Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First-Time Home Buyer Expense Checklist

Buying your first home is one of life's major events. It's easy to get caught up in the euphoria of the decision and overlook the reality that it costs a significant amount of money not only to buy a home, but to keep it and maintain it.  Think about
Maintenance- Insurance- Property Tax- Earnest Money- Down Payment- Closing Cost.  Contact me and I’ll sent you a worksheet to help you figure it all out.! 
Click here for the rest of the story

Monday, August 27, 2012

Downers Grove Real Estate... Did you know there are over 600 Homes for Sale in Downers Grove Right Now?

Did you know there are over 600 Homes for Sale in Downers Grove Right Now?    Prices Range from $33,000 to 3.5 Million

Search Powered by Baird and Warner ChicagoLands #1 Home Search Site

Click here to See all Downers Grove Homes for Sale

Neal Paskvan is a Real Estate Broker with Baird and Warner

You can Contact Neal any time to get more info on any property

Click here to get ALL my Contact info

Monday, August 20, 2012


FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, which is the company that created the industry standard credit scores used by almost all lenders. FICO has been in business since the 1950s but began building the famous FICO score in the mid 1980s.

What’s in your FICO® score
FICO Scores are calculated from a lot of different credit data in your credit report. This data can be grouped into five categories as outlined below. The percentages in the chart reflect how important each of the categories is in determining your FICO score.

Payment history: 35%, Amounts owed: 30%, Length of credit history: 15%, New credit: 10%, Types of credit used: 10%

These percentages are based on the importance of the five categories for the general population. For particular groups - for example, people who have not been using credit long - the importance of these categories may be somewhat different.
Payment History

Account payment information on specific types of accounts (credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts, mortgage, etc.)

  • Presence of adverse public records (bankruptcy, judgements, suits, liens, wage attachments, etc.), collection items, and/or delinquency (past due items)

  • Severity of delinquency (how long past due)

  • Amount past due on delinquent accounts or collection items

  • Time since (recency of) past due items (delinquency), adverse public records (if any), or collection items (if any)

  • Number of past due items on file

  • Number of accounts paid as agreed

Amounts Owed

  • Amount owing on accounts
  • Amount owing on specific types of accounts
  • Lack of a specific type of balance, in some cases
  • Number of accounts with balances
  • Proportion of credit lines used (proportion of balances to total credit limits on certain types of revolving accounts)
  • Proportion of installment loan amounts still owing (proportion of balance to original loan amount on certain types of installment loans)

Length of Credit History

  • Time since accounts opened
  • Time since accounts opened, by specific type of account
  • Time since account activity

New Credit

  • Number of recently opened accounts, and proportion of accounts that are recently opened, by type of account
  • Number of recent credit inquiries
  • Time since recent account opening(s), by type of account
  • Time since credit inquiry(s)
  • Re-establishment of positive credit history following past payment problems

Types of Credit Used

  • Number of (presence, prevalence, and recent information on) various types of accounts (credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, mortgage, consumer finance accounts, etc.)

Please note that:

  • A FICO score takes into consideration all these categories of information, not just one or two.
    No one piece of information or factor alone will determine your score.
  • The importance of any factor depends on the overall information in your credit report.
    For some people, a given factor may be more important than for someone else with a different credit history. In addition, as the information in your credit report changes, so does the importance of any factor in determining your FICO score. Thus, it's impossible to say exactly how important any single factor is in determining your score - even the levels of importance shown here are for the general population, and will be different for different credit profiles. What's important is the mix of information, which varies from person to person, and for any one person over time.
  • Your FICO score only looks at information in your credit report.
    However, lenders look at many things when making a credit decision including your income, how long you have worked at your present job and the kind of credit you are requesting.
  • Your score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report.
    Late payments will lower your score, but establishing or re-establishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your FICO credit score.

    Neal Paskvan is a Real Estate Agent with Baird and Warner in Downers Grove and has a team ready to answer any of you credit questions

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    Open Houses Downers Grove area for Aug 18th and 19th Provided by Neal Paskvan at Baird and Warner Downers Grove

    Did You Know There are Over 15 Open Houses In Downers Grove, Darien, Westmont and Woodridge  This Weekend August 18th and 19th

    Did You Know You Know... That You Can Search for Open Houses Anywhere in the Chicago Area using Baird and Warner's Powerful Open House Search!  

    Click Here for the Downers Grove Area Open Houses

    Click Here to Start Your Personal Home Search

    “Neal Paskvan is a Real Estate Agent in Downers Grove with Baird and Warner”

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    Should I Rent My House If I Can’t Sell It?

    There has been a lot written about how buying a home is less expensive than renting one in many parts of the country. Rents are skyrocketing and homes are at bargain prices. These two situations are also causing some sellers to consider renting their home instead of selling it.

     After all, they can get great rental income now and perhaps wait until house values increase in the future before selling. This logic makes sense in some cases. I believe strongly that residential real estate is a great investment right now.

     However, there is a huge difference between deciding you want to become an investor (and landlord) and deciding that renting your primary residence might be ‘easier’ than trying to sell it. As a real estate professional, it is my job to educate the homeowner to the possible challenges that might arise if they rent their home. Here are some questions every potential landlord should consider:
    10 Questions to Ask BEFORE Renting Your Home
    1.) How will you respond if your tenant says they can’t afford to pay the rent this month because of more pressing obligations? (This happens most often during holiday season and back-to-school time when families with children have extra expenses).
    2.) Because of the economy, over ten percent of homeowners can no longer make their mortgage payment. What percent of tenants do you think can no longer afford to pay their rent?

    3.) Have you interviewed a few experienced eviction attorneys in case a challenge does arise?

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    The Downers Grove / Darien Real Estate August Newsletter is Here

    Dog With News Paper?
    The August issue hot off the press… ( well the word processor actually). Lot’s of interesting news and ideas in this months issue on the local and national level. Check it out and let me know what kind if information you would like to see in future issues!

    Have a GREAT AUGUST… All my best to you and yours. Neal Paskvan- Baird Warner

    Click Here For the August DOWNERS GROVE / DARIEN Newsletter -

    “Neal Paskvan is a Real Estate Agent in Downers Grove with Baird and Warner”
    Neal also writes on his own blog about every thing Real Estate
    Click Here to Visit Neal's Blog

    Neal is also a regular contributor to the Downers Grove Patch
    Click Here for the Downers Gove Patch

    Friday, August 3, 2012

    Open Houses Downers Grove area for Aug 3rd and 4th Provided by Neal Paskvan at Baird and Warner Downers Grove

    Did You Know There are Over 15 Open Houses In Downers Grove, Darien, Westmont and Woodridge  This Weekend August 3 and 4th

    Did You Know You Know... That You Can Search for Open Houses Anywhere in the Chicago Area using Baird and Warner's Powerful Open House Search!  

