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Speaker 1:                    AM 560 The Answer. If it’s 1:00 pm and it’s Saturday, it can only mean one thing, it’s time for the all new Townstone Financial Show on AM 560 The Answer. The show is brought to you by Townstone Financial, the home loan experts since 2002. Remember nobody values your home Mortgage business more than Townstone Financial. So, let’s get started, guys, it’s all yours.

Alec:                            You are listening to the Townstone Financial show AM 560 The Answer. In the studio here Alec kicking it off, Alec Schwartz. I’m in with the guideline guru himself.

Zach:                            Zachary Schwartz.

Alec:                            How are you doing Zach?

Zach:                            Thank you to our listeners for making this the number one real estate mortgage show in Chicago.

Alec:                            Amen.

Zach:                            Thank you for over a year and running of the new reformatted show. We got a jammed packed show today. Alec you want to do a little run down here?

Alec:                            We’ll do the run down, we’ve got Kris Nowak, Castline Properties he is going to be talking to us about well Kris Nowak things. I mean he caught Zach’s bathroom, we went over that story, many more there. Tammy Joyce Hudson Finance group.

Zach:                            Small business owners, tune in for that.

Alec:                            Another realtor, Carey Young Brokerocity.

Zach:                            Great.

Alec:                            She is going to talk about the three pitfalls of home buying today, so definitely tune into that.

Zach:                            Home selling. You want to avoid those pitfalls.

Alec:                            Bruce Levin home inspector. On top of that the one the only Frank Pellegrini of Prairie Title. So, I don’t know something magical happens this time of the year, because I have been asking myself for the past six months why on earth do we reside in this place, it is so miserably cold, dark, windy, et cetera. Well guess what the sun is out and things are starting to happen in general especially in the real estate world, that’s what I’m seeing Zach, what about you?

Zach:                            Absolutely just driving to the office today, seeing plenty of open houses, it looks a lot warmer than it really is. It’s a little chilly.

Alec:                            It looks like it’s out though.

Zach:                            It looks like it should be 70 degrees but it felt like 40. Like there are so many open houses going, people are listing these houses and they’re getting them sold within a single day. You know if you’re in that price range right now, between I’d say 100 to 103 those houses are selling like hot cakes. I don’t even know where that saying comes from. Why do hot cakes sell so well?

Zach:                            But the other thing and I want to open this up to any of our listeners; you can call in with your comments or questions. You know we sell mortgages here at Townstone Financial. It’s other industries where there’s price shopping.

Zach:                            I recently got into the market for a vehicle. What I’ve discovered is buying a car shopping for a car is infinitely more difficult, more frustrating time consuming than shopping for a mortgage. This was my first time, I’m picking it up today after we record the show, but shopping for a mortgage is so easy relative to shopping for a vehicle.

Alec:                            Well I don’t know if we have Kris on yet so why don’t we talk about that for a minute Zach. What makes it that much easier?

Zach:                            So, when you’re shopping for a mortgage you call up Townstone, you can call me 312-896-2114. This actually happened just the last hour before the show started. I was prepping, but I got a call from a woman, she’s looking today, for some places to buy. So she needed a pre approval right then right there.

Zach:                            We talked a little bit; I sent her a single page form to sign, she signed that got it back to me with a copy of photo ID. I ran credit and now she has a quote and a loan estimate, as for exactly what her payment is going to be, what her costs are going to be. Now she can go to any other lender and get that same exact loan estimate. Because we’re comparing apples to apples here, your 30 year fix is a 30 year fix is a 30 year fix.

Alec:                            So, you’re saying that whenever I’m shopping for a mortgage I can go to any mortgage company or a bank or whoever I’m working with and they will give me an identical looking form a quote essentially, so it’s a lot easier to read then correct?

Zach:                            Infinitely easier to read. Whereas when you’re shopping for a car, they have a billion different models, they’ve got different add-ons, removals, financing options. It is the most confusing thing I think I have dealt with. Like I could have trained to become a brain surgeon and that would have been easier than trying to buy a car.

Zach:                            Again 312-642-5600 what is harder for you? Has it been harder to get a mortgage loan or has it been harder to shop and buy a car. Because mortgage lending in 2018 is easier than it’s ever been before from a process standpoint and vehicle they need some work, they need to make it easier.

Alec:                            But well it’s like built into our history though, you have to go through the dealer. I was watching some program on it so you’re basically it’s going to end up being that difficult. But last week or two weeks ago last time I was on the show was out of town, I was in Las Vegas so I was not on the show.

Alec:                            But I wanted to get to my mortgage insight which is credit, because right now we’re going to dive into this, when we’re talking with all these realtors and the home inspector that we’re going to have on. If you think that credit is going to be your biggest hurdle, going into this year, there’s still time. By that I mean that if you haven’t even looked at it, you’re too scared to or maybe you did the credit karma and what not.

Zach:                            Is it the ostrich that like hides its head in the sand?

