See if new IHDA mortgage program can help your clients

With the debut of the @HomeIllinois mortgage to the market this week by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), Illinois REALTORS® may be able to help more creditworthy homebuyers this Spring and help local economies at the same time.

That’s the philosophy behind the development of a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, with $5,000 in down payment assistance for first-time buyers, homeowners looking to refinance and – for the first time in the history of the IHDA – repeat buyers, too.

IHDA Executive Director Mary Kenney says @HomeIllinois mortgages can be customized to fit the individual needs of borrowers. “We are very excited to launch the much-anticipated @HomeIllinois program, designed to help every type of borrower, not just first-time buyers. With historically low interest rates, growing housing prices and rents at an all-time high, there’s no better time to buy a home in Illinois than now.”

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, one job is created for every two homes sold in the state. In 2014, IHDA programs helped 10,000 buyers with loans and down payment assistance totaling $1.2 million. It was the IHDA’s highest annual total of home loans in 30-plus years.

The maximum annual income for households of three or more in the @HomeIllinois program is $108,675, while for households of one or two the max is $94,500.

Created in 1967, the IHDA is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and the preservation of affordable housing across Illinois. Over the course of those 47 years, the IHDA has financed approximately 245,000 affordable housing units for Illinoisans.

For more information, visit

Morning Minute: Get your home ready for spring with these quick cleaning tips

The first day of spring, March 20, is right around the corner. REALTOR® Magazine offers a cleaning checklist to help you clear out the winter clutter and get your home ready for the sunny days of spring.

A few tips: Wash down your walls to remove any dirt that has accumulated and clean the coils, grates and condensers of your furnace, refrigerator and other appliances. Click here for more of the magazine’s spring cleaning tips.

In other headlines:

Smart Re-Listing Ideas as Spring Approaches - Daily Real Estate News

FHFA director Watt answers “What’s going on with HARP?” – HousingWire



Morning Minute: Federal Reserve finds improving economic growth in early 2015

There was continuing moderate economic growth in January and February as consumer spending, manufacturing production and business spending improved, according to the latest Federal Reserve Beige Book. The Seventh District in Chicago, reported modest gains in construction and real estate activity as home prices and rents increased and sales held steady. The commercial real estate sector saw even greater gains as rents rose, vacancies declined and leasing activity increased. Read the report for the Seventh District.

In other headlines:

Mortgage Rates Move Lower – Freddie Mac reports today that fixed mortgage rates declined this week for the first time in four weeks.

Housing Market Gets Stronger in 2015 - Kiplinger reports that 2015 is expected to be a solid year for the housing market as a stronger economy combines with pent-up buyer demand.

Could Chicago’s Willis Tower get a new name (again)? – The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) could soon have a new owner, and potentially a new name. The Belleville News-Democrat has the Chicago Tribune story. Read more.

Morning Minute: U.S. pending home sales hit 18-month high

Home buyer demand improved in January with the number of pending home sales (based on contract signings) climbing to a level not seen since August 2013, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) announced today. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index rose to 104.2 in January. Watch a new NAR video with Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR.

“Contract activity is convincingly up compared to a year ago despite comparable inventory levels. The difference this year is the positive factors supporting stronger sales, such as slightly improving credit conditions, more jobs and slower price growth.” —  Lawrence Yun.

In other headlines:

Nearly 80% of Housing Markets Are Stabilizing – Daily Real Estate News

Living Small In The City: With More Singles, Micro-Housing Gets Big – NPR

U.S. pending home sales hit one-and-a-half-year high in January – Reuters

Morning Minute: Selling your home this winter? Quick tips to improve its curb appeal

Make your home stand out to prospective homebuyers amidst the season’s snow and ice with winter landscaping ideas from HouseLogic. A colorful front door or leaving holiday lights up to add a little sparkle to shrubbery or exteriors can draw attention to your home.

Click here for the slideshow, “Tips for Brightening Winter Curb Appeal.”

In other headlines:

Builders Target Single, Female Baby Boomers – Daily Real Estate News

Single family rental investment still strong among smaller investors – HousingWire