Your Chicago Real Estate Consultant:
Mike Frank
January 2020
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Today's Feature Stories

What to Know About Credit Repair: Your Loan Officer Can Do It Better

If you don’t check your credit report annually, you should. Most consumers know that but all too often it’s put on the back burner. Some might think there’s little reason to check credit because most have a pretty good idea on their credit profile. Someone makes a purchase with a credit card and when the bill arrives, the payment is made. Pretty simple stuff. However, credit reports are known to have reporting errors. This is probably due to the way credit is collected and reported. There are three main credit repositories, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Individual businesses can subscribe to one, two or all three. These businesses report payment patterns to these vast databases who then provide this information to others who request a credit history of an individual applicant. If there’s a reporting error, it’s listed as a late payment and when one of the three receive such information it’s transferred to the other two. If a mistake lies relatively dormant without the consumer checking for these errors, credit scores will falter.

After requesting a free copy of a credit report once per year, review the report and look for such mistakes. If you do find a mistake, you can then contact each individual credit bureau and request the mistake be fixed. You will be asked to provide evidence the payment was not late, or the account does not belong to you or some other reason. The bureaus then have 30 days in which to correct the error. This of course assumes the bureaus work in a timely manner and respond appropriately. Many times, they do not, which extends the period of time how long the mistake appears on your report.

Further, damaged credit can be the result of an event out of the consumer’s control such as a divorce, or death in the family or an extended illness. This can often result in not just damaged credit but ultimately a bankruptcy filing. Credit repair companies can, and do, charge a fee to consumers to help get their credit back on track. This can mean a complete evaluation of the consumer’s current credit standing and then work with the consumer with repayment plans or negotiate with the creditor to get the negative items corrected or even removed.

Yet the easiest and most cost-effective way to get credit reports fixed is working with your loan officer. One of the very first things a loan officer will do when a loan application is submitted is to order a credit report. But the loan officer doesn’t contact Experian, Equifax or TransUnion directly, instead working with a credit agency directly. Credit agencies hire representatives to solicit business from individual loan officers and mortgage companies. When a credit report needs some attention, the loan officer contacts the individual customer service representative for some help. When an error is found, the consumer simply forwards the substantiating evidence to the loan officer who then provides it to the representative. When a mistake is found, the error can be fixed in as little as 24 hours, not 30 days.

A loan officer can’t change lending guidelines such as how long someone must wait to get a new mortgage after a bankruptcy or foreclosure for example, but getting mistakes fixed quickly is one thing a loan officer can do. 


Have a Dog? Be Careful What—and Where—You Buy.

Co-ops can be notoriously picky when it comes to approving new buyers, but now it seems that people themselves aren’t the only ones who are expected to make the grade. Dogs are also under the microscope. 


New Year’s Resolutions for Home

Making a New Year’s resolution is nothing new. Most of us have done it at one time or another. Making good on that resolution is another thing.


How to Know You Have Found the Right House

When it’s time to find a new place, you may start with the highest of hopes, but by day two you’re ready to compromise. Looking at a house to buy or rent can be dizzying. After touring two or three properties, the details of each start to blend together and you wonder which one had that awful wallpaper in the bathroom – was it the same one with the funky glass door knobs that reminded you of your grandmother’s house?


6 Best Reasons to Invest in Pre-Construction Condos

If you are looking to purchase new condos for sale in North York, then you will be happy to know that condo sales have grown exponentially in recent years, particularly in bigger Canadian markets. Many investors have shifted gears towards the purchase of pre-construction condos, as competition in the industry has grown substantially in the last few years. 

In regards to condo occupancy rates, there are nearly 2 million people in Canada who made a condo their new home in 2016. FULL STORY->

5 Landscaping Tasks That Increase the Value of Your Home

You wouldn't dream of going to a party wearing a leisure suit or dress from the 1970s. So why host a backyard barbecue in an outdated yard? Improving your landscaping has a lot of benefits. It demonstrates pride of ownership and is one of the best ways to increase your home value should you want to sell it. After all, if buyers see that you take care of the outside of your house, they’ll assume you’ve taken good care of the inside. Landscaping improvements can boost your home’s value FULL STORY->

Why The Seating Arrangement At HOA Meetings Is So Important

Meetings are a necessary component of homeowner association operations. The seating arrangement at HOA meetings is critical to a productive outcome. Foreign diplomats are particularly careful in choosing the shape of the table and who sits next to who since the slightest faux pas can have disastrous results. In King Arthur's day, meetings were held at a Round Table so that all could freely participate without the King dictating the debate or worse. (Swords, lances and maces were checked at FULL STORY->

6 Things That Happen When You Become a Homeowner

Becoming a homeowner is more than having a set of keys and your name on the deed. You may have a rush of emotions the day you take possession and recognize you now have your place in the world—literally. And that’s just the beginning. Here are a few more things you can expect.

You learn what pride of ownership means

You may take pride in your car and your clothes and other minor possessions, but nothing compares to the feeling of being a homeowner. Buying your first place FULL STORY->

3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home in Winter

There are plenty of benefits to buying a home during the cold winter months. Generally, there are fewer people shopping for homes in the winter, which means you might have less competition when bidding on a house. Additionally, you have a higher chance of closing a deal - according to Zillow. 

However, you need to take several key factors into consideration when home shopping during the holiday season or after. Here are three tips that will help you pick the right house and FULL STORY->

Mortgage Rates
Averages as of January 2020:

30 yr. fixed: 3.74%
15 yr. fixed: 3.19%
5/1 yr. adj: 3.45%

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939 W. North Ave. Suite 750
Chicago IL 60642

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