Alec:                            I mean that’s what I feel like sometimes because we’re having so many success stories and I cannot wait to bring them on the air, because we’re going to do it at some point with 30 days, 45 days, that’s all it takes and you’re in a house. Before that you didn’t even think that you’d be buying a property this year.

Alec:                            We’re starting to see it, especially now that everyone is moving but again if you want to talk credit today, I mean that is something that’s so relevant, 312-642-5600 that’s 312-642-5600.

Zach:                            We do have Kris, I mean Kris, understandably that you’re going to be late, because do you want to share the news with the public what has happened in your life recently?

Kris Nowak:                  Oh yes, 16 days ago my wife gave birth to our second son, so Kyle Jacob Nowak, welcome to the world.

Zach:                            Mazel Tov

Alec:                            [inaudible 00:06:53]

Kris Nowak:                  Thank you.

Zach:                            How is that are you how many hours are you working from right now?

Kris Nowak:                  Well it’s all staggered. Anyone who has got children at home knows that in the infancy stage, you’re never going to get a solid you know six, eight, seven, eight hours of sleep. It’s three here, three there, you nap when the kid naps.

Zach:                            The funny thing is Kris, you on that schedule, we’ve been working the last two weeks because real estate never sleeps and you’re keeping up with everything, you’re turning these contracts around in days. What activity are you seeing though, now that actually spring has come, it’s looking nice out. What are you seeing a lot of people trying to sell, more people trying to buy?

Kris Nowak:                  More people trying to buy. I think now that the weather has sort of warmed up, even though it’s only a high in the 40s today.

Zach:                            It’s deceptive, it looks warmer than it really is, I said that.

Kris Nowak:                  It looks warmer than it really is, so psychologically I think people are finally ready to get out. I have seen an uptake in the activity with buyers. We’re still seeing some of the same stuff with there being limited inventory or lack of quality inventory. I had a client last night that I was showing some places too that, the photographs looked really good online and then you get there and you realize that it’s a lot of cover up kind of stuff.

Kris Nowak:                  Once you get into the actual place, sometimes the pictures don’t tell an accurate story. That’s always been the case but I think when there’s low inventory, when you see something that looks appealing you need to pounce on it because there’s incredible competition for any place that’s priced right and that’s in good condition.

Alec:                            So, it’s a sellers market Kris and if you’re selling-

Kris Nowak:                  Well it is but it isn’t.

Alec:                            Why is it not?

Kris Nowak:                  Yeah it’s interesting. It’s sort of in between because you know buyers have to have an incentive to want to buy. When you have slightly increased rates, they say well we’ll look and we’ll buy the right thing but we’re not under any kind of pressure. I think that there’s pressure on sellers as much as there’s on buyers. The challenge is again pricing it right and attention to detail when you’re getting your home ready to list.

Kris Nowak:                  You know this one property that I looked at yesterday that had the wonderful photographs; first thing I noticed when I walked up to the front door of this place was on the window of the front entry door, there is dust. There was literally dirt, I took my finger and I wiped my finger along and I picked up all this dirt. It was a brand new house the first day on the market.

Alec:                            You’re like one of those butlers out of a movie, hey Kris we’re running out of time for the segment, real quick what do you think, I was talking earlier, easier to buy out a house, shop for a mortgage or shop for a car, what’s easier?

Kris Nowak:                  Oh what’s easier? You know what for a car it’s tougher to see the different options that you have. So much of it seems very similar when you wonder where is the price difference. Whereas in a house versus a condo you know many bedrooms how many bathrooms. It’s easier to sort of understand what it is that you’re looking for. There’s more variety in the housing market, so I think-

Alec:                            Sorry to cut you out Kris, he agrees with me. How do they get a hold of you? You got five seconds.

Kris Nowak:                  73-996-2653 Castline Properties we’ll help you buy your next house.

Alec:                            Thank you for listening to the Townstone Financial show, we will be right back after this commercial break. Again questions 312-642-5600.

Speaker 1:                    How can you get from here to there, we’ve got the answer. From the Balance of Nature, Traffic Center.

Ken Griffin:                   I’m Ken Griffin in the Balance of Nature Traffic Center in the South Side 18th Shutdown between Damon and Blue Island till 3:00 [inaudible 00:11:13] going on there and route 59 still closed, route, 22 to Cuba Road until 8:00 tonight for some construction on the express way. [inaudible 00:11:20] 28 minute of coming in, 19 going out, [inaudible 00:11:22]. Kennedy is 34, so here to downtown about 35 back out to the airport.

Ken Griffin:                   The [inaudible 00:11:28] 390 to the post office, 27 from Manheim and then 20 from Manheim 33 to 390. Stevenson is 38 either way between 355 and Lakeshore drive, 55 [inaudible 00:11:40] 22 in and still 15 going back out. Bishop Port is slow inbound 115, Stony Island, Lake Shore drive under breaks, around Chicago Avenue in both direction and also North bound around Soldier Field On the Tri-State you’re heavy south bound still at 137.

Ken Griffin:                   AM 560 Weather, partly cloudy at 50 currently 45. Next update coming up in 15 minutes on AM 560 The Answer.