    Click Here for the Downers Grove Area Open Houses

    Click Here to Start Your Personal Home Search

    “Neal Paskvan is a Real Estate Agent in Downers Grove with Baird and Warner”

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012

    Homes for Sale in Downers Grove

    Did you know there are over 600 Homes for Sale in Downers Grove Right Now?    Prices Range from $33,000 to 3.5 Million

    Search Powered by Baird and Warner ChicagoLands #1 Home Search Site

    Click here to See all Downers Grove Homes for Sale

    Neal Paskvan is a Real Estate Broker with Baird and Warner

    You can Contact Neal any time to get more info on any property

    Click here to get ALL my Contact info

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    show Your A/C UNIT A LITTLELOVE This Weekend save energy and Money too

    Due to the wet weather this spring in Chicagoland  the littlecottonwood “Snowflakes” fell early!


    Cottonwood   Clogs A/C  COILS

    Think about it for a moment… During the peak of cottonwood season, fuzzies are flying around your neighbor hood. This is when they attack your air conditioner. No they don’t use magic, or contain some sort of chemical agent. Instead, they are sucked into your condenser coil, and the result is reduced air flow across the coil. This will first cause your air conditioner to loose some of its energy efficiency. Although this is a problem, losing a little efficiency will only cost you pennies, but the bigger problem of an over heated compressor can cost hundreds.
    Picture this, its 100 degrees outside and your cottonwood seed packed coil can’t cool itself off. Do you see the problem here? Those cute little fuzzies we chase around as kids just burnt out your compressor! Now you have to call up for an emergency service call in the high heat of summer.

    From what the experts' tell me, the simple solution is to just fully hose down the grill work around your A/C unit so it can do it’s job!

    Click here to see a Video on how it's done

    “Neal Paskvan is a Real Estate Agent in Downers Grove with Baird and Warner”

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Clutter Bug in Your Home? | Clutter Free Tips | Provided by HouseLogic

    Messy House Do you constantly clash with the clutter bug in your home? Here are tips on how opposing clutter styles can live in peace.
    If you live alone, you never must tolerate anyone’s clutter but your own. Add another human to the household, and you’re bound to butt heads over how and when stuff is stored, piled, and put away.  The Wall Street Journal feels your pain and recently hosted an online chat about clutter styles.
    Writer Alina Dizik and psychologist Patty Ann Tublin advised readers — mostly women complaining about packrat husbands and boyfriends — how to navigate relationships between clutter bugs and neatniks.

    Here are 5 tips we culled from the conversation:
    1. Determine if arguments about clutter are really power struggles. Is the rift really about piles of paper or an attempt to acquire more control? If you can’t figure this out, consult a professional organizer or counselor.
    2. To reduce stress in your home, designate “clutter free” and “clutter friendly” areas. Perhaps the guests-only living room is a No Clutter space, while a mudroom or small den can accommodate some clutter. Also, investigate unusual places to store clutter, like under the stairs, or these space-saving hacks.
     Click here for the Rest of the Story

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    New Price $155,000 in Downers Grove

    2-Bedroom and 1-1/2 Bath Close to Everything!

    Many Upgrades Make this Home a Super Value ~ Up Dated Kitchen Cabinets and Counter Tops ~ Granite Upgrades in all Bathrooms and Dressing area ~ Anderson Efficient Windows and Sliding Doors, just to name a few ~ Balcony off of Master Bedroom ~ Minutes to I-55 & I-355 ~ Pace Commuter Bus to Metra ~ Moments to Major Shopping ~ Over $20,000 of Recent Upgrades~ Nothing to do but Move in and Enjoy !
    Take A tour on Youtube

    Contact Baird and Warner for a Private Showing.  630-964-1855

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    Foreclosure Fillings Swell in Chicago Area-By Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune Reporter.

    bank-owned_1 As we have mentioned in previous post. The first housing bubbles to burst were in states like California, Arizona, Nevada, as well as Florida. 
     Well indeed the Foreclosure issue has now reached in to the Chicago Area.  If you need some help sorting through all the Headlines feel free to contact me. 

    Click here to get the rest of the Story from Mary Ellen Podmolik at the Chicago Tribune

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    The Downers Grove / Darien Real Estate July Newsletter is Here

    The July issue hot off the press… ( well the word processor actually). Lot’s of interesting news and ideas in this months issue on the local and national level. Check it out and let me know what kind if information you would like to see in future issues!

    Have a GREAT JULY… All my best to you and yours. Neal Paskvan- Baird Warner

    Click Here For the July DOWNERS GROVE / DARIEN Newsletter -

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Another Tip on Keeping Cool Before You Call the A/C Guy- Check the Batteries in Your Programable Thermostat.

    In a previous post I related a tip about making sure your whole house humidifier was indeed turned off for the summer.

    Today I would like to post another article on the same topic. Yep, I Learn new stuff Every Day

    Yes it has been 100+ degrees here in ChicagoLand for a few days.  I walked into my house today, and it's not quite as cool as I think it should be. I thought the A/C unit at this point just can't keep up.. However the new A/C unit is only on it's second season and it should be cooler. Off to the Internet I Go..

    Seems my programmable thermostat has batteries in it to keep it "talking" my A/C unit.  A quick search on the net said most of them do. So I put some new batteries in and now all is Cool!   The bottom line is keep that thermostat "Talking" to your A/C unit

    Feel free to comment or send us a story or link...

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    CoreLogic: Home prices rise for third consecutive month | HousingWire

    According to CoreLogic Home Prices Rise AgainDifferences ! ??  Not so much  in Chicago Land

    However you need to read beyond the headline… as you can see some states are in a decline!  Here is a bottom line Quote from the Story.

    “The five states experiencing the most price appreciation include Arizona (prices up 12%); Idaho (up 9.2%); South Dakota (up 8.7%); Montana (up 8.2%); and Michigan (up 7.9%)”.

    “Areas with the greatest price Depreciation include Delaware (prices down 9%); Rhode Island (prices down 4.4%); Illinois (prices down 4.2%); Alabama (prices down 4.1%); and Georgia (prices down 4%)”.

    In Fact it seems CoreLogic  will indeed Exclud Distreessed Sales in there forcast.  ( Quote below)

    :”CoreLogic's Pending Home Price Index suggests that home prices will rise another 1.4% from May to June. When excluding distressed sales, that number is expected to jump by 2%.”

    Click Here for the Rest of the Story

    Saturday, June 23, 2012

    Is The Internet and Fuzzy Math Pricing Your Home?

    Zillow, Trulia and other websites post estimates of home values. But as Alyssa Abkowitz explains on Lunch Break, these popular sites can be -- by their own admission -- wildly inaccurate

    .Video Provided by the Wall Street Journal and Alyssa Abkowitz

    Click Here for the Video

    If you need more help figuring out what is REALLY going on in Real Estate and what a Buyer will pay for your home... Feel to contact me.. Neal Paskvan (Baird Warner) 

    Click Here to Contact Neal Paskvan at Baird Warner

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

    A Tip on Keeping Cool

    Something to check before you call the AC repair man

    Downers Grove Pet Agent
    If you feel you Air Conditioner is not keeping up inside, with the Hot outside, You may want to check out your Whole House Humidifier and make sure it is UNPLUGGED. Putting humidity into the air wile the A/C unit is working to remove it.. is well.. Not Cool.
    Sometimes the controls upstairs get stuck and do not shut the unit down!


