Closing on Your Home?

Closing on Your Home? What to Expect

If it’s your first time buying a home — or it’s been a while since you bought one — you might be wondering what to expect when it comes time to close on your purchase. Keep reading so you’ll be prepared when the big day comes.

What Is a Closing?
Sometimes called a settlement, a closing is the final step in the process of buying and financing a home.The parties involved meet at a predetermined location to sign the necessary documents to finish the transaction. This meeting could include buyers, sellers, loan officers, real estate agents, attorneys and representatives from the title insurance and escrow companies.

How to Prepare
Make sure to thoroughly go over the Closing Disclosure you receive. This five-page form lets you know how much your projected mortgage payments will be, what the terms of your loan are and which fees you will be expected to pay. The numbers on this document should be similar to the loan estimate you previously received. Federal law dictates that you receive the Closing Disclosure al least three business days before the closing date so you have time to review it and ask questions.

What to Bring
Closings can vary from purchase to purchase, but you’ll most likely need to bring a current driver’s license or passport, a cashier’s or certified check for the down payment and closing costs, proof of insurance and a copy of the final contract. If you are separated or going through a divorce, be sure to bring a copy of any relevant agreements or court orders as well.

Information brought to you by:  

Matt Isadore, Senior Mortgage Consultant 

Midwest Community Bank 

Contact Linda

Linda Kelleher

Swanson Real Estate

503 E. Church St.

Sandwich, IL 60548

815.742.8161 Direct

815.786.9418 Office 

Areas Served: Big Rock, Hinckley, Marseilles, Naperville, Newark, Oswego, Plano, Sandwich, Sheridan, Somonauk , Sugar Grove, Yorkville

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The Costs of Homeownership Beyond the Sale

Saving up for a down payment and closing costs, determining how much you can afford and qualifying for a loan are key steps in buying a home. But what happens once the dust settles? Plan ahead so you won’t be caught off guard by other costs. Here are a few areas where new homeowners often end up spending after the sale:

New Household Items

Buying new furniture and decorative items can be a fun part of moving into a new home. But there are other less exciting purchases, such as new locks for entry doors or a new water heater, that can put a dent in your wallet. To help limit financial surprises, put some savings aside specifically for this purpose and identify what you’d need to buy or replace in each home you consider.

Maintenance and Repairs

For most homeowners, repairs and maintenance cost 1 to 4 percent of their home’s value annually. Factor these regular needs into your budget so when it’s time to replace the roof or fix the plumbing, it won’t be a shock to your bank account. In addition, you may want to consider a home warranty to help offset repair costs if you are worried about outdated systems.

HOA Fees and Taxes

If your new home is governed by a homeowners association, factor in the monthly or annual dues that maintain the buildings, amenities and common areas. Additionally, keep property taxes in mind when making your monthly or yearly budget.

By planning for all of the responsibilities that come along with homeownership, you can enjoy your new place without financial stress.

Brought to you and shared by Mattew Isadore, at Midwest Community Bank our preferred loan provider

Senior Mortgage Consultant
NMLS: 497896
3755 E. Main St. Suite #140 St. Charles, IL 60174 USA
Phone: (630) 696-4636 Mobile: (630) 688-4308

Tips When Moving With Pets

With a long to-do list to complete before moving, it is important to remember preparation for your pets

Gather Vet Records:  If you are moving a considerable distance away from your current home, it is important to ask your current veterinarian for records that will be requested by the new vet office. These can usually be easily printed out of faxed over to the new medical-care provider, but the source says to always keep the former vet’s contact information on file, just in case of an emergency.

Update Tags With New Address:  It is also crucial to update your pet’s tags with proper identification including up-to-date contact information and your new home’s address. This will be helpful if something were to happen during the moving process. Including a cell phone number is best, as your new home phone may not be set up yet.

Manage Their Stress Exposure:  Studies show that pets can easily be stressed out during moves, so The Pet Realty Network suggests keeping them secluded from chaos that can ensue on moving day. This means keeping them in a separate and familiar room or even asking a friend or family member to watch over them while multiple people are in the house and items are being moved around. If you’re keeping your pet in the house while movers are present, make sure they are in a room that has already been cleared out and post a do-not-disturb sign to keep those helping out.

