Halloween Safety Tips for Pets - 2018



Halloween Safety Tips for Pets - 2018


The Halloween Season with all its scary costumes,
parties, tasty treats, spooky decorations, and haunted homes is finally here ...

But sadly, potential dangers also arrive with it.  And that means we should be taking the time and making the effort to plan, prepare, and place safety precautions in place.  

Those preparations, plans, and safety precautions should keep our furry friends in mind for this year's Halloween Trick-or-Treating hours and parties taking place too.

Please follow the important pet safety tips found on the informative flyer below ... that way we make sure that this year's Halloween celebrations remain memorable for all the right reasons:  




Follow the safety tips above.  Your Halloween celebrations will be memorably safe, fun, and sweet for everyone!  


*  Thinking of buying, refinancing, or purchasing an investment property in New Lenox, Will County, or elsewhere in Chicagoland - IL - WI? 
Your Mortgage Financing doesn't need to be scary!  


Contact me today!  Together we'll fully prepare you for your successful mortgage Closing.  A real TREAT in today's financing world ...

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  


  

 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, a Mortgage Originator with 40+ years of #mortgage experience, that 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, #Wilmington, #Peotone, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of #Chicago, #Cook County, and elsewhere within IL and Wisconsin.

Your Referrals & Testimonials are Always Greatly Appreciated!

Property Valuations by Price per Square Foot ... from a Mortgage Originator's View


Property Valuations by Price per Square Foot ...
from a Mortgage Originator's View


Recently I read an article written by Appraiser Tom Horn (Birmingham, AL) entitled: "How do Appraisers Calculate Price per Square Foot?" ...  

Soon after reading this informative article, I received an Appraisal in my office on a (purchase) transaction I was originating.  

The article and the appraisal motivated me to write the following post.  It summarizes a few of the issues addressed in Tom's article and those I confront fairly often within appraisals I receive.   

Appraisals and the act of appraising are of great interest to me.  My interest doesn't spring solely from the fact that I'm a Mortgage Originator and appraisals are a vitally important portion of the lending process.  

Uniquely, I'm also a Mortgage Originator that served as a licensed IL Real Estate Appraiser for over 20+ years.  My post is shared from that viewpoint.

Residential real estate transactions include:

  • Someone hoping to sell a home
  • Someone looking for a home to buy   

The majority of real estate transactions are kickstarted by a  Listing Agent (no matter their locale or housing market) establishing a Fair Market Asking Price for a new Listing.  
While establishing that Asking Price, the agent must assess ... 

"What are homes selling for in the immediate area as related to their Living Area (a/k/a Square Footage of Living Area ABOVE GRADE)?

Real estate housing markets across our country obviously vary greatly, as do their architectural styles and home designs.  When calculating Square Footage (of Living Area), agents should follow the one standard/textbook method that all appraisers are required to use:  


Sales Price
Divided by:  Gross Living Area (Above Grade)
Equals:  Price per Square Foot

Sounds simple enough, right?  But how is Gross Living Area calculated?

To calculate a correct Gross Living Area, the following should and must be excluded:

  • Garages/Carports/Garage Apartments (accessed through unfinished areas of a home
  • Basement Area (ANY area that is BELOW Grade Level), including well-finished levels in Split-Level Designs and homes with Walk-Out Basements fitting the topography/slope of a back or side-yard
  • Enclosed Porches
  • 3-Season Rooms
  • Secondary (Detached) structures such as "Coach Houses", "She-Sheds", etc.

It should be noted:  While it's true that the above-mentioned amenities can and do affect Sales Prices higher, Appraisers cannot include any of these property features in the Gross Living Area Calculations and Comparison Grid when appraising a given property.

This fact must also be emphasized:  It's vitally important that Comparable Sales and Listings with like features and amenities be utilized in any report prepared.  Comparing homes of similar Living Area Size is key to any solid Appraisal being produced and successfully completing Mortgage Underwriting. 

Mixing in Comparables that appear reasonably similar in design, size, price, living area ... but deviating from accurately breaking down the Square Footage Living Area and the separate amenities ... leads to a flawed price indication.

Remember the old saying, "Compare apples to apples, etc."?  It applies perfectly when referring to Appraisals.

Using the Price per Square Foot method for market studies is fine, as long as the comparisons are reasonably similar ... and any and all variables are adjusted for separately.  And that is, of course, assuming that they have an impact on Market Value in your particular sub-market.

Think back to above when I said that I received an Appraisal that spurred me to write this post ...

In that referred-to Appraisal, the Subject Property was a unique "Raised Ranch-style" home.  It included the following indicated Value(s) per Square Foot on the six Comparables used by the Appraiser (featured from low value to high value per Square Foot):
  1. $135
  2. $139
  3. $188
  4. $198
  5. $235
  6. $239

The Subject Property had sold at:  $221/per Square Feet.  The Comparables that had sold at the higher end of valuation were most similar to the Subject in Living Area Size and Basement-Finished Rooms (perhaps the 2 most critical areas of comparison in this particular appraisal assignment).

