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Today's Mortgage Rates in Illinois

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates plus current home buying and refinance advice for Illinois residents

Buying a home in Illinois

As a home buyer, the law is on your side in Illinois. State law says sellers must tell buyers about material issues concerning the home. These disclosures are more wide-ranging than those in many other states and cover:
  • Material defects
  • Dangers, such as unsafe drinking water
  • Past or current events that might impact the buyer, such as boundary disputes or termite infestations
You should also get the results of a test for the presence of radon. And, if the home predates 1978, one for lead-based paints. All these disclosures are valuable and should be read carefully. But keep in mind that sellers can only tell you about things they know about. And some sellers may be more honest than others. With such large sums at stake, you might think it wise to commission a home inspection, too. Expect to have to retain your own lawyer for your purchase transaction. Illinois is an "attorney-review" state, which means it's customary for each party (buyer and seller) to have its own counsel. How big a role you give your lawyer will be up to you. You might want to involve her early on or you can just have her review your closing documents.

Refinancing a home in Illinois

Illinois courts and legislators seem not to have been troubled by the mortgage refinancing process in the state. So putting a refinance in place here is very much like doing so anywhere else. However, Illinois does have one unfortunate characteristic that affects many residents’ ability to refinance. It contains some of the highest levels of underwater mortgages in the country. What’s an underwater mortgage? It’s one where the homeowner owes more on his mortgage than the current market value of the home. As recently as the first quarter of 2019, Illinois remained in big trouble in this respect. At that time, 8.7% of all homes in Chicago were underwater. Nationwide, only Miami, Florida, had a bigger proportion, according to CoreLogic. And, that quarter, the average home statewide added only $3,000 to its value. That was half the increase nationwide. Fortunately, streamline refinancing is available in Illinios. So if you have a VA, FHA, or USDA loan, you can likely refinance without an appraisal. And with no appraisal, the lender never knows how much your home is worth or that you're underwater. So if you have little or no equity, find out what kind of loan you have, then check out the FHA Streamline Refinance, VA streamline, or the USDA streamline to drop your rate even if you owe more than your home is worth.

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