    Home for Sale- 7407 Canturbury PL Downers Grove IL 60561

    2-Bedroom and 1-1/2 Bath Close to Everything!

    Many Upgrades Make this Home a Super Value ~ Up Dated Kitchen Cabinets and Counter Tops ~ Granite Upgrades in all Bathrooms and Dressing area ~ Anderson Efficient Windows and Sliding Doors, just to name a few ~ Balcony off of Master Bedroom ~ Minutes to I-55 & I-355 ~ Pace Commuter Bus to Metra ~ Moments to Major Shopping ~ Over $20,000 of Recent Upgrades~ Nothing to do but Move in and Enjoy !
    Take A tour on Youtube

    Contact Baird and Warner for a Private Showing.  630-964-1855

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Robbers use Facebook to find victim

     As vacation time approaches be aware that the way you and  yours all now share info on the net—be it Facebook, Twitter or any social media posts, there are folks that follow your posts who may take advantage of your time away.

    Have a family sit down and get everyone on the same page about this, OK? Indeed it's really cool to share pix and updates with grandma and grampa, moms, dads and friends when you're away—but guess what?—lots of folks know you're away .Even the Bad Guys!

    Check out this Video

    Friday, June 8, 2012

    To Every Action There is Always Opposed an Equal Reaction

    In judicial states the foreclosure process must be handled through the state’s court system thus extending the time lines to bring a home to foreclosure.

  • The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (12.0 percent), New Jersey (6.7 percent), Illinois (5.3 percent), Nevada (5.0 percent) and New York (5.0 percent).

  • Contact me with any Real Estate questions-  Neal Paskvan, DOWNERS GROVE AGENT, Baird Warner

    Sunday, June 3, 2012

    4407 Pershing Downers Grove

    A Rare Find in Northwest Downers Grove~
    First Floor Features 2-Bedrooms 2-Full Baths Kitchen~ Living Dining and Laundry Rooms~ Lower Level Hosts Family Room w/Fireplace and 1/2 Bath~ 1-Car Garage included~ 1-Assigned Parking Space` 6-Block Walk to Train~ 1-Mile to I355/88~ 3.5 miles to Navistar and Lisle Corporate Corridor~ 

    Listed by Neal Paskvan at Baird Warner ~ Call for a Private Showing at 630-964-1855

    Click Here to Preview this Home

    Friday, June 1, 2012

    States Diverting Mortgage Settlement Money to Other Uses -


    Needy States Use Housing Aid Cash to Plug Budgets Im here to help = (Screw You)

    Hundreds of millions of dollars meant to provide a little relief to the nation’s struggling homeowners is being diverted to plug state budget gaps.The money was part of a national settlement valued at $25 billion and negotiated with five big banks over abuses in their mortgage and foreclosure processes.

    The settlement, reached in February after a year of talks and intervention by the Obama administration, was the second-largest in history involving the states, trailing the tobacco industry settlement, and represented the first large-scale commitment by banks to provide direct aid to borrowers.

    In Texas, $125 million went straight to the general fund. Missouri will use its $40 million to soften cuts to higher education. Indiana is spending more than half its allotment to pay energy bills for low-income families, while Virginia will use most of its $67 million to help revenue-starved local governments.


    Click here for the rest of the story

    Tuesday, May 29, 2012

    Appraisals: Why You Must Now Sell Your House Twice


     This Article was first posted by Neal Paskvan  and the KCM Crew on May 24th 2011 and is Becoming even More important Today

    Appraisals Appraisals: Why You Must Now Sell Your House Twice

    Banks have become very conservative when lending mortgage money today. With the current foreclosure challenges in the country, we can’t really blame them. The requirements now necessary to qualify for mortgages have gotten much more stringent and it seems will get even more stringent as we move forward. The banks want to make sure the prospective buyer has the ability to repay the loan. However, this does not just involve the borrower buying the property.

    The second way a bank can protect their investment in the mortgage is to make sure that the collateral backing that mortgage is secure. That is where the appraisal comes in. The bank wants to make sure that, should the buyer not be able to make their payments, the house they will be forced to take back will sell for an amount at least equal to the balance left on the mortgage. For that reason, the banks seem to be getting more conservative with appraisals also.

    This past week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Homes Sales Report. In that report, they said:

    “11 percent of Realtors® report a contract was cancelled in April from an appraisal coming in below the price negotiated between a buyer and seller, 10 percent had a contract delayed, and 14 percent said a contract was renegotiated to a lower sales price as a result of a low appraisal.”

    One out of four real estate transactions was either cancelled (11%) or renegotiated to a lower sales price (14%) because of a low appraisal!!

    Bottom Line

    Every house now has to be sold twice: first, to a potential purchaser and then to the bank appraiser. And, it seems that the second sale may be the more difficult of the two. Sit with a local real estate professional and make sure you put together a plan for both sales.

    This Article was first posted by Neal Paskvan and the KCM Crew on May 24th 2011

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

    Your Credit Score and How It Affects Your Interest Rate


    The number one thing that affects your interest rate is your credit score.

    credit-score-interest-rates Mortgage rates determine your monthly payment for your home loan and the total amount that you'll be repaying. However, mortgage rates can be a fickle factor to estimate when figuring out your mortgage costs.
    While the news may boast about low rates, you might not be able to obtain that exact rate. There are many factors that go into determining your mortgage interest rate such as your loan option, property type and down payment amount.
    But the number one thing that affects your interest rate is your credit score.
    What's My Credit Score?
    Your credit score is a three-digit number generated from information in your credit report. It is designed to predict risk and the likelihood that you'll pay your credit obligations back on time. It's for this reason that lenders look to your credit score to make a more informed decision about you regarding your loan qualification. By acquiring your score through major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax), lenders will look at your bill payment history, along with the number of outstanding debts you have, in comparison to your income to decide if you qualify for a home loan with them.

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Short Sale vs Foreclosure – 10 Common Myths Busted

    It’s likely you’ve heard the term “short sale” thrown around quite a bit. But what, exactly, is a short sale?

    House-Underwater-1024x768 A short sale is when a bank agrees to accept less than the total amount owed on a mortgage to avoid having to foreclose on the property. This is not a new practice; banks have been doing short sales for years. Only recently, due to the current state of the housing market and economy, has this process become a part of the public consciousness.

    To be eligible for a short sale you first have to qualify!

