IL License

A & N Mortgage Services, Inc.'s mission is to provide you with high quality programs tailored to fit your unique situation at some of the most competitive rates in the nation. Our professionals are accessible around the clock, and strive to obtain the best mortgage and real estate options, no matter the situation.

Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee #MB.0006638 FL#MLD288 IN#11122 IA#2006-0064 MA#MC19291 MI#FL0012625 WI #19291BA NMLS# 19291


A and N Mortgage Homeowner Tips: Making the Most of Your Yard This Summer

Whether it's cooking on the grill, planting a garden, or simply relaxing in a hammock under a tree, homeowner's love their yards. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of the great outdoors.

Outdoor Kitchen 
An outdoor kitchen is perfect for entertaining in your backyard. If your grill will be used under a covered area, include a power vent hood or other method for venting the smoke. The cabinets for an outdoor kitchen should be built to resist the elements. This could be custom cabinets, using treated lumber and plywood, or ones made from a weatherproof material.  

Choosing a Grill 
Appliances and grills for outdoor kitchens are usually made from stainless steel to make them weatherproof as well. While most grills today are gas fired, cooking with hardwoods-like hickory, pecan, or oak-can produce better results. Using starter sticks, rather than lighter fluid, to light a wood or charcoal fire can improve the taste of the food. The insulating qualities of ceramic charcoal cookers, like the Big Green Egg, allow them to be used as a conventional grill or as a smoker oven for slow cooking. 

Grill Maintenance 
Use a wire brush to clean the cooking grate after each use. Once a year, disassemble the grill and clean it thoroughly. Remove cooking grates, soak in liquid grill cleaner, scrub with a wire brush, and rinse. Take out the ceramic plates or briquettes and clean them with a wire brush. Remove the burners and use a wire brush to take off residue and rust. Clean out the burner holes by inserting a toothpick into each hole. Use a wet/dry vac to vacuum out the inside of the grill. Reassemble all the grill components. Light the grill and leave it on for a few minutes to burn off any remaining residue. 

Keeping Cool 
Shade is essential for summer backyard activities. Popular options include: 
Shade arbor: An outdoor arbor covered with vines makes a cool retreat on a hot summer day. 

Roof: Extending the roof of your house to cover a patio works well.

Awning: A retractable awning is a great way to create shade when and where you need it. 

Misting System: Outdoor misters keep you cool by spraying a fine mist of water in the air. Misting systems are available as inexpensive DIY Outdoor Cooling Kits as well as portable misting umbrellas that hook to a garden hose. 

Water Feature: The soothing sound of falling water from a fountain or waterfall can make your yard feel like an oasis during a summer heat wave. Pre-made water features are available, or you can build your own custom water feature for your backyard. 

Keeping You Informed
A and N Mortgage professionals are dedicated to keeping you informed of the latest market trends, household tips and mortgage options. Call A and N Mortgage today to obtain custom loan options designed to fit your needs and help you obtain your home goals.


Renovation Lending Aids the Property Search Given Available Inventory

One problem facing buyers in the current market is the lack of available inventory. Sellers continue to bide their time. However, buyers do not need to miss out on low interest rates or the ability to purchase in their target neighborhoods. Although Renovation Lending is not the solution for every borrower, it is an opportunity to get into certain areas by purchasing a potentially lower- priced property and then borrowing enough money to fix it up.  It is by no means a panacea, but it is certainly an option and in many cases, one which can rapidly increase the equity in your property.

A Renovation Loan differs in many ways from a traditional construction loan. Reno loans are closed one time, with the purchase money going to the seller and the renovation funds placed in an escrow account held by the lender throughout the draw process. In most cases, there is no upfront money from you or the lender for the contractor; the General Contractor works on a draw basis. This is not a hardship for any solvent contractor as they should have the ability to buy materials and pay their sub-contractors while being reimbursed through inspected draws.

