Archive for the 'Real Estate Agents' Category

Fend Off Multiple Bidders and Land Your Ideal Chicago Condo

Friday, June 29th, 2012

As the housing market slowly pulls itself off the mat, some universal truths have begun to surface. Regardless of price range or location, the highest quality Chicago condos and homes are being bombarded with offers from multiple bidders. It’s a direct byproduct of limited new construction, a market place overwhelmed by dilapidated foreclosures and a resurgent number of buyers in the market.

Now the question is, “How can I compete against higher bids?”

According to Chicago real estate professionals, there are several tactics that can help you secure the Chicago condo of your dreams.

First, make your offer as clear as possible. Take a “no strings attached” approach. Consult with your brain trust and remove every contingency that isn’t absolutely necessary. Have your financing secured well in advance to expedite the closing. Same goes for the inspection process—have your inspector lined up early and you can potentially turn a 10-day process into a 5-day process.

Second, let the seller know that you’re more than willing to take the unit in its as-is condition. Saying this doesn’t mean you’re foregoing an inspection—and if the inspection unveils something suspicious, you’re still within your rights to cancel the deal. However, once the inspection period ends, the condo is yours, as-is.

Third, make sure the seller knows that you want to close quickly. Of course it takes a few days to prepare all of the necessary documents and signatures, but show the seller your sense of urgency in completing the deal. This can easily sway a seller and seal the deal, because a quick close means less expense and less anxiety for them.

Finally, don’t overlook the power and value of a personal touch. While this is a business transaction, buying a home is also a very personal experience, and you can’t put a dollar amount on the sentimental value that a home possesses. This is why a personalized note can sometimes carry weight during the sales process. Let the owner know a little about your family, reassure them that you’ll cherish this home as much as they did.

At the end of the day this is a transaction between people and bringing a human touch to the table can distinguish your offer from the pack.

Check The Credit Rating Of A Building Before Buying

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

March 2, 2011 – If you’ve been trying to purchase a Chicago condo but are having a hard time securing an FHA-backed mortgage, you might be trying to buy a unit in what some lenders are refering to as “blackballed” buildings. Other terms being used more often are “mortgage jail” and “zombie buildings”. According to a recent article in the Tribune, both Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s new requirements regarding condo buildings are causing lenders to back away from issuing loans for units in many Chicago real estate developments.

According to the article, there were 61 buildings in the Chicago area and around Illinois that had applied for FHA approval but were turned down for various reasons. The new rules have a lot of different parameters, including whether the building is new or already existed before the rule changes. Both Fannie and Freddie require that a minimum of 70% of the condos in a new building be used as the buyer’s primary or secondary home, not rented. For existing buildings, the minimum of owner occupany is 51%. And becuase there is no more FHA spot approval for single condos in a building, the whole building has to be approved and then re-approved every two years.

The article points out some other warning signs that buyers who are seeking low interest loans need to look out for as potential problems. Those include any lawsuits against the building, condo associations that don’t have enough money in reserves for unexpected repairs and condo buildings that have buyers who are behind in paying their monthly assessments.

So even if you’ve got a great credit score, you may want to check the credibility of the building you’re thinking about buying into, because it may not be high enough. Of all the Chicago foreclosures filed in 2010 in the Chicago area, 42.5% were for Chicago condos. So do all of your homework to keep from being one of those statistics.

[tags]Chicago Foreclosures, Chicago Lofts, Chicago Real Estate[/tags]

FHA Mortgage Requirement Changes Coming

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

December 3, 2009 – If you’ve been shopping for Chicago condos that are FHA approved, you may want to pay attention to the changes in their mortgage requirements that could be coming soon. These possible upcoming changes are in response to the rapidly increasing amount of FHA loans that have potentially stretched the administration a little thin and an effort to minimize the risk of buyers defaulting on loans.

According to an article in the Tribune, Shaun Donovan who is the Housing and Urban Development Secretary said, “We have made the decision to exercise our authority to increase the up-front cash that a borrower has to bring to the table in an FHA-backed loan to make sure that FHA borrowers have more “skin in the game” and a stronger equity position in their loans.”

The nitty gritty of the impending FHA mortgage requirement changes will be made public in January. Besides the increase in down payment, which is currently 3.5%, a higher credit score is also expected to be mandatory.

