Author Archive

Guide to Buying a Home   Leave a comment

Young family home buying

Young Families Face Different Home-Buying Challenges

The Great Recession and resulting housing crisis is still fresh in the minds of many young adults.

If you’re like many Millennials, especially those with young families, you may be gun-shy about entering the housing market. That’s understandable, but having a growing family may be the push you need.

Click to see today’s rates (Sep 6th, 2017)

First-Timers: Buying Requires A Mortgage

Before hitting the open house circuit, a young family should evaluate its financial situation to determine if it makes sense to buy.

About 35 percent of Americans pay cash for home purchases, according to CoreLogic. However, most of those buyers are established in their careers and a little older. They typically have sold a previous home and can put some of their profit towards their down payment.

You, on the other hand, are probably just getting started and don’t have a pile of cash to make your first housing buy.

You’ll need a mortgage.

The Low Down On Down Payments

With a few exceptions, mortgage lenders don’t loan you 100 percent of the price of the house. You need a down payment, some contribution of your own towards the purchase price, to qualify for a loan.

If you have the standard 20 percent, $20,000 for every $100,000 of the property price, decent credit and reliable income, you’ll probably have a fairly easy time qualifying for a mortgage.

You also avoid mortgage insurance, which can add hundreds to your mortgage payment each month, depending on your credit score, down payment size and mortgage program.

Low Down Payment Options

Unfortunately, most young families don’t have that luxury. They may be paying off student loans. There could be child care expenses, and not everyone makes Silicon Valley wages right out of school.

Money might be tight, but there are several mortgage programs designed to help young families with down payments. Many have income-eligibility requirements, and the larger your household, the higher your earnings can be.

The chart below lists the low down payment options.

young family buy a home

Qualifying For Your Family Home: Credit

Mortgage lenders consider several factors to determine if you qualify for a home loan. One of the most important pieces of information is your credit score. In general, a “good” score falls between 680 and 739. (A score of 740 or higher is usually classified as “excellent.”)

Years of data show that your credit score is an accurate indicator of how likely you will successfully repay your mortgage. The credit scores of young families don’t just affect their ability to get approved for a mortgage — they influence the cost of that mortgage.

The most important factor in your credit score is your payment history — pay on time over years and your score will reflect your responsible debt management. The other major component is the amount of credit you use compared to the amount you have access to. That’s called a “utilization ratio,” and the lower it is, the better your score.

Income Needed To Buy A Home

Mortgage lenders look carefully at your income when they consider your application. Typically, they prefer applicants’ debt-to-income (DTI) ratios to be 43 percent or lower.

The DTI equals your proposed mortgage payment (principal, interest, property taxes and homeowners insurance) plus the minimum payments for your other accounts like credit cards, student loans and auto financing, divided by your gross (before tax) income.

If your new house payment would be $1,500, and your other payments come to $500, and your income is $5,000 a month, your DTI would be 40 percent. That’s $2,000 divided by $5,000.

You can get approved with higher DTIs, but you’d normally have to compensate for that shortcoming with a higher down payment, excellent credit, or other factor.

The Cost Of Homeownership

Many mortgage programs for first-time buyers, including young families, require homebuyer education for a reason. That’s because most new buyers don’t know how many costs there are in addition to their mortgage.

Plan on at spending at least one percent of your home’s value each year on maintenance and repairs. Your mortgage payment will probably include principal and interest, property taxes and homeowners insurance.

However, you may also have to pay dues to a homeowners association, the cost of a flood insurance policy, or  for other items like a home security system.

Click to see today’s rates (Sep 6th, 2017)

Mortgage Pre-Approval

Doing a through review of your finances and pulling your credit reports should give you an honest assessment of whether or not you are ready to take on a mortgage. If you’re ready, get pre-approved by a lender before you go house hunting.

Pre-approval gives you more credibility with sellers when you make an offer. Pre-approvals usually last 60-90 days, so don’t waste this time trying to figure out what type of house you want or the communities you want to live in.

