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Archive for the ‘Buying Real Estate’ Category

Festivals, Events, & Chicago Mag Article Saying “Now is a Great Time to Buy”

In Buying Real Estate, Chicago Events, Chicago Real Estate, Chicago Realtor, Chicagoland Real Estate, Chicagoland Real Estate Agent, Chicagoland Realtor, Investing in Real Estate, Money-Saving Tips, Real Estate, Real Estate Agent, Selling Real Estate, Uncategorized on 05/24/2013 at 4:24 pm

With summer here, you or someone you know might be considering buying a house.  If that’s the case, you should know that according to Chicago Magazine, “Chicago-area home prices have finally bottomed out, most experts say—making now a great time to buy.”  Did you know that “late last year Zillow named Chicago the best market for homebuyers among 142 metro areas?”  If you’re curious to learn more, check out the article now.  Call or email me with questions any time, and I’ll let you know which banks are offering added financial incentives to qualified buyers.

Make sure you don’t miss any summer fun and stay on your budget by checking out Millennium Park Events and Chicago Festivals where free events are also listed.

Enjoy the summer, all those BBQs, and be careful out on the road.

As always, let me know if we can help you with any of your real estate questions or concerns.

Jerry A. Mustafa
MANAGING BROKER
Golden Arrow Realty Inc

Email: jerry@goldenarrowrealty.com
Website: http://www.ownchicagorealty.com/
Blog: honestlyagoldenarrowrealtyblog

Office:  (773) 622-1100 x 202
Toll Free:  (877) 427-9778
Cell:  (773) 544-7790

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Free Chicago Museum Days, Home Safety, and the Chicago Real Estate Market

In Buying Real Estate, Chicago Real Estate, Chicago Realtor, Chicagoland Real Estate, Chicagoland Realtor, Investing in Real Estate, Money-Saving Tips, Real Estate, Real Estate Agent, Uncategorized on 01/21/2013 at 9:48 pm

This time, I’m sharing money-saving and home safety tips as well as good news for home buyers and investors.

The Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every weekday until February 13, 2013. If you don’t have an Illinois driver’s license or an Illinois State ID, please call them and ask what you can bring to prove your residency. The Field Museum also has SOME free days for Illinois residents in January and February. Additionally, here is another website with more Chicago freebies. Please check all websites for details.

According to a Forbes magazine article, Chicago has been a buyer’s market in 2012. While affordability is still high and mortgage rates continue to be historically low, you might want to consider pursuing buying a home or investment property this year.

Yesterday’s Chicago Sun-Times highlighted December’s spiked residential sales and prices during what has historically been the slowest time of the year. If you’re sitting on the fence about buying, you might want to start looking before home prices increase even more.

If you already own a home, January is National Radon Action Month, and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is asking Chicagoans to test their homes for harmful levels of radon, a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that can lead to death if unchecked.

As always, let us know if we can help you with any of your real estate questions or concerns.

Jerry A. Mustafa
MANAGING BROKER
Golden Arrow Realty Inc

Email: jerry@goldenarrowrealty.com
Website: http://www.goldenarrowrealty.com

Office: (773) 622-1100 x202
Cell: (773) 544-7790

Money-saving Tips for Investors & Museum Lovers!

In Buying Real Estate, Chicago Real Estate, Chicago Realtor, Chicagoland Real Estate, Chicagoland Real Estate Agent, Chicagoland Realtor, Investing in Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate Agent, Selling Real Estate on 02/17/2012 at 10:21 pm

This time, I’m sharing good news for investors and money-saving tips for free museum trips! 

Although residential investors I know have been enjoying low vacancy rates, they’ve told me that they were disappointed they haven’t received any help from the federal government.  Investors are finally going to get their wish!  Proposed changes to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) will make mortgage modifications available to owners of rental properties.  Principal reduction incentives will also be offered for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans.  Please spread the word to everyone you know.  Here’s the Chicago Tribune article.

Chicago’s largest museums are offering many free days to Illinois residents this month.  Other museums offer weekly free days which are listed on the city’s website

As always, let us know if we can help you with any of your real estate questions or concerns.

Visit our website at:  www.ownchicagorealty.com.

Email us at:  honestlyblog@goldenarrowrealty.com.

Fun Family Events & Why It’s the Best Time to Own Rental Property

In Buying Real Estate, Chicago Events, Chicago Real Estate, Chicago Realtor, Chicagoland Real Estate, Chicagoland Real Estate Agent, Chicagoland Realtor, Investing in Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate Agent, Selling Real Estate, Uncategorized on 12/02/2011 at 8:31 pm

A few of my clients have asked about purchasing rental properties, so I thought I would pass on a Wall Street Journal article about the strong rental market where national vacancy rates are 5.6%:  the lowest rate since 2006.

Since the holidays are here, I also thought you could also use something fun to do with your family.  The Chicago Park District has events all over the city some of which are free.  I’m including links to a free one at the North Park Village Nature Center, a paid one for chocolate lovers at Shabonna Park, and a link to the calendar of events main page.