    To qualify for a short sale:

    • Your house must be worth less than you owe on it.
    • You must be able to prove that you are the victim of a true financial hardship, such as a decrease in wages, job loss, or medical condition that has altered your ability to make the same income as when the loan was originated. Divorce, estate situations, etc… also qualify.

    Now that you have a basic understanding of what a short sale is, there are some huge misconceptions when it comes to a short sale vs. a foreclosure. We take the most common myths surrounding both short sales and foreclosures and give a brief explanation. LET’S BUST SOME MYTHS!!

    1.) If you let your home go to foreclosure you are done with the situation and you can walk away with a clean slate. The reality is that this couldn’t be any farther from the truth in most situations. You could end up with an IRS tax liability and still owing the bank money. Let me explain. Please keep in mind that if your property does go into foreclosure you may be liable for the difference of what is owed on the property versus what is sells for at auction, in the form of a deficiency balance! Please note this is state specific and in most states you will be liable for the shortfall, but in some states the bank may not always be able to pursue the debt. Check your state law as it varies widely from state to state.

    Here is an example of how a deficiency balance works

    If you owe $200,000 on the property and it sells at auction for $150,000, you could be liable for the $50,000 difference if your state law allows it.

    Not only could you be liable for the difference to the bank, but in some situations you could also be liable to the IRS! Although there are exemptions (mostly for principle residences) under the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, there are times when you could be taxed on both a short sale and a foreclosure, even in a principle residence situation. Since the tax code on this is a little complicated and I am not a CPA, I advise always talking to a CPA when in this situation as you are weighing your options. Hard to believe? Well, believe it or not, the IRS counts the difference between the sale and the charged off debt as a “gain” on your taxes. That’s right-you lost money and it’s counted as a gain! (I didn’t make that rule, that’s a wonderful brainchild of the IRS). Banks and the IRS can go as far as attaching your wages. Not to mention if you let your home go to foreclosure you will have that on your credit, as well.

    Guess What? A short sale can alleviate your liability to the bank, in most situations. There are also exceptions to this, but in most cases banks are releasing homeowners from the deficiency balance on a short sale.

    2.) There are no options to avoid foreclosure. Now more than ever, there are options to avoid foreclosure. Besides a short sale, loan modifications along with deed in lieu are also examples of the many options. In most cases (but not all) a short sale is the best option. Either way, there are more options today than there have ever been to avoid foreclosure.

    3.) Banks do not want to participate in a short sale, or, it is too hard to qualify for a short sale. Banks would rather perform a short sale than a foreclosure any day. A foreclosure takes a long time and creates a huge expense for the banks; a short sale saves both time and money. Banks have more foreclosure inventory than ever before, and certainly do not want any more. Banks more than ever welcome short sales. Qualifying for a short sale is easier than you think, you need to have a true financial hardship, or a change in your finances and your house has to be worth less than what you owe on it. Not only do consumers, but banks also now have government incentive to participate in short sales.

    4.) Short sales are not that common. At this present time, short sales range from 10-50 % of sales in various markets and it is predicted that in 2012 we will have more short sales than any other year, to date. Due to economic changes in the last few years, this is something that is affecting millions of Americans. Short sales are in every market, and are not just limited to any particular income class. This has affected everyone from all facets of life. A short sale should be looked at as a helpful tool, not a negative stigma. That is why the government is offering programs that actually pay consumers to participate in short sales. It is not just affecting one community; it is affecting communities and consumers across the nation.

    5.) The short sale process is too difficult and they often get denied. Though the short sale process is time consuming; it is not as difficult as the media would have you believe. The problem is that most short sales are denied because of a misunderstanding of the process. It is true that if the short sale process is not followed correctly there is a good chance of getting denied. An experienced agent knows how to avoid this. Short sales require a lot of experience, and a special skill set. If you are looking to go the option of a short sale make sure your agent is skilled and experienced in this area.

    6.) Short sales will cost me money out of pocket. A short sale should not cost you any out of pocket money. In fact, you could get between $3000-up to $30,000 to participate in a short sale. In many ways, a short sale may put you in a better financial position than prior to the short sale. Almost every short sale program now has some type of financial incentive for the home owner, as long as it is a principle residence, and we are even seeing relocation money being paid on some investment/second homes. As a seller of a property you should never have to pay for any short sale cost upfront to any professional service. Realtors charge a commission that is paid for by the bank. In most communities there are also non-profits and HUD counselors who can help you with foreclosure prevention options for free. The only potential cost you could incur is if the bank would not release you from a deficiency balance in the short sale, which is happening less and less now.

    7.) If I am behind on my payments, I can perform a short sale any time. The farther you get behind on your payments, the harder it is to get a short sale approved. The closer a property gets to a foreclosure the harder it is to convince the bank to perform a short sale. As they get closer to a foreclosure sale more money is spent, thus deterring them from doing a short sale. If you think you need to perform a short sale, time is of the essence; the sooner you start the process, the better. Waiting too long can trigger the ramifications of a foreclosure, losing the ability to do a short sale as a viable option.

    8.) I have already been sent a foreclosure notice so I can’t perform a short sale. For the most part just because you received a foreclosure notice or notice of default it does not mean that you do not have time to perform a short sale. The timeline and specifics do vary from state to state, but having done short sales all over the country, I have seen banks postpone a foreclosure to work a short sale option as close as 30 days prior to the scheduled foreclosure auction, but the longer you wait the less chance you have. If you have received a legal foreclosure notice, please reach out to a professional right away. The longer you wait, and the closer you get to foreclosure, the fewer options you have. If you have received a notice to foreclose this means the bank is filing paperwork and starting the process to take legal action to repossess the house. You still have time at this point to prevent foreclosure, but do not hesitate! The closer you get to the foreclosure date the harder it becomes to negotiate with the bank for whichever option you choose.

    9.) I was denied for a loan modification, so I know I will get denied for a short sale. Short sales and loan modifications are handled by two separate departments at the bank. These processes are totally different in approval and denial. If you got denied for a modification you can still apply for a short sale; in some cases you can get a short sale approved faster than a loan modification, as some loan modifications are denied because they cannot reduce the loan low enough based on the consumers income.

    10.) If I go through a short sale I cannot buy another house for a long time. The time to buy another house depends on your entire credit picture and can vary from 12-24 months. There are even a few FHA programs that allow for a purchase sooner than that. I have worked with clients who went through a short sale and bought another house in less than 12 months.

    These are just a few of the common myths surrounding short sales and foreclosure. With the options available today, no homeowner should ever have to go through foreclosure, and hopefully this information can help a few more homeowners think twice before walking away from their home not realizing the possible long term ramifications a foreclosure can have.

    Article By Brandon Brittingham. Courtesy of KCM and Neal Paskvan (Baird and Warner)

    Need More Info  Call Neal at 630-964-1855

    Neal Paskvan (Baird and Warner) Mortgage Minute: Short Sales May Get a Bit Less Difficult

    Friday, April 27, 2012

    6 – Do’s Before You Apply For A Mortgage


     With good preparation, most things are easier. That works in mortgages too! Today, I want to give you some ideas that can make your mortgage experience less painful.

