chicago real estate alert: NEW APPRAISAL RULES Have a Downside! - 01/15/09 08:40 AM
Cold enough for you, folks!  Here in Chicago, it's been below zero for nealy 17 hours.  Currently, FIVE BELOW!
Too cold for even THINKING!  Yes?
Today, when you buy a new home or condo and secure a mortgage for it, lenders or loan originating brokers chose a real estate appraiser from a list of local professionals the bank had a relationship with.  The appraiser is informed as to the purchase price and contract terms, and submitted the completed appraisal back to the lender.
Appraisers are licensed professionals, independent of the negotiating involved in the buy and sell process.  Their charge is … (5 comments)

chicago real estate alert: HELP HOPEFULLY COMING, for Nearly 3 Million Facing Foreclosure! - 11/01/08 07:31 AM
Hey, folks!
Within the last six months, we've seen a Massive Relief Bill to spur the housing market and help some distressed homeowners.  Most recently, we've seen a $700 Billion Financial Markets Bailout Package (more formally, the "Troubled Asset Relief Program" - sounds a bit less accusatory, doesn't it?)
But what about the millions of homeowners facing foreclosure.  No direct assistance program to help them!
Perhaps this will change.  Soon . . . hopefully!
In many parts of the Chicago we serve frequently, the Homes-For-Sale Inventory is still high - exceeding 15 months in many Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs.  Compare this … (3 comments)

chicago real estate alert: MORTGAGE MELTDOWN CATCH 22 - Many Lenders Hesitant to Help Unless You're ALREADY BEHIND Making Payments! - 08/12/08 07:04 AM
Common Sense!  Proceed Honestly!  Lay Your Cards on the Table!
We, as well as our homeowner clients, have been told time and time again to be upfront with your lender if you anticipate running into difficulty keeping up with your house payments.  We've often heard, "Contact your lender BEFORE you get into financial trouble, while your loan is still current, and they offer forbearance while your payments are still current!"
In reality, however, with so many homeowners now delinquent in their mortgage loans, most lenders have little time to deal with you unless you are already in mortgage arrears!
What a … (2 comments)

chicago real estate alert: HERE IN CHICAGO, Slow Housing Market Means a Better Market for Landlords! - 08/03/08 01:49 PM
Hope you're enjoying your Sunday evening folks!  Want to get my blogging done early tonight - want to catch that Mad Men TV Show on AMC Cable in a few minutes.
Is there any silver lining to the recent dark housing market cloud - here in Chicago, and, perhaps, in your neck of the woods?
Perhaps, if you're a landlord!
As recently as a couple of years ago, being a landlord here in Chicago was a little challenging.  You had to offer rental incentives - like reduced security deposits (never a good idea, in my opinion), free months of rent, or … (0 comments)

chicago real estate alert: Foreclosed Homes: Some Attract Squatters. Others Attract . . . - 07/06/08 02:58 PM
This is one from the "Now I've Heard Everything" Department.   Although, in this day and age, we know that virtually anything is possible - right?
Police in various localities, from California to Florida, have found many foreclosed, now-abandoned homes are now providing a haven for those growing Marijuana!
In a few cases, pot growers are sneaking into abandoned homes, installing "grow lights," and growing WEED!  Large quantities of pot, in some homes, local police say.
Modesto CA police have noticed even more brazen behavior!  Pot Farmers in that Northern California town have begun planting crops of Marijuana in the abondoned, since-overgrown … (3 comments)

chicago real estate alert: HSBC - Last Remaining Major Sub-Prime Lender - Tightens Standards, Promotes Loan Restructures, Modifications! - 06/03/08 04:53 PM
Within the past year, dozens of sub-prime lenders - those catering primarily to potential borrowers with lower credit scores, low down payments, and undocumented income - have bitten the dust.  First Franklin, WMC, New Century Bank, and on, and on!
Even Countrywide Home Loans had to face acquisition by banking giant Bank of America, to avoid possible financial ruin.
But HSBC is still here - although they have been beaten around a bit!
The London UK-based HSBC Holdings made a profit worldwide in 2007.  Here in the U.S. however, HSBC Finance suffered nearly $3.2 Billion in write-downs last year.  The domestic … (0 comments)

chicago real estate alert: "INTERNET EVERYWHERE!" WiMax is Coming to Chicago by Year's End! - 05/08/08 05:09 PM
Hey folks!  While you're tucked away in your little beds - here I am, writing!
Incredible technology news this week, in which Chicago is at the forefront. 
As you may have heard, telecommunications and cellular service provider Sprint Nextel this week purchased Clearwire Corporation, which specializes in developing broadband WiMax networks.  With adequate financial backing, from major firms including Google, they plan to rollout the next generation of Wireless Internet here in Chicago, and also in the Baltimore-Washington area.
Unlike WiFi, whose coverage range is limited to "Hot Spots,"either in your home or office, or at your local Starbuck's or Internet Cafe, WiMax … (1 comments)

