The Down Payment Dilemma

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It’s a phrase you’ll hear often coming from today’s home renters: “I would love to own my own home, but I just can’t afford the down payment!” It doesn’t matter how high your credit score is, or how much money you bring home in your paycheck — saving up a large enough sum of money to put down on a piece of real estate is no small feat. It takes patience, careful planning, and more than a little discipline with your personal finances. When you factor in today’s rising home prices, many feel that coming up with a down payment on a new home is at best a long-term goal, if attainable at all.

But the truth is, home ownership may be more within reach than you think. Let’s start by dispelling some myths surrounding the dreaded down payment:

MYTH #1: It Starts at 20%.

Flat-out FALSE. It is a long-standing misconception that you need to put no less than 20% of the home sale price down, in order to receive financing. The notion has been around for so long that, according to a 2019 study by NerdWallet, more than 6 in 10 Americans (62%) believe this to be true. 

While an upfront payment of 20% will allow you to secure a loan without mortgage insurance, you can actually get home financing today with as little as 1% down, depending on the loan program. In fact, if you are in the military, or live in certain designated rural areas, you may even be able to get a loan with no money down at all, if you meet certain criteria. Talk to your d’aprile properties agent, and allow them to refer you to a mortgage professional who can steer you toward the right loan product for your personal financial situation.

MYTH #2: Cash Will Win Out Every Time

Half truth. We live in a competitive housing market, and oftentimes a solid home in a sought-after neighborhood will often receive multiple offers. The belief out there is that a cash buyer will always win a bidding war over a first-time home buyer, because they are guaranteed to close on time, with no potential hurdles to their home financing situation. This is not always true; in fact, it is not uncommon for a first-time home buyer to win a bid over a cash bidder, depending on the seller’s individual situation. 

Sometimes, the seller may not be in a hurry to sell, and a first-time home buyer may be able to persuade them with a higher bid. Also, consider the fact that many sellers go through a rather emotional experience when saying goodbye to their home — a sincere, hand-written letter from the buyer may resonate with the seller, giving them a leg up on an all-cash offer.

MYTH #3: Lenders Frown Upon Gifted Down Payment Funds

False. The truth is, it is perfectly legal to be gifted the money for a down payment by a family member. If your parents or grandparents have the means, almost any lender will allow them to provide you with payment assistance. It just has to be done the right way — and there will be extra paperwork involved. First, it has to truly be a gift, with the donor providing a signed letter stating that the funds do not have to be paid back. Second, the donor must of course prove that they have the necessary funds to provide such a gift, so they should be prepared to have their finances inspected. Finally, gifted funds have no effect on the underwriting process. You’ll still need to have good credit, and be able to prove that you have the financial means necessary to pay your mortgage once you close.

In the end, while they may take a few extra steps on your part, there are many ways for someone short on cash reserves to make a solid down payment on a home. The key is to determine your home buying power BEFORE you begin your home search. After all, no amount of expertise on the part of your real estate agent will help if you aren’t financially prepared to make an offer. Be sure to talk to your d’aprile properties agent, and let them introduce you to their trusted mortgage pro, who will let you know in confidence if the time is right for you to buy.


Celebrate National Ice Cream Month at Julie Ann’s in Crystal Lake!

Summer’s heat can be brutal — thank goodness July is National Ice Cream Month! We have former president President Ronald Reagan to thank for it; in his 1984 proclamation, The Gipper called for all citizens of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” He also declared the third Sunday (Sundae?) of the month as National Ice Cream Day.

The world’s coolest and most consumed confectionery (your average American eats 23 lbs. of ice cream a year) can be traced back as far as 2nd century BC. It is said that Alexander the Great — King of Macedonia and one of history’s greatest military minds — was frequently known to scarf down a snack of snow and ice laced with honey and nectar. Can someone get this man some sprinkles?

No matter how you choose to celebrate this month-long dedication to dairy’s finest form — by cone, cookie, or cake — we at d’aprile properties know there’s only one place to go: Julie Ann’s in Crystal Lake! Located conveniently downtown, Julie Ann’s has been a staple in Crystal Lake since 1985. If you want to get technical about it, Julie Ann’s actually specializes in frozen custard. Owner Peter Wisniewski credits his particular recipe’s popularity to its slow production process, and a rich blend of 10 percent butterfat, egg yolks, cream, and sugar.

While the old staples such as vanilla, chocolate, and butter pecan are always on hand, the menu takes pride in offering new, creative combinations daily — a flavor calendar is available for each month’s concoctions! Treat your tastebuds to Dough Crazy Concrete, Dark Chocolate Avocado, or Oreo PB Blob Due Basi. Beyond the cone, Julie Ann’s also offers a custom cake and pie menu, as well as frozen custard cookie sandwiches.