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Amy Jacobson:             Yeah in my mom’s basement.

Speaker 1:                    Chicago’s morning answer with Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson.

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Speaker 1:                    Weekday mornings starting at 5:00 on AM 560 the answer.

Barry:                           Hi, Barry Sterner owner of your premier home mortgage lender, Townstone Financial. Interest rates are extremely low, so there’s no better time than the present to do a no closing cost refinance with Townstone Financial if your interest rate is above 4%. Remember Townstone has completed thousands of no closing cost refinances since 2002 and don’t worry there are no hidden costs, I guarantee it and I own the company.

Barry:                           We can also customize a payback period so you don’t have to start over at 30 years or 15. Last week I began a no closing cost refinance where the borrower was going to save over $100 a month, that’s $1,200 a year. So, give me a call now at 312-896- 2111 and let me review your current situation. Lastly, do you have mortgage insurance or an FHA loan let us see if we can remove the insurance payment which will dramatically reduce your monthly payments.

Barry:                           The call is free and so is my time so dial 312-896-2111, that’s 312-896-2111 or go to that’s Household finances and Illinois mortgage licensee, 6629 and MLS 136 6639 equal housing lender.

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Speaker 1:                    Now here is another dose of reality, as we return to the Townstone Financial show. Guys deliver the goods.

Alec:                            We’re back Alec Schwartz in studio I’m MCing today I got Zach Schwartz the mortgage guideline guru himself.

Zach:                            I like that nickname.

Alec:                            Again we’re welcoming any calls. Before we get to the sponsor, 312-642-5600, 312-642-5600.

Zach:                            But mostly importantly got to pay the bills around here. This segment is sponsored by Hudson Finance Group. Hudson Finance Group has led the charge in providing access to capital, to Chicago small business community for over 10 years. They pride themselves on delivering competitive smart, long term finance solutions that help small businesses grow.

Zach:                            If you’re looking to acquire a business, finance new equipment, build new or buy an existing business for your business or maybe refinance current business [inaudible 00:15:31] expert at Hudson finance group will provide you with the best small business solutions available. Call Tammy, that’s tammy@hudsonfinancegroup at 312-296-6332 or visit their website at

Alec:                            You know what guys we have a special treat, Tammy from Hudson Finance group is with us right now, how are you doing Tammy?

Tammy Joyce:              I’m doing great how are you doing?

Alec:                            Excellent. What … Do you have anything that you need to share with our audience, because otherwise I want to know what’s going on with the small business world in 2018?

Tammy Joyce:              All right now I mean things are still going great, it’s been busier than ever. People are trying to lock in 25 year terms if they own the real estate, and they’d like to you know just anything that they’d like to do right now is the best time to do it. If they’re looking for equipment, if they’re looking to refinance the existing debt that they have, that’s at a much higher interest rate, it’s the perfect time to do it.

Alec:                            Tammy walk me through the perfect candidate for somebody that wants to start working and start getting a line of credit to their business. Who is the perfect bolt for what you do?

Tammy Joyce:              Well what I do it’s not a line of credit, it’s actually it’s a business loan and depending on if they own the real estate or not, if they own the real estate it can be up to 25 years, otherwise it could be anywhere from 5 to 10 years and they could just be renting the space. It’s all about the business itself and its cash flow. We rent on the whole business.

Alec:                            What are you seeing any particular industries types of machines, like what are people, what small businesses are coming back in America today?

Tammy Joyce:              Well right now I mean franchises are doing fantastic.

Alec:                            Like fast food?

Tammy Joyce:              All of them. The day care centers are fantastic, they’re just popping up all over the place and we’re doing a lot of SBA loans for day care centers.

Alec:                            What does a person need to do? They can’t just walk in off the street to start their business. I man what minimal requirements should someone have before reaching out to someone like you to start their own business?

Tammy Joyce:              Well they need to have the business already set up. The entity has to exist. They have to have some sort of background within the field that they’re starting the business in. Typically, the SBA, it was set up to get business owners out there starting these small businesses. However, if you have no experience in that business it’s a difficult loan to get.

Alec:                            Tammy let’s say I’m a, I’ve been working for this bakery for the last 10 years, I’m the head cake baker, 10 years I basically have done everything but I’m not the owner and the owner has started treating me not so well and I’m the one that bakes all the cakes, am I somebody that you would be willing to let me open a new bakery?

Tammy Joyce:              Definitely and we could you know lend on whatever equipment because in something like that you’re going to need some equipment it’s not just an office space and we lend on the full package sense. Something like you know what’s great about the SBA too is your only 10% down. Say in your scenario that you just said what if the owner of the bakery was retiring and wanted to sell it to you, you could go in and-

Alec:                            You can buy them out with an SBA loan.

Tammy Joyce:              Yes and you only need 10% in and then that 10% can actually be 5% carry back from that seller and you can also have a 5% given to you as a gift. Really if you know you don’t even have to even come in with money down if you have that type of scenario.

