Chicago Home Buying 101: How to Take Advantage of the Lowest Mortgage Rates

Posted by Helaine Cohen on Thursday, January 24th, 2013 at 6:54am.

Mortgage Rates for Chicago real estateThe buzz is all about low mortgage rates when it comes to Chicago real estate right now. In 12 of the 13 weeks from mid-April through mid-July 2012, long-term home loan rates matched or hit new lows. Prospective Chicago home buyers are coming off the sidelines like they haven’t in years in search of a new home thanks to record-low interest rates that will help keep their monthly payments low. But how do you take advantage of them?

First off, your credit matters big time here. Only those with the a credit score in the top tier will be able to take advantage of these historically low rates. It also pays to stay in the know with regard to how mortgage rates are fluctuating. That way, you can jump in when the time is right. Keith Gumbinger, a vice president with the mortgage information publisher HSH.com, adds,  "If near 50-year-low interest rates are not the proper inducement, what is?" It pays to lock in these low rates right now.

This is especially true for home buyers who are confident in their employment and are planning to stay in the home they purchase for at least five years. And for those who understand the criteria for securing these low-interest loans, they will be poised to pounce when they find the right Chicago home. For those looking to purchase, those standards include a FICO score of around 720, a down payment of at least 3.5%, manageable levels of debt, and documented income verification.

If you don’t fall within these strict parameters, don’t panic. Take the time to improve your credit profile so you can take advantage of low interest rates in the future. Pay down credit cards and student loans, and put money away each month for a down payment.

To learn more about purchasing a Chicago home and to tour available homes for sale, please contact me. I specialize in Chicago homes and condos and would be more than happy to share with you all of the excellent real estate opportunties that currently exist in the city.
Helaine Cohen, Chicago Real Estate Broker

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