Best Communities For Young Families

Determine the type of community and home your family needs. If you have champagne dreams on a diet soda budget, step back and realize that smaller, cheaper places are called “starter homes” for a reason.

You can always move up later. For now, keep your emotions in check and avoid buying more home than you can afford.

Buying in an area with good schools can be a smart investment — both in your children’s future and your own bank account when it’s time to sell.

Factors like safety, other families to socialize with, and things like parks or playgrounds should probably take precedence over gee-whiz kitchens and impressive man-caves, at least for a few years.

Be Conservative

Even when both parents are employed, young families should consider homes they can afford on only one salary. It’s safer to have a financial cushion when you have kids.

One parent could lose a job, or a medical emergency could drain the family bank account. And you’re probably also trying to save for retirement and / or college.

A smaller starter home in an older neighborhood may make more sense for first-time homebuyers on a strict budget. In many cities, new home communities come with higher price tags and a longer commutes. That increases your fuel costs and possibly your car insurance premiums.

Find time to test out the commute for any neighborhoods you are seriously considering before putting in an offer on a home.

Be Creative

If you or your spouse is handy around the house, purchasing a fixer-upper could be a smart move. But only if you know you can handle home repairs and renovations.

It might not be practical or convenient to undertake a lot of renovation projects with small children in the mix.

Finally, consider multifamily property. Purchasing a property with two to four units could allow you to live rent-free in one of the units.

This option makes sense if you don’t mind the prospect of being a landlord and being on call to deal with tenants.

What Are Today’s Mortgage Rates?

Current mortgage rates for young families depend on the home loan they select, the amount available for a down payment, and their credit scores. Also, how smart they are when they shop for their mortgage. It’s always a good idea to compare quotes from several lenders before choosing a loan.

Guest Blogger:

Sarah Miller
Resources Editor



Bartlett Hills Ladies 18 Hole Golf League By Barbara Bostian

In 1978 a group of 9 women formed an 18 hole golf league at Bartlett Hills Golf Course.
At that time, the course was privately owned and clubhouse was in an old barn. When the Village of Bartlett purchased the course, the barn was torn down, the course was improved, and the beautiful clubhouse was built. The ladies golf league continued through it all, and 2018 will be their 50th year. From the early years until now, ladies compete within the league every Wednesday morning from May through September.

The Bartlett Hills ladies also compete in the Intersuburban Golf League (IGL). The IGL is comprised of several divisions which include teams from courses in the Northern, Northwestern, Western, and Southern suburbs. In the mid-1990’s, Bartlett Hills ladies won the IGL Championship 2 times.

Many of the golfers enter many different competitions both locally and statewide. BHLL continuously provides a great experience, healthy competition, and enjoyment of the game of golf.

The league has 4 divisions based on handicap. New members are always welcome.  If you are interested in more information, please call or stop by the pro shop.

Phil Lenz
Golf Professional
(630) 837-2741


Posted May 17, 2017 by bartletthillsweddingblog in Bartlett Hills

FAQ’S Update

Bartlett Hills FAQ’s

-What are your accommodations?
Up to 230 comfortably, with plenty of mingle space for guests and server room. Bartlett Hills can host larger parties of 250 with seating on the dance floor or up to 280 with no dance floor.

-Can guests utilize the Veranda area?
Yes, guests love the outdoor accommodations – they are welcome in all areas of the clubhouse.


Are children’s meals available?
We provide children’s meal at a reasonable price and we also provide for all your vegetarians, vegans or any other dietary needs your guests may have with advance notice. We also discount meals for your vendors.

Are there hotels in your area?
We do offer a list of area hotels that provide shuttle service on our website at This list is just for your convenience and we do not have any affiliation with them for discounted room rates. Many will offer the bride and groom special discounts or upgrades with a minimum room blockage. Most of the hotels on the list are approximately 15-20 minutes from our facility.