Ice cream is the cure for what ails ya! So as your busy summer hits its peak, take a break and relax your spirits with a tasty treat from Julie Ann’s! After all, if you reverse the word ‘stressed’, you get ‘desserts’!

 

Julie Ann’s
Fresh From Cow to Cone
6500 NW HWY Crystal Lake, 60014
(815) 459-9117

 


d’aprile properties Named to Real Trends 500 List

“Potential is not an endpoint but a capacity to grow and learn.” — Eileen Kennedy Moore

d’aprile properties is honored to have been included on the Real Trends Five Hundred, recognizing the largest independent, largest real estate brokerages in the United States by sales volume. Real Trends, based on Colorado, is the undisputed leader and trusted source of news, analysis, and information on the residential brokerage industry since 1987.

The REAL Trends 500, now in its 32nd year, remains the undisputed leader in ranking the performance of residential real estate services firms. Due to their requirement of
independent verification, the REAL Trends 500 is the trusted source for information about the performance of real estate firms across the country.

For 2019, d’aprile properties has successfully earned the following accolades:

  • 436 Largest Brokerage in the United States ranked by closed sales volume in 2018
  • 126 Largest Independent Brokerage in the Country by number of transactions
  • A spot on the Real Trends “Up-and-Comers” List

d’aprile properties is a full-service real estate company, serving clients throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. We are committed to providing exceptional service to our clients, as well as advancing the individual careers of our team members. For four years running, INC.com has included d’aprile properties on their annual list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. Our growth and impact on the industry have also been publicly recognized by RISMedia, who included d’aprile properties on their Power Broker report, a list of the nation’s 500 Top-Producing Brokerage Firms.

It’s time to discover what makes d’aprile properties different.


d’aprile properties: 2019 Top 500 Power Broker

We are proud to announce that RISMedia —the residential real estate industry’s definitive source for news and information — has ranked d’aprile properties among the Top 500 Power Brokers in the United States for 2019. RISMedia’s annual Power Broker Report & Survey is the industry’s most comprehensive report, ranking the top real estate brokerages in the country, according to sales volume.

Now in its 31st year, the Power Broker Report has long celebrated the exceptional business feats of remarkable real estate leaders, whose innovation and integrity continue to shape the real estate industry. We are excited and honored to be included on this prestigious list.

d’aprile properties is committed to providing an inventive and action-oriented environment for our team of agents, one that allows individuals with true focus and ambition to thrive and succeed from their very first day. Our agents routinely rank among the top producers in each of our individual markets, and consistently outpace industry income.

With access to state-of-the-art technology and a proven customer service methodology, our agents stand a head above the competition. We know that our clients appreciate the value of local market expertise, and every d’aprile properties agent combines empathy and experience in order to exceed the expectations of our customers.

It’s time to discover what makes d’aprile properties different.


The Freedom of Home Ownership

 

When was the last time you gave thought to the concept of the American Dream?

For generations, the idea was built around one simple concept: opportunity. Every man and woman born in this country — or who managed to find their way to it — was given a promise. Work hard, never quit, and you can secure wealth and build a life of your own, regardless of your station. Owning land and/or property represented freedom at its most pure, and the pursuit of happiness would often end at a white picket fence, surrounding the perfect home in the middle of a quaint, suburban paradise.

We all hoped, with absolute sincerity, to someday be kings and queens of our own little castle. 

But times, inevitably, have changed. Today, a quick online search of the term “American Dream” brings up headlines filled with sarcasm, pessimism, and outright negativity.

“Fool’s Dream.”

“Outdated Concept.”

“Dead and Gone.”

At some point along the way, the bright-eyed optimism behind our collective drive to succeed, and to create quality and comfort for those we love, has become a concept often frowned upon. Many now see the American Dream as a pursuit of the material, a selfish and outdated attempt at social mobility.

We at d’aprile properties must — respectfully — disagree. We believe that the American Dream is alive and well. As a society we have seen our motivations change and adapt over time, but as individuals we all still want the same thing: the freedom to choose how we live. We strive not only to improve our own lot in life, but to make sure that those that follow us can begin their own journey, with hope and optimism for the future.

 

As a real estate company, we will never apologize for promoting the benefits of home ownership, and the many freedoms that come with it. Be it an apartment in the city, a two-story Cape Cod in the suburbs, or a vacation getaway along the coast — coming home means safety and security. It offers peace of mind in a place that you humbly call your own, but proudly welcome others into. It means being wealthy in spirit. It’s about being part of a community. 

We wish you a safe, and spectacular Fourth of July holiday. Celebrate your independence, in whatever form it may take.

 

 

 


Hey Gen Y — Why So Serious??

Welcome to our Mortgage Minute series, where our partners over at Midwest Lending break down the particulars of home financing, and bring a personal touch to the lending industry, as only they can.

