To Refinance or Not Refinance? How to Decide


To Refinance or Not Refinance?
How to Decide


Because of ongoing events and the current low interest rates being seen, many homeowners are contacting me and asking ... 


"Would a Refinance of my present mortgage be a smart move?"

My answer to them is typically, "Well, it depends."

It's easy to see why most callers think my response should be a quick and simple yes or no.  

Most articles I've run across do tend to portray it in that manner ... as "right or wrong" or in stark black and white terms, with an answer solely based on dollars and cents alone.  

And that can be true in some cases.  Interest rates have remained low (but volatile) for quite a while, and for some mortgage holders, an answer can be fairly obvious.  

Some clients:

  • May be able to save on monthly mortgage payments  
  • Years may be able to be shaved off of an original loan term  

However ... (there always that however or but, isn't there)

I've found that the answer to this timely and important question, while certainly entwined with financial considerations, is often based on events occurring in the life of the individual mortgage holder(s) at the time they are asking the question.  And the answer, when found, is personal only to them.  

Simply, there's typically "more to the story".  And because of that fact, the answer received and actions taken by one client can never be a template for another's. 

Each inquiring borrower has their own life with a differing set of circumstances and differing financial scenarios.  Each has differing needs, different goals,  and different outcomes that are called for.

Here are a few examples of the different scenarios that have driven decisions for past clients:

  • Clients have changed jobs.  (As a result, methods and frequency of salary/pay have changed)  
  • Client has inherited a large sum of money
  • Clients wanted to consolidate mortgages
  • Clients wanted to change loan types/products  
  • Clients divorced (Buy-out partner/spouse)
  • College costs have loomed for children
  • Remodeling was needed 
  • A Family member added (or removed) on the loan 
  • HELOC came due, terms changed, etc.
  • Reduce 30-year loan to a 20 year or 15-year term
  • More ...

Often the real driving force behind their inquiry and refinancing is "life" itself ...

But no matter "the why" behind the question, there is one simple truth.  All Lenders should require that basic information be assessed for their client prior to making an assessment of viability for refinancing.  

So, what info should you have available for your Lender when you contact them regarding a Refinance?  That info includes:

  • Current mortgage interest rate held
  • Current loan balance to be paid
  • Current Mortgage Escrow(s) balance
  • Equity held in the home
  • Current Credit Scores (or allow Lender to Pull Credit)
  • Remaining term of Mortgage held (or the Original Loan Term)
  • Current Mortgage Payment (Does it include PMI?)
  • Current outstanding Debt (DTI/Debt-To-Income)
  • More ...

Other information that must be considered, as with any mortgage, Closing Costs will be incurred.  Those costs will typically include:


  • An Appraisal Fee
  • Title Insurance costs
  • Taxes (if Escrowed and a part of the payment)
  • Homeowner's Insurance (same as above w/ taxes)
  • Loan Origination Fee
  • Any costs specific to the individual Borrower (For example: If a borrower decides to pay points to obtain a lower rate)

Closing Costs incurred while refinancing can be paid in varying ways.  Payment can be made at the time of Closing.  It's also possible to "roll payment into" the new refinance loan itself.  All these factors, plus all financing options available, will then be thoroughly analyzed.  

Here's a simple method of analyzation I've found that often proves helpful to my clients when considering a Refinance:
  
  1. Projected Future Savings @ Proposed Interest Rate  =  $_____/Month  
  2. Projected Savings if PMI is dropped   $_____
  3. Savings realized/year after Refinancing=$____
  4. How many years it takes to recoup the cost of the loan/ Refinance   =  X
  5. Answers above = Your Answer

The fact of the matter is, a reliable sound answer can only be found after an analysis of this type is conducted with your mortgage lender.  As I said above, much is based on the "rest of the story".  YOUR personal needs and financial scenario.

So if you're wondering if a Refinance of your present mortgage would be a smart move?  Contact me.  Together we'll analyze and discover the best answer for you ...

I'm easily found at:





Gene Mundt

Mortgage Originator - NMLS #216987 - 
IL Lic. 031.0006220 - WI License #216987





American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.

NMLS #175656



Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell: 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, #Lockport, #Crest Hill, #Plainfield, #Channahon, #Bolingbrook, #Romeoville, #Naperville, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of #Chicago, Cook County, 
and elsewhere within IL & WI.  

Your Referrals & Testimonials are Greatly Appreciated!



New Construction: Addressing the Chicago-Area Housing Shortage


New Construction:
Addressing the Chicago-Area Housing Shortage


There's a home inventory shortage currently being experienced in the Chicagoland area, just as there is all across the U.S.  A recent report shared in Crain's Chicago Business proves that to be true, as it states that the number of homes for sale in the Chicago market in early 2020 is at its lowest level in 13 years.  