Alec:                            Okay so I just think people don’t know about this stuff. Because you hear each and every day there’s people you know coming into work with that look on their face of unhappiness because they’re working for somebody else. They know that they do their job better than anybody else. If they left their company everything would fall apart. They need to get a hold of you and make their own destiny, be their own boss. How do they get a hold of you Tammy?

Tammy Joyce:              They can give me a call at 312-296-6332.

Alec:                            Excellent, Tammy, thank you so much and you just have fabulous rest of your weekend.

Tammy Joyce:              Okay you too, thanks guys.

Alec:                            Definitely important stuff, just because I don’t know. I love that that’s a sponsor of our show because we’re very entrepreneurial here. Anybody else that’s entrepreneurial we really respects that. But it’s all about the small businesses in America, because what we’ve seen over the last decade if not longer is this consolidation, this Walmartization of small businesses.

Alec:                            I’ll tell you right if you got a small business you probably have had trouble even refinancing your current mortgage on your house just because of how you maybe do your taxes or how you deduct your expenses. I want to remind everybody, 312-642-5600, that there are a lot of programs out there that allowing people to do this.

Alec:                            I talked to somebody yesterday that had two loans that they’ve got, one’s ballooning, it’s a home equity line of credit, the other one is adjustable and it is going through the roof. Yes these interest rates on some these programs where you don’t really fit the box and it’s been difficult for you to get a loan as a result.

Alec:                            Sometimes the rates are a little bit higher but these loans are perfect for maybe stopping the bleeding. In other words my payments are through the roof on this, I know I’m leaving this property in three to five years. You can get me on something; maybe the rate has got a five or a six in front of it. But the fact of the matter is, this is already saving me money and it’s fixed for that amount of time, so that I can go and I can find something else.

Alec:                            So again if you’ve self employed or if you don’t really fit the box OK you know you haven’t been able to get a mortgage, give us a call 312-612-642-5600 to talk about it on the air.

Zach:                            But I think we also have to kind of come together as a country and decide to support our small businesses. This is not a knock on Walmart or on Amazon. But when we’re only dealing with these conglomerate corporations it just doesn’t allow for the American dream and achievement for the growth of the middle class. That is built on small business ownership.

Zach:                            I’m glad we have the small business loans that we can take advantage of that. But at the same time, whenever I can avoid shopping at a Walmart or a Target I do so.

Alec:                            It’s becoming so easier though, it’s so much easier. Now I use Google Express which is a delivery service by Google that will shop-

Zach:                            It’s hard to avoid.

Alec:                            … at these retailers and Walmart has got the best prices, I shop at Walmart Zach

Zach:                            Right but at the same time now you know shopping at Walmart you’re putting these other small businesses out and you get your cheap prices but in the long run it’s not going to be good for this country.

Alec:                            Walmart employs a big portion of the country though.

Zach:                            Yeah but Walmart pays its employees so little that a good chunk of these employees have to collect food stamps. So, basically by you shopping at Walmart you’re subsidizing like Walmart is not paying their employees, so the tax payer basically gives these people food stamps because Walmart doesn’t pay them enough.

Zach:                            But sure you can get your cheap Chinese made t-shirts for three cents per t-shirts. But again it’s tough because we love three cents t-shirts. But at the same time you’re hurting the country by doing that. But moving on to the next segment when we’re going to come back from the break we’re hopefully going to have Bruce Levin home inspector talking about tips and tricks with spring cleaning coming up.

Alec:                            I’ll tell you right now this is the number one pitfall, if you’re buying a property, you get the home inspection, it comes back and it’s ugly, this is the number one reason. I’ll say even over lending being your issue, the number one reason that that a home sale is not going to go through because of the home inspection.

Alec:                            If you don’t get one my goodness, I’m actually working with somebody, been working with her for a long time and she is buying directly from an owner, and this person, this owner is like it’s optional, but really urging her not to get one, really? Seriously?

Zach:                            If you’re been told not to get a home inspection, run do not walk away from that deal because there’s something, an underlying issue.

Alec:                            You’re listening to the Townstone Financial show AM 560 The Answer, we’ll be right back after this break.

Speaker 1:                    Stuck on traffic? We’ve got the answer. From the Balance of Nature Traffic Center.

Ken Griffin:                   I’m Ken Griffin and the Balance of Nature Traffic center on the evening inbound lowest flow at 28 to the junction outbound is okay on the Kennedy you’re looking at 34. From O’Hare to downtown about 35 about back out to the airport. On the IKE 43 390 to downtown and then 37 back to 390.

Ken Griffin:                   Stevenson is 38 either way, between 355 and Lakeshore Drive. [inaudible 00:25:30] 22 coming in, 15 still going back out, 57 good, Bishop Ford slows up 115 to Stony Island. Lakeshore Drive slow on both directions around Chicago on the northbound around Solider Field as well. On the Tri-state still packed south bound at 137 to Everett and also the [inaudible 00:25:48] slow west bound state road to Lee. Everything else seems to be in pretty good shape, no delays in Northwestern Indiana at this hour.