In this particular Appraisal, I was greatly relieved to see that the Appraiser had compared "apples to apples".  Why?  It was a great example of an Appraisal that could have easily gone awry and caused an issue while in underwriting. 

Unfortunately, I've seen problems of this nature arise. In one of those instances, the Appraiser had incorrectly calculated the Square Foot of Gross Living Area at double the actual size, (by wrongly including the lower level walk-out finished basement area in the Living area). Think "trickle-down theory", as obviously, that incorrect calculation subsequently skewed the Value Estimate. 

Because so much rests upon the results of the Appraisal performed (for all parties involved in the transaction) the "correctness" of the Appraisal can't be overstated. A correctly calculated report is needed by the Seller, Buyer, and Lender alike ... so that a "fair shake" is the result.




* Hoping to Buy or Refinance a Home or Investment Property in New Lenox, Will County, or elsewhere in the Chicago - Chicagoland area, IL or WI? 

Contact me!

I'll put my 40+ years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
I'm easily found at:



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


American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656



Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell or 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, a Mortgage Originator with 40+ years of #mortgage experience, that 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, #Wilmington, #Peotone, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of #Chicago, #Cook County, and elsewhere within IL and Wisconsin.

Your Referrals & Testimonials are Always Greatly Appreciated!




Holiday Shopping Safety Tips - 2018




Holiday Shopping Safety Tips - 2018


Today's brisk cool wind reminds me, another summer with its warm sunny days is in our rearview mirror ...

Brrrrrrr!  It also reminded me that the Holidays are just around the corner!  


Of course, that means holiday commercials will soon be running on our TVs 24/7 ... and Holiday shopping will once again be on our minds.  

Experience tells me that one thing is inevitable during those upcoming holiday shopping trips.  You'll be asked if you want to apply for a new credit card while checking-out at store registers.    

Because of that, each year I've written posts warning of the credit and financial "dangers" that lurk while Holiday Shopping.  Each year I've urged ... just say "NO" to new credit offers unless one of the following applies: 

  • Your Credit/Credit Score can withstand a new credit inquiry
  • You can handle the new debt caused by the new card
  • You can make monthly payments on time, consistently, and faithfully
  • You will NOT be making application for a mortgage
  • You are NOT already in the mortgage process
  • You are NOT hoping to buy a home in the near future
  • You are NOT maxed-out on present credit cards
  • You have NOT already applied for other stores/credit cards
  • You know ALL the terms of the new credit account associated with the offer
  • You know what other credit obligations you have and the total of ALL your debt
  • The "enticement" offer is so valuable it offsets the negatives of taking on more debt
  • You have NO credit history and are trying to establish one for a future home purchase

As a Mortgage Originator, this year I remind you once again ... stay alert and strong regarding your finances and credit standing as you do your holiday shopping.  This is especially important if you're presently in the home buying/mortgage process ... or if you're planning on doing so within the next year.

But this year I'm adding an additional timely warning to my annual message:  This warning addresses the need for heightened awareness for your physical safety during holiday shopping trips.

It's sad to say, but women are especially vulnerable to the dangers that exist during holiday shopping excursions.  One reason is that they typically carry purses while shopping.  (Purses are quick easy marks for thieves.)  And many times, they have children with them causing distractions and making them more vulnerable.

After reading a recent article describing the many dangers that exist during the holiday shopping period, I decided to do a bit more research on the topic.  That research resulted in my list of shopping safety tips offered below.  

Please share these safety tips with family and friends.  That way they too can have a safe secure happy holiday season.

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Tips Specifically for Women:
  • Consider using a travel pouch instead of a purse while shopping 
  • If using a purse, keep it zipped/closed while shopping
  • If using a shopping cart, lace the cart's child safety straps through your purse straps
  • If no straps exist on the shopping cart, use a carabiner clip to attach your purse straps to the cart
  • Carry purses close to your body in cross-body fashion
  • Do not leave your purse unattended anywhere ... in a shopping cart, on the top of a car, on a trunk top, etc.
  • Get your keys out of your purse prior to leaving the store.  (The keys can act as a weapon if need be and the panic button can act as an alert)
  • Carry your purse on your side opposite of the traffic portion of an aisle
  • Walk with confidence at all times
  • Park your car in a well-lit portion of the parking lot
  • Lock your car door immediately upon entering it
  • Don't linger in your car while in the parking lot  
  • If possible, shop with a friend(s). There is safety in numbers
  • Leave flashy expensive jewelry at home
  • Wear casual - "walking" shoes, as they make a flight from danger easier
  • Carry pepper spray or another personal safety deterrent
  • Trust your "gut".  
  • Don't hesitate to seek the assistance of a security guard if alarmed in any way
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips for all ...
  • Carry only what you need when you go out shopping.  Example:  Driver's License, Debit/Credit Cards you'll use, phone, car keys.  
  • Carry no/limited cash
  • If you carry cash, carry it in a front pocket
  • Always keep one hand free
  • Don't overload with packages
  • Lock packages in your trunk
  • Be and stay aware of those around you
  • Walk with purpose and confidence
  • Park in well-lit areas 
  • Avoid parking garages, if possible
  • Keep your car locked at all times
  • Shop during daylight hours, if and when possible
  • Trust your instincts
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and those around you
  • Locate, then carry your keys with you as you return to your parked car
  • Use the "panic" button on your car keys when alarmed
  • Don't linger in the parking lot
  • Save cell phone conversations until you return home
  • Try to avoid shopping alone.  There's safety in numbers
  • If you lose a debit or credit card, report it to the credit card company immediately
Awareness is always your best defense.  Stress, time constraints and pressures, crowds, and distractions allow for dangerous situations to develop.

