Knowing real estate “lingo” comes in very handy when you are involved with buying a home. Here is a list, and definitions, of the most popular terms in real estate transactions… May 15, 2017

Buying a Home? Do You Know the Lingo?

Buying a Home? Do You Know the Lingo? | MyKCM

Buying a home can be intimidating if you are not familiar with the terms used during the process. To start you on your path with confidence, we have compiled a list of some of the most common terms used when buying a home.

Freddie Mac has compiled a more exhaustive glossary of terms in their “My Home” section of their website.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – This is a broader measure of your cost for borrowing money. The APR includes the interest rate, points, broker fees and certain other credit charges a borrower is required to pay. Because these costs are rolled in, the APR is usually higher than your interest rate.

Appraisal – A professional analysis used to estimate the value of the property. This includes examples of sales of similar properties. This is a necessary step in getting your financing secured as it validates the home’s worth to you and your lender.

Closing Costs – The costs to complete the real estate transaction. These costs are in addition to the price of the home and are paid at closing. They include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs, items that must be prepaid or escrowed and other costs. Ask your lender for a complete list of closing cost items.

Credit Score – A number ranging from 300-850, that is based on an analysis of your credit history. Your credit score plays a significant role when securing a mortgage as it helps lenders determine the likelihood that you’ll repay future debts. The higher your score, the better, but many buyers believe they need at least a 780 score to qualify when, in actuality, over 55% of approved loans had a score below 750.

Discount Points – A point equals 1% of your loan (1 point on a $200,000 loan = $2,000). You can pay points to buy down your mortgage interest rate. It’s essentially an upfront interest payment to lock in a lower rate for your mortgage.

Down Payment – This is a portion of the cost of your home that you pay upfront to secure the purchase of the property. Down payments are typically 3 to 20% of the purchase price of the home. There are zero-down programs available through VA loans for Veterans, as well as USDA loans for rural areas of the country. Eighty percent of first-time buyers put less than 20% down last month.

Escrow – The holding of money or documents by a neutral third party before closing. It can also be an account held by the lender (or servicer) into which a homeowner pays money for taxes and insurance.

Fixed-Rate Mortgages – A mortgage with an interest rate that does not change for the entire term of the loan. Fixed-rate mortgages are typically 15 or 30 years.

Home Inspection – A professional inspection of a home to determine the condition of the property. The inspection should include an evaluation of the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, roof, wiring, foundation and pest infestation.

Mortgage Rate – The interest rate you pay to borrow money to buy your house. The lower the rate, the better. Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have hovered between 4 and 4.25% for most of 2017.

Pre-Approval Letter – A letter from a mortgage lender indicating that you qualify for a mortgage of a specific amount. It also shows a home seller that you’re a serious buyer. Having a pre-approval letter in hand while shopping for homes can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.

Primary Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – If you make a down payment lower than 20% on your conventional loan, your lender will require PMI, typically at a rate of .51%. PMI serves as an added insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage and can be cancelled from your payment once you reach 20% equity in your home. For more information on how PMI can impact your monthly housing cost, click here.

Real Estate Professional – An individual who provides services in buying and selling homes. Real estate professionals are there to help you through the confusing paperwork, to help you find your dream home, to negotiate any of the details that come up, and to help make sure that you know exactly what’s going on in the housing market. Real estate professionals can refer you to local lenders or mortgage brokers along with other specialists that you will need throughout the home-buying process.

The best way to ensure that your home-buying process is a confident one is to find a real estate professional who will guide you through every aspect of the transaction with ‘the heart of a teacher,’ and who puts your family’s needs first.


Christmas Cards December 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — kieronquane @ 9:44 pm

Christmas Cards

Ahhhhh, the dreaded task of choosing the right photo for the annual Christmas card.  Not so easy this year, since I had “assistance” from my 15 year old.  I thought it would be easy to put together a collage of vacation photos,and soccer & basketball action shots.  No chance.  The action shots were tossed out quickly.  We finally agreed to use a picture that I took of the kids at the top of Mt Quandry.  We reach the summit on a beautiful August day, hitting 14,265 feet.  We truly were on top of the world!  Quite an achievement too, and I don’t mind sharing that with our family and friends.


