Chicago’s North Shore real estate buyers are benefiting from historic mortgage interest rates that continue to hover at or near 60-year low points. This is a great time to buy or sell for seasoned investors as well as first time home buyers. Every buyer and seller should have running knowledge or at least brush up on basic North Shore mortgage products and types. It’s also good to have a checklist of what’s needed to get the mortgage process rolling. Below are some handy-dandy tips to take note of:

  • Common mortgage terms.   Mortgages are generally available at 15, 20, or 30-year terms. In general, the longer the mortgage term, the lower the monthly payment.   However, you pay more interest overall if you borrow for a longer term.
  • Fixed or adjustable rate loans. A fixed rate allows you to lock in a low rate as long as you hold the mortgage and, in general, is usually a good choice if interest rates are low. An adjustable-rate mortgage is designed so that your loan’s interest rate will rise as market interest rates increase.  ARMs usually offer a lower rate in the first years of the mortgage. ARMs also usually have a limit as to how much the interest rate can be increased and how frequently they can be raised. These types of mortgages are a good choice when fixed interest rates are high or when you expect      your income to grow significantly in the coming years.
  • Balloon loans. These mortgages offer very low-interest rates for a short period of time —often three to seven years. Payments usually cover only the interest so the principal owed is not reduced. However, this type of loan may be a good choice if you think you will sell your home in a few years.
  • Government-backed mortgages. These loans (Fannie and Freddie) are sponsored by agencies such as the Federal Housing Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs and offer special terms, including lower down payments or reduced interest rates to qualified buyers.

Slight variations in interest rates, loan amounts, and terms can significantly impact your monthly payment. For help in determining how much your monthly payment will be for various loan amounts, use an online mortgage calculator: HERE

North Shore Mortgage Lender Checklist: What you need for a real estate mortgage

  • W-2 forms — or business tax return forms if you’re self-employed — for the last two or three years for every
    person signing the loan.
  • Copies of at least one pay stub for each person signing the loan.
  • Account numbers of all your credit cards and the amounts for any outstanding balances.
  • Copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements for both checking and savings accounts.
  • Lender, loan number, and amount owed on other installment loans, such as student loans and car loans.
  • Addresses where you’ve lived for the last five to seven years, with names of landlords if appropriate.
  • Copies of brokerage account statements for two to four months, as well as a list of any other major assets of value, such as a boat, RV, or stocks or bonds not held in a brokerage account.
  • Copies of your most recent 401(k) or other retirement account statement.
  • Documentation to verify additional income, such as child support or a pension.
  • Copies of personal tax forms for the last two to three years.

Our top producing Chicago-North Shore real estate office, located at 640 Vernon Ave-Glencoe, Illinois 60022 is a resource for mortgage product questions and guidance. Visit HERE for additional information on North Shore home loans, interest rates, homes for sale, homes for rent, and general real estate financing options.