I hope you, your family, and friends enjoy memorable and Happy Holidays!

As always, let us know if we can help you with any of your real estate questions or concerns.

Visit our website at:  www.ownchicagorealty.com.

Email us at:  honestlyblog@goldenarrowrealty.com.

Tax Deductions Ending 12/31/11 & 12/31/12

In Buying Real Estate, Chicago Real Estate, Chicago Realtor, Chicagoland Real Estate, Chicagoland Real Estate Agent, Chicagoland Realtor, Investing in Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate Agent, Selling Real Estate, Tax Deductions 12/31/12, Tax Deductions Expiring 12/31/11 on 11/11/2011 at 10:18 pm

I would like to wish every VFW a Happy Veterans Day and thank you for ensuring our freedom and democracy.  We can never thank you enough for your courage and immeasurable sacrifices.

Good news:  I found an article with major income tax deductions you can still take.  However, the bad news is some of these deductions expire 12/31/11 like the mortgage insurance premium deduction and some expire 12/31/12 like the marriage penalty equalization.  To contact the IRS with questions about these deductions, please click here.

If you would like to contact your US Senator about extending the deadlines, go to this link.  To find your US Congressman in the House of Representatives, so you can contact them, too, please click here

Here’s the article I mentioned where unfortunately, after 12/31/11, school teachers can no longer take their $250 deduction for buying school supplies for their students.

As always, let us know if we can help you with any of your real estate questions or concerns.

Visit our website at:  www.ownchicagorealty.com.

Email us at:  honestlyblog@goldenarrowrealty.com.

 

 

Helpful Tips: Mortgage Payment Assistance & Chicago Public Schools Portal

In Avoid Foreclosure, Avoid Mortgage Fraud Scams, Buying Real Estate, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Real Estate, Chicago Realtor, Chicagoland Real Estate, Chicagoland Real Estate Agent, Chicagoland Realtor, Real Estate, Real Estate Agent, Selling Real Estate, Uncategorized on 09/23/2011 at 9:16 pm

I would like to pass on some important information about the Illinois Hardest Hit Fund which provides temporary mortgage payment assistance for homeowners as part of a joint effort by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) and the U.S. Department of Treasury.  You WILL NOT be asked to pay for any eligibility determination services related to this application.

The Chicago Public Schools Parent Portal is another useful link.  Features include email or text messages if a child misses a class or drops below a desired grade percentage.  You will also be able to:  1.) View all absences and tardies; 2.) Have access to recently completed and upcoming assignments with due dates; and 3.) Online access to communicate with your child’s teachers.  Before signing up, you will need your child’s CPS ID# and your unique school-issued PIN #.

We hope you and your family enjoy a happy and safe school year.

As always, let us know if we can help you with any of your real estate questions or concerns.

Visit our website at:  www.ownchicagorealty.com.

Email us at:  honestlyblog@goldenarrowrealty.com.

Helpful Info for Struggling Homeowners & Free Things to Do in Chicago

In Avoid Foreclosure, Buying Real Estate, Chicago Events, Chicago Real Estate, Chicago Realtor, Chicagoland Real Estate, Chicagoland Real Estate Agent, Chicagoland Realtor, Investing in Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate Agent, Selling Real Estate, Uncategorized on 09/02/2011 at 10:08 pm

I recently read an article about a struggling homeowner with a happy ending, so I wanted to share it with you.  Not only is it great to hear when someone is able to save their home, but it provides a resource for others overwhelmed by the same types of problems.

This organization helped the homeowner find a non-profit that provided a one-time house payment, another resource which assisted her with her heating bill, and also helped her win an exemption from a recent property tax increase.  To read the entire article, click here.

For anyone looking to save a little money, I found a website with free things to do in Chicago.  You can also send it to friends and relatives in other parts of the country since they provide information for all U.S. cities.  You can check it out here.

Remember, to be extra careful when you’re out on the road this Labor Day weekend.  Until next time, I hope you, your family and friends enjoy a happy and safe holiday.

As always, let us know if we can help you with any of your real estate questions or concerns.

Visit our website at:  www.ownchicagorealty.com.

Email us at:  honestlyblog@goldenarrowrealty.com.

A few quick things: Good news for investors, avoiding mortgage fraud & a workshop on saving your home

In Avoid Foreclosure, Avoid Mortgage Fraud Scams, Buying Real Estate, Chicago Events, Chicago Real Estate, Chicago Realtor, Chicagoland Real Estate, Chicagoland Real Estate Agent, Chicagoland Realtor, Investing in Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate Agent, Selling Real Estate, Uncategorized on 08/12/2011 at 8:49 pm

A few quick things that might interest you include some good news for investors, advice about avoiding mortgage fraud, and an upcoming HOME PRESERVATION WORKSHOP at the United Center.

