Hansel and Gretel were the original participants of "Survivor"



Hansel and Gretel were the 
original participants of "Survivor"



     It's not one of the most often-heard fairy tales.  I think because it's rather "dark" in nature.  But the old  Brothers Grimm  fairy tale of "Hansel and Gretel"  contains some good lessons regarding survival within it.  Lessons I think, that when applied, can help new Home Buyers (and those Refinancing) to survive and thrive during their mortgage processing.

    "Hansel and Gretel" were the original participants of "Survivor", in my opinion.  For those that might not know the story of "Hansel and Gretel", there's a portion of the fairy tale that tells of these two children being left and abandoned in the woods.  First by a wicked step-mother.  Then by their own father.  


     Hansel and Gretel successfully return home after the first attempt at abandonment by their step-mother.  They had planned ahead, leaving themselves a formidable trail of white pebbles to follow and guide them back.  But upon the second attempt at abandonment by their father, they're not so lucky.  They had not planned as well and left themselves only a trail of breadcrumbs to follow home.  

     The story continues and various dangers come their way.  But eventually Hansel and Gretel do arrive back home after their adventure.  Alive and wellAnd as in most fairytales ... they live happily-ever-after.

     Wondering how this fairytale pertains to a mortgage application and the mortgage process yet?

     Well, in today's modern  mortgage application  and mortgage process,  documentation  is key.  When speaking to my clients, I refer to that documentation as a trail.  Actually a "paper trail".  EVERY thing must be documented.  Sometimes frustratingly so.  But all the documentation must tell a precise, concise, substantive, easily followed, easily understood and clear story to the  Underwriters  viewing their file.

     When I first explain this fact to clients, they typically do not grasp just how detailed I mean their documentation will have to be.  A mere verbal description of "paper trail" doesn't usually begin to touch upon the reality.  They need some convincing.

     Because of this, I always send my clients a written list or "link" to my Mortgage Checklist.  It lists those documents that are typically needed at the time of mortgage application.  That way my clients can plan ahead and be prepared entering into their transaction.  I find it helps tremendously.

     I also find that if they, like Hansel and Gretel did in their first forest trip, follow my  "Mortgage Checklist"  as their guide and lay a quality, substantial, easily followed stone pebble path of documentation for themselves (and the Underwriter) prior to heading into mortgage application ... they will find that their mortgage processing flows more steadily and smoothly towards completion.

    If they dismiss the checklist, ill-prepare, or don't plan as wisely for their coming mortgage application and mortgage process (similar to Hansel and Gretel planning their breadcrumb trail), they'll likely find the same outcome as the fairytale characters first did.  Trouble will find them and their mortgage process will be frustratingly slow and full of pitfalls.  

    The moral of the story within the fairytale "Hansel and Gretel" was pretty clear-cut to me.  Plan ahead.  Plan wisely.  Stay aware, react, and be involved in charting your own destiny.  Work as a team and you'll survive.  Success will be yours.  

    Much the same can be said with  mortgage applications and mortgage processing.  The better prepared you are prior and during your mortgage financing, the better-off you will be.  If you prepare and plan well ...  if you stay involved and alert throughout your processing ... if you quickly, precisely, and thoroughly react to your communications, requests for documentation, and information .... the more successful you will be.  And that success will occur in a more timely manner.

    Yes, it is true.  Some of the mortgage process and its outcome does not rest in the hands of the mortgage applicant.   The Mortgage Lender, the agent, the attorneys, title company, appraisers, home inspectors, and more must each play their part.  But if you are the applicant, taking charge of those things that you DO control will help you immensely. 

    Hansel and Gretel were the original participants of   "Survivor".  With a little planning, preparation, and quick-thinking, they survived their adventure and thrived successfully.  If you plan, prepare, and stay involved in your mortgage processing, you will do the same.


     *  Work with a mortgage lender that will provide the guidance and assistance you need to successfully complete your mortgage process and home buying transaction.  Contact me today ... and I'll put my 35+ years of mortgage experience and expertise to work on your behalf.
     I can be conveniently found through any of the following: 
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Will County, Illinois ... Showcasing a Great Place to Live, Pt. 1


Will County, Illinois ... 
Showcasing a Great Place to Live, Pt. 1
 

     
      Will County in Illinois is beating the odds!   
    
     The Illinois Association of Realtors recently reported that Will County's median and average home prices rose during the 1st Quarter of 2011 versus the prices of a year ago.     
  
     According to the  Chicago Tribune's reporter, Mary Ellen Podmolik ...  all the national accolades that many of the County's communities have received has definitely boosted the county's reputation as a good place to live.  The positive news regarding home prices proves it.       

     Some of those accolades she speaks of?      

     * Naperville  (and yes, part of it IS in Will County) ... is found often on CNN/Money's "Best Places to Live" list.    
     * BusinessWeek named  Tinley Park  (and yes again, part of it IS in Will County) ... the "Best Place to Raise Your Kids" in the entire country in 2010.      
     * Joliet  and  Bolingbrook  were chosen for a recent  CNN/Money article, as 2 of the 25 communities in the nation "where homes are affordable".    
  
