Don't  Stop Believin'

     Admittedly, it's been a long day.  And that following an extended Holiday weekend has left me feeling a bit out-of-sync.   

     From what I can tell, I'm wasn't the only one that was having a bit of trouble getting back into the swing of things again today.  The phones were quieter.  People a little subdued when we spoke.  I guess many were off trying to score some Holiday deals during  Cyber Monday ... or still fighting the turkey daze they had put themselves in on Thanksgiving.

     During lunchtime, I did my usual reading and scouring of the internet.  Lunchtime is typically  "continuing education"  time for me.  Multiple times while reading today, I came upon real estate blogs addressing what effect the Holidays might have on home sales ... or the insanity they might reek during that time.  

     Many posts debated the wisdom of trying to buy or list a home at all during this busy seasonal time.  Some broached marketing strategies for real estate professionals.  They gave suggestions as to how you could battle (and stay busy) through the Holiday stress and craziness.  Still others talked of how to position yourself for the coming spring market.

     And the  Journey  song, "Don't Stop Believin" came to mind ...  

     Over the past few months, I've seen some bright spots and positive things happening within our real estate and mortgage industry in Chicagoland.  The first bright spots in a long time.  And personally ... I'm just not ready to concede and go into business hibernation.  I don't care what time of year it is or what weather is coming our way.  

     I want to stay busy.  Business-wise.  Mentally.  Physically.  I have momentum going right now.  It feels good and I want to keep feeling that way.

     So as corny as it may sound, I'm not going to "stop believin" heading into the coming Holidays.  I don't need a down time or a slower pace.  I had more than enough of that in the midst of the housing crisis.  I'm going to continue to work hard and market smart ... to make this the busiest winter possible.

     I hope you "Don't Stop Believin" and join me ...

     Enjoy the song!


     *   Have clients looking to buy or refinance in  Will County  or elsewhere in Chicagoland?  Contact me today!  I'll put my 35+ years of mortgage experience, knowledge, and expertise to work on their behalf ... and yours.
     I can be conveniently found through any of the following:
Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell/Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281     Skype:  630.219.1316
You are Invited to Follow Me through
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The Importance of Home Insurance

The Importance of Home Insurance

     A topic that is always touched-upon in the earliest stages of my mortgage consultations is  Homeowner InsuranceThis insurance is a requirement for Closing and proof of the mortgage company or bank being shown as  Mortgagee  must be proven ahead of time.  A receipt and cover-sheet proving payment of the first year of Homeowner Insurance is required prior to Closing Day.   

Contact Stringham Insurance for all your Insurance needs!     And lately there's been a new twist added ... Underwriters are requiring the "true" insurance cost as a condition of the Loan Approval(Contact me for more info and detail regarding this.)

     Any mortgage company or bank will require that your Homeowner Insurance is, at minimum, the dollar amount you are borrowing on the property.  In other words, enough to cover the  Principal amount  of your mortgage.  That way the Mortgagee's interests are covered, should loss occur. 

     But beyond that ... as a homeowner or property owner, how much policy do you need?  And what do you need your policy to cover?

     For this explanation, I defer to the professionals I have entrusted my own Homeowner Policy with for over 30 years, Richard and Mary Ann Stringham  of  Stringham Insurance Agency  in Mokena, IL.

     Richard Stringham says:  
     "Most homeowner’s insurance companies require that your amount of coverage equal the actual replacement value of your home - this means the actual cost to rebuild your home.  This can be very different from the market value or actual purchase price of your home.
        Homeowner’s policies, including renter’s and condo-owner’s policies, provide coverage for your personal property.  This coverage is usually issued on a replacement cost basis.  But we caution you!  There are restrictions and limitations on certain types of personal property. These include, but are not limited to, jewelry, furs, cash, silverware and goldware, guns, securities, bonds, business property, and certain other types of property as well.

       Homeowner’s policies provide for additional protection called Loss of Use.  This provides an additional amount of coverage made available to cover the additional costs of living associated with a loss that forces you out of your home."  

     There are more things to consider when seeking Homeowner Insurance.   And I recommend to all my clients that they seek-out their own trusted insurance professional  (or a referred insurance professional)  to discover and discuss those things in-depth ... well in advance of their Closing Day.  This is my advice whether buying or refinancing a property.  The same advice is offered to those purchasing  investment properties.  

     What I see occur all too often is that this very important task is taken care of as an after-thought or done on the fly without the proper amount of time or attention being given it.  As with any service and product, there are differences in quality of coverage, policies, service, and advice.  And sadly, I'm betting at the time that I write this, that the truth of my statement could be backed-up by way too many Hurricane Sandy victims.  

