Category Archives: Trends

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

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

     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!

     *  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?
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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:

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


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 …

     *  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
 Trulia Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Zillow Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Lender411 Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender    Klout Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender    Gene's Chicagoland Blog/Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender
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.

3 Reasons Why Borrowing Money To Buy or Refinance a Home Makes Sense Right Now

3 Reasons Why Borrowing Money To Buy or Refinance
a Home Makes Sense Right Now
     With FHA and HUD and economists announcing their predictions of higher interest rates (sooner than later) and recent history indicating interest rates can’t get much lower, NOW seems like the perfect time to Buy and Sell home.  And that may be especially true if you’re a First-time Home Buyer.
     Present Homeowners can also position themselves for a brighter financial future with a Refinance of their present mortgage and securing a mortgage term reduction or lower interest rate. Gary Ryan Blair, a well-known motivational speaker, was once quoted as saying, “Opportunities are easily lost while waiting for perfect conditions.  I agree, but I think NOW is as near to “perfect” as it gets in the real estate market.  Why?
     Reason #1:  For Buying & Selling … In our local market in Chicagoland, Homeowners are starting to recognize that the opportunity to successfully list their home is currently stronger than it has been in the last 5 years.
     Pricing is key … as homes priced intelligently and correctly are selling.  Buyers are paying attention too and beginning to move more quickly when placing their offers.  And multiple offers are re-appearing in the marketplace once again.
     Should a Seller hoping to move on and buy once again, net proceeds from a Closing (or be capable of covering shortfalls within their sale)?  According to real estate guru Barbara Corcoran’s recent comment on the TV Show “Fast Money”, the timing to do so is right. She says:
     “Right now, if you are upgrading to a bigger house, even if you’re selling at 10% off, you buy your new house at 10% off. Price appreciation is going to go much higher than people anticipate.”
     Move-up Home Buyers can currently qualify for their new home purchase at interest rates of under 4% … and buy that home at market values not seen for 10 years (or more) in some markets.  For some, that has meant a net gain of thousands of dollars in gained equity and interest payment savings.   To me, that represents thousands of reasons to consider this action.
    Reason #2:  First-time Homebuyers … with credit scores of 620 or greater and 5% down can qualify for CONVENTIONAL mortgages today.  And benefit from Interest Rates in the 3 percents!  As someone that started in the mortgage industry over 35 years ago when the interest rates were in the mid-to-low 6 percents … I find this remarkable.  And enviable.
     FHA Financing is now available for Home Buyers with 640 credit scores or higher (even lower in some cases) … and they can qualify for interest rates in the mid-3 percent range.  This allows them to save tens of thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of their loan … if they act NOW.
     No doubt about it though.  Credit Scores predict and control the savings realized … or the inability to save.  Even interest rates at 6% (once considered a great rate) can be costing a Home Owner hundreds of dollars in savings each month.  Consider that statement long term.  Just based on the interest rates and mortgage pricings mentioned above, the loss in savings could be projected at:
$226 in Savings lost each month
$2712+ in Savings lost each year 
$81,000 lost over the life of the loan
     The impending increase in  Mortgage Insurance  rates on FHA-Insured Loans coming in 2013 once again makes timing of the essence.  NOW (versus later) is looking pretty darn good.
     Reason #3:  Refinancing … If you presently have a mortgage, how does knocking 5, 10, or 15 years off your mortgage term sound?   Or how about lower monthly mortgage payments?  Those savings mentioned above (or something similar) could be yours.  Again, the savings you  achieve are based upon your personal financial scenario and credit scores.  But doesn’t it sound worth investigating?
     These savings are not speculative.  They ARE attainable. With sound counseling and the right guidance they can be yours.  You already know for a fact what the results and costs for NOT taking action will be.
     Why continue to wonder what COULD be possible?  How all this could effect you.  Act today.  Pick-up your  phone.  EmailClick … but get started!  The sooner you do that, the less likely that the near-perfect market conditions mentioned will slip away on you …
     *  Hoping to Buy or Refinance a Home in  Will County, DuPage County, or elsewhere in the Chicagoland area?  Contact Me today!   I’ll put my 35+ years of mortgage experience, knowledge, and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
     I can be conveniently found at all the following:
Direct:   815.544.2280
Cell/Text:   708.921.6331
eFax:   815.544.2281      Skype:   630.219.1316
You are invited to Follow Me through
any of the following social media:

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

Shop SWEET SCENTSATIONS For All Your Floral, Gift, and Decorating Needs

Gift, and Decorating Needs

            Gene Mundt CBC Sweet Scentsations Floral Pic                                                                        

When I was in need of ideas for a special gift recently …

     and then needed that gift delivered to an area that was somewhat remote, I turned to “Sweet Scentsations“, located in Sugar Grove, IL, for much-needed assistance.

      Jason atSweet Scentsations” helped me with my gift order every step of the way … from gift suggestions, to personalization of my order, to providing solutions for delivery. 

     After my order was placed, Jason also followed my delivery up and personally made sure that my gift was received on time and in excellent condition.  From first contact through follow-up call, Jason and “Sweet Scentsations” provided me an amazing buying and gift-giving experience.    

    Located in Sugar Grove, Illinois for four years, “Sweet Scentsations” (Sugar Grove’s premier family-owned Florist/Gift Shop), offers

Sweet Scentsations Bridal/Wedding Services

 its’ customers an exemplary selection of fresh and artificial florals, live  plants, gift baskets, candles, and gifts. 

     Its’ wedding and bridal boutique is extensive.  During consultations, the wants and needs of the bride are given every sensitive consideration.  “Sweet Scentsations” understands that attention to detail makes a wedding day perfect.