Most neighborhoods still have a large quantity of foreclosures that need to be fixed up or even properties that are simply outdated.  Here are some key words that indicate that the property may be right for a Renovation Loan:

  • Sold “as-is
  • Estate Sale
  • Any foreclosure that has NOT been recently updated
  • Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac foreclosures (especially the Fannie Mae HomePath properties)
  • “fixer-upper”
  • Handyman’s dream
  • Current occupant has 400 cats
  • Property needs “love or attention”

Depending on your budget, you can gut a property or just update the kitchens and bathrooms. As long as the property is habitable at the end of the six month rehab period and you remain within the guidelines of the loan program, you can often use your imagination as to what you would like your home to end up looking like. You can even purchase and rehab a 2-4 unit property as long as you occupy one of the units!

So, before you start your next tour with your agent, consider asking about properties that are ripe for renovation. It may be an opportunity to create the home you dream about and live in the neighborhood you choose!  Contact Carrie Rosenberg, renovation loan specialist, for more information.

Next topic: Which Renovation Loan Product is right for you?


TaxSmart Mortgage Credit Certificate Program

TaxSmart is a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program that provides a federal income tax credit to qualified homebuyers. A tax credit is a direct reduction of taxes due. Under the program, a homebuyer would receive a MCC to reduce income taxes by an amount equal to 20 percent of the interest paid on a mortgage. The tax credit may be claimed each year the home buyer continues to live in a home financed under this program. The homebuyer will be charged a $375.00 application fee of which $225.00 is due at loan closing to the City of Chicago, Department of Planning and Development. A charge of $100.00 will apply to replace or reissue a Series 2013 MCC Certificate for any cause including, and without limitation, due to being lost or misplaced, being damaged, a refinance of the existing mortgage, or any other reason allowed by the Code or the Program Regulations.
Federal law requires that a home buyer satisfy each of the following guidelines:
First-Time Homebuyer or Target Area Purchase

Any person who has not owned a principal residence at any time during the three years prior to closing a loan under this program is considered a first-time home buyer. Non first-time homebuyers are also eligible if they purchase a home in a designated target area.


Federal law imposes maximum limits on the annual gross income of home buyers.

Purchase Price

Federal law also imposes limits on the purchase price of homes financed under the program.

Principal Residence

The home buyer must occupy the home as a principal residence within a reasonable period which, under most circumstances, may not exceed 60 days after financing is provided. A principal residence is a home occupied primarily for residential purposes and does not include a home used as an investment property, as a recreational home or a home in which 15 percent or more of its total area is used for a trade or business.

One-to Four-Family Home

Each residence financed must contain 1-4 units. A one-family residence includes a detached home, one unit of a duplex, a townhouse or a condominium unit. If the residence is a 2-4 unit building, one unit of the residence must be the principal residence of the building owner and the residence must have been first occupied for residential purposes at least five years prior to applying for a mortgage loan financed in connection wi t h the MCC.

New Mortgage

The mortgage loan financed in connection with a MCC certificate is required to be a new mortgage and may not replace a prior mortgage on the home (whether or not previously repaid).

Program Area

In order to be eligible for a MCC certificate, the home financed under the program must be located in the City of Chicago.

Mortgage credit certificates are issued to eligible home buyers on a first-come, first-served basis. The certificates are available in connection with any type of mortgage loan (except loans from tax-exempt bond programs), including fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages.
First-time homebuyers must receive pre-purchase counseling to be eligible and must provide a certificate of completion of pre-purchase counseling with their applications. Applications and additional information are available from participating TaxSmart Mortgage Lenders.
Income Limits

Non-Target Area
Target Area
Less than three-person Household
Three or more person Household

Purchase Price Limits*
                                                 Non-Target Area                                               Target Area

New Construction
New Construction
One Unit
Two Unit
Three Unit
Four Unit

*These limitations are periodically adjusted and do not apply to mortgage credit certificates issued with respect to qualified home improvement loans.


The 'Welcome Home Illinois Loan Program"

The state of Illinois started a huge advertising campaign 2 weeks ago for a new program called "Welcome Home Illinois". Your members may be calling for more information. The program gives 1st time home buyers (a buyer who hasn’t owned a home in the last 3 yrs. ) $7,500 towards the purchase of a new home which is a forgiven loan after 5 yrs . 