Remember Pet Meds and Pets First Aid Kit:  When preparing a first aid kit be sure to  leave medications and food outside of moving boxes, as they could be needed in case of an emergency. If your pet is on medications, be sure to get them filled before relocating. When preparing your first aid kit, be sure to include bandages, towels and hydrogen peroxide.

When Traveling – Protect Your Pets:  If you are transporting your pet to your new home by car, be sure to keep them in a crate, as allowing them to roam freely around your vehicle can be dangerous and unsafe for both of you. Pets can be a major distraction when behind the wheel and giving them their own space can also keep them calm. When flying, be sure that you and your pet meet all necessary airline requirements and purchase a proper crate for their travels. The source notes you should also consult your veterinarian before making flying arrangements, as not all pets are fit to do so.

Ask Your Current Vet For a Referral:  Pet owners should ask their former veterinary clinic for a referral for their new location, while talking to other pet owners in your new community can be helpful. Selecting a new vet is important, so be sure they are convenient and that facilities are kept up. Asking for a tour and meeting the doctors, technicians and assistants can help you make the best decision possible.

Source:  realtor magazine

What to Fix If You’re Selling

It’s always a task to set a budget for a renovation—or at the very least an ever-moving target—but if you’re planning to put your home on the market, you’ll have a way different set of calculations than a starry-eyed new homeowner.

Before you embark on a gut of your circa-1990 kitchen, consult with a Realtor® and a general contractor about which renovations will yield the biggest return on investment. How much work you’ll need depends on your home’s value, your market, and the comps in your neighborhood.  Your house needs to measure up to the other listings on the market.

Committed to doing some work? Start by thinking small. Minor cosmetic upgrades go a long way in getting more buyers through the door for a quicker sale—and time on market is key to determining what you’ll net at closing.

Where to start? Here are some suggested upgrades (and some to avoid):

Walls and floors

Replacing or refinishing your flooring and painting the walls are the quickest and least expensive ways to give a house new life.  With these enhancements, you can expect roughly a 15% uptick in asking price.

Paint colors matter.  Shades of gray are in with buyers right now; stay away from tan and beige hues.  While you can certainly go the DIY route with paint, hiring a pro will get the best results. Expect to spend $2,000 to $3,000 for whole-house interior painting

The same goes for new carpet. A sturdy, builder-grade fiber in a neutral color that doesn’t compete with your wall color is the way to go. While most buyers prefer hardwood floors, they’re pricey to install. If you have existing hardwood floors, refinishing them will bring back the luster.


According to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, replacing your existing front door with a new steel door will net you a 101.8% return on resale for a minimal replacement cost of about $1,230. Who knew? But think about it: It’s the first and last thing you’ll touch on your home visit. It makes an impression.

Installing a new garage door has an impact on buyers, too. Even better: It offers an 88% return at resale and costs an average of about $1,600 to replace, according to the Remodeling report.

Roof and siding

Adding a new roof and replacing your home’s unsightly vinyl siding will also yield a high return on investment.  Homeowners may recoup 72% and 80% of the cost, respectively, for those upgrades. Another benefit: When it comes time for inspection and appraisal, having those repairs done will not only increase the value of your home but also reduce the likelihood of being forced to make fixes or adjust pricing later in the process.


A modern kitchen is a top draw for buyers—but don’t try to overhaul a dated one, which could cost mucho dinero. Buying new cabinet drawer pulls, painting or refacing old cabinets (white is in right now), and installing sleek light fixtures are all low-cost upgrades that will make your kitchen sparkle.

New appliances, which can run about $10,000 for a whole-kitchen replacement, are an easy way to add value. While the upfront cost might be hard to swallow, new stainless appliances make your kitchen more attractive to a wider range of buyers.

Granite or quartz counter tops are also hot, but they can be pricey, depending on your kitchen layout.

