If the couch fits, rent it!

pushing-a-couch

For half a second, you worried about the couch squeezing through the front door.  But now, sweet victory is yours as you fill up the kitchen cabinets in your new abode.  Having signed a year long rental agreement, you are finally unpacked and settled in for your first meal under a new roof, when you stop for a moment and think “Will I ever see my security deposit again?”

If you read the fine print on your lease (standard leases, at least) you might find a clause that says normal “wear and tear” and even describes regular use.  Most tenants fall under the regular use category.  But setting fire to the carpet, on purpose or accidentally, is not going to fall under normal wear and tear, no matter how many house plants you place over the burn spot.  So what exactly, does regular, wear and tear mean?

fire-extinguisher

Wear and Tear
When describing average use, many landlords expect higher use items like flooring and appliances to be worn out faster than say, a kitchen cabinet or a light fixture.  You’re usually on your own for light bulbs, too.  But consider that hardwood flooring lasts years longer than linoleum, so the type of flooring or fixture matters. You’d have a run a lot of laps across a hardwood floor or ceramic tile to wear it out in a 12 month span as compared to a plain linoleum floor.

But most renters will scuff a wall, put a nail into a wall to hang artwork, or drip food on the carpeting.  Things like this happen and most landlords expect to minor cosmetics such as paint and spackle for the walls, and a deep cleaning the carpeting at every tenant move out.  Typical wear and tear involves light scratches on the wood floors, wear spots on the carpeting (but not stains), loose railings or tiles.  Minor damage is easy and inexpensive to repair or fix.  Major damage, the kind your security deposit cringes over, is more expensive to repair or fix (think full carpet replacement for that burned spot).  If the landlord has to replace all the carpeting, your security deposit could be at risk.

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Fix It or Leave it?
Deep gouges in flooring, broken glass in windows/torn screens, broken appliances, pet stains/odors, custom wall paint, extras like closet shelving, light fixtures or window treatments, are all significant items tenants usually are responsible for fixing.

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Check your checklist
Move-in day checklists are highly recommended by both tenants and landlords to keep all items verified condition upon move in.  Tenants want to verify all appliances, for example, are performing great on day 1.  Landlords want to know if something is out of whack, and that the current tenants are not responsible for it.  A checklist is the ideal opportunity to make sure both parties are in agreement from Day 1:

  • Walk through the rental together
  • Take photos of any flaws you see with your smartphone or device
  • Collect them into a photo page
  • Provide a full checklist of all items and have both tenant and landlord sign off on them.

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Pet Deposits
Soggy paws are part of being a dog owner and many times, the floors of an apartment take a beating year round for landlords.  But for many renters, home is where their pet is and gladly bring Fido and Fluffy along to the tune of up to a full month’s rent for a pet deposit.  Often the pet deposit is not refundable, due to the typical wear and tear many canines (and felines) can cause to a property.  Pet stains, pet dander, and claw/scratch marks can linger far longer after the tenant moves out, causing a lot of extra work to prep the property for the next tenant.

But if you love your pets, the extra pet fee is well worth it, to keep the happy family together.

Did you know?  
In addition to helping with rentals,  Fox Valley Homes offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, e-PRO, SFR, (630) 854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com.

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Contact me:

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Jennifer Kinzle, e-PRO, SFR Broker
Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165

 

10 Reasons for a Financial Hardship for a Short Sale

Karen and Dave didn’t plan to fail on their short sale process.  They just didn’t realize the restrictions on the lender hardship requirements.

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It’s a complicated process, going through a short sale.  Banks require the same amount of paperwork, if not more, when applying for a new mortgage!  A hardship letter is part of the normal short sale process, but many folks struggle with writing one.

“We’re already behind on the mortgage, isn’t that hardship already?” Karen asked.

Actually, the bank doesn’t see it that way,  so I explained:

“Being behind on your mortgage payments is the symptom, the lender wants to know the cause.  It’s one thing to be stuck due to issues beyond your control, like being laid off from a job.  It’s not the same if you’ve racked up credit card debt by overspending and now can’t afford your mortgage,” I said.  “The type of financial distress matters to the lender.”

See how to write an effective short sale hardship letter here: Blog Post – How To Write an Effective Hardship Letter

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Surprisingly enough, the banks do read the hardship letters the clients send in.   Lenders include an illness and medical bills, a job loss, a job relocation of at least 50 miles, natural disaster like a tornado, a business failure, loss of hours at work, under employment, health insurance increase, mortgage payment increase and the divorce or death of a spouse as valid hardships. Lenders will gladly work with home sellers on any of these hardships to avoid a lengthy foreclosure.