According to Crain’s, investors are smiling throughout Chicagoland since we ranked #3 in commercial sales for the first half of 2011 which includes retail and industrial sales volume.  Apartment building sales were more than six times higher compared with the first six months of 2010.

Chicago ranks #4 for mortgage fraud complaints behind California, Florida, and New York according to a recent Chicago Tribune article.  Generally, companies are not allowed to charge upfront fees in Illinois for loan modification assistance with applications:  only attorneys may charge upfront fees.  Unfortunately, some attorneys have been charged with taking money and doing nothing.  Additionally, the state is looking into companies that pose as law firms to charge money upfront.  Wondering who you can trust?  See hud.gov for a list of free housing counselors approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Know someone who’s struggling to keep their home?  If your lender is Wells Fargo Mortgage, Wachovia, or America’s Servicing Company, you might want to consider attending a HOME PRESERVATION WORKSHOP at the United Center in Chicago on Aug 17-18.  Not sure about going?  Click here, choose your lender, and check out all details and view a video of what you can expect.

As always, let us know if we can help you with any of your real estate questions or concerns.

Visit our website at:  www.ownchicagorealty.com.

Email us at:  honestlyblog@goldenarrowrealty.com.

Help Improve Our Economy by Spreading the Word

In Buying Real Estate, Chicago Real Estate, Chicago Realtor, Chicagoland Real Estate, Chicagoland Real Estate Agent, Chicagoland Realtor, Investing in Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate Agent, Selling Real Estate on 06/17/2011 at 9:20 pm

Small businesses have the greatest potential to transform our economy.  If you know any business owners who would like to buy a business property, please let them know there are opportunities available with SBA loans with as little as 10 percent down. 

There is also an SBA Express loan which requires less paper work and hassle.  The maximum loan amount is up to $1 million temporarily until 9/26/11.  After that the maximum loan amount will be $350,000.

If a Bank is a Preferred Lender with the SBA, the Bank can usually do a loan without getting approval from SBA. 

If you or someone you know would like more information about this, we can refer you to one of the SBA preferred lenders in our network. 

Click here for a list of SBA business loans.

Let us know if we can ever help you with your real estate needs.

Visit our website at:  www.ownchicagorealty.com.

Email us at:  honestlyblog@goldenarrowrealty.com.

Good News for Buyers & Ethics Legislation for IL

In Buying Real Estate, Chicago Events, Chicago Real Estate, Chicago Realtor, Chicagoland Real Estate, Chicagoland Real Estate Agent, Chicagoland Realtor, Ethics Bill, Investing in Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate Agent, Selling Real Estate, Transparency bill on 05/27/2011 at 7:34 pm

 National Rept Says in Chicago it’s “MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE TO BUY THAN TO RENT”

Credit Scores As Low As 500 Can Qualify For Financing

Out of 50 U.S. cities analyzed by Trulia, their recent quarterly report shows that Chicago is among 36 cities that are considered “MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE TO BUY THAN TO RENT.”

You may be thinking, “What does that mean for me?”  It means you should consider buying residential property even if you’re thinking about buying property as an investment.  As we all know, prices are pretty depressed right now, but they will be going up.  If you buy at these prices, you’ll be glad you did when prices go back up.

Don’t think you can?  Why wonder when you can just give it a shot?  You won’t know until you try.  Getting pre-qualified is a quick and easy process.  You just go to a bank or mortgage company and bring your ID and proof of income.  With a credit score as low as 500, I can advise you where you can go to qualify for financing.  If you need a referral, just let me know.  Remember, if you know someone already in foreclosure we might be able to help.  Tell them to call me anytime.

Ethics Legislation You Might Want to Consider Supporting

If you’re fed up with pay-to-play politics, I have good news.  U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, a Northwest Side Democrat, and Republican, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk announced ethics legislation on Monday. 

According to the Chicago Sun-times, “One bill would allow Illinois to ban those who hold or bid on large transportation contracts from giving campaign contributions to statewide officeholders who have influence over those contracts. It closes a loophole on a ban that already applies to all other large state contracts.”

“The other ethics measure…would respond to a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that limits the ability of prosecutors to criminally charge public officials and executives with a failure to deliver ‘honest services.’”

“The measure backed by Kirk and Quigley would restore other definitions of theft of honest services, such as financial self-dealing. It would prohibit an officeholder, the officeholder’s spouse and the officeholder’s private business from benefitting financially from the officeholder’s elected office. ”

For information on these current US bills, click here, look in the middle section for “Legislation in Current Congress” and type in the corresponding bill numbers.

  • Introduced 3/17/11, the transparency bill is:  HR1144. 
  • Introduced 5/13/11, the ethics legislation is:  HR1924. 

Registered voters in the 5th Congressional District can go to Congressman Mike Quigley’s contact page on his website to voice their support for these two bills.  Here’s the link.

Let us know if we can ever help you with your real estate needs.

Visit our website at:  www.ownchicagorealty.com.

Email us at:  honestlyblog@goldenarrowrealty.com.