     Gene Mundt CBC Sweet Scentsations Xmas Decoration Pic Blog

Do you need help decorating your home or business for the upcoming holidays?  “Sweet Scentsations” can help and make it possible for you to have the time to better enjoy your guests. 

     Have someone overseas that you wish to send a gift to?  “Sweet Scentsations” can make it happen for you effortlessly.  Non-perishables and gift card services are also available for your consideration.

      If in Sugar Grove, Illinois or nearby, visit “Sweet Scentsations” at 34 Terry Drive.  Dial 630-466-9060 to speak to Jason or one of the other consultants by phone.  They can also be reached by visiting the “Sweet Scentsations” website at:, and their FanPage on Facebook.  

     Whether you are located right in Sugar Grove, Illinois itself, in nearby Elburn, Sandwich, Yorkville, and Aurora, or across the nation … “Sweet Scentsations” can assist you with your floral, gift, and decorating wants and needs. 

     *  And if you are in need of mortgage lending, credit repair, or financial planning information or assistance, in Sugar Grove, Elburn, Aurora, Sandwich, Yorkville, or other Illinois city, please contact me at my office 815.277.4036, my cell 708.921.6331, my email:, or website:  I will be happy to answer your questions and provide you the mortgage lending and credit services you want and need.



It Doesn’t Get Any More REAL Than This. Tune-In for the PBR Championship of Hard Knocks!

It Doesn’t Get Any More REAL Than This.                                         Tune-In For the PBR Championship of Hard Knocks.


     Reality programs seems to take up an ever-increasing percentage of our viewing options on TV.  My personal type of reality program is called SPORTS … but even that seems rather decidedly un-real at times anymore.  All the antics and dancing and texting that’s going on during the games and after the plays are making it less real to me every day.

Gene Mundt Chicago Bancorp Bullriding Blog Pic

     But if you’re a reality programming fan, or just keep on top of celebrity lives and activities …. you may know some of the personalities involved from last season’s episodes of the “Amazing Race” … and recognize the name Cord McCoy.  Cord and his brother Jet, made quite an impression, and became favorites of many viewers, while exhibiting their “cowboy way” throughout their journeys on the “Race”. 

     While our household is not typically a viewer of this particular show, we watched for the weekly results of the shows including the McCoy brothers with interest because we liked them so much.

     For those that aren’t familiar with Cord and his background … he’s a professional bullrider.  A top-knotch bullrider too, frequently appearing on the Professional Bull Riders circuit.  People respond and love Cord, because no matter the outcome of his ride, if capable of doing so … Cord’s smiling.  It’s downright infectious. 

     If you’ve never seen Cord or any other bullrider do what he does for a living … you have some great chances to do so coming up in the next couple of weeks.  The best of the best bullriders are competing for the world title.

     Like NASCAR before it, the PBR (Professional Bull Rider Association) is turning from a more regional sporting franchise and following, into a large national and international sport.  Brazil, Australia, Mexico, and Canada … besides the USA … contribute many of the top riders found within the PBR.  My wife and I have become big fans and follow the weekly competition and rankings pretty closely.  Each of us has a favorite bullrider and cheers them on during their rides.  Marilyn’s favorite is JB Mauney.  Mine is the Aussie, Ben Jones … but I have to admit I like Ben because he dances in the arena after his successful rides.  THAT’S entertainment!Gene Mundt Chicago Bancorp First Aid/PBR blog

     For those of you that think professional wrestling, football, and hockey are pretty tough sports … you haven’t seen anything!  These bullriders are tough, conditioned athletes and can take the big hard hits.  This sport is dangerous and these guys have to be in shape physically to do this and survive. 

     By this time in their season, most bullriders are riding with major injuries and aches and pains that would have sidelined other athletes in other sports long before.  These bullriders are taped up, bandaged, casted, sewn, and held together in a variety of ways by a team of world-class physicians always in attendance behind the chutes.  Although you may see these riders grimace, you rarely ever hear them complain about their injuries.  It’s just not the “cowboy way” … and it’s refreshing.

     Bullriders are typically young men … as by the time you’re in your late 20’s injuries and family obligations make it harder to stay out on the circuit.  The mindset of these men just changes vastly over the years they are actively riding.  They make their mark and their money and move on.  With the growth of the PBR, the dollars they are competing for has risen significantly.  While yet minor in comparison to other professional sports, that is changing quickly and the top-knotch riders can now make millions over the length of their careers.

     Right now, the PBR is in the last stages of this year’s competition.  The Final Five Showdown is to be held in Times Square (outdoors) in New York this weekend.  The event will be broadcast nationally following NFL covGene Mundt Chicago Bancorp Las Vegas Sign PBR Blogerage on CBS on Sunday, Oct. 17, from 3-4 p.m. ET or 5-6 p.m. ET.

     The 2010 World Championship will be held in Las Vegas at the Thomas Mack Center on October 20th through October 24th.  Television coverage will be on Versus and NBC for the final day: 

Oct. 20: 9 – 11:30 p.m. ET on Versus
Oct. 21: 9 – 11:30 p.m. ET on Versus
Oct. 22: 9 – 11:30 p.m. ET on Versus
Oct. 23: 9 – 11:30 p.m. ET on Versus
Oct. 24: 4 – 6 p.m. ET on NBC

     Unfortunately, Cord McCoy is not in the Finals for the World Championship this year.  He was eliminated recently.  But current #1 rider Austin Meier, and JB Mauney, Renato Nunes, Mike Lee, Ryan Connell, Valdiron de Oliveira, Robson Polermo, McKennon Wimberly, and more will be there competing for the title and buckle for PBR World Champion.

     If you like authentic Reality TV … sports … entertainment … cowboys … animals … athleticism … and suspense … check-out these competitors, bulls,  and competitions. 

You’ll be hooked and branded a fan quickly!