Help guide clients to IHDA assistance with underwater mortgages

Show your value to homeowners by sharing information about the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s I-Refi program.

I-Refi is designed to help borrowers who’ve kept up with their mortgage payments for at least 12 months but owe more than their home is worth because of declining property values in their community. Funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the program offers a forgivable loan of up to $50,000 to reduce the balance owed on a homeowner’s mortgage, erasing their negative equity and refinancing them into an affordable 30-year fixed rate IHDA mortgage. The program not only brings relief in the form of a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments, but it is the only solution available that actually wipes out a homeowner’s negative equity to bring his or her loan in line with the property’s current value.

A list of lenders is offered online, with websites for each. Before loans are approved, homeowners must order professional appraisals to assess the value of their homes.

Informational fliers are available in English and Spanish, with instructions for customization.

For more information, visit the website at or call 877-456-2656.

Morning Minute: Housing Patterns in Red, Blue and Swing States

With tonight’s presidential debate on people’s minds, takes an interesting look at the different housing patterns in states where residents tend to lean Democrat, Republican or are more up for grabs in swing states. See the infographic below and read the full article, “Red vs. Blue States: What 8 Housing Differences Can Tell Us About the Election.” Here are a few takeaways:

  • Blue states tend to have older housing stock
  • Red states have the biggest homes
  • Homeownership rates are higher in red states


In other headlines:

Housing shortage eases in some markets – USA Today

New-home sales slip in August but top forecast – MarketWatch

Morning Minute: Don’t make these home renovation blunders

Home RenovationIf you are getting ready to tackle a home improvement project, don’t make renovation mistakes that could end up costing you more money in the long run or make design decisions that you might later regret.

A recent blog post, “Homeowners’ Worst Renovation Blunders (Are You Guilty of Any?),” features homeowner stories of renovations gone wrong.

In other headlines:

Why Are Sellers Still Hesitant? – REALTOR® Magazine Daily Real Estate news

Appraisal delays are gumming up home sales – Chicago Tribune

Republican plan to abolish Dodd-Frank passes committee, full House vote coming – HousingWire

Morning Minute: U.S. household income making gains

Image: Bigstock

Image: Bigstock

According to Census data, the median household income for U.S. families rose to $56,500 in 2015, a 5.2 percent increase from the year before, The New York Times reports today in the article, “U.S. Household Income Grew 5.2% in 2015, Breaking Pattern of Stagnation.”


In other headlines:

Area home sales, prices increase in August – State Journal-Register

Strong showing for home sales – WCIA

Morning Minute: Days on market historically low for today’s home listings

Image: Bigstock

Image: Bigstock

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports that days on market (or the length of time a home listing is on the market before it is sold) in 2014 and 2015 was down to a median time of four weeks, the shortest time in 20 years. Read more in NAR’s commentary, “Historical Low Time on Market to Sell a Home.

In other headlines:

Most affordable housing markets: Better buy now! – CNBC

Wiping out housing’s ‘zombies’: Banks sell off foreclosed remnants of crash – CNBC

Congress set to consider Republican plan to abolish Dodd-Frank – HousingWire