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Katherine Skomorowski's Blog

By Katie Skomorowski | Agent in Naperville, IL
  • Your Space of Grace

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Illinois, Remodel & Renovate in Illinois, Design & Decor in Illinois  |  January 9, 2013 10:10 AM  |  129 views  |  No comments

    Listen to Jill Angelo talk about rejuvinating, cleansing and revitalizing your home.  She is doing great things for people and properties.
  • Quick Credit Tip -

    Posted Under: Financing, Rent vs Buy, Credit Score  |  October 24, 2012 2:08 PM  |  136 views  |  No comments
    Just a quick tip - remember to keep an eye on your credit report. You can get a free report each year. This can save you a HUGE headache down the road when you rent or buy.

    If you check one agency at a time, you can keep tabs on your credit 3 times a year.

  • Veterans... Military... If you're going to buy a home... you need to read this!

    Posted Under: General Area in Illinois, Home Buying in Illinois, Financing in Illinois  |  October 15, 2012 12:18 PM  |  146 views  |  No comments
    If you don't know me personally, let me give some background...

    I am an Army Reservist Wife that has survived a year long deployment in 2011 and raised 1 year old twins during that time while my husband fought overseas. 

    The Military life and anything that affects it or aids it is very near and dear to me.  Of course we all know about the VA loan that is available to the military; which is a huge help to those that have dedicated years and or lives to their branch.  What some don't know is that in Illinois, there is also an available $10,000 grant to veterans, active duty, reservist and the Illinois National Guard.

    Not all lending insitutions offer this so if you aren't aware of it, you could be missing out.  Fortunately, I work with a team of lenders that specialize in helping military families.

    If you read this and either can benefit from it or know someone that can... please pass it along.  It's basically FREE $10,000 towards the purchase of a home.
  • Rentals: Be Proactive For You and Them

    Posted Under: General Area in Dupage County, Rental Basics in Dupage County, Credit Score in Dupage County  |  October 9, 2012 7:12 AM  |  153 views  |  No comments
    The rental market is doing very well and more and more people are renting out single family homes and houses that wouldn't have normally been a rental prior to the changes in the housing market.

    Regardless of the home you choose to rent or how you find that home (Internet, real estate agent, friend/family or advertising) most likely you will have to submit an application (small fee) and agree to a credit and/or background check (small fee).  Prices will vary on the individual home, but these costs are non refundable and can get expensive if you are submitting multiple applications.

    It is a wise idea to know where you stand with regards to your credit score.  Typically a score below 650 will require some negotiating in the lease terms to entice a landlord to agree to a lease.  Being informed about your credit score will help you to talk about this prior to your credit being run over and over.  You can try to offer a higher security deposit or even pre-pay some of your lease terms (pre-pay 3-6 months,etc).  There is no guarantee that they will accept, but by being up front and honest it can save you the worry and take the "unknown" out of the situation.

    Once you have a lease signed and accepted, it is imperative that you build a great payment history.  Know when the rent is due and account for how long it may take to get there (via mail) or post to their account (via a account transfer). 

    If you find that your credit score is below 650, work on getting that repaired either by making those calls yourself, paying on-time, paying off or even speaking with a credit repair specialist.  There is a fee for this, but the benefit can be amazing if a home purchase is in your future or even a car.

    Alternatively, there are programs out there, I work with one, that helps people rent and does not use credit as a deciding factor in lease qualification.  There is a need out there for those that have found themselves in a financial hardship due to previous job loss, short sale or foreclosure situation and their credit has suffered.  If you or anyone you know can benefit from this program, I'd be happy to talk more about it with them.
  • What's Next... What's New and How YOU Can Be a Part of It!!!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Illinois, Home Selling in Illinois, Investment Properties in Illinois  |  October 1, 2012 8:25 AM  |  147 views  |  No comments

    59% of the population wants to buy an investment property in the next 2 years but who will show them how to do it?  Due to high demand in what to look for in an investment property we have created a place for you to learn for FREE.  It is true that the real estate market is on FIRE and people "in the know" are buying right now and for lots of reasons.  Here are a few:

    -Interest rates around 4% make properties cash flow and create TONS of LEVERAGE

    -Our market is near bottom and that's a fact!

    -Rents are up

    -Other avenues of investment cannot bring in the same returns

    -Chicago real estate is on SALE!!!

    We have created a site to teach you for FREE how to invest in this market from a long term investing model to the short term.  All of the information is online!


    Whether you are a new to real estate investing or a seasoned pro we wanted to make sure you were able to get true content and for FREE!  We have positioned ourselves like a financial planner but for real estate investing.  You need to learn what CAP rates are, cash on cash return, and truly understand what really builds wealth.  All of that is available for you here on this site so enjoy.

  • College Savings Could Be Right Next Door

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying, Property Q&A  |  September 24, 2012 6:18 PM  |  146 views  |  No comments
    We all know that the average interest rate on a savings account is nothing to brag about these days and one of the many things on the minds of parents are how to save for their child(ren)'s education.  There are stocks, bonds, savings incentives for purchases with credit cards, and a mirage of other things.

    I've been engrossed in the market trends and the shift in it is exciting to see.  Real Estate Investing.  It's not just what everyone thinks it is.. not just for big time money makers, not just a flip it and sell it..... this is for everyone!  Money is cheap, house prices are still at amazingly low prices and rental rates (and needs) are on the rise.

    The long term investment of a home can very easily become a college degree!

    Just for an example... a single family home for $165,000 ($1,500/month rental rate) with a 5% cap rate over the course of 10 years, could potentially yield a +198% return!

    For myself, I have twin 2 year olds and college will be here in a blink of an eye... I can only speak for myself, but it's hard to argue with staggering numbers like that.

  • First Time Homebuyers - What you NEED to know

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Dupage County, Moving in Dupage County, Home Ownership in Dupage County  |  September 19, 2012 7:09 AM  |  207 views  |  3 comments
    The home buying/ownership process can be a bit overwhelming.  Not only does everyone have an opinion and something to say, but you are also sorting out what you want/need in a home and juggling the location, amenities and price to pick THE home.

    After speaking with a mortgage broker to get pre-approved, this will be the first clue as to what properties will suit your loan requirements.  An FHA loan, VA loan and Conventional loan have some specific things that the property has to meet.  Alternatively, there are special loan programs and grants that can also be benefited from that your loan officer can help to clarify and see if you can qualify.

    A real estate agent is vital in helping you weed through all of your thoughts, likes, dislikes and really gets to know you and what may suit your needs and will try to get the trifecta of the location, amenities and price (although 2 of those usually win out over the 3rd).

    It's not just the agent that you will need to work with, but also a home inspector and an attorney.

    Having a home inspection is imperative in knowing the character and guts of the biggest investment you will ever make.  Some things will be obvious, but some things aren't so obvious and need a trained eye.  The inspector/inspection can save you from costly repairs such as a faulty foundation, signs of basement flooding, mold and a mirage of other things.  It is the best money you will ever spend otherwise you may find yourself in a money pit.

    After the contract is signed, it becomes a legally binding contract.  Hiring an attorney helps to navigate through the contract and the common extensions, revisions and will walk you through the closing documents and process. 

    The team you have behind you (agent, mortgage broker, inspector and attorney) can be your dream team. They are the experts and all work together to help protect your interests.
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