Ken Griffin:                   AM 560 weather, partly cloudy with a high of 50 currently 44 next update coming up in 15 minutes on AM 560 The Answer.

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Speaker 1:                    The Sean Hannity Show afternoons at 2:00 right before Joe Walsh at 5:00 on AM 560 the Answer.

Barry:                           Counsel Financial is synonymous with great rates, low closing costs and phenomenal services to the thousands who have completed purchase and refinances with us since 2002. Hi my Name is Barry Sterner owner of Townstone Financial, let’s hear from Jim who just completed a no cost refinance with Townstone financial.

Jim:                              We went through the experience with Townstone, the experience was amazing. We had a point person that took a control of the [inaudible 00:26:55]. The communication was specific and exactly what we needed to do. I was never in the dark in the process, so I knew when I need to [inaudible 00:27:06]. I knew exactly what I needed. I would recommend Townstone to anybody, anybody and I do.

Barry:                           Remember nobody values your business more than Townstone Financial and I’m always available to answer your questions. Call me now Barry Sterner at 312-896-2111, that’s 312-896-2111 or go to that’s

Speaker 1:                    Townstone financial is Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Illinois Mortgage Licensee #6629 and NMLS 136639 equal housing lender.

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Barry:                           Folks when shopping for a home mortgage how much is great service? Low closing costs and competitive interest rates, worth to you? At Townstone financial it’s priceless. Hi Barry Sterner, founder of Townstone Financial, let’s hear about the Townstone experience from one of our customers.

Speaker 16:                  It was wonderful I called Ira, this was the Monday after thanksgiving and he got everything done and we were still able to close on the 15th so basically two and a half weeks. The day I called him he was like okay, I need, this, this, this and he was able to get it approved and of course the people I was buying the house from were concerned Ira kept them in the loop and they were all satisfied. At the closing table both real estate agents said I want his number and his email.

Barry:                           Remember nobody values your home mortgage business more than Townstone. I guarantee it and I own the company. So, call me now Barry Sterner at 312-896-2110, that’s 312-896-2110, or go to, that’s

Speaker 1:                    Townstone financial is Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Illinois Mortgage Licensee #6629. NMLS 136639 equal housing lender. We now return to the new and improved Townstone financial show on AM 560 The Answer.

Zach:                            We’re back Alec Schwartz, Zach Schwartz, AM 560 The Answer, Townstone Financial this segment is brought to you buy Castline Properties because I have some great home selling news today, it is actually getting easier to sell your home in Castline properties, can help you get it done for less that’s right. Your 2017 Chicago association of realtors top producing home sales team, team Castline will sell your home with a 1% listing fee discount off their already low rates.

Zach:                            That means you can sell your home quickly and easily and keep more money in your pocket. Unlike the other big offices, team Castline prides itself on transparency, honesty and integrity basically everybody that we associate with Townstone. Give team Castline a call today 773-996-2653 again 773-996-2653 to take advantage of their special spring offer.

Zach:                            Let team Castline help sell your home today so you can keep more cash in your pocket or visit them on the web at As we were saying it is that sellers market, because there’s way more buyers out there than there are sellers.

Alec:                            Sure.

Zach:                            Keep more of that money. But we’ve got a very special guest right here because he has got a wealth of information, stuff that I’m so terrible with, because I could barely screw in a light bulb, Bruce Levin, master home inspector, how are you doing today>

Bruce Levin:                 I’m doing great how about you Zachary?

Zach:                            Not too bad, not to bad. I just wanted to personally thank you because when it comes to mortgages I know things pretty well. I would say as Alec calls me the guideline guru. But when it comes to home maintenance, and issues and basically anything regarding that I’m like I don’t know anything, I really don’t.

Zach:                            Bruce with the spring season right now, what are the things I should be doing, I have a condo unit but this can apply to people with single friendly houses. What should be doing right now with our houses to keep the upkeep going?

Bruce Levin:                 Sure you know one of the most important things and the biggest deal killer is problems related to moisture and mold and leaky basements and that type of thing. Gutters are your primary tool to keep the water away from the house, and that’s your goal not to stop the water from getting in, but to get the water away from the house so there isn’t any water to get in.

Bruce Levin:                 What you want to do is you want to check your gutters and you want to check and make sure that they’re extended beyond the house five feet. Because the area that is right next to the house is where they dug the foundation, [inaudible 00:33:44] and that area is very porous.

Bruce Levin:                 If the water comes out of your gutter a foot or so it’s just going to go right down and sit right next to your basement. We want to make sure that the gutters are away from the house and we want to make sure that the gutters are secure not leaking, we want to make sure that-

Zach:                            I don’t know how to … That sounds good Bruce. I don’t know how to make sure my gutters are secure or if they’re leaking. How do I find out?

Bruce Levin:                 Well I mean you do a visual of the house. You know you can see if they’re loose and the down spots are loose. If there’re signs that water is coming over the gutter.

Zach:                            I mean no Bruce, pretend I’m Stevie Wonder here in terms of being able to see whether this stuff is loose or not. Can I call you to come look at it and basically take care of it for me?