     For most homeowners, their home is the largest, most personal, and most valuable asset they will ever own.  That fact demands that they protect not only their property and family belongings ... but their emotional attachment to the property too.  A loss can be devastating in so many ways.

     So again, I strongly suggest that if you are in the process of buying a home ... or it's been awhile since you had your home and Homeowner Insurance policy reviewed ... take the time.  Don't put it off.  Call your insurance professional now while you're thinking of it.  Or  Contact me, if you're in Chicagoland, and in need of an  insurance agency  referral.

     The Importance of Home Insurance cannot be overstated or overstressed ...  

     *  Hoping to buy or refinance a home in  Will County  or elsewhere in the Chicagoland area?  Contact me!  I'll put my 35+ years of mortgage experience, knowledge, and expertise to work on your behalf immediately.
     I can be conveniently found at the following:
Direct:  815.544.2280
Cell/Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.544.2281    Skype:  630.219.1316
318 Alana Drive, New Lenox, IL  60451

You are Invited to Follow Me through
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Jumbos are Back!

Jumbos are Back!

     Chicagoland has many areas within it that traditionally can support the use of Jumbo Mortgages ... those mortgages that are higher dollar amounts than the norm or average that exceed allowable limits for "conforming" loans , eligible for placement with Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac.

     With many of the housing markets in Chicagoland, and across the nation, now experiencing a resurgence in sale prices, the interest in  Jumbo Mortgage  products is returning.  Both clients and agents alike are  contacting me  for information about availability of this type of financing ... and about what interest rates are attached to them.

     I'm not typically a  Mortgage Lender  that broadcasts rates, as they can change quickly ... and come attached to  variables dependent on the personal finances of the Borrower.  But I want to get the message across and out ... Jumbo Mortgages ARE available and at once in a lifetime rate levels.  That is news ... welcome news, to many.

     Below you will find my Jumbo Mortgage Flyer ... as of the date of November 15th, 2012.  Please ... should you have questions regarding Jumbo Mortgages for yourself or a client,  after this date .... contact me  for updated rates and information.  I'll be happy to hear from you ...

     *   Hoping to buy or Refinance a home in Chicago or elsewhere in the Chicagoland area?  Contact me  today!  I'll put my 35+ years of mortgage experience and expertise to work on your behalf immediately. 
     I can be conveniently and quickly found at any of the following:
                       Direct:  815.524.2280
                    Cell/Text:  708.921.6331
           eFax:  815.524.2281      Skype:  630.219.1316
            You are invited to Follow Me at any of the
                    following Social Media:        

Have a Daughter? Educate Her Early About Finance, Credit, and Buying a Home ...

 Have a Daughter?   
Educate Her Early About Finance, 
Credit, and Buying a Home

     Maybe this topic is close to my heart because I am the grandfather of 2 beautiful grand-daughters.  That certainly has brought the urgency of the following topic "home" ...
      In the not too distance past, having conversations with a daughter regarding finances, credit, and buying a home just never would have happened. Or at least, rarely. Thankfully, those days are behind us.

     As I've mentioned before in previous posts, talking finances and credit with any child is important.  And those conversations and that financial education should occur early-on.  The better grasp our children have of these topics, the brighter and more secure their future is.  

    But for daughters ... and women in general, the need to talk and learn about this topic takes on special significance and urgency.  Two facts drive this need: 

    First:  According to a study by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, the following is true:
    "The average age when a woman first marries increased as more women sought education and  career before committing to a relationship". 
(And I add:  IF they ever marry/commit)
     Secondly, the next statistic is true too ...

    "Among Americans 65 years of age and older, 42% of women, but just 14% of men, are widowed". (The fact is women live longer and generally marry/commit to older men, increasing the probability of them outliving their partner.

     These two facts speak volumes about the great need to educate females regarding a host of today's financially-based topics, such as credit, careers, savings, financial planning, buying homes, debt management, and more.

     That said, it's also true that currently, the percentage of single female home buyers is much higher than that of single males.  

     Statistics from the  National Association of Realtors (NAR) place single female home buyers at 20%, to just 12% single male buyers. 

     That number of single female buyers is growing quickly too.  The percentage of single females buying a home on their own today has doubled, in comparison to the 1990's. 
     Using these statistics and facts, and then pairing them with the unique and beneficial set of circumstances that surround home buying in the current market (historically low interest rates lower home prices making it very appealing and more likely that single females will buy) ... you can see how great the need and urgency to have "that talk" is.  And for educating our country's young females in regards to all financial topics.