      Not bad, huh??  

     Maybe it's because I and my wife are both lifelong residents of Will County (both Manhattan natives) that I announce these accomplishments so enthusiastically.  But I've always felt both personally, and as a mortgage originator and former appraiser, that Will County offered a wide and diversified housing market, price point, and choice of lifestyle.  A real trifecta of advantages. From rural settings, to multi-family, to upscale lavish homes, Will County has it all.   
     
     Major highways make travel within the County fairly easy, especially now that the southern extension of I-355 has been completed.  With the addition of this extension, many other major highways have all been connected making adjacent counties, the City of Chicago, and beyond far more accessible to residents and businesses now and in the future.     
  
     This highway extension greatly benefits those living within the county that are in need of medical and emergency care.  Much of the county population now enjoys faster, more timely access to the hospitals located within its borders, with the new Silver Cross Hospital facility located directly off an I-355 exit and St. Joseph's Provena located within minutes of I-80.  The Veteran's Clinic (it took over much of the old Silver Cross Hospital campus in Joliet) is just minutes from the I-355 extension as well.     
   
     A TMA feasibility Gene Mundt Chicago Bancorp Will County Change & Progress collage study stated of Will County:       

     "Both Population and Employment have been growing, and the number of residents, jobs, and households in southwest Will County are projected to increase by 71%, 121%, and 65%, respectively, between 2000 and 2030".     
  
     The many business corridors and complexes that have opened within recent years proves that many envision Will County as a bright-spot financially in the future.  The opening of the BNSF Logistics Park in Elwood, along with the new Union Pacific international and domestic services park in Joliet, and soon-to-be opened Ridgeport Logistics Center near Wilmington, have made the County of Will a powerhouse in transportation and business.    
    
     Other businesses are to follow suit.  The I-80 corridor has long been heralded as a mecca for business expansion of all types, and serves as a focal point for growth of jobs and revenue in the future of the County.     
  
     Presently, 53% of Will County's 849.39 square miles is still zoned agricultural (much of it in the south and east portion of the County), leaving plenty of room for development in both housing, business, and employment.  (Zoning Data maintained by the Will County Land Use Dept.)
   
     All the information above outlines the many advantages, opportunities, and possibilities that exist for future economic growth within the borders of Will County.  All are good indications of what that future may look like for its residents.     
     
     In Part 2, I will offer information regarding the lifestyle and housing opportunities that exist within Will County.  Please watch for the next segment of this post ...    

    
     *  When thinking about buying a new home, consider all Will County has to offer ... and then call me for mortgage info and assistance.   Contact me  today. There is no cost or obligation to do so.  I'll be happy to hear from you and have the opportunity to earn your mortgage business.  

        Direct:   815.524.2280      
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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender, a Lender with 37 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.  

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Knowing the Financial Philosophy and Standing of a Potential Partner is Growing in Importance



Knowing the Financial Philosophy and Standing 
of a Potential Partner is Growing in Importance




     I read an unbelievably interesting article on  Yahoo! Finance  today.  The focus of the article was credit scores, so it's no stretch to see why the topic caught my eye. But this article had a little bit of an eye-catching twist to it, especially if you are presently single, dating, or hoping to.   

     The article reported how credit scores are increasingly becoming a topic of conversation for those dating these days.  And that those conversations regarding credit scores are occurring earlier and earlier in the dating timeline.  Some as early as the first date.

     Wow!  Tough topic to throw at someone when you're just getting to know them, right?  As a Mortgage Lender, I applaud the recognition of the importance of this topic and I am thrilled that many (especially among the young) are finally "getting" that credit scores matter.  

     I've written something a kin to this topic in my prior post,  "I Promise to Love, Honor, and ... Pay My Bills?"  In that post, I urged having a talk with your "significant other" prior to entering marriage or purchasing a home together ... and of the perils of not doing so.  I would add now that "that talk" regarding credit and money should occur reasonably soon in the establishing of a relationship.  It's far less difficult or emotionally charged at an earlier stage and could save issues arising later.

     According to the article I found this morning (written by the New York Times), "Perfect 10?  Never Mind That.  Ask Her for Her Credit Score." ...
 
     "It’s difficult to quantify how many daters factor credit scores into their romantic calculations, but financial planners, marriage counselors and dating site executives all said that they were hearing far more concerns about credit than in the past. “I’m getting twice as many questions about credit scores as I did pre-recession,” Ms. Thakor said."  (Manisha Thakor is the founder and chief executive of MoneyZen Wealth Management, a financial advisory firm.)

     And according to many daters under the age of 40, credit scores and the gauge they supply are so widely used now that they have become a big factor within their own dating.  Factors so big, that they at times have outweighed other things like good jobs, shared interests, and physical attraction.  