Ready to take a short sale quiz to see if you qualify?  Click here: Fox Valley Short Sales Quiz

However, wanting to downsize/upsize, increasing family size or loss of equity do not qualify as a financial hardship.  Still, some banks are more lenient that others.  The guidelines are set for a baseline, but it never hurts to speak to the lender directly.  Often times, not hearing a flat out “No” may mean it is still good to proceed.

frustrated sales

Completing the full process of a short sale is like running a marathon.  Listing agents like us work until it’s finished, not when it’s convenient or because we’re the fastest.  We work at the lender’s pace and keep it moving forward.  Retaining a sense of urgency and high communication levels is what rewards our persistence.

Talking more with Karen and David, they realized something.  It was a moment of reflection.  They realized some bumps in the road of life were not an embarrassment, nor the end of the line.  It was something to embrace, and move on from.  I was glad to be able to help them with the focus of the letter, but the story is all theirs.  A big dose of humility later, they sent their letter to me to read and I was very impressed.

“This is exactly what the lender wants to know.  You covered the who, why and how of the financial distress perfectly.  I know the letters can be difficult to write, but this one will definitely work in your favor,” I said.

Karen and David lost a lot of sleep over their home mortgage.  And they stressed over their hardship letter even more.  You don’t need to!  Call me today to find out how you can short sale your home without paying a penny.  Some home owners may qualify for relocation assistance (restrictions apply).

Apply For A Short Sale

Did you know?  
In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Homes offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com.

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Contact me:

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Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165

 

 

Save it or Sell it? 2 Ways to Keep Your Home

Short Sale Expert Offers 2 Ways to Keep Your Home

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Fox Valley area specialist, Jennifer Kinzle, and Fox Valley Short Sales with Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois are working with foreclosure experts across the Chicagoland area to help others avoid foreclosure.

Fox Valley Short Sales

“In the beginning, I started with local property investors from my Meetup group, Fox Valley Investors .  They had clients that they were unable to assist, or who didn’t fit the profile.  So they would give my name to the homeowners looking to avoid foreclosure.  That really started my  distressed property specialization,” Kinzle said,  “Some folks are just barely underwater on their mortgages, some are several years’ of mortgage payments behind.  I can offer options that many folks don’t know is out there.”

Illinois is one of five states with a high percentage of underwater mortgages

2015 – 5 States With Highest Percent of Underwater Mortgages

Using her expertise, she raises awareness of other programs, offers suggestions on how to best work with lenders and suggests when an attorney or HUD home specialists might be needed.  Kinzle and the Fox Valley Short Sales team work with a large network of experts and residential housing professionals to educate the public, offering guidance and professional advice as it relates to the housing market, for both distressed foreclosure sales and regular sales.

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“Short sales can be a solution, but only when the homeowner is ready to sell and move on.  There are other options to try if the homeowner wants to stay in the home.”

Get prescreened for a short sale now!  http://www.foxvalleyshortsales.com/what-is-a-short-sale.php

2 Ways to Keep Their Home
There are two ways to keep a home in financial distress: a refinance under a program such as HARP or a lender workout such as a forbearance or a loan modification.

Find out the requirements for a HARP refinance here:

HARP Eligibility

Under a lender workout or a loan modification, the homeowner speaks directly to the bank to address the payments.  Every bank has different requirements and you should have your account number handy when you contact the lender.  A forbearance allows a homeowner to temporarily postpone their mortgage payments.  A loan modification can be temporary or permanent.

Click here for video on ways to keep your home: Your Home – Save it or Sell it?

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Distress and pre-foreclosure in Elgin
There are nearly 3,000 pre-foreclosures just in the city of Elgin.   The surrounding areas of the Fox Valley are just as inundated, with pre-foreclosure notices being mailed out on a daily basis.  Recipients of these notices may not even know what happens next in the foreclosure process.  From pre-foreclosure, to a bankruptcy, or a job loss, and pending auction dates, the team will work with the homeowner find a solution.

Click here for a Foreclosure Timeline:  Foreclosure Timeline – Illinois

 

The government program is called HAFA-(Homes Affordable Foreclosure Alternative) which allows for home sellers to receive up to $10,000 in relocation funds. *Restrictions apply*.  However, many homeowners don’t know if they can qualify for this credit.  We can explain this and much more.

Free Service, Easy Service
Our team never charges a penny to the homeowner for listing, marketing, or selling their home as a short sale. Fox Valley Short Sales offer services with no fees, and no strings attached. Local home owners need straightforward, professional advice about alternatives to a foreclosure.