     The stated statistics and facts also (unfortunately) indicate that females are likely to be making some pretty important financial decisions on their own  at some point in their future. 

      So parents ... educators ... real estate professionals ... financial planners ... loved ones: We  need to step-up and address their needs NOW.  

    We need to make the information available in a variety of ways, at varying ages. We also must make sure that when asked questions, we answer them honestly and thoroughly with an eye to female needs. 
     We must see that females get the proper tools and education needed regarding financial issues.  That way they can make sound decisions when called upon ... or when choosing to do so.  

     This will better equip them in the future, protect them financially, and also help them benefit more fully from their financial decisions as well.

 Contact Me!

    Contact me if I can provide information, answer any questions, or be of assistance to you in any way ...
     *   I can be found easily at:

Gene Mundt
Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987  -  IL Lic. #031.0006220  -  WI Licensed

American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.

    Direct:  815.524.2280    
Cell/Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281   

 Twitter Account of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   LinkedIn Account of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Facebook Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Pinterest Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   
        Gene's Chicagoland Blog/Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender 

Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator, an Originator with 40+ years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL & WI.  


Baby Steps ... take those Baby Steps! Just get started ...

Baby Steps ... take those Baby Steps!   
But get started ...

     Remember the movie, "What About Bob" and the scene about baby steps?   I think it's hilarious.  But it also speaks to my present strategy regarding my SEO and Social Media knowledge and efforts ...


     Lately, there's been alot of talk on ActiveRain and other sites about the merits of SEO and Social Media ... in particular the platform of  Google+.

     I'll be the first one to admit it, I'm NOT a techie and I don't understand much of the pros, cons, and wisdom of posting a certain way ... or using hashtags ... or + marks ... and so much more.  I understand just enough to know that I don't know what I need to ... or enough of it.  

     Simply put, my head spins at times and I feel almost panic stricken.  I'm a Mortgage Lender for godsake!  I don't think I'm alone in my feelings or assessment regarding this stuff. 

     But that said, I HAVE learned some strategies and some fairly important and helpful things to do ... BABY STEPS ...  in regards to promoting myself and helping my rankings and SEO.  I referred to some simple tactics in a previous post  on AR. Little did I know how much assistance those cute little buttons really were!  ActiveRain made it so much simpler  for good things to get accomplished when they added those "buttons" for social media across the top of our AR posts.  

     The way I look at it is this:  I don't have to know the whys and details of the machinations of SEO and social media to still benefit myself.  While I'm in the learning process and educating myself further, I CAN do, or take some baby steps, that will help myself ... and others too.  Like "clicking" on those little buttons on the AR posts I like.  Simple enough, right? 

     Same goes on other sites.  Buttons are everywhere!  These are examples of simple steps I can take now to help and benefit myself and others.  I figure hitting those buttons is a little like taking medicine when I'm not feeling well.  I certainly don't understand how and why the darn stuff works. But I'm certainly smart enough enough to know that it does.  So I  do it!  And wah-lah ... good things happen!  Social Media and SEO is much the same.  

     Just call me "Bob" ...

     For those that want to dig a bit deeper, we have some great ActiveRain friends and members that can and will help you.  I can't say enough about these people.  I follow them and learn from them just as much as I possibly can.  I recommend that you follow these people below (and others) too.  They're AR's version of Dr. Marvin:

Carra Riley  -  Cosmic Cowpie  (and I swear an Angel too)
Bill Gassett  -  Agent & SEO/Google+ Guru
Debbie Gartner  The Flooring Girl
Corinne Guest  -  Gifted with Websites!
Melissa Marro  -  A recent Google+ discovery of mine

     And there are so many more!  (Ask Debbie Gartner to share her AR Google + Circle list, if you'd like to jump in!  The more the merrier ... and we all benefit and gain.

    Baby Steps ... take those Baby Steps!  Just get started ...

     *  Hoping to buy a home in Chicagoland?  Now more than ever, it's a learning process.  It takes time.  It takes some effort .. and it's best to be educated.  
     Work with a  Mortgage Lender  that will help you take the baby steps needed to educate yourself and work through a home buying transaction ... right up to a successful mortgage closing.  Contact me  today!  I'll put my 35+ years of mortgage experience and expertise to work on your behalf.     I can be conveniently found at any of the following:
Direct:  815.524-2280
Cell/Text:   708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524-2281    Skype:  630.219.1316
You're invited to find me and Follow Me through
any of the Social Media below.  It will be greatly appreciated:



I Promise to Love, Cherish ... and Pay My Bills??

