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Showing posts from October, 2008

Strengthening Your Personal Finances

Strengthening Your Personal Finances: Some Guidelines

Through my REMAX website, a monthly email newsletter is published. The article below comes from the Real Estate Advisor: November 2008.

1) Review Your Credit History

Many of us never bother to check our credit score or review our credit history unless we're preparing to apply for a loan, but it doesn't hurt to examine your credit history at any time to check for potential errors. Check for any incorrect or outdated information, and dispute anything that is inaccurate. Resolving incorrect or incomplete information may take time, so it pays to address the issue directly rather than risk affecting any potential credit needs in the future.

2) Are You "In the Red"?

Are you spending more money than you're earning on a monthly basis? The variety and ease of credit has helped many of us lose site of the bottom line. Evaluating your cash flow is the first step towards realizing stronger financial footing.

3) Create an Item…

Winterize Your Water Pipes Now

A water pipe can burst from a winter freeze and can be a nightmare to clean up.

Prevent plumbing freezes before it gets too cold outside.

Before freezing nights hit, make certain that the water to your hose bibs is shut off inside your house (via a turnoff valve), and that the lines are drained.

Drain all garden hoses.

Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.

If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.

For additional advice on winterizing your home, check out these tips from DIYonline.

Jim Starwalt Thinking of making a move? Log onto my website at www.StarHomeFinders.com and search the Multiple Listing Service from over 150,000 homes for sale. Registering is quick and easy! Jim Starwalt, Broker Associate RE/MAX Center, Phone: 847-548-2625 Jim@StarHomeFinders.com

Where Is the Closing?

In the Northern Illinois area, the date of the closing is specifically set in the written purchase contract.

But the time for the closing and the location where the closing will be held, are determined by the seller's attorney.

The seller's attorney coordinates the time and location of the closing with your attorney and with the title company, also referred to as the closing company.

Ideally, the closing location is somewhere close by. Often times the closing is held at the attorney's office. Other times the closing may be held at a title company.

On the day of closing, we will do a final walk through of the home you are buying about an hour before the closing. From the walk through we will proceed to the closing.

You are given notice by your attorney - as to the time and location of the closing - usually one week in advance of the closing.

Jim Starwalt Thinking of making a move? Log onto my website at www.StarHomeFinders.com and search the Multiple Listing Service from over 150…

A Second Opinion

Occasionally, when you are considering a home to purchase, you want to bring someone back to show them the home and to get their opinion. Sometimes it's a parent, family member or a close friend.

Buying a home is a serious decision and I am happy to show you the home again.

An important point to remember is that a standard part of the Northern Illinois sales contract includes the home inspection contingency.

The home inspection contingency gives you the right to do a professional home inspection after the contract has been accepted.

When you do your home inspection, using a state certified home inspector, all major components of the home will be inspected.

From our current Northern Illinois MULTI-BOARD RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE CONTRACT 4.0:

PROFESSIONAL INSPECTIONS:

Buyer may secure at Buyer’s expense (unless otherwise provided by governmental regulations) a home, radon, environmental, lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards (unless separately waived), and/or wood destroying inse…

Angel Food Ministries

Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization that provides grocery relief to families throughout the United States.

For only $30 per box ($35 in California), a family can receive fresh and frozen, name-brand items that would normally cost between $50 and $75 at the store.

According to their website, one box of food will assist in feeding a family of four for one week or one senior citizen for up to a month.

There are no applications to complete or qualifications to meet.

You can purchase food for your family or as a gift for others.

With a brand-new website, a redesigned menu, and more host sites than ever before, Angel Food Ministries is easy to access.

Visit www.angelfoodministries.com or call 1-888-819-3745 to locate a host site in your area.

Jim Starwalt Thinking of making a move? Log onto my website at www.StarHomeFinders.com and search the Multiple Listing Service from over 150,000 homes for sale. Registering is quick and easy! Jim Starwalt, Broker Associate…

Know Your Rights as a Consumer

Know your rights as a consumer. The following laws exist to protect your rights as a consumer:

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: Protects you from harassment by debt collectors.

Truth in Lending Act: Requires lenders to disclose all details regarding your loan and contract prior to signing the contract.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act: Gives all consumers an equal chance to obtain credit by guarding against discrimination.

Fair Credit Billing Act: Gives consumers the right to dispute errors that appear on a credit card statement.

Fair Credit Reporting Act: Guarantees your right to an error free credit report by allowing consumers the opportunity to view their credit report at no charge and dispute any mistakes that appear on the report.

Jim Starwalt Thinking of making a move? Log onto my website at www.StarHomeFinders.com and search the Multiple Listing Service from over 150,000 homes for sale. Registering is quick and easy! Jim Starwalt, Broker Associate RE/MAX Center, Phone: 847-548-2625 Jim…

Energy-saving Tips for Fall and Winter

From the U.S. Department of Energy website:

"Winter is fast approaching, and consumers and small businesses need to be prepared to meet their energy needs in the face of rising energy costs. This site provides consumers with free and inexpensive strategies for saving energy and money through the cold months, as well as energy-saving investments that can provide savings over the long term. You'll also find information on financial assistance for energy-saving improvements."

For energy-saving tips from the U.S. Department of Energy, check out their website at www.energysavers.gov.

Their website motto states: "Stay Warm, Save Money". Take a few moments to make a few changes, and be prepared for the upcoming fall and winter season.

Jim Starwalt Thinking of making a move? Log onto my website at www.StarHomeFinders.com and search the Multiple Listing Service from over 150,000 homes for sale. Registering is quick and easy! Jim Starwalt, Broker Associate RE/MAX Center, Phone…

Grayslake Trick or Treat Hours 2008

The Village of Grayslake has a specific time for Trick or Treating on Halloween, October 31, 2008.

The Village Board designates the time for Halloween Trick or Treating within the Grayslake Village limits. This year’s “Trick or Treating” will take place on Friday, October 31st from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

For questions about Grayslake's “Trick or Treating”, please contact the Request for Service System at (847) 223-8515.

Additionally, the Grayslake Police Department offers the following safety tips for Halloween Trick or Treating:

1. Only “Trick or Treat” in neighborhoods and at houses that you are familiar with.

2. “Trick or Treat” in groups or with parents/guardians.

3. Do not wear any costumes that may obstruct your vision or are tripping hazards.

4. Only cross the street at intersections and be watchful of road traffic.

5. Do not enter a home to receive a treat.

6. Accept only wrapped or sealed treats.


Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!


Jim Starwalt Thinking of making a move? Log onto my web…

Voting Before Election Day

In Illinois, eligible voters may optionally participate in early voting.

This information is provided by the Illinois State Board of Elections:

WHEN CAN PEOPLE VOTE?
The general election is November 4, 2008, but eligible voters can vote at early voting centers as early as October 13.

WHAT IS EARLY VOTING?
Illinois voters may cast a ballot prior to Election Day without having to provide a reason or an excuse for wanting to vote early.

WHEN IS EARLY VOTING CONDUCTED?
Registered voters can vote early during the period established by state law. Some early voting centers will open on Monday, October 13, a state holiday (Columbus Day), and others will open on Tuesday, October 14, 2008. Check with your election authority for details. Early voting ends, at all locations, on Thursday, October 30, 2008.

DO MANY PEOPLE VOTE EARLY?
The number of people voting early increases with every election. In the 2008 primary election, counting absentee voting, almost 11% of the votes were cast before Election Day.

W…