     While I again will say that I applaud the rising awareness and importance surrounding this important topic, I do want to point out two things that grabbed my attention regarding this article.  Although the headline reads that you should "ask her" about credit scores, the issue of poor credit is not gender driven.  I see both males and females with credit problems and in need of credit advice.  

     I would also remind those dating ... everyone ... that credit scores and attitudes regarding credit and finances CAN evolve and change.  Those that in the past have abused their finances and credit/credit scores CAN right their finances and financial ship ... and they CAN navigate themselves into higher scores.  It's simply NOT a case of "once a low credit score, always a low credit score".  

     People mature.  People gain from their experiences.  People change their ways.  I see it happen all the time.  I've helped those people accomplish what once would have seemingly been viewed as irreparable.  Guided and assisted them back into sound financial health and good credit scores. They became Home Buyers or Refinanced.   It takes a willingness to change, time, lots of hard work ... but it CAN be done.

     There were quite a few good links within this post.  I recommend that you read the article ... and perhaps pass it on to others that might find it of interest too.  There's real insight and help available within the article.  But I will point out that many Mortgage Lenders provide credit guidance and assistance as one of their services.  I know I certainly do.
 
    Typically, credit guidance and assistance includes an initial running of a credit report.  A great place to start.  And many times that credit report is provided FREE of charge.  Especially if you're hoping to buy or refinance a home in the future, a Mortgage Lender can be the perfect place to begin your credit inquiry, get back on the path to credit improvement, and best place yourself in a good position to buy or refinance a home fairly soon ... or in the future.  The earlier your start the better.

     Knowing the financial philosophy and standing of a potential partner is growing in importance.  There is no doubt about that, especially after reading this article.  The ramifications and fallout of poor credit are presently high and growing also.  And they touch upon both partners in a relationship in many ways.  Both financially and emotionally.

     Take the time now to talk the important topics of finances and credit over thoroughly.  Listen well.  Have a willingness to take action also should other features of your partner be positive.  To seek assistance, should it be necessary within a relationship.   Being "in sync" regarding these important topics can determine much in your future. 

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     *  Looking for solid and sound financial advice and credit-improvement services in Will County, DuPage County, or elsewhere in Chicagoland?  Contact me!  I'll put my 36 years of mortgage and financial experience and expertise to work on your behalf.  Together we'll establish your healthy financial future.
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I Promise to Love, Cherish ... and Pay My Bills??


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


    *  Food for thought: 


        According to the 2010 Population Survey (conducted annually by the U.S. Census Bureau), there were about 7.5 million unmarried opposite-sex couples cohabiting in the United States, as well as another 620,000 same-sex couples. The same source reported that married couples account for only 48 percent of all households.     

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     More and more often, especially with young, first-time home buyers, I'm assisting unmarried partners with 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 typically very clear, one partner is the saver while the other is the spender.  The conversations I have with them certainly 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's hoping to buy a home.  I'm not sure about him.  

     SHE has been the catalyst of each and every call.  She as provided each and every bit of information.  All documentation received has come from her.  

     He's been forthcoming with nothing.  He's also been very non-committal and evasive when giving any answers to my questions.  He's unsettling, to be truthful.



     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.



     Now it's just my opinion, but I think this couple has bigger issues that should concern them.  Their credit reports read like a life story.  

     While both partners are young, they're still old enough to have established financial outlooks, habits, and distinguishable spending personalities.  Theirs are vastly different on all counts.  A study in extremes.  

     Because of that, I see all sorts of problems before them long term.  Red flags screaming "Warning!" and  "Caution!

Let's Talk About Your Credit & Finances!

      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.  

     First, they need to be honest with each other about their financial histories (something I think she's 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 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, the 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's my opinion that protections ... legal protections ... need to be arranged and put into place for each in these instances.  That's especially true prior to a large financial purchase/commitment, such as a home or a car.
 


      Unfortunately, I don't see much financial harmony in MY young home buying couple right now ... or the likelihood of any real in-depth communications between them and an attorney occurring in the near future.  

     Time will tell if they make a "go" of this, or not.  I'm hoping they prove me wrong and all ends well.



      I urge anyone hoping to buy a home with someone else, especially as a non-married partner:  Discuss your 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.  

     Educate yourself thoroughly.  Understand, know, and weigh your options and the possible outcomes and consequences of your actions.  Love and protect yourself enough to take these precautions ...    


  
  

     *  In need of mortgage and credit advice?  Hoping to buy or refinance a home soon or sometime in the future?  Contact me.  I'll put my 37 years of experience and expertise as a mortgage lender to work for you.  
     I can be easily found at:


Gene Mundt

Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987  -  IL Lic. #031.0006220  -  WI Licensed
American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656


      Direct:   815.524.2280    
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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator, an Originator with 37 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.  

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2017 Will County Fall Festivals, Pumpkin Farms, Corn Mazes, Hayrides

2017 Will County Fall Festivals,  Pumpkin  Farms,  Corn Mazes, Hayrides       The look of Fall has begun to arrive in Will County and...