Learn About the Illinois Assist Program

                  For first time home buyers, there is a great new program called the Illinois Assist Program. This program is great news for first-time buyers and is a grant that does not have to be paid back, which gives money back at closing towards your down payment and closing costs. If you qualify, you can get up to 5% of the loan amount back, which can be a huge amount. Qualifications for the Illinois Assist Program There are some strings attached – it is not available everywhere in Illinois, but is in a number of areas in the Chicago area: including Cook County, Kendall County, and a number of cities such as Naperville, Schaumburg, and Aurora. There are income caps for the buyer, but they are still relatively high so there is room for you to buy, and there is a cap…

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How to Find the Right Lender for a Chicago FHA 203k Renovation Loan

      A renovation loan, or FHA 203k renovation loan, is a great tool for buying a home that needs some repairs or improvements to raise the value of the home. Renovation loans allow buyers to incorporate renovation costs into the mortgage in order to improve the home and raise its value immediately, rather than waiting to renovate years down the road. In addition, this can save money in comparison to a second mortgage or use credit cards to make improvements. When shopping for a lender, what questions do you need to ask when considering a renovation loan, or FHA 203k renovation loan? How Experienced Is the Lender? How many renovation loans has the lender done in the past? There are many moving parts to a renovation loan: you have to approve the situation, know the timing of everything, and know what is allowable under the terms of the…

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How Can a Chicago 203k Renovation Loan Save You Money?

  If you’re looking into buying a home in the Chicago area, a 203k renovation loan can end up helping you save money. If you’re looking to buy with an FHA 203k loan, it will allow you to buy a home, and add in some improvements at the same time. While it costs a bit more to buy with a 203k loan than a traditional mortgage, you can still save a lot of money if you know what you’re doing. When a Renovation Loan is Appropriate It comes down to your plans for the home after you buy. Many folks think that a renovation loan is only for buying a run-down property or a foreclosure, and homes that haven’t been cared for very well. However, there are many homes in good condition that are simply out of style, such as homes occupied by older folks that need some updating, that…

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Down Payment: Where Are The Funds Coming From?

One of the issues we see arise during the loan process happen while verifying down payment.  Down payment funds may come from several sources, and all of them have their own unique documentation requirements.  If the underwriter is unable to easily see where the money came from it can cause a huge headache for everybody, including you. Luckily, there are things you can do to help ensure that this part of the process is as smooth as possible.  When reviewing the bank/investment account from which the Down Payment will be coming from, the underwriter is looking over the most current 60 days in the transaction history.  Any deposits into the account, besides payroll direct deposits, will need to be explained. This makes the easiest way to avoid frustration is to have your down payment funds already in a separate account with no deposits within the past 2 months.   If this…

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What Is the Mortgage Appraisal Process?

                    Today, we are going to talk about appraisals and the mortgage appraisal process. When you go to get a mortgage, lenders approve YOU, and your specific financial situation. A lender will begin by looking at your credit, your income and your debts, the sources of your income, and the specific property you are buying or refinancing. The lender will check that the cost of the home is where you need it to be from a financial standpoint, and that it comes in at the right value by doing an appraisal. Finding an Appraiser When doing an appraisal, a qualified appraiser is brought in to appraise the value of the home. Previously, we could pick the appraisers that we brought in to do the appraisal that knew the area well. However, today there is more of a blind system: appraisers are…

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Are You Thinking About Buying a Chicago Area Home in 2017?

                    With 2016 behind us, and the beginning of 2017 underway, many folks take a step back and look at their New Year’s resolutions and what they would like to accomplish in the coming year. While reflecting on their aspirations for the year, many renters and first-time buyers have the goal of purchasing a new home in 2017. If buying a home is one of your New Year’s resolutions, take some time to figure out and assess where you are now, and where you need to be in order to buy a home. Doing an assessment with a qualified mortgage loan officer will help you determine where you are at financially, and things you can to do to help you prepare to buy a home. Examining Your Savings, Debt and Credit An important aspect of your financial picture is your amount…

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Simple Guide to the Chicago 203k Renovation Loan

  If you’re out looking for a home, you’ve probably noticed that inventories are tight: there are not as many homes available as you would like, and the homes in good locations at the right price will go fast, often with multiple offers. Similarly, there are many homes that sit on the market for a long time due to their condition: perhaps due to the home not being updated in many years, or due to a physical problem with the home that needs to be fixed before occupancy. In these cases, a simple fix for this problem is the renovation loan. Buying the Ugly Duckling Sometimes, it makes sense to buy what many would call the ‘ugly duckling’ – a home that needs some updating or several repairs. An updated home in a good location will often be very expensive, and a discounted ‘ugly duckling’ home can be a better…

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Chicago Area Renovation Loans: Pre-Approval Process

Today we will talk about getting pre-approved, or pre-qualified for a renovation loan. Whether you’re consciously deciding whether to buy a home that needs renovation, it makes sense to select a lender that specializes in renovation loans. Buyers often will find a home that is in the right location and looks great, but needs some work, or may not be approved without doing some work to the home. In other cases, buyers will often get a home appraisal that reveals work needs to be done to the home, and they will not be approved unless that work is done. Catch 22 Sometimes buyers are not aware of work needing to be done to a home until an appraisal is done, in which case they may need extra cash for repairs and will not approved for their loan without doing some work being done to the home. If buyers do not…

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Chicago Renovation Loans: How Long to Close?

  How long does it take to close on a renovation loan? Many folks have heard horror stories on renovation loans, which often times can take 90 or 120 days to close. Realtors often discourage the use of renovation loans because they never close. However, renovation loans can close quickly when set up appropriately. Two main factors influence the amount of time renovation loans will take to close: making sure the loan officer gives good advice on an appropriate time schedule, and you doing your homework. When doing a renovation loan, you will go and find a property and get a contract on the home, and then determine what work needs to be done to the home. Once under contract, your list of repairs and upgrades needs to be priced out, which involves getting quotes from good contractors that will do the work. Coming up with a list of what…

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How To Get A VA Loan for 0% Down?

                    We will discuss VA Loans, which are 0% down loans for qualified military veterans. If you are a qualified military veteran, or an active duty Servicemember of the military, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides home loans with special benefits to help you become a homeowner. Special Benefits One of the best perks of being an active member or veteran of the military is the VA Loan, which requires you put down as little as 0% down for a down payment, without the requirement of mortgage insurance. Conventional mortgages require minimum down payment, where buyers have to pay a percentage of the home purchase price up front when buying a home. Other programs such as FHA loans reduce the down payment required, often lowering the minimum down payment to a lower percentage than conventional mortgages. Most loans under…

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