“There is never a fee for our service.  No consultation fee, no listing fee, no attorney fees.  We never charge the home seller anything, ever.  Our home sellers  facing foreclosure are in financial hardship and we understand their difficulties,” she said, “They’ve been through enough.”

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Commitment and cutting out the red tape
Unlike a regular sale, the work doesn’t stop with an offer from a buyer.  Closings can range from 3 to 6 months’ time, depending on the bank.  Fox Valley Short Sales has gained experience with over 40+ different lenders and servicers, including Wells Fargo, Citibank, Nationstar, Ocwen, Chase, PNC, US Bank, Citi, HSBC, Charter One, Seterus, Carrington, RoundPoint Mortgage, Citizen, DiTech and many more.

Cutting through the red tape in short sales is part of the Fox Valley Team’s full service short sale process.  Knowing beforehand what forms are needed, the proper way to submit, requirements of the various loss departments preferences, and which ones need specific items, gives our clients a smoother transaction. Because all transactions are processed in-house, with no third party servicers, the deal moves faster through the system.

As Kinzle notes, “Unlike some agents who only work the spring sales season, we crunch short sales year round.  And we’ll continue to do so as long as there is a need for it in our communities.”

floatinghome

In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Short Sales offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com to get on track for 2016.

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Contact me:

Head Shot #3cropped

Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165

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Fox Valley Investor Group Takes Short Sales and Foreclosures Seriously

Local investment club reaches out to Fox Valley home owners.  

 

Back in June of 2015, there weren’t any local Fox Valley area meetups for property investors.  Investors had to travel downtown or to the north side to join a monthly group meeting.  Frustrated by the lack of networking and resources, Fox Valley area short sale broker and distressed property expert, Jennifer Kinzle, decided to start her own group, Fox Valley Investors Group

When the Meetup grew up
“In the beginning, I started with local property investors from my Meetup group, Fox Valley Investors .  We would tour local properties, highlight the pro’s and con’s, talk about financing terms.  I really wanted to stay local, reinvest in my community and embrace the challenges.  Soon, the investors would refer home owners to me, for example, the ones they were unable to assist, or who didn’t fit their property investing profile.  That really started my  distressed property specialization, helping people avoid foreclosure,” Kinzle said,  “Now, I work with a lot of different investors.  Some prefer to add to their portfolio slowly, and short sales can do just that.”

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Just over a year later, the Meetup Group has over 300 members, and is one of the largest groups in the area.  Using her sales and marketing expertise, Kinzle raises awareness of how property investors can benefit from buying a short sale and how to coordinate with home sellers who are interested in selling.  Working with Fox Valley Short Sales under Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois, local property investors across the Chicagoland area are finding amazing short sale deals like this one.

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3310 Lafayette Street, Elgin, IL 60124

 

Did you know?  Illinois is one of five states with a high percentage of underwater mortgages  2015 – 5 States With Highest Percent of Underwater Mortgages

Investing in the community
Many local investors don’t have time to drive for dollars, send out thousands of postcards or shuffle through the foreclosure lists.  Using the MLS and short sale brokerage services with the Fox Valley Short Sale team, Kinzle helps investors zero in on more deals faster. The more investors are made aware of short sales, the more they realize the value they provide.  The investor group creates a lot of opportunities within local neighborhoods by buying vacant, foreclosed or abandoned properties, fixing them up and selling them to new buyers.  Revitalizing the neighborhood by improving the older homes creates a stabilizing effect that lifts all nearby home prices too.

Fox Valley Short Sales

The Fox Valley Short Sales team continue to work on behalf of homeowners, with a large network of lenders, experts and residential housing professionals to educate the public, offering guidance and professional advice as it relates to the housing market, for both distressed foreclosure sales and regular sales.

“Short sales can be a solution, but only when the homeowner is ready to sell and move on.  There are other options to try if the homeowner wants to stay in the home.”

Before a short sale – ways to keep their home
“When an investor approaches a homeowner, they have many questions.  The most common is how can I keep my home?” Kinzle said.  “There are two ways to keep a home, refinancing it or a loan modification program from the lender.”

Homeowners may qualify to receive  special refinancing under a program such as HARP or the Illinois Hardest Hit program, which just started in August 2016 and now offers homeowners up to $35,000 in assistance.  A lender workout such as a forbearance or a loan modification may also temporarily offer relief or a reduction in a mortgage payment.

Illinois Hardest Hit program

Find out the requirements for a HARP refinance here:

HARP Eligibility

Under a lender workout or a loan modification, the homeowner speaks directly to the bank to address the payments.  Every bank has different requirements and you should have your account number handy when you contact the lender.  A forbearance allows a homeowner to temporarily postpone their mortgage payments.  A loan modification can be temporary or permanent.