Bruce Levin:                 Absolutely I mean we do a lot of pre sale inspections for the owner, because they want to get their house in shape and when the selling process happens, they want the deal to go through. They also want to make smart decisions. After we analyze the house and give the report they could discuss with the realtor which repairs are going to be worth the money to fix to get their household.

Bruce Levin:                 We’re at and our phone number is listed on that site. You could also just set up an appointment for a home inspection on that site.

Zach:                            Bruce though I want one thing to take away today, home owners what do we need today to fix up our house to maintain it for the future?

Bruce Levin:                 Well in the spring you should definitely have your heating and air conditioning serviced. Having a furnace service regularly and the air conditioning cleaned regularly will help it perform. That’s one of the big problems in inspections and problems with deals is the furnace.

Bruce Levin:                 It’s expensive and if it’s properly maintained it will last a lot longer and the inspection will go much better. Also generally you want to make sure that the exterior is maintained, painted [inaudible 00:36:07] and to keep the water out.

Zach:                            Fair enough but I’m going to take the HVAC inspection away from that and I think I’m going to have to set one up this weekend. Bruce one more time, phone number and how do they get a hold of you?

Bruce Levin:                 They could get a hold of me through and the phone number is 720-432-7823.

Zach:                            Thanks Bruce, have a great rest of your weekend. I find it funny how many times there’re things that are hidden to the sellers, I don’t know maybe neglected not telling you, you’re getting in there and your home inspector is going to find it. It’s really your best friend.

Alec:                            I’m having deals pull through because of home inspection issues and it’s only, like if that seller had called Bruce ahead of the sale gotten that stuff fixed up they would have sold the house and not have an issue. You’re listening to the Townstone Financial show here on AM 560 The Answer, 312-642-5600, we’ll be right back.

Speaker 1:                    How can you get from here to there? We’ve got the answer from the Balance of Nature Traffic center.

Ken Griffin:                   I’m Ken Griffin in the Balance of Nature Traffic Center, [inaudible 00:37:15] the crash at Dempster and the [inaudible 00:37:15] highway on the Expressway getting pretty slow out there in some spots. The Edens is 25 minutes if you’re coming in to Montrose and 19 still if you’re going back out Kennedy, you can expect about 34 from O’Hare to downtown and 35 back out to the airport.

Ken Griffin:                   On the IKE 43, 390 to the post office, 33 going the other way. The Stevenson is 38 either way, between 355 and Lakeshore drive. Dan Ryan 22 in 15 out, 57 okay to Bishop Ford slows in about 115, Lakeshore Drive is slowing north bound at Roosevelt again at Chicago. The Tri-state heavy east bound up from 137 and west bound from half [inaudible 00:37:53] little tight west bound at Tri-state.

Ken Griffin:                   AM 560 weather, partly cloudy high at 50 currently 45, next update in 15 minutes on AM 560 The Answer.

Speaker 1:                    Attention please, you don’t want to miss a word of the Townstone Financial Show, because school is back in session. On AM 560 The Answer the floor is yours.

Alec:                            Last segment of the show Alec Schwartz, Zach Schwartz Townstone Financial show AM 560. We’re still welcoming callers 312-642-5600 but after the show you need to go to fill out a free consultation, doesn’t matter what you’re looking to do, purchases, refinances, reverse mortgages, generic questions we have contacts for everyone.

Alec:                            We’ll do the mortgage we’ll refer you to an amazing lawyer, we will refer you to an amazing home inspector. We’ll help you with credit enhancement. But you got to and you can also view all of our previous episodes there.

Zach:                            Speaking of fabulous lawyer.

Alec:                            The segment is also brought to you by Pellegrini & Cristiano and Prairie Title, but instead of me reading anything why don’t we get the man himself Frank Pellegrini. How are you doing today?

Frank P:                        I’m doing great, how are you guys?

Alec:                            Not too bad, not too bad.

Frank P:                        Lovely spring day in Chicago today.

Alec:                            So, Frank … Not even it looks nice, it’s not even that nice.

Zach:                            You’ve got … We’ll talk to you after this but you’ve got your 30 second ad that you can just do whatever you want to say. What is Prairie Title and what is your law firm, who should be calling you?

Frank P:                        My law firm is a general practice firm, we emphasized in needs of families and small businesses. Prairie Title is a title insurance agent we represent, six of the major national underwriters. We give you peace of mind we insure your real estate title so that nothing can occur that would be unexpected and unwanted in the enjoyment and ownership of your home.

Zach:                            Excellent well I would call them because of that. How do they call you, how do they get a hold of you?

Frank P:                        Our phone number at Prairie Title is 708-386-7900 and the law firm phone number is 708-386 I’m sorry, 524-3610. We’re at

Zach:                            Let’s talk about something that we’ve addressed a little and everyone is addressing right now for buying and selling property. Kris Nowak brought it up in the first section, interest rates. We’re a mortgage company we haven’t talked one minute about interest rates this entire show and I want to bring it up because I think it’s starting, I’m going to argue that it’s starting to influence buyers today. Because they seem slightly lower maybe a point lower than they are today.

