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chicago real estate lawyerFor many people and families, homeownership is an important goal. Owning your own home not only ensures that you and your family will have a place to live and call your own, but it is also a good investment that can provide you with a number of financial benefits. However, if you are planning to buy a home, you will want to be aware of some mistakes that could affect your ability to obtain a mortgage or make a good offer on a property. These include:

  • Failing to get preapproval for a mortgage - The first step to buying a home often involves understanding what you can afford. By looking at your income and expenses, you can determine an amount that you will be able to put toward a mortgage each month. With this information, you then work with a bank or other mortgage lender to get preapproval for a loan of a certain amount. With this preapproval, you will be able to make an offer once you have found the home you want to buy, and this will show a seller that you will be able to pay the amount offered.
  • Not saving for a down payment - Being able to put down a certain amount of the home’s purchase price at the time of the sale will provide you with equity in your new home, and it will lower the total amount owed, resulting in lower monthly payments. It is often a good idea to take some extra time to save up for a down payment before proceeding with buying a home. You may also be able to receive assistance with your down payment through federal or state programs.
  • Harming your credit score - As you prepare to sign the paperwork for your home loan, any major changes to your finances could affect this process. You will want to avoid doing anything that could result in a lower credit score, such as missing payments on any bills, canceling credit cards, or taking out a new loan for a car or appliance.  
  • Failing to consider costs and expenses - You will want to make sure you understand all of the closing costs you will be required to pay when buying a new home. You will also need to obtain homeowner’s insurance, and you will need to be prepared to pay property taxes. You may also want to consider the costs of utilities at your new home, including electricity, water, sewer, gas, phone and internet service, and garbage disposal, as well as homeowner’s association fees, landscaping, and any other ongoing expenses.

Contact Our Gurnee Real Estate Attorneys

When buying a home, you will not only need to consider multiple types of financial issues, but you will need to address any legal matters related to the transaction. At Newland & Newland, LLP, we can provide you with representation, ensuring that your rights will be protected at all times. To get the legal help you need, contact our North Chicago real estate lawyers at 847-549-0000 and set up your free consultation today.

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North Chicago real estate attorney for home refinancingThere are many reasons why a family may struggle financially, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. If you are having difficulty making mortgage payments, and you do not expect this to change in the near future, you will likely worry about your ability to keep your home. If you default on your mortgage by missing one or more payments, your lender may begin the foreclosure process. Fortunately, you have options, including seeking a new loan to refinance your home. It is best to take action as soon as possible, because once your lender initiates foreclosure proceedings, addressing these issues will become more complicated and costly.

Options for Refinancing

Refinancing differs from other types of loan modifications. When you refinance your home, you will be obtaining a loan that will pay off the balance on your current mortgage. Since this is a completely new loan, you will be required to pay closing costs and fees, and you will need to show that you have a steady income. You will most likely also need to own some equity in your home.

Since you will need to meet a variety of requirements to qualify for a new loan, it is important to begin the refinancing process before defaulting on your current mortgage. Missed payments are reported to credit bureaus, and this will lower your credit score, which will make it less likely that a lender will approve your loan.

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Gurnee real estate attorney for pest inspectionsThere are many things that need to be considered when selling a home. Sellers will want to make sure all known defects have been repaired, and they may want to make improvements that are likely to increase the home’s value. They will also want to make sure their home is clean and well-organized to present a positive image to prospective buyers. However, there is one issue that sellers should also be aware of that is often overlooked: pests in the home. Understanding how to determine whether pests are present and what should be done to deal with them can help sellers avoid additional expenses and complications during the home closing process.

Pest Inspection Requirements

While sellers are not required to perform pest inspections prior to listing their home or accepting an offer, lenders will often require buyers to get a pest inspection to identify any concerns about termites, carpenter ants, or other issues that could affect the structural integrity of the home. If these types of pests are discovered after an offer has been accepted, the buyer may ask the seller to pay for treatment and repairs, or the buyer may even back out of the sale. To avoid these types of issues, sellers may want to perform a pest inspection before listing the home, and if pests are discovered, they can determine the best way to address this issue.

Options for Dealing With Pests

If a seller finds that pests are present in their home, or if the home has been damaged by termites or carpenter ants, they can usually take steps to correct this issue, and they will want to disclose the issue to potential buyers. Pest treatments will remove termites or other insects from the home and prevent them from returning, and they will often cost several hundred dollars. If pests have caused damage to the home, repairs will need to be performed, such as replacing damaged wood or installing supports to correct a home’s damaged structure. Depending on the extent of the damage, repairs may cost between several hundred and several thousand dollars.

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Grayslake real estate attorneyIf you are planning to buy a home, you will need to consider a wide variety of issues that may affect your transaction. While you may be focused on obtaining financing and meeting all of your requirements before your home closing date, you should also take the time to determine whether there are any issues with your new home that you may need to consider. The potential for flooding is one issue that is often overlooked. By understanding your risks and the options available to you, you can take steps to prevent financial losses in the future.

Understanding Flooding Risks and Flood Insurance

Determining whether a home is at risk for flooding is not always an easy task. Some homes are located in high-risk flood zones identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but these zones are not always kept up to date. Even if a home is not located in a flood plain, flooding can still occur due to heavy rain or other weather conditions. Other issues unrelated to weather, such as clogged storm drains, water diverted by construction, or a broken or malfunctioning sump pump can also lead to flooding that may cause damage to a home.

To address the potential risks of flooding, homebuyers can consult with several different types of experts and officials. A city or municipality will have a floodplain manager who can look at whether a home is in an area with a risk of flooding and offer advice about solutions to prevent flooding damage. A floodplain manager can determine whether a home has an elevation certificate that compares the elevation of a home’s lowest floor with the base flood elevation in the area. If a home does not have an elevation certificate, a buyer can work with a land surveyor or engineer to perform a survey of the home and identify flood risks. Buyers will also want to make sure their home inspector can identify water damage from previous flooding in a home and determine whether there is a risk of flooding in the future.

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Arlington heights foreclosure attorneyThe COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial difficulty for many families throughout the United States. Many businesses have been forced to close or scale back their operations, resulting in widespread job losses or reductions in work hours. Many people who are struggling to pay their regular expenses have defaulted on their mortgage payments, putting them at risk of losing their homes. Fortunately, federal and state governments have placed a moratorium on foreclosures, ensuring that families will not be forced out of their homes in addition to the other difficulties they are facing. While the current foreclosure moratorium lasts through June 30, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed an extension of the moratorium through the end of the year.

Details of the CFPB’s Proposal

Based on an analysis of data by the CFPB, around three million homeowners in the United States are behind on their mortgage payments. While the foreclosure moratorium has allowed many of these homeowners to receive forbearance on mortgage payments, the CFPB estimates that this forbearance period will end for around 1.7 million homeowners in September of 2021. This could result in a massive wave of foreclosures that could cause millions of families to be displaced from their homes.

To address this issue, the CFPB has proposed an extension of the prohibition against foreclosures through December 31, 2021. This would give homeowners more time to figure out how to pay off the amounts they owe and resume ongoing payments. The CFPB is also proposing a streamlined process for allowing lenders to offer loan modifications to homeowners. This would reduce the amount of paperwork required to make these types of modifications, allowing homeowners to begin making affordable mortgage payments more quickly. The proposed rule would limit modifications to agreements that would not increase the amount of a homeowner’s monthly payments and that would not extend the term of a loan for more than 40 years after the date of modification.

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