Month: February 2015

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Dawn Named To The Top 1% In The Nation!

Dawn has numerous accolades including being a member of the RE/MAX 100% Club, Association of Brokers Diamond Club, Platinum Club 2012, 2013, 2014, RE/MAX Hall of Fame, Five Star Professional 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, #1 RE/MAX Agent in Plainfield, America’s Best Real Estate Agents Real Trends #17 Agent in Illinois, Top 20 Northern Illinois Agents, and Top 20 Realtors of Will County 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and now 2014! 

Top 1% in the nation right here in Shorewood Illinois RE/MAX Ultimate Professionals office!! | Shorewood, IL Patch

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Open Houses This Weekend!

100 Bravery Court Shorewood, IL
Open house this Saturday from 1-3!
2703 Great Meadow Drive Joliet, IL
Open house this Sunday from 1-3!

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The Best Bowl Of Chili I’ve Ever Had


This bitterly cold day is perfect for enjoying a nice warm bowl of chili….

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 large chopped onion (yellow or white)
4 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 (15 1/2 ounce) cans of kidney beans
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 (4 oz) can chopped jalapenos
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup dark beer
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican mix)
1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Cook ground beef in a large frying pan. While cooking, stir and chop beef with spatula to crumble. Continue cooking for about 7 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, cayenne and Tabasco. Cook while stirring, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Transfer to a large pot. Add the kidney beans (juice and all), canned tomatoes (juice and all), tomato paste, jalapenos (juice and all), sugar, and beer. Stir well and bring to a boil. 
  4. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Top individual bowls of chili with sour cream and cheese. Serves 4-6.

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Real Estate Terminology

Are you a first time home buyer and not sure of what all of the real estate jargon means? Maybe you have already bought your first home but are still unsure of certain terms or you are looking to buy or sell again and need to brush up. Below is a list of commonly used terms relating to real estate:

  • Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)- A mortgage with a fluctuating mortgage rate. They usually have a lower interest rate in the beginning and then they will adjust either monthly, quarterly, annually, or longer.
  • Addendum- A form listing a change or addition to the purchase agreement. These should be looked over very carefully. They can be used for a variety of changes, such as extending the closing date.
  • Appraisal- The determination of the value of a home. This is required by the lender and is determined by a professional and objective appraiser of the lenders choice. The appraisal value may not match the selling price that the Real Estate Agent calculated and at that point the buyers and sellers have several options including lowering the asking price.
  • Certificate of Title-This certificate is a document stating that the property being conveyed is legally owned by the seller(s) and that no other party owns any part or has any claims against it.
  • Closing-Also known as “settlement”, you, your agent or attorney, and the escrow agent sit down with the seller and her agent or attorney and finalize the purchase.
  • Closing Costs-All the additional expenses involved in financing and purchasing the home. This amount usually includes attorney’s fees, a loan origination fee, escrow impounds, and other miscellaneous charges. The closing costs are usually about 6% of the sales price of the home.
  • CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)-A determination of a home’s market value for the purpose of determining a fair asking price. Real Estate brokers put together the CMA by comparing the subject house to those that recently sold within close proximity. Many times a buyer will request a CMA to make sure that she is not overpaying for a home. Even though they are similar, a CMA will not replace a lender-required appraisal. 
  • Comps-Properties that are comparable to the property being analyzed. 
  • Contingency-A portion of the purchase agreement stating certain conditions that must be met in order for the sale to proceed. Many times contingencies include those for loan approval and inspections.
  • Counter Offer-A form that requests the addition or elimination of portions of the original purchase agreement.
  • CC&Rs-Covenants, conditions, and restrictions. These are the rules that homeowners must obey such as restrictions about things such as adding fences, changing the color of your front door, etc.
  • Disclosures-Information about a home that a seller must provide to the buyer by law. The number and types of disclosures provided to the buyer depend on what region the home is in.
  • Deed-The deed is the legal document that provides proof of the transfer of ownership as real property.
  • Down Payment-The percentage of the purchase price that the buyer pays in cash. Depending on the lender, the percentage ranges from 3%-20%.
  • Due Diligence – The responsibility of the buyer to exercise the appropriate care before closing on the purchase. Due diligence includes verifying all of the seller’s representations and uncovering any other pertinent facts that have not been disclosed but have a bearing on whether or not you want to purchase the property.
  • Earnest Money Deposit – The earnest money deposit is money provided by the homebuyer to the seller to prove her earnest intent to purchase the property. The amount varies, and the check is typically submitted with the purchase agreement. If the sale goes through, the earnest money deposit is applied to the down payment. If the buyer walks away from the sale, through no fault of the seller, he may forfeit his earnest money deposit.
  • Escrow – The escrow process assures that the purchase funds are released and that the transfer of the house is completed. The escrow company is a neutral third party to the process and uses the purchase agreement and other associated documents as instructions.
  • Escrow Impounds – The lender requires a deposit, as prepayment of taxes and insurance, at the close of escrow. This deposit goes into an escrow account and protects the lender in the event that you allow your insurance to lapse or don’t pay your property taxes. By law, the lender can only request an amount that is equal to no more than two months’ payments.
  • FHA Loan – This is a loan tendered by a traditional lender but insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA offers several home loan programs, some offering low down payments, others to assist buyers of fixer-upper properties. FHA does not provide loans — it provides insurance for loans.
  • FICO® Score – Your FICO® score is a compilation of information from the three major credit reporting agencies and calculated by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Your FICO® score reflects your debt payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and the types of credit you use. The FICO® score range is between 300 and 850. The higher your FICO® score, the less of a credit risk you present to lenders.
  • Fiduciary Duty – The broker under which your real estate agent works is your fiduciary. She is held to specific duties, outlined by state law, to her principal (you). Some of these duties include disclosure, confidentiality, reasonable care and diligence and loyalty.
  • Final Walk-Through – The buyer is allowed one last chance to walk through the home prior to the close of escrow. This inspection is not to turn up newly-discovered defects, but to ensure that the home is in the same condition as when the offer was tendered.
  • Fixed-Rate Mortgage – A type of mortgage in which the interest rate does not fluctuate over the life of the loan.
  • GFE – The Good Faith Estimate is a form provided to borrowers by lenders. It is required by law and allows borrowers to compare the rates and terms of multiple lenders when shopping for a home loan. The GFE must include a list of all fees associated with the mortgage loan and it must be provided to the borrower within three days of loan application.
  • HOA Docs – Homeowner’s Association Documents. When purchasing a condo or a home in a managed community, you have a right to view recent HOA meeting minutes, a copy of their current budget, CC&Rs and other equally fascinating documents. Think boring, and you’ve got an idea of what’s included in the HOA docs. They’re important, though, so set aside an hour or two to go over them.
  • HUD 1 – This is the settlement statement provided to the homebuyer. The HUD 1 details all fees charged by the lender.
  • Loan-To-Value (LTV) Ratio – The LTV is a ratio that lenders use to assess risk when providing a mortgage loan. The LTV represents the amount of the mortgage divided by the appraised value of the property. Lenders consider higher LTV ratios as high risk loans.
  • Mortgage – A legal document that pledges the house to the lender as security for the loan to purchase the house.
  • Mortgage Insurance – An insurance policy that compensates the lender in the event a borrower defaults on his loan.
  • Offer – A presentation of a bid on a home for sale.
  • PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance) – Your monthly mortgage payment. Principal is the part of the payment that pays down the loan, the interest is the part of the payment that pays the lender for loaning you the money to buy the home, taxes and insurance are the necessary evils that must be paid for, typically into an escrow account each month.
  • PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) – Like mortgage insurance, this policy protects the lender against a buyer’s loan default. Lenders on high-risk loans – typically when the LTV exceeds 80 percent – require PMI. When the homeowner’s LTV falls below the specified rate, PMI may be discontinued.
  • Point – A one-time charge by the lender for originating a loan. A point is 1 percent of the amount of the loan.
  • Pre-Qualification – The process of determining if a borrower qualifies for a loan and the approximate amount of money she may qualify to receive.
  • Title Insurance – An insurance policy that protects against damages due to defects in the chain of title.
  • VA Loans – These loans are offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs exclusively to members of the military. Veterans, those on active-duty and reservists are all considered as eligible to apply for VA loans, which typically require no down payment.
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