That housing shortage is effecting first-time homebuyers especially hard.  Homebuilders have taken note.  As a result, many builders have begun tailoring their new construction projects and homes to please the eye and fit the lifestyle of younger first-time buyers.

I did a little research of just a small portion of the Chicago-area housing market ... a 10-mile radius in Will County (located south of the City of Chicago) ... just to see what kind and how many new construction projects were to be found.  

As of this writing, there are almost 500 new construction homes available on the current market and available for purchase.  Imagine the possibilities and number available throughout the entire Chicagoland region.

30 of those new construction homes were located in my hometown of Manhattan alone.  Other smaller communities within Will County, such as Channahon, were seeing fluid activity, as well.  That's positive news.

But besides the "new car smell" and capability of customizing and personalizing a new construction home, what are some of the other benefits to be found when purchasing a home of this type?  

Some of those benefits can be:

  • It's new!  Warranties are typically available on everything from materials to appliances and workmanship
  • New products typically are constructed and run more energy efficiently.  Many newly constructed homes have been built with "green" features.
  • Safety can also be a plus, as new materials and construction standards have improved 
  • Security features and technology has become almost standard in new construction homes
  • More ...

For those considering the purchase of a new construction home, there are a few different and additional things they must know and consider as they enter the process, as the new construction buying and financing processes are quite different from that of an existing home.  

Those differences begin immediately upon the viewing and touring of a prospective home.  In the Chicagoland area, a majority of the new construction market is sold from Model Homes and Sales Offices found within the subdivision under consideration for purchase.  

As with any home purchase, a new construction buyer should only view homes after speaking with me, your mortgage lender.  That way you are pre-qualified and fully-aware of all your financing capabilities and options before moving forward.  And you know what you can (and can't) afford.  

New construction buyers must:


  • Be aware that Home Builders will REQUIRE a small deposit to hold a lot until a Contract can be agreed upon
  • Be prepared to negotiate their best price first.  Then and only then, should they discuss home building options, credits, financing.  (Builders often try to intertwine these discussions
  • Understand that Home Builders will typically REQUIRE a deposit or payment be paid PRIOR to the start of construction (typically 10% of the final negotiated Purchase Price)

If you are a new construction home buyer that already owns a home and it has not sold yet, you must also consider:

  • How will you fund the deposit/down payment needed by the Home Builder
  • If your home sells prior to your new construction completion, where will you live or stay until the new home is completed/Closing Day?

An extremely important, but often overlooked and under-estimated cost of buying a new construction home, surrounds tax bills.   I've written extensively on this topic.  


It's important that buyers of new construction homes ask questions regarding their tax bills, both their first bill and their anticipated future bills.  Township assessors (for Will County Townships, click here) should be able to provide this extremely important information for any prospective home buyer.

As most buyers must finance their new construction purchase and obtain a mortgage, it's also important that new construction home buyers have a full understanding of the financing terms for their home.  

Financing terms are typically different for new construction homes versus those for existing homes.

New construction buyers should know and fully understand the following information obtained from their Builder and Lender:

  • The timeline/completion date for their home:  Typical timelines for new construction can be for 90 to 180 days, but some run even longer  (Contracts on Existing homes typically run 30 to 60 days)
  • Interest Rate Locks:  Typically, interest rate locks run for 60 days, but some lenders offer 90-day locks.  An even smaller number of Lenders will offer what is called an "Extended Rate Lock" to cover a buyer/borrower from start-to-finish/Closing on a new home.  

New construction buyers should remain vigilant and in contact with their builder and lender throughout the construction process, as this will make for a more fluid and successful Closing upon completion of construction.

Because of the current housing market shortage ... and for many other reasons ... a new construction purchase can be a very viable and wise choice for home buyers.  But anyone purchasing new construction will find it extremely beneficial to familiarize themselves with construction "lingo".  

I always advise any buyers/borrowers educate themselves and perform preliminary homework prior to their buying.  In other words, they should have a thorough consultation with a lender. 

That is particularly relevant for new construction buyers/borrowers, as it helps them secure the best home possible, and processing and financing are far more stress-free and progress much more smoothly.

If you are considering the purchase of a new construction home in Will County - Chicagoland - IL & WI, please reach out with your questions.  Together we'll go over all your options for purchase and financing and then apply for options while moving forward with your purchase.



* Are you dreaming of buying or refinancing a home or Investment Property in New Lenox - Will County - Chicago - Chicagoland - IL/WI?

Contact me 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 License #216987


American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.

