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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Guide to Buying and Selling in the Winter

There are many pros and cons to buying (or selling) a home during the winter season. Although the winter is generally known as a "slow season" for home buying and selling, it can have many benefits on both sides.

Here are CF Funding's list of Pros and Cons for Buying and Selling during the Winter season: 

Buying Pro's

Reduced Competition means less pressure, lower prices, and less likelihood of a bidding war.
Realtors may have more time during "slow season," are more available and responsive to your needs
Sellers may have less showings during winter months, therefore they may be quicker to respond.
Tax Benefits may be available for those who close by December 31, such as mortgage interest and property taxes.
Home shopping in winter allows you to see how well the house is built for winter weather (heating system, hot water, drafts, etc.)

Buying Cons

Limited inventory means you have less houses to choose from.
You may have difficulty seeing all features of the home's exterior due to weather (snow-covered defects may be hidden) leading to an unpleasant surprise.
You may feel a lot of pressure trying to balance holiday shopping / events with home shopping and mortgage tasks. Completing your holiday shopping early can help relieve this pressure !

Selling Pro's

Less competition from other sellers
Winter buyers tend to be more motivated, with a pressing need to move quickly.
Adorning your home with Christmas decorations is an easy way to make it look warm and welcoming!
According to a Redfin survey analyzing homes listed from March 2011 - March 2013, homes listed in winter had a 9% better chance of selling and sold about a week faster. They also sold for 1.2 percent higher price than those listed in other seasons! Read more on

Selling Cons

Showings may interrupt holiday events and activities.
Many home shoppers avoid looking during the winter, as they want more inventory, and may want to avoid moving in the cold and snow.

If you are looking to buy or sell this season, be sure to contact CF Funding for your mortgage needs. We can refer you to a great Realtor to help you get started, and we offer free preapprovals ! Give us a call at 630-328-8900 today, or visit our website at .

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tax Breaks for Mortgage Insurance

In an article posted Tuesday, CNN shared a list of "temporary" tax breaks that have been extended into 2014, including breaks for teachers, commuters, and parents of college students. CF Funding is happy to share two great tax breaks for homeowners, including deductions for mortgage insurance premiums:

1. For those who may have purchased a home with a small down payment, and therefore were
required to pay mortgage insurance, this break would allow you to deduct the cost of your premiums (if you itemize your deductions).

2. For those who have foreclosed on a home, or sold their home for less than what is owed, this tax break allows you to exclude that remaining debt from your income. Normally, the IRS would count the remaining debt as taxable income.

Another great tax break worth noting is that "commuters may reduce their pre-tax income to account for their commuting costs... those who drive to work and pay for parking are allowed to exclude more (250 per month) than those who use mass transit (130 per month)."

According to CNN, the bill has been sent to President Obama and is awaiting signature.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CF Funding Launches "Graduate Advantage" Program to Benefit College Students, Recent Grads

CF Funding has launched a new loan program this month, which is aimed to benefit college students and recent graduates. The program allows those with large amounts of student debt (and lower income) to add a non-occupant co-borrower, in other words-- a "cosigner," to help create a better debt-to-income ratio. This blended ratio can help students & recent grads to qualify for lower interest rates, and mortgage loan terms that they might not otherwise qualify for.

Other benefits of this program include future income qualifications, for a student or grad who may be expecting to start a job or get a raise within 60 days. Depending on the buyer's income and credit qualifications, down payments as low as 3.5% may be required. CF Funding offers free credit counseling for those who need a score increase to qualify.

Graduate Advantage is available for any Freddie Mac purchase, rate and term, or cash out refinance.
Contact a CF Funding loan specialist today to learn more at 630-328-8900 or visit

Company NMLS #202670, Illinois License MB .0005978

Friday, October 24, 2014

Take 2 Tylenol, Reduce the Asking Price?