“You need bids from professional remodeler to figure out how much new counter tops will cost—and if it fits your budget and timetable.  A less pricey alternative is simply adding a clean, white ceramic tile back splash to create visual appeal.

Upgrades to skip

Thinking about finishing an attic or basement? Adding a deck? Well, don’t. Those upgrades tend to be pricey, and buyers will likely prefer to remodel those areas to their own tastes.

Other areas to avoid doing a major renovation: bathrooms, bedrooms, and home offices, according the Remodeling report.

In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t renovate it!

Article resource



Contact Linda

Linda Kelleher

Swanson Real Estate

503 E. Church St.

Sandwich, IL 60548

815.742.8161 Direct

815.786.9418 Office 

Areas Served: Big Rock, Hinckley, Marseilles, Naperville, Newark, Oswego, Plano, Sandwich, Sheridan, Somonauk , Sugar Grove, Yorkville

Design by Willow Marketing Solutions

How to Declutter Before Moving

How to declutter before moving

If you’re about to move to a new home, there is one thing you absolutely must do: Declutter before moving. Really, this is your big chance! There is no better excuse than an upcoming move to unload dead weight. It’s high time you started chipping away at your possessions.

Step No. 1: Start throwing things out early

Try to start purging at least a month before you move. The reason: This gives you time to, say, sell items online or drive them to a consignment shop. Plus, advance decluttering “spreads out the (task) to make it feel like it’s less work.
Try to tackle one room, or one closet (or one drawer) a day—it’s less overwhelming—and never handle an item twice. Designate “toss,” “donate,” and “sell” boxes, and when you decide an item’s fate, toss it into the correct box.

Step No. 2: Gather the right packing materials

Gather organizational tools like packing tape, black markers, and labels in a tote; that way, you don’t have to rummage through drawers whenever the de-cluttering bug bites. After all, you’re going to need to get this stuff for moving day anyway, so there’s no harm in kicking things off early.

Another huge help? Clear plastic bins are your friends—and great homes for small items like batteries or office supplies. You can see what’s inside, and they’re easily stackable to save space.

Step No. 3: Consider the size of your new home

Here are some common items you can almost certainly do without. Be merciless, and get them out of your life.

  • Still boxed: These items never made it out of the boxes: gifts, Groupon deals that seemed like a good idea at the time, bulk purchases of all those giant jars of capers you won’t live long enough to eat. Surely, someone will appreciate these goods that fell by the wayside. You might even be able to raise some cash by selling this clutter online. But get rid of it.
  • Not used: Tastes and waistlines change. (Especially waistlines.) If you haven’t worn or used something in a year, you probably never will again. If it’s in good shape, donate it charity. If it’s stained or hopelessly out of date, toss it.
  • Expired: Food way past its sell-by date and expired or unwanted medication shouldn’t live with you in your new place. Some pharmacies will take back unused medication, and cleaned plastic pill bottles are recyclable. Bag up your pills and take them to your local pharmacy for safe disposal. Don’t pour or flush medicine down the drain, which can contaminate drinking water with chemicals, according to Earth911.
  • Past paperwork: We all have boxes of documents, clippings, and recipes that we never read—they don’t need to be schlepped to a new house. If you file your tax returns online and report everything you should, the IRS says to keep returns and documentation for three years after you file. You can toss ATM and bank deposit receipts after a year. Keep “forever” documents (e.g., your birth and marriage certificates) in a separate box so you don’t mistakenly pitch them.
  • Books and magazines are heavy and bulky to move. If you’ve read them, and don’t think you’ll ever read them again, donate them to a local library. Many senior residences maintain libraries and would love a fresh supply of reading material.
  • Extras: extra towels, extra teacups, extra anything. If it hasn’t come in handy in the past year, it won’t come in handy in the future.



Contact Linda

Linda Kelleher

Swanson Real Estate

503 E. Church St.

Sandwich, IL 60548

815.742.8161 Direct

815.786.9418 Office 

Areas Served: Big Rock, Hinckley, Marseilles, Naperville, Newark, Oswego, Plano, Sandwich, Sheridan, Somonauk , Sugar Grove, Yorkville

Design by Willow Marketing Solutions