NMLS #175656




Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell: 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, #Lockport, #Crest Hill, #Plainfield, #Channahon, #Bolingbrook, #Romeoville, #Naperville, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of #Chicago, Cook County, 
and elsewhere within IL & WI.  

Your Referrals & Testimonials are Greatly Appreciated!













Taken Measures to Safeguard & Stock Up During the COVID-19 Scare? What You Can Do Next



Taken Measures to Safeguard & Stock Up 
During the COVID-19 Scare?
What You Can Do Next


The current coronavirus scare has many cities, states, and our entire nation declaring a "shelter-in-place" or lockdown of many businesses and services.  We're all having to learn how to navigate the stresses and challenges the virus has presented us.

None of us can escape or overlook our current reality and these challenges ... challenges that include how we spend downtime, should we have any after seeing to our own health, our families, and livelihoods.  

My wife, gramma to our 3 very active grandkids, has been scouring the internet trying to help to find activities, learning tools, and fun ideas to help our sons and their wives keep the grandkids busy, learning, and from going stir-crazy.  Thankfully, there have been many such options available that fill-the-bill well.

Adults must do much the same ...  

We each must find those things that will engage us, keep our minds and bodies active and healthy, and assist in downgrading the stresses that we're presently feeling.  We must try to find any positives that, although hiding, may exist for us.  Admittedly, some days, that can be exhausting.

And while I fully-acknowledge that right now there are many "unknowns" and challenges that exist, I believe that we will eventually find ourselves on the backside of the current challenges faced.  

So to that end, how can we proactively plan and prepare ourselves for the future?  What can we each do to:  


  • Safeguard and maintain what we have?
  • Make the future more positive for ourselves?  
  • Put any downtime we have to work for ourselves in order to improve our lives?  
  • Simply enjoy any downtime we might have?


To help out in that regard, I've scoured my own posts and also found many beneficial online resources ...  

Many great articles about the benefits of "de-cluttering" are easily found.  Decluttering certainly addresses both physical and mental tests currently faced.  Whether it's home, office, or mind ... each can be straightened up and tidied.

Our finances and credit can also be "decluttered".  And doing so at this time is a very constructive thing to do.  They're actions that will pay big dividends down the road.  

If you do nothing else in this regard, I recommend that you take the time to check your credit/credit report at:  


And should you find issues there, please don't hesitate to contact me or your own local lender for advice.

If prior to the coronavirus challenge, your hope and plan were to buy a home, try to remain positive and focused on that and your other financial goals.  

Now is the perfect time to prepare and educate yourself thoroughly regarding the mortgage process (whether sooner or later).  

Now again, I recognize that this is exactly where those "unknowns" mentioned above can rear their ugly head.  But the information and knowledge gained through educational exercises can reap benefits for you whether you buy soon or sometime down the road.  

Any preparations you make during this time will help you budget and save for your financial and homebuying goals.  They will also help you face any financial burdens faced along the way much more quickly, confidently, and successfully too.

While my Chicagoland Mortgage Blog contains hundreds of articles, the following posts specifically address how you can familiarize and educate yourself regarding the mortgage process and home buying.  Each will also assist you in navigating it more easily and successfully:  



For those considering the purchase of a new construction home or the building of a home of their own, there is an unbelievable wealth of information and new construction "eye candy" available via the internet.  Pinterest can be a valuable resource for all steps of construction.  From pre-planning and the choice of building location and house plan to finishing touches, the information can be found there.  

And for those that are already homeowners and not looking to buy again, there are myriads of ideas, tips, "how-to" videos, remodeling, organization, home maintenance, home decor, and much more to be found via Pinterest.  It's a virtual library of interests, information, and assistance.

If you're looking for a place to inspire and educate yourself ... or to dream ... please take the opportunity to visit my Pinterest Boards.  Whether it's new construction, organization, gardening, mortgage, first-time homebuyer, recipes, curb appeal, moving, home decor, or more ... you can find valuable information and thousands of pretty awesome ideas and tips there.

Hopefully, I've been able to provide some outlets, info, and links to help you during this challenging time ... and to pass some time in an enjoyable way, as well.  I wish you good health ... physically, mentally, spiritually, and fiscally as we move forward.  

And please remember, if I can be of assistance in any way or answer any questions you have, please do not hesitate to contact me.    

Stay healthy ...


* Are you dreaming of buying or refinancing a home or Investment Property in New Lenox - Will County - Chicago - Chicagoland - IL/WI?

Contact me 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 License #216987


American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.

NMLS #175656




Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell: 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, #Lockport, #Crest Hill, #Plainfield, #Channahon, #Bolingbrook, #Romeoville, #Naperville, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of #Chicago, Cook County, 
and elsewhere within IL & WI.  

Your Referrals & Testimonials are Greatly Appreciated!


















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

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