    Income Items:

    1. Gather your documents. Today, many people will have to produce 2 years’ complete tax returns, including W2′s, 1099′s, K1′s, and all the schedules, as well as a month’s worth of pay stubs.

    2. Be prepared to explain them. Deductions in your returns and your pay stubs may impact the income your lender will use to qualify you which, in turn, has a big impact on the loan you will get.

    3. Have a breakdown of base pay versus overtime for both your pay stubs and 2 years’ W2′s. Lenders treat overtime (and bonus income) differently than your base pay. Be prepared to explain any changes over the last few years because your loan officer will ask you about it.

    Asset Items:

    1. Start accumulating your bank statements. Lenders look back 3 months from when you sign your contract of sale.

    2. You will have to explain any and all large deposits (which are defined as deposits greater than your regular pay check) because lenders want to make sure you haven’t taken out any new loans that aren’t on your credit report.

    3. Avoid any significant cash deposits. However, if you did have a cash deposit, understand that the lender will have you source it (a bill of sale and DMV receipt for that motorcycle, for example).

    4. If you will be receiving a gift, consult your loan officer on how to document it (from the donor’s ability to how you deposit it).

    Credit Items:

    1. Ask your loan officer to run your credit and go over it with them. Believe it or not, most credit reports contain errors. Best to identify them and get working on correcting them as early as possible.

    2. Do what you can to pay down your balances to under 30% of available credit to help you get the best score possible.

    3. Do NOT close accounts or pay off collection accounts without discussing it with your loan officer. Either one of these logical moves can actually have a negative impact on your score.

    When buying a home, remember the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared”. Following these suggestions will make your loan approval easier and less stressful.

    Credits- Dean Hartman- The KCM Crew- Neal Paskvan

    If you need some advice about this subject or anything else Real Estate… feel free to contact me.

    Neal Paskvan- Baird Warner- Downers Grove- 630-964-1855


    Saturday, April 21, 2012

    First-Time Homebuyer's Guide | AOL Real Estate



    Mike Valdez fits the profile of a savvy first-time homebuyer perfectly. A 34-year-old financial analyst from New Rochelle, N.Y., he and his family had grown sick of living the renter's life. So two years ago he decided to test the market and find a townhouse for his growing family. But despite his financial aptitude, he quickly ran into a setback.
    "We found a place we liked and ran the numbers," he says, but the young couple soon discovered that they had underestimated the burden of their college debt. They were forced to back out.

    Click here for the rest of the story

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    6 - Don'ts After You Apply For A Mortgage


    Some of the Things You Think May Help You,

    May Actually Hurt You in this Day and Age. 

    I learned a long time ago that “common sense is NOT common practice“. This is especially the case during the emotional time that surrounds buying a home, when people tend to do some non-commonsensical things. Here are a few that I’ve seen over the years that have delayed (and even killed) deals:
    1. Don’t deposit cash into your bank accounts. Lenders need to source your money and cash is not really traceable. Small, explainable deposits are fine, but getting $10,000 from your parents as a gift in cash is not. Discuss the proper way to track your assets with your loan officer.
    2. Don’t make any large purchases like a new car or a bunch of new furniture. New debt comes with it, including new monthly obligations. New obligations create new qualifications. People with new debt have higher ratios…higher ratios make for riskier loans…and sometimes qualified borrowers are no longer qualifying.
    3. Don’t co-sign other loans for anyone. When you co-sign, you are obligated. With that obligation comes higher ratios, as well. Even if you swear you won’t be making the payments, the lender will be counting the payment against you.
    4. Don’t change bank accounts. Remember, lenders need to source and track assets. That task is significantly easier when there is a consistency of accounts. Frankly, before you even transfer money between accounts, talk to your loan officer.
    5. Don’t apply for new credit. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car, when you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), your FICO score will be affected. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and maybe even your eligibility for approval.
    6. Don’t close any credit accounts. Many clients have erroneously believed that having less available credit makes them less risky and more approvable. Wrong. A major component of your score is your length and depth credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both those determinants of your score.
    The best advice is to fully disclose and discuss your plans with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature. Any blip in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way to keep your application in the most positive light.

    Credits- Dean Hartman- The KCM Crew- Neal Paskvan

    If you need some advice about this subject or anything else Real Estate… feel free to contact me.  
    All my Best,  Neal Paskvan- Baird Warner- Downers Grove-   630-964-1855

    Friday, April 13, 2012

    The 4 C’s of Mortgage Underwriting

    With Spring upon us, and new buyers out looking for houses, I thought today might be a good time to review the basics of what lenders look for as they decide to approve (or deny) mortgage applications. For at least 25 years, I have heard them called “The 4 C’s of Underwriting”- Capacity, Credit, Cash, and Collateral. Guidelines and risk tolerances change, but the core criteria do not.


    CAPACITY is the analysis of comparing a borrower’s income to their proposed debt. It considers the borrower’s ability to repay the mortgage. Lenders look at two calculations (we call ratios). The first is your Housing Ratio. It simply is the percentage of your proposed total mortgage payment (principal & interest, real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance and, if applicable, flood insurance and mortgage insurance – like PMI or the FHA MIP) divided by your monthly, pre-tax income. A solid Housing Ratio (often called the front end ratio) would be 28% or less; although, at times loans are approved at a significantly higher number. That’s because your front end ratio is looked at in conjunction with your back end ratio.

    The back end ratio (referred to as your Debt Ratio) starts with that mortgage payment calculation from the Housing Ratio and adds to it your recurring debts that would show up on your credit report (auto loans, student loans, minimum credit card payments, etc.) without taking into consideration some other debts (phone bills, utility bills, cable TV). A good back ratio would be 40% or less. However, loans sometimes are granted with higher debt ratios. Understand that every application is different. Income can be impacted by overtime, night differential, bonuses, job history, unreimbursed expenses, commission, as well as other factors. Similarly, how your debts are considered can vary. Consult an experienced loan officer to determine how the underwriter will calculate your numbers.


    CREDIT is the statistical prediction of a borrower’s future payment likelihood. By reviewing the past factors (payment history, total debt compared to total available debt, the types of monies: revolving credit vs. installment debt outstanding) a credit score is assigned each borrower which reflects the anticipated repayment. The higher your score, the lower the risk to the lender which usually results in better loan terms for the borrower. Your loan officer will look to run your credit early on to see what challenges may (or may not) present themselves.


    CASH is a review of your asset picture after you close. There are really two components – cash in the deal and cash in reserves. Simply put, the bigger your down payment (the more of your own money at risk) the stronger the loan application. At the same time, the more money you have in reserve after closing the less likely you are to default. Two borrowers with the same profile as far as income ratios and credit scores have different risk levels if one has $50,000 in the bank after closing and the other has $50. There is logic here. The source of your assets will be examined. Is it savings? Was it a gift? Was it a one-time settlement/lottery victory/bonus? Discuss how much money you have and its origins with your loan officer.