Did you know that the Millennial generation represents the largest group of homebuyers in America? It’s true: Gen Y makes for 37% of recent home buyers in this country. Gen X is next, albeit significantly behind at 24%. In fact, according to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 2019 will be the sixth consecutive year that millennials led the U.S. home buying charge.

So why are millennials (born between 1980 and 1994) often criticized for living too long with their parents, or only being interested in renting, when the statistics clearly paint a different picture?

The source of this unfair reputation may be answered through the results of another report, this one by Clever Real Estate. It seems that millennials are twice as likely to be stressed about homeownership than Baby Boomers, and are also much more likely to experience buyer’s remorse than older generations. This uncertainty toward ownership is sending adult children back to their parents’ homes, either out of necessity or an attempt to save money.

So what is causing this panic and confusion? The NAR stats mentioned earlier point to the following as some of the most serious millennial concerns:

  • Mortgage payments are too high (41%)
  • Additional maintenance after moving in (33%)
  • Their property has depreciated in value since purchase (21%)
  • High interest rates (17%)
  • Location isn’t ideal or poor quality of school districts (14%)

Other outside factors, from student loans to financial instability, only add to the anxiety. For some, the responsibilities of homeownership are simply a bit more than they bargained for. But for this particular generation — and those that will follow — it is important to keep things in proper perspective. Yes, the stress that comes with buying a home is very real, and millennials should not overextend themselves to make a home purchase. But they should not fear the possibility, if properly educated on the process.

Many buyers today never speak with a real person when it comes to home financing, preferring to handle everything online. This can only result in a less educated home buyer, and an even less confident home owner. They need to speak with someone who has the expertise and the integrity to show them the reality that comes after being handed a set of keys. That is why speaking with an expert such as your Midwest Lending mortgage pro is so essential.

Millennials shouldn’t fear home buying — for those who are stable in their careers and ready to set down roots, homeownership can be the key to emotional and financial security later in life. They simply need to take the time to know what they are getting into, with a devoted professional by their side.

Midwest Lending is a residential mortgage broker, committed to providing their clients with the highest quality home loans, combined with some of the lowest mortgage rates available. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Proud Partners: Barrister Title

We’d like to take the time to thank Barrister Title, our partner, and 2019 Summit Event Sponsor.

It’s all about the closing. As real estate agents, we know that with Barrister Title, we are guaranteed to experience a professional closing that enhances our productivity, while allowing us to properly leverage our client relationships. Barrister ensures only the highest level of personal services, saving time with their team-oriented approach, the latest technology, and seamless document preparation.

Barrister’s national department provides services in all 50 states, expediting closings for both commercial and residential real estate transactions. At each stage of the process, highly skilled, experienced experts will assist you. Their proven track record for building and maintaining strong relationships with underwriters provides unlimited resources for serving their customers’ needs. They believe in the value of long lasting relationships based on trust and mutual understanding.

 


#daprilecares – 2019 Flagship Foundation – Bear Necessities

Grief exists alone among human emotions, in that it is born of both loss and of love. It never fades completely, but it does evolve. At times it comes in waves, threatening to crush our spirits and weigh down our hearts forever. But with the right mindset it can also inspire us over time, lifting us up to achieve things we never thought possible before.

On January 9, 1993, Kathleen A. Casey lost her son Barrett who, for five and a half years, had courageously battled Wilms Tumor, a form of pediatric cancer. Barrett, or ‘Bear’ as he was known to friends and family, had faced his circumstances with the kind of positivity and grace that seemed impossible for an adult, let alone a child of his years. As he endured countless hospital stays and painful medical procedures, he remained focused not on his own prognosis, but on the well-being of the other child cancer patients he encountered daily.

Early in this journey, Kathleen and Bear would come to realize that in the fight against pediatric cancer, the current system was losing the battle on two key fronts. First, there was an astonishing lack of research dollars being allocated for child forms of cancer. Despite being the number one cause of death by disease for children, less than three percent of funding went toward child cancers. And second, almost none of that money went directly to the children or their families, even as they sacrificed everything — emotionally and financially — in the face of almost insurmountable odds.

Prior to his passing, Barrett would spend hours with his mother discussing the formation of an organization, one that would reflect Bear’s own fighting spirit and desire to help others. This foundation would specifically fight pediatric forms of cancer, and streamline its efforts toward the children themselves, as well as the family members who never leave their bedsides.

Today, Kathleen is both Founder and CEO of the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, named after the bravest and most inspiring soul she had ever known. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year alone, Bear Necessities’ efforts funded more than $300,000 toward cutting-edge research. They also carried out 424 individual child/family experiences — known as Bear Hugs — looking to brighten the lives of afflicted children in whatever way they can.