Other upcoming changes to FHA mortgages may include a rate hike in the annual mortgage insurance premium and that sellers will only be able to offer buyers help with 3% of the closing costs instead of the current 6% limit.

With FHA insuring nearly 30% of home loans and 20% of mortgage refinances, these changes could have a big impact on Chicago real estate sales. Over 75% of all first time home buyers now opt for FHA backed mortgages, so it probably won’t take long to see what sort of effect this has on sales of Chicago New Construction Condos.

[tags]FHA Mortgage Requirements, Chicago Condos, Chicago Real Estate[/tags]

MB Financial Offers Mortgage Deals At Silver Tower

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

October 6, 2009 – We’ve told you about a couple of Chicago real estate developments where MB Financial is offering deals on financing, including CA23 and SoNo. Another development where MB is trying to generate sales is at Silver Tower on 303 West Ohio Street in River North.

You can lock in a 4.375% fixed interest rate on a 30 year mortgage with just a 5% down payment and don’t have to have mortgage insurance on the loan. This offer from MB Financial is only good until October 15th.

The 40 story Silver Tower has a selection of one to three bedroom Chicago condos for sale with prices starting in the $240,000s. Dens are optional. The units have a balcony or terrace, floor-to-ceiling windows, oak floors, wall-to-wall carpeting in the bedrooms, cherry or maple wood cabinets and stainless steel Kitchen Aid appliances. The kitchens also have a double stainless steel sink and granite counter tops. Baths come with marble flooring and vanity tops plus glass shower surround and separate soaker tub.

The Sky Lobby has a 24 hour fitness center and landscaped patio with garden. There is also a 24 hour doorman at Silver Tower, bike room, storage lockers and the tower is pet-friendly.

With the deadline to lock in MB’s loan rates just over a week away, you may need to act quickly if you’re interested. And remember that there are other Chicago Condos in River North that may interest you as well.

[tags]Silver Tower, Chicago Condos, Chicago Real Estate[/tags]

We Love This! Renaissance Lofts – Two Year Money Back Guarantee

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

May 21, 2008 Renaissance Lofts, a Kopley Group Chicago loft development at 1791 Howard Street, is featuring a two year, no questions asked, money back guarantee to buyers.

Finally… A Developer Who Puts His Money Where His Mouth is…

We spoke with Nick Copley last week. He’s determined to prove that Renaissance Lofts is the best Chicago loft that money can buy, so he’s offering what appears to be Chicago’s only unconditional money back guarantee on a Condo development.

“If in two years you don’t still love your loft. The Kopley Group will buy it back from you with no questions asked.”

We’re wondering… will other Chicago Condo developers will step up to the plate and offer hesitant buyers this kind of guarantee?
We’ll update you soon about the effect on sales…

[tags]Rogers Park, Chicago Lofts, Chicago Real Estate[/tags]

Sales Strong at 600 North Lake Shore Drive

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

April 12, 2008 – Belgravia Group seems to have scored another sales winner with 600 North Lake Shore Drive. The developer recently confirmed that the 41 story north tower is basically sold out, and just about a dozen units are all that are left of the building’s 154 Chicago condos. Those remaining units that are not under contract are a combination of floor plans, with the bulk being one bedroom condos and a couple of two and three bedroom units. The price for these condos begins in the low to mid $400,000 range.

The south tower, which is slightly taller at 47 stories, is about 70 percent under contract right now. The most popular units there seem to have been the two and three bedroom condos, of which certain floor plans are already sold out according to the sales agents. The two towers combined in this Chicago real estate development have 400 units total, and construction should be complete in the first quarter of 2009.

600 North Lake Shore Drive billed itself as one of the last addresses on the lake. Its prime location next to Ohio Street Beach, a Starbucks, dry cleaners, Subway, Flamingo Bar and Grill as well as Navy Pier had to certainly make these condos more attractive to buyers. The interior finishes are top notch, too, with GE Profile stainless steel appliances, Kohler Mariposa soaking tub in the master bath, Wood-Mode cabinetry, building roof top sun deck and sculpture garden, fitness center and 24 hour doorman.

Belgravia Group has earned a well-deserved reputation for developing some of the best Chicago Luxury Condos, and both their sales figures and buildings show it.

[tags]600 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago Condos, Chicago Real Estate[/tags]