Archive for April, 2015

What Every Buyer Must Know About Credit Scores

April 17, 2015

Is your credit score a big deal? If you want to buy a home, it’s a huge deal!

credit scoreYour credit score will determine if you can get a loan. It will also determine how much you can borrow and what your interest rate will be! To buy a home with a mortgage loan you must have a strong credit score.

There are three primary sources for credit scores in the US: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. They all use the FICO system. These are the most used sources by creditors.

FICO developed the computer software the major credit scoring companies use. FICO scores range from 300 to 850. However, many creditors consider 500 to be the bottom of the acceptable range.

Your score is a measure of your credit-worthiness and determines the interest rate that you will pay for a loan. It’s not unusual for a creditor to obtain all three of the major scores and average them. A very good score is 700, and an excellent score in 750.

The primary factors that determine your score are:

  • payment history (35%)
  • debt/amounts owed (30%)
  • age of credit history (15%)
  • new credit/inquiries (10%)
  • mix of accounts/types of credit (10%)

65% of the total score is determined by only two factors: payment history and amount of debt owed. You must have a good history of paying your bills on time. And you must be very careful about how much debt you have relative to your income!

That last point is extremely important when borrowing for a home mortgage. As of 2014 the federal regulations governing mortgage lending have changed. Borrowers can no longer carry total debt of more than 43% of gross annual income, including the mortgage debt! Lenders are going to be very strict about adhering to that ratio. There are serious consequences for the lender not doing so.

Many actions you take affect your score. Most people don’t think about:

  • unpaid medical bills and parking tickets can lower your credit score
  • heavy credit use can lower your score, even if you pay large balances off in full in a short time
  • credit scores drop if you sign up and use store cards for initial discounts

For more advice about managing your credit, click here.

Looking forward to buying a home? Educate yourself, manage your credit score, and know your credit score before your lender does.

Information courtesy of Chicago Realtor Karen Breen Elia.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467  Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

Chicago Condo For Rent: 125 S Jefferson St #2109

April 17, 2015

Chicago Condo For Rent:

125 S Jefferson St #2109, Chicago IL 60661
MLS# 08893682

High Rise Heaven Sub Lease

125 s jefferson st


Sub lease in high rise heaven! Current lease expires 8/31/2015 with option to renew. Fab city views from this SW. 1051 sq. ft. corner condo. 1 bedroom + den, 1.5 bath pristine unit with wood floors, granite counter, maple cabinetry and breakfast bar. INCLUDES GARAGE PKG! Open, airy & very bright. South-facing balcony, in-unit laundry. Sundeck, storage, exercise room, guest rooms. Steps to Blue line, Metra. Below market rent.

Marketed by Chicago Real Estate Expert Karen Breen Elia.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467  Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

Preventing Identity Theft After Your Move

April 9, 2015

The previous blog about preventing identity theft during a move dealt primarily with precautionary steps to take from your old residence to thwart clever criminals. So you’re now safely ensconced in your new home. And you can breathe a sigh of relief, right?

identity theftActually, no. Unfortunately, there are clever identity thieves waiting at that end of your relocation, also, and your efforts to outwit them must continue at your new address. Read on for more advice:

  • Once you have reached your new home, check to make certain that you have all the important papers and documents you carried with you—and immediately put them in a safe, secured place.
  • Locate and unpack the box containing your electronic possessions—tablet, IPhone, computers, etc. Account for each one and consider changing your passwords.
  • Carefully look through your bank statements to make certain that there are no unauthorized charges. You might also think about requesting new credit reports to be sure that your status hasn’t changed significantly.
  • Make certain that you are receiving your mail at your new address. If you are missing any statements, checks, and the like, report those losses immediately.
  • Contact your old neighbor to verify that he/she is collecting any mail that arrives to the prior address. Arrange for it to be mailed to you or go by and pick it up, if possible.
  • If you have to cancel any bank accounts or credit cards because of your relocation, close the account, cut up any cards associated with the account, and shred unneeded papers.
  • Replace the locks on immediately- preferably before you even move in, as the old tenants could still have keys.
  • Be diligent and cautious when providing personal information, especially your social security number, to new doctors, organizations, or schools.
  • After the move set up a “safe zone” where you store important papers and can work on private matters away from the eyes of visitors to your new home, repairmen, utility workers, and strangers.

Although you may not be able to protect your identity 100%, you can go a long way in ensuring peace of mind by being proactive, diligent, and aware, especially during a move.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467  Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

Chicago Foreclosure Trends for February 2015

April 3, 2015

In February, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in Chicago, IL was 36% lower than the previous month and 32% lower than the same time last year, according to RealtyTrac.com.

Chicago Foreclosure Activity

In February 2015, the number of Auctions decreased 68.5% from the previous month and 57.7% from the previous year. Bank-owned properties decreased 10.7% from the previous month and 35.5% from the previous year. Pre-foreclosures decreased 7.6% from the previous month and 3.4% from the previous year.

chicago foreclosure

Chicago Foreclosure Geographical Comparison

Chicago foreclosures were 0.01% higher than national statistics, 0.02% lower than Illinois figures, and 0.03% lower than Cook County numbers in February.

chicago foreclosure

 

Chicago Foreclosure Status

The current distribution of foreclosures based on the number of active foreclosure homes in Chicago.

In February, Pre-foreclosures accounted for 52.7% of the foreclosures activity, Auctions accounted for 22.3%, and Bank-owned properties 52.7%.

chicago foreclosure

 

Are you or someone you know behind on mortgage payments? There are options to Chicago foreclosures. A short sale may be the answer to saving you, your family and your credit. Contact us for a private consultation. We can help!

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467  Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!