Maybe you’re buying your first home in Illinois, or perhaps you’re relocating to Illinois from another state. Either way, it’s important that you educate yourself on Illinois home loans before shopping for a home and mortgage. This article explains what you’ll need to know before buying a home in Illinois:

The price of homes in Illinois varies widely between zip codes. For example, in Chicago, Illinois, the median price of a home in the summer of 2005 was $305,000; however, the median price of a home in Oak Brook, Illinois, was 1.5 million. Overall, the median price of a home in Illinois in 2004 was $179,000.

The rate of job growth in Illinois is lower than the national average, among the lowest in the nation. Additionally, in the last few years the prices of homes in Illinois have been rising faster than personal incomes. However, the rate of foreclosures and bankruptcies in Illinois are lower than the national average. The rate of home appreciation is lower-than, but close to, the average national rate of home appreciation.

Illinois has certain laws that apply to their mortgages. For example, prepayment penalties are not allowed on either ARMs or fixed-rate mortgages with interest rates higher than eight percent. Additionally, Illinois passed a High Risk Loan Act in 2003 in an attempt to counteract predatory lending practices.

While the High Risk Loan Act does not put limits on interest rates and closing costs, it does prohibit the use of certain loan types. Loans with interest rates that exceed the Treasuries securities rate by more than six percent on a first mortgage or eight percent on a second mortgage and loans in which the total points and fees required to be paid by the borrower at closing exceed eight percent of the total loan amount are subject to certain regulations and limitations.

Lenders may make high-cost home loans, but they must abide by certain restrictions. For example, lenders may not collect repayment penalties after the borrower has owned the home for three years, they may not create a repayment schedule that results in an increase in the principal amount owed, and they must reasonably believe that a borrower will be able to make the payments on their mortgage.