Plan and prepare for your holiday shopping excursions ahead of time.  When you do so, you'll remain safe and secure ... physically, financially and credit-wise.

Shop smart and enjoy your Holiday Shopping!


* Hoping to Buy or Refinance a Home or Investment Property in New Lenox, Will County, or elsewhere in the Chicago - Chicagoland area, IL or WI?

Contact me!

I'll put my 40+ years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
I'm easily found at:



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

American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656



Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell or 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, a Mortgage Originator with 40+ years of #mortgage experience, that 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, #Wilmington, #Peotone, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of #Chicago, #Cook County, and elsewhere within IL and Wisconsin.

Your Referrals & Testimonials are Always Greatly Appreciated!




Growing Investment Trend: Rental Income


  

 Growing Investment Trend: 
Rental Income



Over the recent months, I've seen a growing trend in my local real estate markets ...

The number of Investors inquiring about the purchase of condos, apartments, townhomes, and even traditional owner-occupied single-family homes to be utilized as rental units - is growing.  

Rental income produced by these types of purchases bring a "workable" monthly cash flow to local Investment Buyers.  More people are currently finding that of real interest to them and their financial goals. 


Why?

In math terms, when buying an Investment Rental Property you:



Collect Monthly $ Rent 
Minus: All Associated Monthly Expenses 
Equal: Income (Monthly Cash Flow)

These Rental Property Investment Buyers intend to rent the purchased properties and make some money growing equity in them at the same time ...

But many of these Investors see these purchases as a way of diversifying themselves too.  While many still maintain their other investments (such as stocks, bonds, and other investment funds), they're also choosing to broaden their investment portfolio via the addition of rental properties.  

Perhaps it's the recent gains being seen in many housing markets from rising equity and stock prices that have driven this still-developing trend.  Or maybe it's the "still low, but steadily rising" mortgage interest rates available.

But it's also true that:  In many markets, it's possible to produce monthly cash flow after eliminating mortgage payments, utilities, HOA Assessments, or management costs in place for a relatively large number of properties.  

And currently, it's still possible to buy an Investment Property with:
  •  As little as 15% Down Payment (yes, less than 20% Down)
  • 85% Loan-to-Value allowed with most Private Mortgage Insurance providers *  

* Many Investors still put 20-25% down and finance the difference so they can maintain positive monthly cash flow.

Positive news for those wishing to buy an Investment Rental Property ...  

As I mentioned above, the purchase of Investment  Properties is a popular and growing trend in my area, (Chicagoland - Will County) especially amongst those approaching their retirement years and looking for a viable semi-passive income stream.  

Condos and Townhomes where HOA (Homeowners Association) are in play have proven particularly popular as the HOA takes care of much of the maintenance on the property for Rental Property Investors.  That specific feature is very attractive for those Investors that do not have the time, skills, or inclination to be an on-site "contractor" or handyman. 

So I ask ...


  • Do your financial goals include the purchase of an Investment Rental Property?  
  • Is this type of investment right for you? 

There's much to know and many options for you to consider prior to making your final decision regarding an Investment Rental Property purchase.  That education and information are even more critical should you need financing for the property purchase. 


If considering or thinking you might want to join the Rental Property investment trend:  Do your homework.  Make sure to get all the information and answers you need to make an informed investment and purchase decision.  

To accomplish that, in New Lenox - Will County - Chicagoland - I/WI ... reach out to me today.  We'll discover what options exist for you now ... and in the future. 




* Hoping to Buy or Refinance a Home or Investment Property in New Lenox, Will County, or elsewhere in the Chicago - Chicagoland area, IL or WI?


Contact me!

I'll put my 40+ years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
I'm easily found at:


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

American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656



Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell or 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, a Mortgage Originator with 40+ years of #mortgage experience, that 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, #Wilmington, #Peotone, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of #Chicago, #Cook County, and elsewhere within IL and Wisconsin.

Your Referrals & Testimonials are Always Greatly Appreciated!





   







Student Loan Debt Solution Found via Fannie Mae's "Student Loan Cash-Out Refinance"

Student Loan Debt Solution Found  via   Fannie Mae's "Student Loan Cash-Out Refinance" Mounting student loan debt has ...