chicago real estate alert: GUEST BLOGGER OF THE DAY - RICH BIRA, FIRST CAPITAL MORTGAGE, CHICAGO IL - 05/07/08 09:25 AM
(Rich Bira, our Preferred Lending Partner at First Capital Mortgage, Chicago IL, serving all Chicago Neighborhoods and suburbs, has been handing financing for many of our clients for over eight years.  We posted his thoughts and comments - a very good summary - on our Team Blog Center today - Rich's contact information is shown below.)
As long as I have been a loan officer here in Chicago - over ten years, I have been asked this question - Why? 
I am going to try and explain why mortgage rates usually move higher after the Fed lowers the … (0 comments)

chicago real estate alert: THE SCREWS ARE TIGHTENING For Many Seeking Home Loans! - 05/04/08 03:25 PM
According to Freddie Mac, and many of the larger Private Mortgage Insurers, look for even more stringent rules for certain types of "high risk" transactions in the coming months.  Their analysis indicates certain types of loans create the highest levels of delinquency, and are attempting to greatly curtail their risk and exposure.
Freddie's directive dated April 22nd, for loans to be funded August 8th and thereafter, states that purchasers of second homes and investment properties will not qualify for Freddie-backed financing programs if they own four or more investment properties or second homes - INCLUDING the new home under consideration.  It covers investors … (3 comments)

chicago real estate alert: CHICAGO RECYCLING PROGRAM TO GET A FACELIFT - City to Swap Blue Bags for Blue Carts! - 05/02/08 04:01 PM
I've got to be an old Boomer!  Here I am writing a Blog Post at nearly 11 o'clock on a Friday night!
Chicago fancies itself as a green city.  But one program geared to the recycling side of going green seems to have failed, and by the end of this summer, will be replaced.
Some 13 years ago, Chicago began to recycle items such as paper, glass, and plastic by promoting a single blue trash bag.  City residents were to place ALL of their recyclables in the SAME BAG - for later removal and sorting in special recycling centers by city employees.
Much of … (3 comments)

chicago real estate alert: FOR MANY DELINQUENT HOMEOWNERS, Lender Workout Arrangements Hard to Come By! - 05/01/08 03:11 PM
Happy Thursday, Gang!
Did you see the Season Finale of Smallville tonight?  (Neither did I, but I bet your teenage kids did!)
Remember last fall, 2007?  The sub-prime crisis still boiling, adjustable loan rates facing reset, and many homeowners staring at loan delinquency, or, worse yet, foreclosure?  Frustration was rampant among many who had a home mortgage loan!
A coalition of large, national lenders, with support from President Bush and his administration, established the "Hope Now Alliance."  It was geared to give distressed home borrowers more time to stave off foreclosure, and to create a more open door policy from lenders to offer forbearance … (1 comments)

chicago real estate alert: CHICAGO PRICE INDEX FALLS - But Fares Better Than U.S. Average! - 04/30/08 02:28 PM
Since 2000, Standard & Poors has compiled the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, comparing average relative price for the Top 20 Real Estate Markets, versus a January, 2000 Benchmark of 100.00.  Based on this index, the Average Home Price in the Chicago Metro Area dropped 1.98% between January and February, 2008, to an index of 159.33 in February, from the January number of 156.42.
Compared to February, 2007, the index in Chicago dipped 8.5% - from 167.49, to 159.33.
Nationally, the 20-city index was down 12.7% year over year, ending in February, 2008.  The monthly index drop between January and February was 2.6%.   Seventeen … (0 comments)

chicago real estate alert: "DECLINING MARKET" LABEL Impacts Local Home Buyers with Greater Frequency - Critics Say "Unfair!' - 04/27/08 12:49 PM
Last February 5th, we commented on a trend of what many would consider"Redlining" of local real estate market areas by Countrywide Homes Loans.  Last January, Countrywide, and several other lenders and Private Mortgage Insurance Companies, have created their own "Soft Market Index" of zip codes or metro areas they consider "In Decline."  (Click here for our AR Post on that day).
Although the Chicago Metro Area ranked an attractive "2", on a 1 - 5 scale, with a "5" Zip Code or Market Area showing the greatest potential for decline, many other real estate markets - including those in hard-hit areas of … (0 comments)

