Quick DIY Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly

Looking for Chicago real estate, but not sure you’ll find a home that’s green enough for you? Well, good news: With just a few easy DIY steps, you can make your Chicago condo or house much eco-friendlier. Still looking for the perfect place? Contact a Chicago realtor for help finding a space to green up.

Clean Green

Make your own cleaning products from vinegar, water and lemon juice. Use old newspapers to scrub and mop rather than throwing away paper towels or mop liners.

Paint Green

Every new home benefits from a paint update, but to keep things green, be sure to opt for an eco-friendly option. Many environmentally oriented paint lines exist these days, exterior as well as interior, so do your research before slapping on that fresh coat.

Light Green

It doesn’t get much easier than switching out bulbs. Opt for compact fluorescent lamps (commonly called CFLs), which cost more but save you (and the Earth) electricity, making them a great deal over the long run.

Garbage Green

Okay, so that’s a misleading title. The point is, even in areas like Chicago where recycling can be difficult, you can make a green difference by setting up a waste station, where you separate garbage, recyclables, yard debris for later disposal. Choose a home with an out-of-the-way nook or space to further this end.

See? You can green your home up quick with these simple ideas. To find out more, contact us today. We’re happy to help, and want to get you into that perfect home as quickly as possible, so you can start greening it up.

What You Need to Know About Private Transfer Fees

Exhilaration permeates the process of purchasing a Chicago condo or your dream home. However, the pathway towards becoming a homeowner lies riddled with fees for multiple reasons, and a few of these fees may be more exorbitant than others, such as Private Transfer Fees. Before you sign your name to a mortgage or rental agreement, take the time to understand what these fees reference, their average cost, and how recent government regulations impact Private Transfer Fees.

What Are Private Transfer Fees?

During construction, the developer uses his resources to acquire all of the necessary building supplies, contractors, and workers to complete the project, which reflect within the purchase price of the structure. However, some developers may ask for a fee for development with each subsequent selling of the property following completion.

How Much Are Private Transfer Fees?

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Private Transfer Fees routinely represent 1% of the homes value and cover a period of 99 years. However, the FHFA recently sought to amend the processes of charging Private Transfer Fees when government-backed housing giants are involved.

Private Fees Changed for the Better.

In 2010, the FHFA began working on modifying how Private Transfer Fees are charged and set forth a precedent for the housing market. With a final ruling in 2012, housing giants, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and other Federal Home Loan Banks, were effectively stripped of the ability to charge Private Transfer Fees when the fees do not improve the community, and therefore, directly benefit the homebuyer. As a result, the majority of Private Transfer Fees were halted on most Chicago real estate transactions.

Private Transfer fees may go by many names, including Covenant Private Transfer Fees or Property Development Securities. However, the 2012 ruling by the FHFA guarantees that any such fees may not be charged by a federally-backed bank unless the fee does not result in lost equity. If youd like to learn more about these fees or a home without such fees, contact us today, and a Chicago realtor will be happy to assist you.

Top 5 Home-Buying Costs You Need to Know About

When looking into Chicago real estate, theres a few costs you should become familiar with before the property becomes yours to own. Thankfully, heres a list of five home buying costs you should know about before unpacking in a new residence.

Earnest Money Deposit An earnest money deposit is basically where you put your money where your mouth is. Its usually expected that a potential homeowner pay at least one to two percent of the total property cost as a deposit.

Escrow Account Mortgage companies set up escrow accounts to make sure a potential homeowner has the reliable funds to pay for a home. Whether covering taxes and the mortgage insurance, this amount depends on the type of loan, location, and business dealt with the lender.

Inspection  An inspection confirms that the home not only looks great, but makes sure theres no cracks, leaks, or possibility of pests living inside the home.

Appraisal An appraisal is information needed by the loan company, so lenders have an idea of the fair value of the property being purchased.

Credit Check A credit check is mandatory. Although may are free, a loan company will check all three. This is relatively inexpensive compared to buying a home.

Now these are just a handful of issues youll encounter when buying a new place, but contact a Chicago realtor for a Chicago condo for more information.

Tips to Win the Hearts and Minds of a Home Seller

Purchasing a home can be very emotional for not only the home buyer, but also for the home seller as well. It is important to keep the seller in mind when attempting to purchase home if you want to get the right deal that you deserve on your desired property. The first step towards winning over the seller is to make sure you come forward with a fair offer. A Chicago realtor can help you come up with a fair offer by doing what is called a comparative market analysis, or a CMA. This will show you what similar homes in the Chicago real estate market have recently sold for, giving you a good idea of the real market value of the home you intend to purchase. Additionally, sellers tend to find certain buyers more attractive than others if they are either cash buyers, already have a pre-approval for a mortgage, or dont have to sell their own home before being able to purchase from the seller. Whether you are looking for a Chicago condo, apartment or house, contact us today to find out more about the home buying process and how we can help make it as smooth as possible.