    COLLATERAL refers to the appraisal of your home. It considers many factors – sales of comparable homes, location of the home, size of the home, condition of the home, cost to rebuild the home, and even rental income options. Understand the lender does not want to foreclose (they aren’t in the real estate business), but they do need to have something to secure the loan against, in case of default. In today’s market, appraisers tend to be conservative in their evaluations. Appraisals are really the only one of the 4 C’s that can’t be determined ahead of time in most cases.

    Now, each of the 4 C’s are important, but it’s really the combination of them that is key. Strong income ratios and a large down payment with strong reserves can offset some credit issues. Similarly, long and strong credit histories help higher ratios….and good credit and income can overcome lesser down payments. Talk openly and freely with your loan officer. They are on your side, advocating for you and looking to structure your file as favorably as possible.

    If You need some more help on this or any other Real Estate subject, feel free to contact me and I'll put you in touch with my entire Real Estate Team of Professionals!

    Neal Paskvan-Baird and Warner

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Fannie Mae National Housing Survey 2012

    Each quarter, Fannie Mae releases their National Housing Survey. They survey the American public on a multitude of questions concerning today’s housing market. We like to pull out some of the findings we deem most interesting each time it is released. Here they are for the most recent report:
    84% of the general population believes that owning a home makes more sense than renting.

    The Most Important Reasons to Buy a Home

    When we talk about homeownership today, it seems that the financial aspects always jump to the front of the discussion. However, the study shows that the four major reasons a person buys a home have nothing to do with money. The top four reasons, in order, are:
    1. It means having a good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
    2. You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe
    3. It allows you to have more space for your family
    4. It gives you control of what you do with your living space (renovations and updates)

    The Home as an Investment

    Though most people purchase a home for non-financial reasons, everyone realizes there is a money component to homeownership. Here is what they said on this issue:
    • 63% of the general population believes that homeownership is a ‘safe’ investment.
    • 53% believe that homeownership has more potential as an investment than any other traditional asset class.

    Rent vs. Buy

    We are always interested in the difference people see in renting vs. owning.
    • 64% of renters have aspirations to someday own their own home
    • 70% of renters think that owning is superior to renting

    Bottom Line

    Our belief in the value of homeownership grows each time this survey is released.

    Feel free to contact me if you would like more info about homeownership!.

    Neal Paskvan, Baird Warner

    Search DOWNERS GROVE Homes for SALE

    If you are looking to Buy or Sell a Home in the Downers Grove area, you may want to check out what homes are currently selling for. You Need to stay Up to date!

    Feel free to contact me for the latest news and trends in Real Estate.

    Click on the link to find out more. This search is Powered by Baird Warner

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    Video- First Time Buyer, How Much Can You Afford?

    First Time Buyers Have Lot's of Questions  the Main one is...What can you comfortably afford?
    Learn how the relationship between your income and total debt could affect your home buying budget.

    Know your debt-to-income ratio, which is the percentage of your monthly income that is spent on debt.
    • Talk to a lender before you go house hunting so you focus your search on homes you can comfortably afford.
    Find a Trust Worthy Realtor who you feel comfortable with and can walk you trough all the steps of the process.

    Feel free to contact me with any questions... All my best, Neal

    First Time Buyer Video provider by AOL

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    Baird & Warner redefines real estate search

    Baird & Warner has done this with the launch of our new website
    . Watch this video to get a sense as to what’s possible with Baird & Warner’s new search processes.

    With the launch of our new site, we give options to consumers to personalize their search process, from Local Search, Neighborhood Search, Lifestyle Search, Map Search, and Proximity Search.

    Baird & Warner redefines real estate search

    Saturday, March 24, 2012

    Who are The First Time Home Buyers?

     Here are the Latest Statistics from the National Association of Realtors. InfoGraphic by KCM
    Click it and blow it up
    Purchasing your first home can be a scary thing.
    ( I know... I did it too)

    Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. If you are a first-time home buyer, you may be wondering if it is even the right thing for you to do. Generally, there are a few good reasons to buy that you should consider.

    Home ownership is an investment in your future. It is the American Dream. Owning your home gives you a sense of pride, stability and security.

    Click here to learn more

    If you need some help, information or have questions on how to get started, Feel free to contact me.

    My motto is... "I will not Sell you a home.. I WILL help you find find a home you can afford and take care of all the details"

     All my Best,  Neal Paskvan- Baird Warner            

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    DOWNERS GROVE Homes On Average 12,551 Homes Sell Every Day in the U.S.


    Here is a Breakdown of who the Buyers are.

    12,521 Homes Sell every Day InfoGraphics-

    The Facts Show  If you are FIRST TIME BUYER, Investor or CASH buyer, your investment will pay off.

    If your Goal is to find a place of your own, and make it your Home, a Home where you can live the lifestyle you want to live, Now, may be the right time to take the first step.

    Contact me if you would like to explore the the possibilities of having a home of your own. No cost consultation.

    Neal Paskvan- DOWNRES GROVE Homes for Sale-Baird and Warner



    *No one telling you where to park of if you can have a pet.  No more waiting for the the washer and dryer to be available.. No more  concerns about who may is moving into the space  above or below or next to you. No one telling you when to turn the music down and well you get the idea.

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    Short Sale Success: What is an Acceptable Hardship?


    Abigstockphoto_So_Sad_Neal Paskvan282x300 short sale, in most instances, is a complex transaction. However, there are two very simplistic characteristics that every qualified short sale possesses:

    1. The house must be valued at less than the homeowner owes on their mortgage debt obligation. In other words, the home must be “underwater”.
    2. The homeowner must have a qualified hardship.

    It is the second characteristic that we would like to touch upon in this blog post.

    One question that we answer frequently is “My house is underwater. Is this an acceptable hardship?” Unfortunately, the answer is always “No.”

    The simple fact that a homeowners mortgage obligation is in excess of their house value is not an acceptable hardship. A Short Selling bank will entertain a short sale when and only when there is a hardship that will, now or in the future, affect the borrower’s ability to pay their mortgage.

    The following is a list of acceptable hardships that may be used when submitting a short sale package:

    • Mortgage Rate Adjustments
    • Loss of Employment or Reduction in Wages
    • Business Failure
    • Medical Hardship
    • Death in the Family
    • Divorce/Separation
    • Military Service
    • Overwhelming Debt Obligations
    • Job Relocation

    As always, should you have questions as to the acceptability of a hardship scenario, you should seek advice from an expert that has been trained in the short sale field. Look for the REALTOR®  Designation.