Dog days…. July 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — kieronquane @ 10:17 am

Today was the last day of Libertyville’s Dog Days of Summer.  I collared up my two pups, and walked to the dowtown area.  There I sat, with my two water-fearing labs, watching other dogs excitedly jump into a big pool of water.  Sadie & Galagher objected much less to walking through Cook Park and being fed countless doggie treats, and the hugs from the kids who petted them relentlessly wasn’t half bad either.  Galagher learned quickly that sitting nicely and offering up a paw to “shake” would often bring an extra treat.  Sadie seemed to enjoy seeking out the ones that people had hidden in their pockets for their own pet.  The weather was perfect, and my four-legged kids were on their best behavior.  And, I couldn’t help but notice, that the dogs seemed to bring out the nice in everyone.  Somehow, I think the world would be a better place if everyone had a dog 🙂


What makes people feel entitled to take what isn’t theirs? May 29, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — kieronquane @ 2:59 pm

A few months ago I came home to see several police cars lining the street in front of my house, and an officer walking away through my front yard.  As I pulled up, he told me that my neighbor’s house had been broken into.  He had checked my house, and from the outside it appeared to be secure.  I was still a bit unnerved as I walked in.  As I looked at my kitchen, I let out a sigh of relief as I realized that the completely trashed chaotic environment was a product of my kids, and not some burglar.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they had peeked in my house, thought that someone already had “hit” it, and walked next door.  That, of course leads to an entirely different story…

The other thought I had came back to me today, as I was reading a friend’s Facebook post.  She returned home after running some errands, and found that not only had her home been broken into, but the perp was still in the house.  Fortunately, he ran out the back door before she had completely entered the home.  But reading it caused me to raise a question, once again, what is it that makes someone feel that they are entitled to bust through someone’s door (or window), enter their home, and take their personal belongings?  It is a question that has been gnawing at me for some time, and I still can’t seem to find the answer.  I have worked hard to get where I am.  So has my neighbor.  So has my friend.  But to be told that a “professional” robbed the house next door is very wrong.  Professional??  Doctors are professionals.  Attorneys are professionals.  Teachers are professionals.  But a bum who is too lazy to educate themselves to the point that they can provide for themselves and others, and instead resorts to stealing – well, all I can say is that the word I would use to describe them is definitely NOT “professional”.


What is your passion? February 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — kieronquane @ 1:39 pm

Ten years ago, Terri & I decided that we wanted to give back to our community.  After researching a number of charitable organizations, we selected Make-A-Wish.  Starting in 2002, we made a monetary contribution after every closing, always in the name of our client.  Over the course of the past 10 years, we have been fortunate enough to send over $75,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northern Illinois.  We have granted wishes for computer systems, new puppies, shopping sprees, meetings with renown athletes and singers, and more trips to Disney than we can count.  Even better, we have had the chance to meet some of these remarkable children and their amazing families. I am not saying this to brag.  Or to get praise for doing a good job.  Or pats on the back.  I am saying this to demonstrate my passion about this fabulous organization.  Our wish children have touched our hearts.  Their stories can bring a tear to your eye and a smile to your face, all at the same time.  I still get choked up when I think back to a Make-A-Wish Ball (their major annual fundraiser) that Steve and attended a few years ago, at Union Station.  The guest speaker was Ollie’s mom.  Ollie was a little boy who lost his couragous battle with cancer.  His wish was to be a train.  Not to drive one.  Not to ride one.  But to be one.  Make-A-Wish worked with Metra to make Ollie a conductor for a day.  He sat with the engineer and dressed the part.  However, the night of the Wish Ball, Metra made Ollie’s real wish come true.  We all walked from the Grand Hall to the trains.  And there was a great big new shiny engine – named Ollie.  And there we stood.  Adults dressed for a black tie affair.  And there wasn’t a dry eye in the station.  Ollie was a train!  I still catch myself looking at the engine of every Metra train I see, hoping it is going to be Ollie…

This past December, we had a health scare when my 12 year-old son was diagnosed with a tumor in his leg.  It was less than 30 days from the diagnosis to the surgery, followed by the welcomed benign biopsy results.  December is still a blur.  Sleepless nights, trying to stay positive while fear kept creeping in, the “what-ifs” that would not go away, the complete lack of control and inability to protect my child.  The not-so-subtle message that sometimes our priorities get a bit out of whack.  The realization that as long as my children are healthy – nothing else really matters.  I am fortunate to have a once-again healthy child.  I wish nothing short of the same for little Connor and his family.  Make sure to read his story by clicking on the link below.  Make sure to follow your passion