Kathleen Casey and Bear Necessities have made their mission very clear: to forever fight, and someday eliminate, pediatric cancer. It is fair to say that, in many ways, Kathleen’s grief has defined her. She simply hasn’t allowed it to defeat her.

Through our 2019 #daprilecares campaign, d’aprile properties has pledged to stand beside her. Each year, our agents choose one philanthropic organization on which to focus our annual campaign. Through the combined efforts of our individual real estate agents and staff, we hope to do whatever we can to help these phenomenally brave children rediscover their childhood.

Charity begins at home. If you would like to join us in this fight, please visit our fundraising page HERE, or email daprilecares@daprileproperties.com today.

 


Grand Opening Alert — d’aprile properties Has Come to Lake County!

On Thursday, May 30, d’aprile properties proudly hosted a Grand Opening ceremony for our two newest office locations, at 5101 Washington St. in Gurnee, and at 1850 E. Grand Ave. in Lindenhurst.

The Grand Opening ceremony for both took place at the Lindenhurst location. Mayor Dominic Marturano was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony, which was followed by a reception that included past clients, local agents, vendors, and community advocates.

 

Lindsay Miller (CEO), Ryan D’Aprile (Founder), Deb Attiah (Agent), Alex Attiah (Managing Broker)

d’aprile properties remains devoted to serving clients throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. We strive to provide exceptional service to our clients, and to advance the individual careers of their team members. Over 50 Gurnee and Lindenhurst local-area experts will immediately offer d’aprile properties’ unique blend of client service and community support to Lake County residents, current and future.

Lindsay Miller, CEO of d’aprile properties, summed it up best when asked why Gurnee and Lindenhurst were a natural fit for the unique culture of d’aprile properties: “Lake County has it all! More than 30,000 acres of beautiful, peaceful landscape. Idyllic residential communities. A thriving commercial center that draws in working professionals and tourists by the thousands. We knew right away that the excitement of Gurnee and the serenity of Lindenhurst provided us the perfect dual platform to deliver a wide variety of personalized real estate services to each and every one of our distinguished clients. It is a privilege to now call this area home.”

For four years running, INC.com has included d’aprile properties on their annual list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. Our growth and impact on the industry have also been publicly recognized by Colorado-based Real Trends, who included d’aprile properties in its national ranking of the top 500 brokerages in America. We have been recognized by The Chicago Tribune as one of Chicago’s Top Workplaces, and were recently named one of the nation’s Top-Producing Brokerage Firms in RISMedia’s 2019 Power Broker Report.

 


June is National Safety Awareness Month

“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment.” –Nelson Mandela

 

Observed every year throughout June, National Safety Month is focused on reducing the leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road, and in our homes and communities. With the proper education, and a general awareness of the space and people around us, we can help protect not only ourselves, but ensure the well-being of those who matter most.

We are constantly reminded of the importance of adequate safety measures at work. But how many of us can honestly say that we have done all that we can to prevent accidents in the home? After all, home is where you go to feel safe, where you can exhale after a long day, and get away from the hustle and bustle that life often brings with it. But it is also where you likely spend the majority of your time, and the familiarity you have with it can cause you to let your guard down, and miss potential hazards that are right in front of your eyes. 

According to The National Safety Council, 169,936 Americans died in preventable, injury-related accidents in 2017 — and more than half of those occurred in the home. Perhaps even more troubling is that the number of nonfatal, preventable injuries in the home — those that required medical attention — grew to 47.2 million in 2017. That is roughly one out of every seven individuals who live in these United States.

At d’aprile properties, we know a thing or two about the sense of security that comes with home ownership. So in the spirit of National Safety Month, we offer some simple tips, in order to create awareness about potential risks that may exist within your household. For more information, head over to the NSC’s Home Safety page. You can also find an abundance of eye-opening information over at rospa.com, maintained by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

  1. Fire Safety: Keep portable heaters and candles away from furniture and curtains. Position them in a safe spot where they cannot be knocked over.
  2. Electrical Safety: Never overload an electric socket, and have your wiring installation checked at least once every five years by an approved contractor.
  3. Heating Safety: Be sure to keep your fireplace and chimney properly cleaned and inspected, and routinely check the pilot on gas cookers and water heaters to make sure it has not gone out.
  4. Safety with Medicines and Cleaners: Keep medicines in their original containers, clearly labelled, and consider keeping all in a lockable cabinet.
  5. Garden Safety: Wear appropriate clothing, sturdy shoes, and protective eye cover when mowing or gardening, and always stay on the lookout for plants and berries that may be poisonous or can cause an allergic reaction.
  6. DIY Safety: Be realistic and don’t tackle a job unless you really have the ability. A competent, qualified person should always carry out gas and electrical renewal or repair work.

This June, make sure that your home will always remain a source of safety and contentment for you and your family.