Click here for video on ways to keep your home: Your Home – Save it or Sell it?

ShortSaleVSForeclosure-thumb-250x250-5626-thumb-250x250-5627

Distress comes in many forms
There are nearly 3,000 pre-foreclosures just in the city of Elgin.   The surrounding areas of the Fox Valley are just as inundated, with pre-foreclosure notices being mailed out on a daily basis.  Recipients of these notices may not even know what happens next in the foreclosure process.  From pre-foreclosure, to a bankruptcy, or a job loss, and pending auction dates, the team will work with the homeowner find a solution.

Click here for a Foreclosure Timeline:  Foreclosure Timeline – Illinois

floatinghome

When a regular sale won’t work
Many times, homeowners know they need to sell their house, but they are underwater, meaning they owe more than what the home is worth. There may be a 2nd mortgage or other liens on the property.  The owners may feel obligated to complete repairs before trying to sell.  Or, they may drain their savings accounts trying to make enormous mortgage payments.

“We are working with clients who are sometimes extremely behind on their mortgage payments.  These clients often are going through bankruptcy, divorce, mountains of medical bills or a job loss, while facing foreclosure and auction notices,” Kinzle said.  She notes it can be a very difficult, stressful experience, and everyone’s situation is unique.

Investors seeking deals that are unique like a short sale are required to have a lot of patience as well.  Although the general condition of a short sale is typically good, there are usually some cosmetic updates required.  Of course the biggest hurdle to short sales is the length of time it takes to close.

“I tell my investors, put it into your investing portfolio for a 6+month window.  You won’t have to put up any money until we get the final approval letter and you can close in 45 days after we receive it,” Kinzle said.  Even better, cash is not required to purchase a short sale.  Banks will allow investors to use conventional financing as well.  There are deed restrictions, but often these are only 90 days’ or less, with limits on selling for less than 120% of purchase price.

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Free Service, Easy Service
“Home owners love our short sale team because we never charge a penny to the homeowner for listing, marketing, or selling their home as a short sale. Fox Valley Short Sales offer services with no fees, and no strings attached. Local home owners need straightforward, professional advice about alternatives to a foreclosure,” Kinzle said.

“Our home sellers  facing foreclosure are in financial hardship and we understand their difficulties,” she said, “They’ve been through enough.”

Investors work partner with us because they know they will find a property under market value. They save time and money by getting a deal on a short sale to add to their portfolio.  With a little time and patience, short sales can be very rewarding properties to add to an investment portfolio.

Did you know?
We handle a lot more than just short sales.  Fox Valley Homes offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com to get on track for 2016.

foxvalleyhomes-v1_with_black_text-logo_long-3

Contact me:

Head Shot #3cropped

Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

 

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165

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Short Sale Case Study – Animal lover and single mom of two

Animal lover and divorced mom of two gets a fresh start

Name – Susan A. from Algonquin, IL
Occupation – Licensed nurse practitioner
Income – $70K
Combined Debt Load – $175K first mortgage, + $45K HELOC = $220K
divorce-leg
An ancient dog greeted me with enthusiasm at Susan’s front door at her home in Algonquin, in defiance of his advanced age.  A quickly thrown chew toy was required to gain proper entrance to the kitchen.  Even the cats came out to see what the fuss was about and promptly plopped into my lap as we sat down at her kitchen table.  This home was bursting with cherished pets, but it was plain how much stress Susan’s current situation was placing on her.

“I thought once the divorce was final, things would get easier.  Now it is final, but my ex won’t cooperate with the house.  I can’t get him to agree to the sale of house, but he won’t pay the mortgage and I can’t do it all on my own,” she said.  “I don’t know what to do.”

Reason for selling:
Still struggling to come to terms with a twenty year marriage ending in divorce, Susan was stuck.  The house was in poor condition, and it needed many repairs.  Susan wasn’t in a financial position to pay for fixing it up to sell it as a regular sale.  The home was underwater on combined debt of the mortgage and HELOC.  She was convinced she had no way out.

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 A fellow animal lover and parent, Susan has two grown kids and no longer wanted to fix up her large, older home.  Her husband and her separated a while back before finalizing the divorce.  It was then she realized her finances were heading for troubled waters.

Although she made a good salary, she struggled with the mortgage payments on her own.  The first thing she did was work with her lender.  She arranged a loan modification for 6 months.  Once it expired, she knew it was time to make a difficult decision about her home.  That’s when Susan’s attorney referred her to the Fox Valley Short Sale team.

It didn’t take long to realize Susan was struggling under heavy payments and expensive home repairs.