The interest rate is set by the Illinois Dept. Of Affordable Housing and they are offering below market rates. There are income limitations and they go by total household income not applicant income , a family of 3 or more can’t make more than $106,000.00  Below are the highlights:
  • $ 7,500 forgiven loan after 5 years
  • Below market interest rate
  • Reduced PMI rates
  • As little as 3% down
  • Down payment can be 100% Gifted
  • Conventional , FHA and VA products available
I’ve worked with the state's down payment assistance programs for many years and the down side had always been that the state’s interest rates were always .50% - .75% higher than what I could offer in the secondary market. This is the 1 st time they are offering below market rate so there’s really very little downside. 


A and N Mortgage Tips: New Year, New Changes for 2014 Mortgages

Mortgages Affected: 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are enforcing a new set of Qualified Mortgage rules that will start to phase in on January 10th, 2014 and the residential real estate market could be in for some major changes. The vast majority of mortgages issued these days are "Qualified" which means a borrower has to meet specified standards to obtain a home loan. In general home shoppers will undergo more scrutiny and may see their borrowing power shrink. In addition interest rates are also expected to be up possibly to as much as the mid 5 percent range.
These new rules all but eliminate most of the lending practices that caused the housing market bubble to burst. 
Here are some of the new rules:
The maximum debt to income ratio decreases from the current 45 percent to 43 percent.  
There can be temporary exceptions made to this rule that allow for higher debt ratios for loans that can be purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The obvious negative impact is that borrowers who are lower income or are really stretching themselves to get a mortgage may not qualify for as much as they need.
The new rules also help speed up the process of getting a mortgage by giving lenders the authority to reject outright credit-report information if a borrower can prove that it's wrong. This is a huge help as in the past lenders many times would use the credit report as the final authority.
The Qualified Mortgage grants the creditor greater protection from potential liability. Under this rule, lenders cannot include toxic features such as negative-amortization ARMs that increase borrowers' debt with each monthly payment, or excessive upfront points and fees.
In conjunction with the lower debt ratios, interest rates are going to affect how much money a homeowner can borrow. Economists are expecting interest rates to rise gradually during the coming year. The predictions for the most part put interest rates gradually rising throughout the year, starting at the high 4 percent range in the beginning of the year and hitting possibly 5.3 percent or more by years end. Put simply, you will probably get more bang for the buck if you buy your house earlier in the year. 
The process of obtaining a home loan can be arduous and confusing. New rules all the time, paperwork that's never-ending can lead to frustration and high blood pressure. So consider contacting your local mortgage broker as they are the experts that keep up on these new rules and regulations and can help answer any questions you have.

Keeping You Informed
A and N Mortgage mortgage professionals are dedicated to keeping you informed of the latest market trends and mortgage options. Call A and N Mortgage today to obtain custom loan options designed to fit your needs and help you obtain your home goals.

THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. This is not a commitment to lend. A and N Mortgage Services, Inc. is an Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee and Equal Housing Lender.  1945 N. Elston Ave.   Chicago, IL   60642  p: 773.305.LOAN  
IL MB.0006638, FL MLD288, IN 11122, IA 2006-0064, MA MC19291, MI FL0012625, WI 19291BA/BR   

NMLS# 19291


Save Big Over The Life Of Your Loan

When purchasing a home, the interest rate of your loan is of prime importance as it can dramatically affect the amount you pay for your home. Depending on the amount of your loan, a 1 percent difference in loan rate can amount to hundreds of dollars a month, which on a 30 year loan can mean tens of thousands of dollars going into or out of your pocket. Here are some tips to get you the best possible interest rates on your loan.

Tip 1

Conventional lenders charge a higher interest rate for lower credit scores. This is a pretty obvious statement to anyone who has in the past bought anything on credit or has a credit card. The difference in interest rates for a 620 credit score and an 800 credit score could be as much as .5 percent. If your credit score is under 700 it is recommended you use a credit score simulator to help you improve your credit score, although it could take several months to improve your credit score.

