FHA Property Requirements for Appraisal

FHA PROPERTY REQUIREMENTS

FHA appraisals require repairs for conditions that rise above cosmetic defects, minor defects, or normal wear and tear.   Appraisers must report ALL deficiencies.  This information will assist your confidence that when a contract is accepted, property condition should not be a deal-breaker for you in terms of the appraisal.

What Does the Appraiser Look for?

So, what does the FHA appraiser look for during this process? The primary areas of inspection are the roof, the foundation, lot grade, ventilation, mechanical systems, heating, electricity, and crawl spaces (when present). Continue reading “FHA Property Requirements for Appraisal”

Millie C Lumpkin
Broker
Stages Real Estate
Phone: (312) 217-5644
Email:     millie.lumpkin@gmail.com
Website: ChicagoSouthHomes.com
Blog:       ChicagoSouthRealEstateBlog.com

 

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Easy Home Improvements That Add Value and Appeal

inexpensive home upgrades

Many sellers don’t have the funds or inclination to do major renovations when selling their home.  However, there are  easy improvements that add value and appeal.  These improvements are fairly inexpensive but still make a difference in terms of market value and buyer appeal.

Repairs may only cost you hundreds of dollars to fix but not done cost thousands in terms of an offered price.  Simple improvements can move your home from “needs work” to “move-in” ready.  Again, these improvements may cost you hundreds (especially if you do the work yourself) but give you thousands more in terms of an offer price.  It can also mean that your home moves off the market quicker. Continue reading “Easy Home Improvements That Add Value and Appeal”

Millie C Lumpkin
Broker
Stages Real Estate
Phone: (312) 217-5644
Email:     millie.lumpkin@gmail.com
Website: ChicagoSouthHomes.com
Blog:       ChicagoSouthRealEstateBlog.com

 

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Tips for Home Sellers to Get to SOLD!

tips for home sellers

There are several tips for home sellers that can help increase their odds of getting their home sold. Pricing your home appropriately  and preparing it for buyers to view are the beginning.  To get your home sold, however, sellers have other matters which need consideration.

Pricing is Key

One of the most important things in getting an offer on your home is pricing it right. Overpricing your home will result in it sitting on the market longer.  It also reduces the pool of buyers that will consider your home.  Of course, you also want to make sure that you’re not leaving anything on the table unnecessarily. Continue reading “Tips for Home Sellers to Get to SOLD!”

Millie C Lumpkin
Broker
Stages Real Estate
Phone: (312) 217-5644
Email:     millie.lumpkin@gmail.com
Website: ChicagoSouthHomes.com
Blog:       ChicagoSouthRealEstateBlog.com

 

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Closing Costs for Sellers

 sellers closing costs

To determine the bottom line from the sale of your home, you will need to factor in several items which will be deducted from the offer price of your home.  Some of these items include the payoff of your mortgage loan, property taxes, and realtor commissions. Your realtor should be able to give you a “net sheet” when listing your home so that you have an estimate of the proceeds from the sale of your home. If the accepted offer price ends up differing significantly from the original list price, recalculate the net sheet to refresh the estimate when you get an offer. This may make a difference in your consideration of any negotiated items such as repairs, home warranty or buyer’s credit. Continue reading “Closing Costs for Sellers”

Millie C Lumpkin
Broker
Stages Real Estate
Phone: (312) 217-5644
Email:     millie.lumpkin@gmail.com
Website: ChicagoSouthHomes.com
Blog:       ChicagoSouthRealEstateBlog.com

 

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How Is Your Credit Score?

What goes into FICO® Scores? from FICO B2C Scores on Vimeo.

Your credit score is not the only determinant of whether you qualify for a mortgage loan but it is an important one. Having a great credit score may also help you get better terms for your mortgage. However, many people are confused about how the credit score is determined. Continue reading “How Is Your Credit Score?”

Millie C Lumpkin
Broker
Stages Real Estate
Phone: (312) 217-5644
Email:     millie.lumpkin@gmail.com
Website: ChicagoSouthHomes.com
Blog:       ChicagoSouthRealEstateBlog.com

 

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5 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

improve your credit

I remember years ago hearing a speaker talk about how credit scores are calculated.  I never forgot this valuable information and, to this day, use that knowledge in talking to my home buyers.  Improving your credit score is not an overnight process but once started it can really give you a sense of accomplishment.  One thing to note is that improving your credit score may help in getting you better mortgage terms as well as other credit options.  Here are some tips:

Managing Your FICO® Scores from FICO B2C Scores on Vimeo. Continue reading “5 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score”

Millie C Lumpkin
Broker
Stages Real Estate
Phone: (312) 217-5644
Email:     millie.lumpkin@gmail.com
Website: ChicagoSouthHomes.com
Blog:       ChicagoSouthRealEstateBlog.com

 

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Are You Getting the Best Mortgage for You?