Yesterday, Wall Street Journal published an article titled "Can Tylenol Ease the Pain of a Home Sale?" in response to a study at the Univeristy of Kentucky. The study "Can Acetaminophen Reduce the Pain of Decision Making?",  based on the principle that physical and emotional pain can overlap, has now been connected to the real estate industry. Psychologists, journalists, and real estate professionals are asking the question, could painkillers cause homeowners to reduce their asking price? 

According to, "experiments showed that acetaminophen reduced the pain of decision-making, as indicated by lower attitude change that accompanies cognitive dissonance and lower selling prices when selling personal possessions." The study of 95 undergraduate students compared asking prices when the students were asked to sell a mug. The students were asked to study the mug for 30 seconds "to create a sense of attachment," before making an offer, according to WSJ. Students who took acetaminophen asked for about $4.15 to $5.92, while students who took a placebo asked for about $5.55 to $6.27. 

Stefanos Chen of WSJ explained that "the results illustrate 'loss aversion'... the thought of losing the mug caused pain, and the acetaminophen helped students who were attached to the mug decide to sell at a lower price." Professor Nathan DeWall of Univeristy of Kentucky stated, "It's the same principle at play when a sentimental homeowner balks at an agent's comparable sales figures and demands a higher price for his home."

It is hard to say without further research whether or not the same results would apply to an item with much higher sense of attachment - such as a home. 

What do you think?  Leave your comments below! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Advice for Homebuyers

CF Funding was recently featured in an article by Melissa Newton of, titled "5 Tips of Achieving Homeownership." Based on a one-hour workshop that our very own CF Funding loan officers presented at the Plainfield Public Library, the article provides great advice for first-time homebuyers. Check it out here:

In a recent blog post on, the National Association of Homebuilders gave advice on financing your first home, and suggested that all first-time homebuyers attend an educational seminar to familiarize themselves with the homebuying process and common mortgage terminology. To sign up for CF Funding's next free class, contact or visit our Facebook page at for updates.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

CF Funding Offers IHDA Grant for First Time Homebuyers, Military Personnel

CF funding shares exciting news for first-time homebuyers and military personnel this week, as the lender is approved to provide down payment assistance through the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s Welcome Home Illinois Program. Qualified homebuyers, which may include first-time homebuyers, active military personnel, veterans, and those who have not owned a home in the past 3 years, could qualify for $7,500 or more in grants to help cover down payment costs as well as additional funds for renovation. The program also offers below-market interest rates and a variety of loan options including FHA, conventional loans, and USDA loans.

In order to qualify for this limited-time program, homebuyers must purchase a one or two-unit property within Illinois, and live in this property as a primary residence. The homebuyer must contribute one percent or $1,000 of the purchase price, whichever is greater.

CF Funding is excited to start providing the grants to homebuyers, as IHDA’s programs not only provide down payment assistance, but can also allow federal tax credits that can reduce income tax liability by up to $18,000 over the life of the loan. Tax credits may apply to the Smart Move Trio program (for first-time homebuyers), or Welcome Home Heroes program (for veterans and active military personnel).

Another program that CF Funding now offers through IHDA is Illinois Building Blocks, which “helps strengthen communities with programs that turn vacant homes into valuable homeownership opportunities.” Eligible communities in this program include Belleville, Berwyn, Blue Island, Champaign, Chicago Heights, Cicero, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Lynwood, Maywood, Melrose Park, Park Forest, Peoria, and South Holland. According to, up to 75 homes will be available through the end of 2014. These rehabilitated homes are “professionally renovated and move-in ready. Improvements vary in each house but may include HVAC, electrical, roof, updates to bathrooms and kitchen… etc).This program is also available to non-first-time homebuyers! Down payment assistance is slightly higher in this program with up to $10,000 cash for qualified buyers.

A refinance program called Smart Move Plus is also now available through CF Funding, which allows a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with competitive interest rates, and a variety of loan options to choose from including FHA, Conventional, VA, and USDA.

To apply for an IHDA loan, homebuyers should visit the lender online at or call 888-344-4080 today.