Tip 2
Make a larger down payment. Today it is common for lenders to require a 20 percent down payment on the house you wish to buy to secure a mortgage. You can improve your chances of securing a loan and decreasing your interest rate by increasing the amount to more than 20 percent. Why? Because you are making a greater equity investment in your house thereby lessening the lending institution's risk of making a loan to you. A higher down payment can mean a .1 to .15 percent interest rate reduction. Of course, the higher the purchase price the bigger the difference.

Tip 3
Pay points. Paying discount points can reduce your interest rate by a quarter of a percent. Points are considered a prepayment of interest, and each point is equal to one percent of the loan amount. On a $200,000 loan, this could mean $40,000 in savings over the life of the loan.

Tip 4
Shorten your loan term. Typically by shortening your loan term, you can reduce your interest rate by one-eighth to three-eighths of a percent depending on the loan term. Obviously you have to make sure you can handle the larger payment due to the shorter term

Tip 5
Buy a single family home. Without a doubt, you will get the best interest rate on a single family home. Condominiums and townhomes are considered a riskier investment because they tend to lose more value than single family homes when housing markets are softer. If you increase your down payment you may avoid paying a higher interest rate for a condo/townhome loan.  
These tips are just a few of the more important ones related to securing the lowest possible interest rate for your home loan. Depending on which of these tips you choose or are able to take advantage of, you could possible save $50,000 to $100,000 or more over the life of your loan.

Keeping You InformedA and N Mortgage Services, Inc. mortgage professionals are dedicated to keeping you informed of the latest market trends and mortgage options. Call A and N Mortgage Services, Inc. today  to obtain custom loan options designed to fit your needs and help you obtain your home goals.

Lower Your Costs While Making An Impact

Green Home Tips

There is no denying in today's society there is more awareness and interest in being green and as such people are becoming more interested in using green building techniques. Key components include using energy efficiency techniques, sustainable building materials and energy efficient appliances in homes that help to lower cost and environmental impact.

Tip 1

Heating and cooling interior spaces can account for as much as 50 percent of a home's energy use. Since that percentage is so high insulation becomes an increasingly important component in having a green home. Poor insulation equals wasted energy and higher energy costs. Some things that can be done to improve energy efficiency include using spray insulation to seal air gaps in walls and attics. Building exterior walls with 6-inch-wide studs instead of the traditional 4-inch s
tuds will also help the cause. The use of caulk to seal all gaps around doors and windows is a must. And of course, use Energy Star-rated low energy windows.

Tip 2

One way to have a more energy efficient design is to keep the sun and wind in mind when designing your home. Using overhangs to help shade windows in summer while allowing sun to warm the house in winter are smart and money saving ideas. Planting shade trees near the south-facing sides of buildings can also help. A well placed skylight or two can help by increasing natural light in the home and allowing you to keep those light switches in the off position.

Tip 3

If you are really serious about your home being green the use of sustainable materials is a must. One way to really do your part is to use reclaimed lumber. Reclaimed lumber is lumber that has previously been used to build houses and factories. It is thought that reclaimed lumber is stronger than today's lumber due to the fact much of it was harvested from virgin forests. You may have to put some serious time into finding reclaimed lumber as its use is very popular in certain parts of the country. The bonus is you will probably spend less money in the end using reclaimed wood. Being green doesn't stop with using recycled wood. Recycled plastics and composites also are abundantly available. Many times these are long lasting products that don't need to be replaced as often thereby saving you money.

Tip 4

Unless you haven't looked at an appliance in 20 years you are familiar with Energy Star appliances. They are money saving appliances deemed to be energy efficient by the E.P.A (Environmental Protection Agency). They are easily identified by those familiar blue energy star labels. Choosing to use Energy Star appliances for heating, cooling, refrigeration, cooking and lighting will help to ease the burden on energy resources. You might even consider a tank-less water heater which uses less energy as you don't have to keep a large tank of water hot for use. Remember that these green tips are not only useful in building new homes but also are things to keep in mind when remodeling any room in your house. The benefits are saving valuable natural resources and keeping more money in your pocket. Sounds like a win-win situation.