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Showing posts from December, 2012

CHANGES COMING AT THE CITY OF CHICAGO WATER DEPARTMENT?

Changes afoot at the City of Chicago, Department of Water Management may be having (adverse) impacts on real estate closings.  Over the course of the last several weeks, I have seen an uptick in closings being delayed as some Sellers are finding it harder to some required paperwork from the City. One source described a six week backlog for some certification requests. At least two contracts have been outright cancelled because of the delays. Buyers simply could not, or would not wait any longer.

In order to close on home purchase or sale involving Chicago real estate, the Sellers must present a "Full Payment Certification" to show that the water bill is current. These certificates are typically obtained directly from the water department's basement lair at the DePaul Center, 333 South State Street. If you have never been there, the offices are uninviting, inhospitable, and doing business there has long been (for my, anyway) unpleasant. Slow and unfriendly to say the leas…

Re-Habber's REJOICE: FHA Extends "Anti-Flipping" Waiver

by: Michael Wasserman

Good news for anyone interested in buying & flipping single family homes. The FHA has extended it's "90 day anti-flipping" waiver for another two years. The extension leaves open some great money-making opportunities for individuals and enterprises interested in real estate transaction. It should also be a benefit to communities burdened by vacant/run down/abandoned housing stock. (Not bad for those of us who facilitate home purchases and sales either).  In this context, "flips"  are two-step real estate deals where a distressed home is purchased cheap, fixed-up quickly and then resold at a profit. The art of the deal involves finding the right homes at the right price, making the right repairs, and then reselling as quickly as possibly to minimize the "carrying costs" associated with owning the property.
THE PROBLEM WITH FLIPS:
Historically, flipping can be a very profitable enterprise. Unfortunately, many such profiteers made …

Closing Cost Increase Alert - Zoning Certifications

by: Michael Wasserman

The City of Chicago Department of Buildings has quietly announced a January 1st increase in the cost of a Zoning Certificate of Compliance. In the new year, the fee will rise from $90 to $120.

The certificate is required at the time of closing for all single family homes and multi-unit buildings with up to five residential dwellings. It does not apply to the transfer or sale of condominiums or cooperative buildings.

A Seller applies for the certificate at the Building Department's City Hall offices (room 905), stating the number of residential units Seller believes exist at the property location. The Building Department either "agrees" with the Seller's representation and certifies, or denies certification as it believes another number may exist. The purpose here is to prevent buyers from acquiring property with illegal dwelling units. The process notifies both the seller and the buyer as to how many lawful units exist on site.

On the up side, t…

Fannie & Freddie to Halt Foreclosures over the Holidays

by: Michael Wasserman

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation have both announced that they will halt mortgage proceedings during the holidays. 

While this will not suspend pre-foreclosure collection or loss mitigation activity, at least delinquent home owners can have some peace of mind knowing that they will not likely loose their homes altogether, or be evicted before years's end. 

JP Morgan Chase & Citibank are expected to also announce a Holiday moritorium. Bank of America recently also made a similar announcement. 

Fannie and Freddie halt foreclosures for the holidays

This is somewhat comforting news coming out, considering that the New York Times is reporting today that the fastest growing demographic for foreclosure/delinquency activity is widows 50 years old and older, who's late husbands held home mortgages in their names alone.  

UPDATE:

Following suit, US Bancorp, PNC Financial, SunTrust, Wells Fargo & Bank of America …