    SFR Logo- Neal Paskvan    Neal Paskvan  a Downers Grove Real Estate Broker holds the SFR Designation and may be able  to help

    Reach Neal with Barird Warner at 630-964-1855 or e-mail him at

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    NAR affordability index breaks new threshold | Housing Wire


    Downers Grove Homes for Sale Neal PaskvanThe National Association of Realtors' affordability index broke the 200 mark for the first time ever, rising to   206.1 in January.

    NAR President Moe Veissi said the breakthrough means a typical family has roughly double the income needed to purchase a median-priced home.

    “For buyers who can qualify for a mortgage, now is a very good time to become a homeowner," he said.

    The index is based on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate. A score of 100 is defined as the point where a median-income household has exactly enough income to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced, existing single-family home.

    Considering the likelihood that interest rates and home prices will change little in the near future, NAR projects its affordability index to remain at elevated levels throughout 2012.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    InfoGraphicShadow Inventory levels for each state.

    InfoGraphic Attention Readers: At the end of last year, we posted a graphic showing Shadow Inventory levels for each state. This graphic is a much more accurate measure.

    Neal... What the heck is Shadow Inventory? Read on- DOWNERS GROVE Real Estate

    Definition of 'Shadow Inventory'

    A term that refers to real estate properties that are either in foreclosure and have not yet been sold or homes that owners are delaying putting on the market until prices improve. Shadow inventory can create uncertainty about the best time to sell (for owners) and when a local market can expect full recovery. Also, shadow inventory typically causes reported data on housing inventory to understate the actual number of inventory in the market.

    Read more:

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    Buyers, sellers continue to butt heads on home prices

    Most Americans feel now is a good time to buy a home, but those who want to sell are having difficulty finding buyers at desired prices, causing seller sentiment to fall to record lows.

    AnnoyedBusinessman Currently, about 20% of all homeowners with mortgages nationally are underwater. In some particularly hard-hit markets, as many as half of all homeowners with mortgages are underwater. Those are the same places with the highest incidence of delinquent mortgages and foreclosures.
    Click Here to read the rest of the story by Housing Wire

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Home Prices by State-Provided by Corelogic

    Remember all Real Estate is Local. Your area may not reflect your States overall change! Contact me if you would like to find out what home values are in your area. Downers Grove Real Estate Darien Real Estate

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Coyote Mating Period Approaching

    You may see more coyotes in the area in coming months, as February through April are the typical coyote mating period. The City encourages you to be especially careful to keep your pets on a leash.

    Coyotes are a permanent fixture in DuPage County’s rural, suburban and urban areas. Seeing a coyote cross a field, backyard, road or golf course does not necessarily constitute a problem or dangerous situation, either for humans or domestic animals. Coyotes will be more active and more visible in late-winter/early spring during their breeding seasons. Most coyotes are harmless; their goal is to eat more natural foods such as mice and rabbits.

    However, coyotes are opportunistic. If coyotes see easy food – such as open garbage- and aren’t afraid, they may take advantage. That puts them in direct line for a confrontation with pets. Coyotes are not interested in eating pets, these are territorial disputes. This summer the Darien Police Department has received 3 reports of small family dogs that were killed by coyotes. Studies have shown that attempts at eliminating all coyotes are not practical, economical or workable. When coyotes are removed others quickly move in.

    For more information on Coyotes you can visit the DuPage County Forest Preserve District at

      Click here For FAQ and Safety tips .

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    What Does Warren Buffet Think About Buying A Home?

    Warren Buffet is seen by many as the greatest investor of our time. When he speaks, people listen. Like anyone else in his position of influence, he is criticized by some for using his bullhorn to promote his own business agendas at times. That makes it very interesting when we occasionally learn of how he privately advises those closest to him. Learn what he told his secretary.

    Click here for the rest of the story

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    Energy Savings at Home | Energy Efficiency Tips | HouseLogic


    Are You Looking for Energy Savings in All the Wrong Places?

    Ack! Our energy costs are going up because too many of us are making the wrong judgment calls about how to save energy. Here’s why we’re having a disconnect.

    Do you see your energy bills rising even if you’ve implemented up to three projects to save energy? In the first of our two-part Q&A with an expert on consumer attitudes toward energy efficiency, we look at the energy-saving truths many of us ignore. Hint: Replacing windows isn’t your best bet. Tomorrow, we’ll show you what you can do to actually start seeing some savings.
    Suzanne Shelton is president and CEO of Shelton Group, a marketing agency specializing in sustainability and energy efficiency. Shelton Group’s annual Energy Pulse research report — released last fall — tracks consumer attitudes toward energy-related topics.

    Read more: Read More from House Logic


    Energy Savings at Home | Energy Efficiency Tips | HouseLogic

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Downers Grove Real Estate In Real Estate, Keeping Current Matters!


    There is too much misinformation being spread about today’s real estate market. Studies are being misinterpreted. Prominent names are being used to foster a point even if their quote is from years ago.

    As an example, we want to look at a story published last week by The Fiscal Times titled The New American Dream: Rent, Don’t Buy. In the article, they claim:

    “Call it the Big Selloff—America is headed toward a future in which fewer people own the spaces they call home… Those trends are just the beginning.”

    We are not arguing that the homeownership rate is under downward pressure in this country. We are disputing some of the ‘evidence’ used in the article. Here are three points we want to refute:

    The Homeownership Rate IS NOT in a Freefall

    The article quotes a Morgan Stanley study from July 2011 which did make the argument that the homeownership rate was trending downward. Many others made the same point at that time. What the article failed to mention is that the homeownership rate unexpectedly increased in the third quarter of 2011! As DSNews reported in early November:

    “After falling to a 13-year low during the second quarter, the homeownership rate posted a highly unexpected rise in the third quarter, according to a Census Bureau report.”

    The jury is still out as to whether the homeownership rate will continue to fall or whether it has already bottomed out.

    The Founders of Case-Shiller ARE NOT Saying Renting is Better

    In the article mentioned above, they claim that the team that founded the prestigious Case-Shiller Pricing Index believes that buying makes little sense. The article explains that back in 2006 Robert Shiller presented a study based on data collected prior to 2005 showing that, over time, it made more sense to rent than buy. They use this information to conclude:

    “Another skeptic is Yale economist Robert Shiller, co-creator of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index.”

    They claim Shiller is a skeptic today based on what he said six years ago!

    The major challenge we have with this is that Karl Case, the other founder of the Case Shiller Index, came out ten days ago saying that now is the time to buy. The New York Times in a story published on 12/30/2011 quotes Professor Case as saying:

    “If you’re buying a house or apartment to live in and pay for over time, and can afford the payments, then it’s a terrific time to buy.”

    Beracha and Johnson DID NOT Conclude That You Shouldn’t Buy

    The Fiscal Times article went on to say:

    “And in a paper this June in the journal Real Estate Economics, two researchers calculated that over the past 30 years, most often it would have been better to rent than buy.”