Are you getting the best mortgage for you?  Mortgage lenders have minimum qualifying guidelines for getting a mortgage. Most of these guidelines are dictated by the government entities like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA. The individual lender may also add its own layer of qualifying guidelines.  These guidelines include such qualifying factors such as work history, down payment, minimum credit score, and debt to income ratio.  The guidelines differ based on the type of mortgage.

Meeting the minimum guidelines will ensure that you qualify for the loan and determine how much you can receive for a mortgage.  Most borrowers will check to see if they qualify and then proceed with shopping for the home.  However, is it possible that you can get a better mortgage? Maybe. Continue reading “Are You Getting the Best Mortgage for You?”

Millie C Lumpkin
Broker
Stages Real Estate
Phone: (312) 217-5644
Email:     millie.lumpkin@gmail.com
Website: ChicagoSouthHomes.com
Blog:       ChicagoSouthRealEstateBlog.com

 

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Sellers – Tips for Successful Short Sale

short sale

The number of homeowners defaulting on their mortgage has declined compared to a few years ago.  However, a recent article states that the Chicago area has the lowest amount of home equity and the highest number of households that are underwater for big cities.  This points to short sales continuing to be an issue in our area for the foreseeable future. Note though that these trends vary by community with many communities not affected as much.

Short sales can be frustrating for both sellers and buyers.  For the homeowner, there are some tips for a successful short sale: Continue reading “Sellers – Tips for Successful Short Sale”

Millie C Lumpkin
Broker
Stages Real Estate
Phone: (312) 217-5644
Email:     millie.lumpkin@gmail.com
Website: ChicagoSouthHomes.com
Blog:       ChicagoSouthRealEstateBlog.com

 

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Tips to Buying Your Chicago Condo

Are you thinking of buying a condo in Chicago? The condo market in chicago lakefront condoChicago remains hot as companies continue to move from the suburbs to the city.  There is also the draw of all the amenities and things to do in the Loop area.  In addition, for those not wanting to deal with exterior maintenance, condos are a great option.

The condo market in Chicago continues to  experiencing a seller’s market in terms of tight inventory levels.  The supply of condos / townhomes is 8.8% lower in Chicago than August  2016 levels.  However, despite the tight supply of condos available, the number of homes sold in the last 12 months is slightly higher than prior year levels.   The median sales price is also moderately higher. Continue reading “Tips to Buying Your Chicago Condo”

Millie C Lumpkin
Broker
Stages Real Estate
Phone: (312) 217-5644
Email:     millie.lumpkin@gmail.com
Website: ChicagoSouthHomes.com
Blog:       ChicagoSouthRealEstateBlog.com

 

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Avoid These Two Big Home Mortgage Mistakes

home mortgage process

We all know that searching for and viewing potential homes is the fun part of the home-buying process. The not-so-fun part?  The home mortgage process.

However,  if you don’t pay attention to the details, your mortgage can end up dragging down the enjoyment of your new home and cause some major regrets. Here are a few mistakes to avoid to ensure that you love your home mortgage terms as much as your new home.

Don’t Find Your Home First:

Shopping around for the best mortgage rate should be the first step in the home buying process. You may even want to talk to a lender a full year before you plan to buy. It’ll give you time to get your affairs in order to qualify for the best rate, could save you thousands of dollars in the long run, and you won’t feel rushed to accept an unattractive loan because you’re worried you’ll miss out on your dream home.

Buyers should also know that you generally can’t submit an offer  without evidence of ability to finance.  Prioritizing the home mortgage can allow you to act quicker when you do find the home of your dreams.

Don’t Forget Your Real Budget:

There’s often a big difference between what a lender says you can afford and what you can actually afford. Your debt-to-income ratio doesn’t include the money you spend on daycare and college tuition, savings for retirement,  the cost of commuting to work, or maintenance and utility costs. Really sit down and examine your spending before committing to the loan amount the lender is offering. You won’t enjoy your home nearly as much if you end up being “house poor” and eating bologna sandwiches for lunch every day.

If you are unfamiliar with creating a household budget, here is a link to a template that you can download.  Remember to look over your spending over the last few months to make sure you are reflecting your actual expense levels.  You can also use tools like mint.com and Quicken software to make it easier to track your spending going forward. Based on your budget, you may decide to lower the amount you had planned to spend on your home.

The lender can also educate you on other the costs of buying your home that you may not have anticipated. For instance, you will need a down payment and closing costs (including the  escrow needed for property taxes and insurance).   Use the months before you purchase to make sure you are financially prepared to buy your new home.

Millie C Lumpkin
Broker
Stages Real Estate
Phone: (312) 217-5644
Email:     millie.lumpkin@gmail.com
Website: ChicagoSouthHomes.com
Blog:       ChicagoSouthRealEstateBlog.com

 

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