“Susan, you can still qualify for a short sale on your home.  You’ve made every effort to work through this.  With a short sale, it is sold as-is, so you don’t have to pay for the repairs before selling the home,” I said.

The transformation of pure relief across Susan’s face was amazing.  For the first time in a  hour, she smiled.  Understanding that the financial burden no longer rested on her shoulders, and that she wasn’t trapped, she felt hope.

“I’m ready to start fresh,” she said.

We chatted a while once we signed the listing documents.  I explained how I would get her ex to cooperate.  When I spoke to him, I just explained  how a foreclosure would do major damage to both their credit histories and would last for years.  I also told him that a short sale has less of an impact on credit than a foreclosure.

“A short sale washes away equity and no parties will profit in the short sale because there are no proceeds,” I said.  “The home is also not worth as much as what was owed on it, which means it is underwater on value.”  I told him both he and his ex wife could get clear of the mortgage by doing a short sale.  It would also cut the final tie to their old life.  He agreed to the sale.

Find out more about short sales here: http://www.foxvalleyshortsales.com/what-are-the-qualifications-for-a-short-sale.php

What the Market Said:
A comparative market analysis showed a wide range of single family homes that were active in her neighborhood.  Active properties were listed in the mid $250K range and closing for $240K and higher, but these were in good, move in ready condition.  Due to the poor condition of Susan’s home, we listed it for $199,000, sold as-is, with no home warranty or repairs.

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Results:
As so often is the case, getting two ex spouses to agree was the biggest challenge.  Usually the idea of losing equity from the sale of the home is the largest sticking point.  However, a short sale washes out any equity, so no home seller sees any profits.  It is a break even type of sale. No party receives any profit under the rules of the short sale. Once the ex spouse realized that neither of them would benefit financially from the home going into foreclosure, the short sale was agreed upon.

Once we got all parties on board with selling the home, the sellers received an offer from a qualified buyer for $175K.  The buyers also submitted a list of repairs the home needed, to identify why their offer came in so low.

After reviewing the buyer’s offer, the home appraisal,  the repair list, and noting the poor condition, the lender made a counter-offer at $185K, which was accepted by the buyers.   She paid for no repairs, no fees, no closing costs, no attorney fees, and no realtor commissions.

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Now
Susan has rented a pet friendly condo close by her son, who is local to the Algonquin area.  She and her dog and two cats are enjoying a fresh start, with an easy, no fuss rental and much more affordable payment.  Susan is also planning on pushing ahead her nursing career by going back to school with her new found financial freedom.  She is not certain if she ever wants to purchase a home again, but now she more options.

 

Did you know?  
In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Short Sales offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com to get on track for 2016.

foxvalleyhomes-v1_with_black_text-logo_long-3

Contact me:

Head Shot #3cropped

Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

 

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165
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How to Write an Outstanding Hardship Letter for a Short Sale

womanattable

Jackie called in a panic this morning.

“I can’t tell the bank what happened to me, it’s too embarrassing!” she said. “I don’t even know where to begin.”

Having just been served a double whammy in her personal life, a divorce and a bankruptcy discharge, she hadn’t even begun to process what happened.  Trying to write it all down on paper was an impossible task.

“There’s no way I can explain what happened, and I’m not going to share personal details with my lender!” she said.

What the bank really wants in a hardship letter
Jackie did the right thing by reaching out for help.  The short sale process is complicated enough without stressing over a hardship letter.  Plus, she is correct, there is no need to share the personal details on a hardship letter, but one still needs to be written and submitted to the lender.

“Jackie, you don’t have to go into the details of why your marriage was dissolved, only that the divorce was completed.  However, it was due to the divorce that you could no longer afford the mortgage on your home.  The bank wants to see how  you got into the financial distress, what changed about your situation, not the intimate details,” I said.

The bank wants to know the general situation that brought the home owners to the current position, not a detailed version of the private events.  If a couple is divorcing, for example, the there is an obvious financial change when one household splits into two, which in turn can affect the mortgage affordability.  Jackie just needed to provide an overview of her own situation to appeal to the lender’s hardship requirement.

We talked it through and came up with a short summary, that was much easier.  Jackie wrote up the simplified letter and left the anxiety behind.

“This really helps, thanks for getting this sorted out,” Jackie said.  “I’ve been stressed enough for 10 people is seems, so having this done right makes me feel better.”

Sample Short Sale Hardship Letter
Here’s a sample of the letter I gave to Jackie to help her outline her thoughts for describing her hardship.

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To Whom It May Concern:

This is a very difficult thing to write.  I have always been able to pay my debts in the past and I am truly sorry that I cannot do so now.