Zach:                            If I’m selling a house I’m a little hesitant I want to make sure that it’s a low payment do you agree with that, do you disagree what are your thoughts on it Frank?

Frank P:                        I don’t think that interest rates are as much of a factor as we might think that they are. I think there’s other factors that are probably weighing the market down a little bit. I think interest rates are higher and they may have a marginal effect on the interest of buyers. But you know if you looked at the numbers late last week, interest rates may actually start to level off and come down a little bit.

Frank P:                        You know we’re starting to see signs of a maturing economy and maybe the interest pressure will come off a little bit. But I really don’t think they’re a big factor.

Zach:                            Well again if you’re just looking at a general you know a general mortgage the impact on a $250,000 mortgage you know as you go from you know a 4.4 to a 4.5 you know someone is spending about $15 extra a month. Going from 4.5 to 4.6 now it’s almost $30 extra a month.

Alec:                            I’ll say this, I mean if you think if that’s going to be your deciding factor you’re probably not the right fit to be a homeowner.

Zach:                            No the Freddie Mac prediction say for that 250 loan yeah 0.1 at a time doesn’t make a difference. But if you’re waiting until 2019 when they’re expecting the average rate to be at 5.1 you’re going to be spending $105 a month more on your mortgage which you could still say oh if that’s the difference between buying a house you’re not ready. But $105 a month that money you could be spending on those chipotle burritos you like so much.

Alec:                            Well when and I love Chipotle burritos by the way, guac is extra if you didn’t know. If you’re going to be buying in a year or two from now and rates are higher Zach, isn’t that under the assumption that we’re, I don’t know, maybe making more money or your home value is going to be increasing?

Zach:                            Well actually I would argue the opposite and Frank I want your take on this, because I think the low interest rate environment we’ve experienced for the past decade, that’s actually led to more affordability and actually has increased prices, because now people could afford more house so they could borrow more money and that kind of inflated housing prices.

Zach:                            So now as these interest rates go up that 300,000, $250,000 mortgage that would have been affordable at a 3.75 is not affordable to that person at a 5.25.

Frank P:                        It’s relative, guys it’s relative. Young folks are spending an awful lot of money on rentals, units. We have to compare housing costs to housing costs. If you’re renting and if you’re, or paying for parking and paying for rental and your unit. If you’re living in a condominium and renting a condominium you’re factoring in the home owners assessments in there.

Frank P:                        You have to compare housing costs to similar and you have to factor in the size of the units. Okay maybe that $300,000 mortgage is maybe a bridge too far for you with the current interest rate environment. You’re going to make, you’re going to go to a $250,000 mortgage. You know how much house are you giving up for that. Then you get the benefit, you still have a deduction, all those deductions have been papered down for you, but you still have a deduction for your interest and to a great extent for your taxes.

Frank P:                        So parking is probably not a problem anymore. You’re probably in a bigger place than you were. We have to factor those values in. Also the most important factor to me is owning a house is for savings. We don’t think about it. We don’t think about it.

Zach:                            Yeah people always think of it as an investment which it doesn’t have to be. It could just hold value constantly and every mortgage payment you make, some of the principal is going down. Frank I got a two sided question for you, one is about the buyers and one is about the sellers. Today you’re a buyer looking to buy, are you actively going, is right now the time to be gung-ho or should you wait on the sidelines for something.

Frank P:                        I don’t think it’s prudent to wait on the sidelines. I think if you’re ready to go, go. You know there’s no time like the present. It’s like pruning your bushes, right, [inaudible 00:45:31]

Zach:                            I don’t prune bushes Frank.

Frank P:                        When do I prune my bushes, well your shears are sharp. You just prune the bushes and you go.

Zach:                            You should talk to my girlfriend about that.

Frank P:                        I think when you’re ready to go, when your shears are sharp I think you just go and buy the house. If you’re ready for it, it’s time to start jumping into the market.

Zach:                            Then what about those sellers that maybe they wanted to sell for the last decade and should they continue sitting on the sidelines or is it time to put your house on the market?

Frank P:                        I think it’s time for a lot of people to put their houses on the market. We’re kind of in this doldrums period where there’s a great big bulge of middle aged early baby boomer and late baby boomer population. We’re very comfortable in our homes, we’ve made great improvements in our home, and we just want to say that.

Frank P:                        But you know what all we’re doing is the kids are gone, all we’re doing is accumulating, things that we don’t need anymore, we don’t use any more, get rid of those things, clean out the closets, stage your home and go to a nice place in the city where you can enjoy the night life and you can be in a more vibrant area.

Zach:                            All right well Frank question for you. I talked to a lot of people throughout the day and peers, people in real estate, people not. There is like a consensus of some saying there’s going to be a bubble, I’m waiting for the next bubble, very vague, what are your thoughts on a bubble?

Frank P:                        I don’t see a real estate bubble coming along. I think we’re seeing other troubles in the market. I think I touched on a couple of those things.