 I Promise to Love, Cherish ... and Pay My Bills??

    *  Food for thought: 
        According to the Current Population Survey (conducted annually by the U.S. Census Bureau), there are approximately 7.5 million unmarried opposite-sex couples cohabiting in the United States today, a well as another 620,000 same-sex couples. The same source reported that married couples now account for only 48% of all households.
        More and more often, especially with young, first-time home buyers, I am assisting unmarried partners with their mortgage financing ... and I'm seeing huge differences in many of their money-handling styles and skills.   

     While I see it in older couples too, the differences often are far more dramatic in the young.  It's very clear ... one partner is the saver, the other is the spender.  The conversations I have with them typically reflect that too, as do their credit report(s).

     Right now, I'm working with a young, unmarried couple hoping to buy their first home and obtain a mortgage.  Well, I should say ... SHE is hoping to buy a home.  I'm not sure about him.  

     SHE has been the catalyst of each and every call.  Every piece of information or documentation I receive to advance their mortgage comes from HER.  He's been forthcoming with little.  He's also been very non-committal and evasive with answers.  I'm a bit nervous about him, to be truthful.

     Now this young couple, may or may not end-up completing their sales transaction.  I say their chances are 50-50 at best right now.  The outcome depends on how persuasive SHE can be.  And if he quits dragging his feet and finally commits to the process.

    It's just my opinion, but I think this couple has bigger issues that should concern them.  Their credit reports read like their life stories.  

     While both partners are young, they are old enough to have already established financial outlooks, habits, and distinguishable spending personalities.  Theirs are vastly different on all counts.  Extremes.  And because of that, I see all sorts of problems before them long term.  Red flags screaming out "Warning!" and  "Caution!" 

      Should this couple hope to have a long, happy, and successful future together, I'd suggest they have a sit-down and talk about their finances soon!  Possibly even counseling.  

     I think they need to be honest with each other about their financial histories (something I think she is possibly unaware of ... or doesn't understand the ramifications of) ... and their financial goals and dreams for the future. There should be no surprises ... no secrets kept between them.

     They, as well as any couple (married or unmarried), should both know, understand, and then commit to what financial responsibilities lay before them.  They should also know just how and what they hope to contribute as they move forward together ... and how and what they hope the other will contribute as well.  An in-depth, lengthy, honest conversation is warranted.

      And as unromantic as it sounds, especially for this couple and other unmarried couples, this conversation needs to cover any future "what-ifs" ... and how those "what-ifs" affect them legally, should they part or die.

   Unmarried partners must not assume that the legal options and protections provided them are the same as for married persons ...  

     It is my opinion that protections ... legal protections ... need to be arranged and put into place for each in this couple.  That is especially so prior to a large financial purchase/commitment, such as this home ... or a car.

      Unfortunately, I do not see much financial harmony within MY young home buying couple right now ... or the likelihood of any real in-depth communications between them or any attorney occurring in the near future.  Time will tell if they can make a "go" of this, or not.  I'm hoping they prove me wrong ... and all ends-up well.

       I Promise to Love, Cherish ... and Pay My Bills??   I urge anyone hoping to buy a home with someone else, especially as a non-married partner ... discuss your financial plans and goals with one another.  Then talk to a knowledgeable, experienced real estate attorney prior to making the financial commitment of buying a home or other large financial purchase.  

     Thoroughly understand and know all your options and possible outcomes prior to saying "I DO" or "Yes, I'll live with you".  Love and protect yourself enough to take these precautions ...
     *  In need of mortgage and credit advice?  Or mortgage and financial planning guidance?  Contact me for a mortgage consultation today.   I'll put my 40 years of mortgage experience and expertise to work on your behalf.  
I'm easily found at:

Gene Mundt
Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987  -  IL Lic. #031.0006220  -  WI Lic. #216987

American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656
      Direct:  815.524.2280      
Cell/Text:  708.921.6331
       eFax:  815.524.2281     

 Get Answers - Get a Quote Now!

 Twitter Account of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   LinkedIn Account of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Facebook Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Pinterest Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   
    Gene's Chicagoland Blog/Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   

Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator, an Originator with 40 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL & WI.   

Your Business & Referrals are Greatly Appreciated!


Summertime is Here! Do You Have an Emergency Disaster Kit for Your Pet?

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