chicago real estate alert: Chicago Based Kimball Hill Homes- With Operations in Other States - Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection! - 04/26/08 03:49 AM
Kimball Hill Homes, based in the Chicago Suburb of Rolling Meadows IL, became the latest casualty of the sharp drop in new home sales nationally.  The company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection here in Chicago this past week.
President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Lovesays he has begun negotiations with possible investors, and hopes to have a restructuring plan in place within the next 90 days.  In the interim, Love says, his company will continue to "sell, build, and deliver homes without interruption."
The builder is currently marketing over a dozen communities in suburban Chicago, as well as in several other states.  It … (0 comments)

chicago real estate alert: SHORT SALE TRANSACTIONS Only Rarely Successful! - 04/26/08 03:08 AM
The latest buzz among real estate investors - and real estate trainers - is Short Sales! 
Investors think they will find a new home for pennies on the dollar.  Distressed homeowners see a solution to their strangling house payments, and a house that now might be worth less than they owe on the mortgage.  It could be a win-win for lenders as well, as selling short generally results in a far lower financial loss than proceeding with foreclosure.
But, very often, short sales are easy to about, but far less successfully closed!  Some agents with short sale experience estimate that less than one in … (3 comments)

chicago real estate alert: CONDO BUYERS GET ADDED SQUEEZE - Now, Fewer Will Be Approved! - 04/23/08 09:21 AM
New, far stricter underwriting requirements will hit condominium buyers with added force, as our Team, and one of our clients, recently found out here in Chicago.
One of our moderate-income clients, purchasing a smaller, inexpensive one-bedroom unit, had his application last-minute rejected due to the building being located in a "declining market" zip code, as defined by the Private Mortgage Insurance Company.  The PMI firm required a minimum 10% down payment from our client - he was scraping and saving to barely bring 5 percent!
Further, the building would not support a lower-down-payment FHA loan - it is a new conversion, with less … (5 comments)

chicago real estate alert: CHICAGO HOME & CONDO SALES FALL - But Beat IL Statewide Figures! - 04/22/08 11:54 AM
Monitoring Chicago Real Estate Sales and Prices?
You will see a drop in units sold here, year over year, between March, 2007 and March of this year, but it is not as severe as the State of Illinois figure.  Even comparing the City of Chicago against the larger Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area shows the city has had a smaller drop in units sold since Spring, 2007.
However, the Median Home Price - or the price at which half of the houses here sold above, half sold below - actually increased in the last year.  Further, Chicago Condo Buyers faced an even steeper … (0 comments)

chicago real estate alert: In Chicago, Housing Affordability Index Improves - But Affordable Housing Still Out of Reach for Many! - 04/20/08 09:27 AM
It's a beautiful, sun-filled, Sunday afternoon here in Chicago.  Hope it's nice today where you are!
BTW - the Cubs are winning - AGAIN!
According to, the local Housing Affordability Index is in balance when the median income earner in a given market area, with at least a 20% down payment, can afford the median-priced home.  Theoretically, if the index is 100 or higher, the local market is "in balance."  ("Median" is the price at which 50% of home prices or income is above, 50% below).
Here in Chicago, the Affordability Index for the Fourth Quarter, 2007 - the latest quarter for which data is … (1 comments)

chicago real estate alert: Delinquent Homeowners Still Have Options to Foreclosure! - 04/19/08 03:43 AM
Morning, everyone!
Although the real estate market here in Chicago seems to have picked up a bit in the last couple of weeks, in several neighborhoods and many suburbs, it is clear around here that things are not like they used to be in a typical Spring real estate market.
On beautiful city and suburban streets, and in quiet neighborhoods, we're beginning to see, here and there, the local blight of foreclosed houses, with their boarded-up windows and foot-high front lawns.
As we all know, those behind on their mortgages have options before foreclosure.  However, delaying action reduces or removes these options quickly.  Here's a … (5 comments)

chicago real estate alert: NEW TOUGH CONSEQUENCES for Mortgage Walk-Aways! - 04/14/08 01:31 AM
By now, you've undoubtedly heard about the growing trend of walking away from homes with delinquent mortgages.  Many who take this radical step have little or no equity in their home, as declining home values have made their mortgage balance higher than the home's market value. 
Some walkaways put little down on the home to begin with, when mortgage rules were loose a couple of years ago.  They may feel little financial commitment to the property or the mortgage.
To this point, this has not been seen with great regularity here in the Chicago area.  But its incidence is increasing in the … (3 comments)

Dean Moss, Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team (Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL) Rainmaker large

Dean Moss

Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team

Chicago, IL

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