and polish you, store you, or throw you out.

    Every conversation Marilyn has with Lisa is peppered with the relatings of Lisa’s lastest cleaning and purging adventures.  I guess that explains why the topic of storage and storage techniques was on my wife’s mind when she discovered the handy-dandy website offered below.
 
    While visiting one of her favorite websites, (Better Homes and Gardens – bhg.com),  Marilyn found the following  “personality quiz”. 
 
    Being somewhat of a lover of these things anyhow, this  BHGStorage Personality Quiz  really caught her eye.  This quiz combines the topic of psychology with the art of de-cluttering.  Seems there are differing personalities regarding someone’s zeal and tastes for storage and the art of de-cluttering.
 
     So this got me thinking …  
 
     If as someone hoping to sell your home, you take this test, find out your “storage personality”, and implement the information you tap … can you make the de-cluttering of your home:
 
  • Easier to accomplish?
  • The task and outcome more psychologically appealing?
  • Increase the likelihood of the sale of your home?      
     Hmmmm …  For those presently in the process of selling their homes and those considering it in the near future, there may be something of real substance to consider here!  (Stagers!  Weigh in!)  And, it might not a bad idea to consider for those of us just wanting to spruce up the homestead or make our lives more efficient either.
 
       So, go to:  Better Homes and Gardens … Storage Personality Quiz Take the test to find out what storage techniques and solutions work best for YOU.  The  Better Homes and Gardens  site offers tips, photos, and videos that will help you accomplish your storage and de-cluttering tasks and goals … all in a style that pleases your eye and fits your unique personality. 
 
      Enjoy!      
 
       
        *  Just as there are many storage personalities and styles to be found, there are many mortgage programs available for consideration when buying or refinancing a home.  To find out what mortgage program suits YOU and your personal finances best, contact me at:  http://www.genemundt.com/Contact-Me.html.   Together we will analyze, then work towards finding the  perfect mortgage for you.
 
Gene Mundt, Professional Mortgage Banker
NMLS  #216987
Chicago Bancorp –  NMLS #63483
Cell/Text:  708.921.6331

Staying in Shape and Eating Your Wheaties. Getting Ready for Current Day Real Estate Transactions.

  

    Getting a deal closed in today’s real estate world has become a long distance marathon …

    What used to take about 3 weeks to accomplish … can now take up to 2, 3, 4 months, or even longer.  And no .. I’m not dissing banks, Wall Street, underwriting,  underwriters, or anyone else specifically here.  

   There are alot of fingers in this messed-up pie!  

   Transactions just take longer to close.  A pretty obvious FACT …

    Real estate has always been known by the often-heard phrase, “Location .. Location .. Location”! 

    Currently, I believe it should be known by “Documentation .. Documentation .. Documentation”!  Or maybe something more unprintable.

    I’ll be the first one you hear agreeing with the sentiment that approval for loans in the not too distance past had become way too lax.  The proof of that is hard to debate.  If you’ve read any of my posts and know anything of my past, you’ll know I started with a Savings and Loan over 30 years ago.  Hard to believe given how young and handsome I look now, huh?

   But seriously … getting approved for a loan was just a different experience then … the path you took to approval was vastly different.  This can’t be over-emphasized!  The approval process was carried out on a much more personal, human level … most likely by a group made up of Board of Directors of your bank/savings or loan or your bank’s officers. 

    No doubt this method had it’s kinks too.  I won’t debate them.  But, there was none of the current inhuman, unfeeling automation.  The decision was based on fairly cut and dried, clearly understood terms … not much grey area … and over pretty quickly!  There was some decorum and common sense to the process.  None of the endless back and forth … the “Let’s Make a Deal”-ness that you find currently.  If you got bad news regarding your approval, you heard it quickly and could move on. 

   Too many of our clients just get tormented to hell these days.  And it needs to stop, or at minimum return to a number that is un-obscene.  I closed a loan last night (in the client’s living room, btw … one of the advantages of modern loans) … and that poor couple’s lives had been put on hold for almost 4 months.  Thankfully for me, this couple was intelligent, understood every step of their processing, and did not hold me personally accountable for the delays.  Sometimes, you’re just not that lucky and clients DO get mad.  Good Lord … that’s understandable!

   And please, my fellow mortgage professionals … spare me the “that never happens to me” incredulous stuff.  As the saying goes … “#*%!@ Happens” … and last night’s transaction was a real doozey of an example of all of “it” that can hit the proverbial fan. 

   It DOES happen once in awhile .. and to the very best of us too.  Circumstances out of MY control just dragged this poor couple’s negotiations and legal steps and communications and appraisal on … way beyond what this couple should have had to endure.  (And I’ll add to that … mine too.)  At so many levels, common sense just never entered into the equation.  So sad … and infuriating …

    It’s happening WAY too often.  I am beginning to see a light at the extreme end of the tunnel … but it’s still going to be awhile before real sanity returns to the process.

    Like I said above … getting a deal closed today has become a long distance marathon.  You better be in darn good shape, the best shape you can be when you enter into a transaction …

    And that’s whether you’re a buyer, seller, agent, the property and credit status, mortgage originator, or any other real estate professional …       

Do the homework!   Clean-up that credit beforehand!   Be … and stay informed!   Be prepared!   Communicate and Document!   Get ready to work HARD!   Don’t drop the ball!   Don’t lose your cool!

And the #1 Tip  …

STAY  IN  SHAPE  AND  EAT  YOUR  WHEATIES!!!

 

        *  If you are in need of an experienced, knowledgeable mortgage banker to answer your questions and guide you through your homebuying or refinancing experience … or just need answers for your current loan and credit questions … please contact me through any of these means:  CELL/TEXT:  708.921.6331   

EMAIL: gene@chicagobancorp.com    

WEBSITE:  www.genemundt.com

 You can also refer to my post(s):  Regarding the Documentation you need to prepare for Buying a Home and Applying for a Mortgage:   http://www.genemundt.com/blog/2010/09/19/Be-Prepared-for-Mortgage-Application-Start-Gathering-These-Documents-NOW.aspx 

 This informative blog post can also be HEARD on iTunes now:  For Info, please refer to:  http://www.genemundt.com/blog/2010/10/31/-Listen-to-my-Mortgage-Blogs-Community-Information-Now-via-iTunes-.aspx … or go to iTunes and Subscribe to:  Genemundtmtgbanker Blogs.  Information easily obtained at a touch of a button! 

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

 www.genemundt.com

 gene@chicagobancorp.com