I lost my job as a manger for a large home improvement company.  I have been unemployed for six months.  I have been receiving unemployment benefits.  However, my unemployment checks replaces about one quarter of my previous income.  My husband is a stay-at-dad responsible for our four children.  Our credit cards are maxed out and we are in the process of filing for divorce.

We can no longer afford to make the $1,800 monthly mortgage payment on our home.  We are currently five months behind and see no way to make up the $9,000 in back payments.  Our real estate taxes are also due and we have no way to pay those either.

We have agreed to sell our property for $275,000.  It has been on the market for over 60 days and this is the only offer we have received.  We have exhausted all of our options.  We want to avoid a foreclosure sale that will further damage our credit.  We respectfully  request that you consider this offer and work with our agent to negotiate a short sale transaction.

Sincerely,

Mr and Mrs. Smith

Why a hardship letter?
A hardship letter is a often a requirement of the lender’s paperwork.  The bank is only looking for a reasonable explanation for the cause of the financial distress, along with an attempt to rectify it in good faith.  Offer a clear, concise, snapshot of your personal situation and how it developed.  Be honest because the banks prefer the truth up front and with full disclosure.  Many times, folks make this simple letter a difficult hurdle to overcome.  There is no need to work on this alone.  Ask us how to write up an appropriate letter and we’ll be happy to assist.

Questions about the short sale process?
http://www.foxvalleyshortsales.com/what-is-the-short-sale-process.php

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What’s a valid hardship?
Lenders have a list of specific hardships that qualify for a short sale.  These include:
Job relocation of at least 50+ miles
Natural disaster
Business failure
Loss of hours
Unemployment
Underemployment
Health insurance increase
Increase in mortgage payment
Divorce or death of spouse
Illness or medical costs

Invalid Financial Hardships:
Increase in family size
Desire to resize home (downsized or larger space)
Loss of equity in the property
Excessive discretionary spending (credit cards maxed out)

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Did you know?  
In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Short Sales offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com to get on track for 2016.

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Contact me:

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Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

 

 

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165

Private Town Home Living at 590 Countryfield Lane, Elgin

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590 Countryfield Lane, Elgin, IL 60120
Quiet, tree lined streets, surrounding a beautiful neighborhood, ensures your privacy in this cozy community, in a central location.  Few units are available for sale in this subdivision, making it a challenge to gain access to this upscale area.

However, this unit at 590 Countryfield Lane is a special home.  Listed at $159,900, the lowest price home in the entire subdivision, not only can you get a great deal, you’ll enjoy a fully loaded kitchen with hardwood floors, 2 large bedrooms + loft, a full, unfinished basement, a huge 2 car garage and a private deck out back with vaulted ceilings in the master bedroom and oversized windows in the two story family room. Pets are allowed and rentals are allowed within limits.  The monthly HOA includes exterior maintenance, snow removal, and scavenger service.

Take a peek with our property walk through here:
590 Countryfield Lane, Elgin, IL 60120 Property Preview

We would love to help you find your perfect home!

Did you know?  
In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Short Sales offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com to get on track for 2016.

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Contact me:

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Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165
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Short Sale Case Study – The Unintended Investor in Elk Grove Village

Short Sale Case Study – The Unintended Investor in Elk Grove Village

Name – Jay R., from Elk Grove Village, IL
Occupation – IT Manager
Income – $100K
Combined Debt Load – $95K, one mortgage.

Do you qualify for a short sale?  Find out here: http://www.foxvalleyshortsales.com/what-are-the-qualifications-for-a-short-sale.php

Reason for Selling:
Jay R. bought his first property, as a small, 1 bedroom bachelor pad, and had no plans to become an investor.  But when he got married a few years later, the market values were so low, even though it was slowing losing money, he decided to keep the condo unit as a side rental while he purchased his new home with his wife.  The rental unit went along fine until the couple decided to start a family, and the new parents were stunned with newborn daycare rates of $1400 a month.  Seeing the condo as a losing asset month after month, and looking to put the losing investment behind them entirely, Jay decided to request a short sale from his lender at Nationstar.

What the Market Said:
A comparative market analysis indicated the value for the condo was $65,000.  The market price showed few condos for sale in his area.  Only two actives were listed, at $60K and $65K.  The good news was that rentals were allowed by the Housing Association. The unit was in good condition and we listed the condo for $65,000.  Multiple offers were submitted and we requested highest and best.

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Results:
Due to the fact that multiple cash offers, over asking price, came in from other investors, the short sale moved quickly to closing.   While Jay’s income level did not meet the standard hardship short sale guidelines, Nationstar allowed him to reduce the outstanding loan, with a cash contribution at closing to settle the debt.  He did not qualify for the HAFA $10,000 Relocation Assistance program because the property was not owner-occupied.