Zach:                            I think the student loan crises, or they’re not calling it the crisis yet, I’m calling it the student loan crises, that’s the next shoe that’s really going to drop. If we thought you know the mortgage and then the housing crisis was bad, just wait until we see all of these non performing I think trillions of dollars of student loans.

Frank P:                        Yeah I think student loan debt is the [inaudible 00:47:55] is hanging over all of our heads. I think to a great extent that shoe has already fallen and is demonstrating itself in a weaker market. But student loan that is definitely a drag on the interest in home ownership.

Zach:                            Yeah I mean but just kind of confirming a little bit of what I was saying, you know CNBC is reporting this morning that millennial home ownership which was you know, the people always said the millennials they’re not buying. Well the trends were they were actually starting to buy. But actually this most recent quarter it’s actually dropped again, the analyst are saying due to increasing, decreasing affordability.

Zach:                            Because the prices of the houses are getting higher and then the mortgage rates and sales are higher that at the end of the day the housing payments that much more.

Alec:                            Yeah but you got to factor in the rental. I mean if we’re talking downtown Chicago, what’s your rent going to get you? You want a one bedroom place or even a two bedroom place versus buying. I mean you might have to sacrifice where you want to live a little bit if you want to own and if it makes sense and do you have that certain payment. But it’s certainly there. Do you disagree with that?

Zach:                            Since we only-

Alec:                            Do you disagree that you can get the same payment essentially on a house?

Zach:                            Yes.

Alec:                            Than rent-

Zach:                            No question but since we only five minutes left I want to throw out my crazy idea for the day so that no call really comes in to argue with us. I think Frank when it comes to taxes to promote primary home ownership, we need to make it in such a way increased property taxes but the home owners exemption increase it to such a great extent. Basically make the primary home owner that owns, if they’re living in the residence they are not paying very much tax.

Zach:                            But if you’re a landlord you’re paying significant taxes. Again we don’t know exactly what the number is but shift the burden a little bit more so that these high rises that are going up are not going to be rentals, these are going to be owner occupied, how do you-

Frank P:                        You’re going to shift the dynamic, if you make that kind of change significant enough you’re going to shift the dynamic away from rentals because it’s going to be so expensive rent. If you’re going tax landlords at a much higher rate than owner occupied properties then those landlords are just going to push those increase off on their tenants. It’s going to be extremely expensive to rent and now you’re going to-

Zach:                            Then those home owners, then those people will buy, because they can buy with this little veteran 0% down, 1% down for qualified borrowers.

Alec:                            This is so backwards it’s unbelievable.

Zach:                            But I want to promote home ownership not landlords getting rich off of these people.

Alec:                            Guess what the landlords can get approved for the mortgage or somehow get the place and that’s free market. You know if it’s too expensive then nobody buys it and it sits. Then nobody buys it.

Frank P:                        That, sometimes the problem you don’t see are the ones that are the most critical. If you shift the dynamic hard enough you may create such an imbalance that you’re going disrupt the market. It’s an interest notion Zach but it could have some significant consequences.

Zach:                            Unintended consequences that they like to say with-

Alec:                            We want to incentivize people buying homes I think that’s the best part. I don’t think that that incentives everybody because a lot of people out there are flippers, they want to buy investment properties and be landlords.

Frank P:                        But if you buy into and I do a buy into Alec’s notion that the free market should have a greater role here. If you get a lot of government intervention through social engineering, through the tax code you’re going to, you could wind up creating imbalance.

Zach:                            We have government intervention, there’s a tax code. If there is no government there would be zero taxes whatsoever, I’m just deciding how do we collect those taxes, who bears the burden. So, Frank one more minute what do our listeners need to take away and be thinking of going into next week?

Frank P:                        I think going into next week I think if you look at your situation, and compare what rental rates are, to home ownership cost and really compare housing to housing and make some decisions about where you would like to be. Don’t forget about the fours savings benefit of owning a home.

Zach:                            I agree and then Frank if they need the best real estate attorney in the state of Illinois I said this side of Mason–Dixon line probably the other one, how do they get a hold of you?

Frank P:                        Yes my law firm is Pellegrini & Cristiano, we’re in the web at our phone number is 708-524-3610. For our title company we’re Prairie Title 708-386-7900. It’s always great to be on the show with you, thank you very much.

Alec:                            Have a great weekend Frank. Frank has always got an answer doesn’t he?

Zach:                            Well again he was-

Alec:                            He has got the answer.

Zach:                            There’s nobody that is going to be more knowledgeable it’s incredible he doesn’t charge us to ask him questions on this show. He was in charge of the ALTA which is the Land Title Association. He goes down to Spring Field to meet with our senators to help draft the legislation to make sure you know as best he can, you know he doesn’t have full control to not cripple the industry with silly red tape and regulation.

Zach:                            But what I want people to take away from today do not sit on the sidelines. I think rates are going up and they’re only going up from here so now is the time. Get off the bench, go look to buy, look to refinance, give Townstone a call,