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Showing posts from January, 2009

Now is the Time to Refinance

Through my REMAX website, a monthly newsletter is published. This article is from the February Real Estate Advisor.

Now is the Time to Refinance

Most interest rates in 2009 are hanging around the lowest levels in decades. Don't miss out on a rare chance to improve your finances by refinancing your mortgage.

The Advantages of Now

Interest rates have dipped to levels not seen in decades, particularly on fixed-rate loans for prime borrowers. As the new year and a new administration get into full swing, average interest rates on 30-year fixed rate mortgages have hovered in the low 5% range (and in some cases, have dropped below 5%).While these rates have yet to translate into a quick turnaround home sales, they have spurned an increase in mortgage applications by homeowners looking to refinance at a lower rate. For homeowners sitting on a higher fixed rate or a less stable variable rate loan, the current interest rates may present an opportunity that just can't be ignored.

If you'…

1550 Sandpebble, Wheeling: All Brand New! Completely Remodeled!

All new 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath condo for sale in Sandpebble Walk complex, located in Wheeling Illinois.



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

2704 Calvary, Zion: Quiet Tree Lined Street

Beautiful 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath raised ranch style home for sale with finished English basement and large 2.5 car garage.



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

Open House: 32 Oak Avenue, Grayslake IL

Public Open House: Sunday February 8, 2009
Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Location: 32 Oak Avenue, Grayslake IL 60030
Directions: Route 83 and Route 120 west to Lake Street north to Oak Avenue east to home.



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

And Then We Wait ...

As your buyer's agent, I will let you know right upfront that if you would like to make an offer on a foreclosure property - it will take awhile to get a response from the seller.

Each foreclosure sale is unique. I have sold some foreclosure homes in the Northern Illinois area where the negotiating process went fairly quickly.

The other side we are negotiating with is typically a mortgage company or bank and their response comes during business hours only. And usually a response takes several days from when the offer is first presented.

Once a response from the selling side is finally received, they usually want to close in under 45 days.

There are some great deals to be found when buying a foreclosed home. But you need some flexibility as to when you can close on a home and when you need to move.

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…

You're Ready to Make An Offer

You've decided on a home and you're ready to make an offer, what next?

In the Northern Illinois area, an initial offer to purchase needs to be made in writing.

Our local real estate board provides a real estate sales contract, with contingencies such as a five business day home inspection paragraph and a five business day attorney review and approval paragraph.

When we first meet and look at homes for sale, I will give you a blank copy of the real estate contract for you to keep, look over at your leisure and become familiar with.

When you're ready to buy a home, we will complete a written real estate contract together. I present the written offer to the seller's agent. The seller's agent then reviews the offer with the sellers.

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: 84…

2009 Green Home Tax Credits

Effective January 1, 2009 the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act provides homeowners with tax credits for "green" energy efficient home improvements.

Additional details from Energy Star.gov:

"Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency: On October 3, 2008, President Bush signed into law the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.” This bill extended tax credits for energy efficient home improvements (windows, doors, roofs, insulation, HVAC, and non-solar water heaters). Tax credits for these residential products, which had expired at the end of 2007, will now be available for improvements made during 2009. However, improvements made during 2008 are not eligible for a tax credit.

The bill also extended tax credits for solar energy systems and fuel cells to 2016. New tax credits were established for small wind energy systems and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Tax credits for builders of new energy efficient homes and tax deductions for owners and designers of energ…

Short Sale versus Foreclosure: What's the Difference?

Many people are interested in the possibility of buying a "foreclosure" - but not all foreclosure homes are the same.

Some homes are in the process of being foreclosed on by the mortgage company. If a sales contract is presented to the mortgage company for less than the seller owes, then the home is considered a "short sale". The seller is still the owner at this point, and the seller negotiates and signs the real estate contract with the contingency of final bank approval needed.

If the home has already been foreclosed on, the mortgage company or bank is now the owner. This is commonly referred to as an "R.E.O." - real estate owned by the bank. The former homeowner is gone and the house is vacant.

In the Northern Illinois area, if the bank is now the owner, it is easier to put a deal together and the sale can close in a shorter time frame of 30 to 45 days.

Jim Starwalt Thinking of making a move? Log onto my website at www.StarHomeFinders.com and search the Mu…

Rent to Own Options

Many people ask me about a "Rent to Own" option.

As a potential "Rent to Own" client, some important things to consider are:

How much of the rent is going towards the down payment?

Is the seller charging any "rent to own" fee that you need to pay upfront?

If you change your mind, what will it cost you to get out of the deal?

How and when will the purchase price be established?

Can you qualify for a mortgage?
Additionally, if you are trying to decide if you should continue to rent or if you should buy a home - Move.com offers a "Rent vs Buy" calculator to help you to compare the costs of renting to the costs of buying a home.

Click Here for the Rent vs Buy Calculator

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

Grayslake Real Estate Market

Specific details on homes for sale and sold in Grayslake, can be found on my website at www.StarHomeFinders.com.

Search for foreclosures, single family homes, townhomes and condominiums, multi-family units, vacant land, commercial properties and rentals.

Thinking of selling your home, Click Here to Find Your Home's Value.

Looking for a home? Click Here to Sign up for My Property Finder.

Benefits of Registration:

View ALL MLS properties listed for sale.

Save your searches — as many as you would like.

Found a house you like? Add it to your Favorites.

See how many new listings you have for a given search.

Have new listings automatically emailed to you when they hit the market.

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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 Starwal…