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Now:
With a healthy baby boy doing well, Jay and his wife are enjoying parenthood.  No longer encumbered by the unintentional investment, the young family has relocated to a sprawling suburban home in Elgin, IL with plenty of room to roam.  Both parents are very happy to look ahead to their future, including a adding a new sibling for their son.

Did you know?  
In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Short Sales offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com to get on track for 2016.

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Contact me:

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Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165

Short Sale Case Study – A Family Kicks Starts Finances

kitchen table paperwork

Name – Edward and Anna from Elgin, IL
Occupation – Manager and teacher
Income – $75,000 combined
Total Debt Load – $125K mortgage 1 + $20K HELOC = $145K

Do you qualify for a short sale?  Find out here:
Qualifications for a short sale

Reason for Selling:
After being downsized at his company, Edward found himself unexpectedly unemployed. As the  family’s main breadwinner, the family counted on his paycheck for stability. He was able to find a new job quickly, but he was disappointed in the large pay cut. With the reduced income and bills piling up, the family quickly drained their emergency fund. Although Edward was trying to find a better paying position, it was going to take longer than they expected.  Edward and Anna realized the mortgage was now out of their comfort range to afford.

First, they talked with their lender and were able to get a temporary reprieve on their payments with a loan modification.  However, the loan modification ran out after 6 months’ time and the regular mortgage payment was reinstated.  Edward had not found better employment and they were no closer to affording their mortgage.  Edward and Anna decided to look into a short sale and remove their mortgage burden.

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Next steps: a pre-screening and a market analysis
Talking with them at their kitchen table on a quiet Tuesday night, we knew right away we could assist them.  When Edward and Anna contacted our team, we knew they had exhausted all efforts to save their home.  They had just hit a rough spot along the road of life, as so often happens.  First, we looked over their mortgages and expenses.  Then we looked at current market values for homes in the area.

A comparative market analysis for the home indicated a market value of $120K, which was less than what was owed. This property was underwater, meaning they owed more than what it was worth.  The home was in fair condition and would be sold as-is.  Edward and Anna were relieved to find out that they did not need to make any repairs or fixes on their home before the short sale. They paid no money out of pocket for the short sale. Our team listed the home at $119,900.  A buyer made an offer of $110K, which the bank countered to $115K.  The buyer agreed and the short sale was processed.

Results:
Under the short sale process, the lender also took care of the attorney fees, closing costs, title fees, and agent commissions.  Using a program called Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives, or HAFA program, Edward and Anna could receive a closing cost credit of $10,000 because they were owner occupants with a clear hardship – loss of income. They also realized a short sale would impact their credit score for a much briefer time period than a foreclosure.  The family decided it was the best strategy for them and completed the short sale.

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Now:
After short selling their home, Edward and Anna made a difficult decision to move in temporarily with family locally in Elgin, IL, until they could sort out their next steps.  Edward continued to look for work.  Their patience and persistence paid off.  Five months after the short sale was completed, Edward found a better paying position with a new company in the area.  They  are saving up their money, rebuilding their emergency fund, and plan on buying another home soon.

 

Did you know?  
In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Short Sales offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com to get on track for 2016.

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Contact me:

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Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

 

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165

2006287

Chicago Area Short Sale Expert Offers Underwater Home Owners Alternatives to Foreclosure

Short Sale Expert Offers Underwater Home Owners Options

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Fox Valley area specialist, Jennifer Kinzle, and Fox Valley Short Sales with Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois are working with foreclosure experts across the Chicagoland area to help others avoid foreclosure.

Fox Valley Short Sales

“In the beginning, I started with local property investors from my Meetup group, Fox Valley Investors .  They had clients that they were unable to assist, or who didn’t fit the profile.  So they would give my name to the homeowners looking to avoid foreclosure.  That really started my  distressed property specialization,” Kinzle said,  “Some folks are just barely underwater on their mortgages, some are several years’ of mortgage payments behind.  I can offer options that many folks don’t know is out there.”

Illinois is one of five states with a high percentage of underwater mortgages

2015 – 5 States With Highest Percent of Underwater Mortgages

Using her expertise, she raises awareness of other programs, offers suggestions on how to best work with lenders and suggests when an attorney or HUD home specialists might be needed.  Kinzle and the Fox Valley Short Sales team work with a large network of experts and residential housing professionals to educate the public, offering guidance and professional advice as it relates to the housing market, for both distressed foreclosure sales and regular sales.