    They were referring to the great study done by Beracha and Johnson titled Lessons from Over 30 Years of Buy versus Rent Decisions: Is the American Dream Always Wise? We are very familiar with this study as we posted on it back in May of last year. The paper does explain that over the last thirty years the financial benefits of buying vs. renting could be debated.

    However, the conclusion of the paper left no room for argument. According to professors Beracha and Johnson, NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY!

    “(F)undamental drivers now appear to be in place that favor homeownership over renting in the near term future…

    “[This] might seem unwise to many given the recent crash in the real estate markets around the country. However, rent-to-price ratios now seem to be in place along with other fundamental drivers that favor ownership over renting.”

    They conclude their research paper with this sentence:

    “Conditions (historically low mortgage rates and relatively low rent-to-price ratios) now seem in place to favor future purchases.”

    Dr. Johnson, Ph.D. — Florida International University (FIU) and Editor of the Journal of Housing Research, is now a guest blogger on this site and in November shared with us his current presentation on this issue. To download the presentation, go to

    Bottom Line

    We attempt to keep our readers current on this very rapidly evolving housing market with this blog, our tweets, our facebook posts and our subscription service. The letters K-C-M preface each offering. They actually stand for ‘keeping current matters’. We believe that helping our followers stay on top of the latest information available will help correct the housing market.



    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    How Low Can They GO- Mortgage Rates That Is

    The average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage reached 4.01% for the week ending Sept. 29, the lowest ever recorded on the Freddie Mac survey.

    The 15-year FRM also averaged a record low 3.28% for the week. The new lows come after the Federal Reserve announced it would buy $400 billion of long-term Treasury bonds and reinvest in agency mortgage-backed securities in order to keep borrowing costs down.

    Read On Provided by Housing Wire

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    The Power of Assumability


    Passing-the-Baton1-300x199[1] One of the rarely touted advantages of people taking FHA mortgages today is the fact that they are assumable. What that means is, when the FHA homebuyer of today is looking to sell his home, a qualified purchaser can “take over” their loan.

    Most people believe that interest rates will return to a “normal” range (between 6.5% and 7%) in a couple of years. When you assume a mortgage, the terms remain the same. This means that a buyer five years from now can enjoy a 4 – 4.5% mortgage by assumption rather than the 6.5% – 7% mortgage they would get without it. Since most people buy homes based on how the monthly payment fits into their personal monthly budget, this is extremely impactful.

    As an example, a $300,000 loan at 4% today carries with it a $1,432.25 principal and interest payment on a 30 year fixed mortgage. If offered for sale in five years, the purchaser could assume the $271,858.56 balance with the same $1,432.25 payment and remaining term of 25 years. The total payments over the 25 years would be $429,675.

    Compare that to a new $272,000 loan at 6.5% for 25 years, which would carry a monthly payment of $1,836.56 (over $400 more a month than the assumption and more than $120,000 more over the 25 year term).

    At 6.5% for 25 years, to wind up with the same payment as the assumed mortgage, our borrowers would only be getting $212,000…$60,000 LESS!

    The point here is that, when rates go up, homes with assumable mortgages will have more value and will sell at higher prices because they are more affordable. As an additional bonus, the closing costs on assumable mortgages are significantly less (especially here in New York where NYS Mortgage Tax is such a large component of closing costs).

    The borrowers must be credit-worthy of course (have good credit, qualifying income, and necessary assets to close), but they would have to be credit-worthy to get a new mortgage too!

    Besides the multiple other reasons to obtain an FHA mortgage (low down payment requirements, extended income ratios, lower credit scores, and easier sourcing of funds), there is another perk. In the future, there is a good chance that you may be able to sell your home for more money because of the FHA loan’s assumability.

    credit Dean Hartman

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Downers Grove Real Estate


    At 31, Robert Charlton had grown disillusioned with his job as a technical writer. "The idea of doing a desk job for another 30 years seemed painful to me, so I came up with this idea of trying to retire before 45," he says. He shared the idea with his wife Robin, who was then 31 and working as a travel agent.

    Robert read up on personal finance instead of hiring an adviser and looked at taxable accounts they could draw from before turning 60. During that period, Robin completed an accelerated nursing program to become a registered nurse. By age 43, they'd gone from $16.88 in their checkbook at age 28 to saving up enough money to leave both their jobs and live off the interest.



     1. Cut housing costs. The Charltons spent a year carefully tracking their spending to see where they could cut back. But as Robert says, "the truth of the matter is, we really didn't have that much fat to cut out." Still, they agreed to rent out half of the bi-level starter home they owned in Boulder, Colo., so they could pay off the mortgage and pad their savings. Switching from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage also helped the couple reach their goal. "You save so much on interest that it does result in a higher monthly payment, but not as high you would think," says Robert. They later sold their house and put the equity into a bond fund.

    2. Agree on your priorities. Instead of buying new cars, the couple kept their old ones, and Robin stuck to grocery shopping lists instead of buying whatever caught her eye. "That's how he shopped [without sticking to the list] so he was cut off from shopping," she says. Keeping their shared goal in mind kept their eyes on the prize. "We were both on the same page," adds Robin. "We both knew we wanted to put the money towards experiences." However, because they value travel so much, the Charltons didn't completely deprive themselves while saving up for retirement. As Robert says, it's important to "balance living for tomorrow with living for today." If saving feels like too much of a chore, it's easy to fall of the bandwagon.

    3. Live below your means. Now that they've left the workforce, the Charltons live modestly by staying in hostels and focusing on less expensive travel destinations. They estimated needing between $30,000 and $40,000 annually, and they've managed to stay in that range, though they're averaging closer to $40,000. Earlier this year, they splurged on a trip to Italy and Switzerland for their 25th wedding anniversary. However, Robert says, "we typically have tried to travel places where the dollar goes further, like Argentina and Chile, where the exchange rate was in our favor." Destinations like India and Nepal have higher airfare but low day-to-day expenses so they stay for several months at a time to balance out the airfare costs.

    4. Stay in the game. Although the Charltons' portfolio has had its ups and downs, they've resisted the urge to try to time the stock market or get out altogether. "We did some of our best investing during the bear market of 2000 to 2002," says Robert. "We bought stocks 'on sale' and reaped the rewards afterwards." Although he says they could have gotten a higher return on investment if the timing had been different, they also underestimated future earnings, so that helped them reach their target more quickly than planned.

    5. Don't rule out temporary work. Dips in the market have made it more challenging for the Charltons to live off their interest. So when Robert was offered a six-month consulting project in 2009, he jumped at the opportunity to rebuild their capital. Although he'd once dreaded going to work, he actually liked the temporary arrangement. "I genuinely enjoyed working hard during that window because I knew it wasn't endless, which was the thing I found challenging early on when I first came up with this plan," he says.

    Robin adds that they're open to making adjustments as they go or returning to work if needed. However, she values the chance to travel and be active while they're young and healthy. "Working as a nurse, I realize so many people save so much and a lot of people don't get all the years they thought they'd get," she says.

    Click here for the rest of the story