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“Short sales can be a solution, but only when the homeowner is ready to sell and move on.  There are other options to try if the homeowner wants to stay in the home.”

Get prescreened for a short sale now!  http://www.foxvalleyshortsales.com/what-is-a-short-sale.php

Ways to Keep Their Home
There are two ways to keep a home in financial distress: a refinance under a program such as HARP or a lender workout such as a forbearance or a loan modification.

Find out the requirements for a HARP refinance here:

HARP Eligibility

Under a lender workout or a loan modification, the homeowner speaks directly to the bank to address the payments.  Every bank has different requirements and you should have your account number handy when you contact the lender.  A forbearance allows a homeowner to temporarily postpone their mortgage payments.  A loan modification can be temporary or permanent.

Click here for video on ways to keep your home: Your Home – Save it or Sell it?

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Distress comes in many forms
There are nearly 3,000 pre-foreclosures just in the city of Elgin.   The surrounding areas of the Fox Valley are just as inundated, with pre-foreclosure notices being mailed out on a daily basis.  Recipients of these notices may not even know what happens next in the foreclosure process.  From pre-foreclosure, to a bankruptcy, or a job loss, and pending auction dates, the team will work with the homeowner find a solution.

Click here for a Foreclosure Timeline:  Foreclosure Timeline – Illinois

When a regular sale won’t work
Many times, homeowners know they need to sell their house, but they are underwater, meaning they owe more than what the home is worth. They feel that they need to complete repairs before trying to sell.  Or, they may drain their savings accounts trying to make enormous mortgage payments.

“We are working with clients who are sometimes extremely behind on their mortgage payments.  These clients often are going through bankruptcy, divorce, mountains of medical bills or a job loss, while facing foreclosure and auction notices,” Kinzle said.  She notes it can be a very difficult, stressful experience, and everyone’s situation is unique.

Discretion is very important for many families, who often don’t share the knowledge of their financial distress with friends or neighbors.  Embarrassment and anxiety are the most common reasons clients seek out a distressed property expert.  Clients also fear ruining their credit with a foreclosure.  A short sale will damage a credit score, but not as severely as a foreclosure.  A short sale can work in many instances, even giving the owners a cash back at closing with Relocation Assistance.

See my last post how to sell a home without a yard sign here:  4 Offers, 3 Days, 1 HR Open House, 0 Signs

$10,000 Relocation Assistance* 
Underwater home owners may be qualified to receive $10,000 after closing the short sale on their house, especially when they thought they wouldn’t see a dime.  Restrictions apply and there is never a guarantee a seller will receive any cash at closing for relocation assistance*.(*Restrictions apply)

Again, an experienced short sale negotiator, like those with the Fox Valley Short Sale team, who understand the process, who can talk with the lenders, can tip the scale in the homeowner’s favor and attain a smooth closing.  The $10,000 cash can be used for boosting a new start on the road to financial success.

The government program is called HAFA-(Homes Affordable Foreclosure Alternative) which allows for home sellers to receive up to $10,000 in relocation funds.   However, many homeowners don’t know if they can qualify for this credit.  We can explain this and much more.

 

 

Free Service, Easy Service
Fox Valley Short Sales offer specialized services with no fees, and no strings attached. Local home owners need straightforward, professional advice about alternatives to a foreclosure.

“There is never a fee for our service.  No consultation fee, no listing fee, no attorney fees.  We never charge the home seller anything, ever.  Our home sellers  facing foreclosure are in financial hardship and we understand their difficulties,” she said, “They’ve been through enough.”

Commitment and cutting out the red tape
Unlike a regular sale, the work doesn’t stop with an offer from a buyer.  Short sale closings can range from 3 to 8 months’ time, depending on the bank.  Fox Valley Short Sales has gained experience with over 40+ different lenders and servicers, including Wells Fargo, Citibank, Nationstar, Ocwen, Chase, PNC, US Bank, Citi, HSBC, Charter One, Seterus, Carrington, RoundPoint Mortgage, Citizen, DiTech and many more.

Cutting through the red tape in short sales is part of the team’s full service short sale process.  Knowing beforehand what forms are needed, the proper submission methods, meeting deadlines, requirements of the various loss departments, asset manager specifics, and more,  gives our clients a smoother transaction. Because all transactions are processed in-house, with no third party servicers, the deal moves faster through the system.

As Kinzle notes, “Unlike some agents who only work the spring sales season, we coordinate short sales year round.  And we’ll continue to do so as long as there is a need for it in our communities.”

 

In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Short Sales offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com to get on track for 2016.

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Contact this Top Rated Agent: Jennifer Kinzle

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Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

 

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165
2006287