Is there any flexibility with Saturday night minimums?
Typically not during the peak wedding season (May-October). However, for last minute bookings with open cancellation dates there is a bit of wiggle room.  Off-season we offer a Friday 10% discount off the entrée price and free hors d’oreuvres for the cocktail hour and for Sunday 15% off the entree price.

Who provides your wedding cakes?
Your guests will enjoy the delicious cakes and authentic Italian desserts and pastries from Il Giardino del  Dolce Bakery. Voted the Best Bakery in Chicago by Chicago Magazine. Il Giardino also provides all the mini pastries for our sweet tables. They have replicated many styles of wedding cakes from website and bridal magazines as well. They love to customize too.

Can I use my own vendors?
Bartlett Hills will provide a vendor list for your convenience, but you are welcome to use your own.  You can also provide your own centerpieces and wedding cake and we will credit your account. We strongly urge you to hire professional wedding vendors so that your wedding day will be the best it can be.
Any limitations on decorating?
Somewhat. For the most part, the fantastic view of the outdoors and the décor that we provide is sufficient. Some décor must be done by a professional. For some more extensive decorating done by Bartlett Hills staff, a service fee may apply. Most weddings typically accrue about 2 hours of clients’ set-up of escort cards, favors, and accessories. All additional fees are based on each couples individual needs. Typically additional fees can run approximately up to $100 to $150 per hour.

-Can we taste test the food?
You sure can. Before an actual booking you’re welcome to come in for a pre-tasting on the evening of another event. Typically a taste test for a booked wedding occurs about 3 months prior to your date. This time is also used to plan all the details and flow of the reception. At this taste you’ll be trying soup, three entrees and wedding cake too. The taste/finals lasts approximately 2 1/2-3 hours in duration.


-How many events does your venue have at one time?
Only one. Yours. You can make your own times, extend your time, come in early for hair & make-up (with ceremony booking) or pictures. Your event would be exclusive at Bartlett Hills.

Some Other Highlights of Bartlett Hills Wedding Receptions…
Only One Reception-YOURS!
Outdoor Ceremonies with Indoor Alternative
Private Outdoor Veranda
Real Sized Cocktails, Large Selection of Bottled Beer & Wine, Premium Liquor Package
Low Saturday Minimums with Tax & Service Included in Minimum Amount
Friday, Sunday and Off-season Incentives
Professional, Seasoned and Friendly Staff to Work with
Fantastic Lush Landscaped Wooded Views w/Pond & Fountain

And so much more!!

We appreciate your interest and consideration of Bartlett Hills and hope you can visit soon.

Birthday Party

What a fantastic 1st birthday party theme at Bartlett Hills. Hot air balloons & moonwalk. The kids (and I even saw some adults jumping in that moonwalk) loved it.

Carnival Themed Girls Night Out

Thank you to all the 120+ ladies who attended last nights Girls Night Out which was a Carnival themed event. Great snacks such as corn dogs, pretzel bites, funnel cakes, flavored popcorn, elephant ears & more were provided by Chef’s Anthony & Dustin of Bartlett Hills GC, Peggy O’Hara’s Pub, Marcia at Gordon Food Service & Greco Foods all located in Bartlett. The ladies also enjoyed a pasta station with choice of marinara or alfredo sauce. David from Bartlett Town Liquor offered a superb selections of wines for the ladies to taste and a nice array of assorted cheeses were also on display.

Martha Katselis from Closet Boutique (Little Shop on Oak) hosted 3 very trendy fashion shows all organized and coordinated by Tracy Opel. We appreciated all the volunteer models and for Salon 418 for the great hair and make-up transformations.

And of course we would like to thank all our enthusiastic Vendors who had fantastic displays of all their merchandise. Some of the vendors we had included Burseth Farms with goat milk soaps & lotions, Love your Lips, Lula Roe, Garden Gypsy, Canvas Paint Parties (I can’t wait to do this), Thirty-One Gifts, and even a psychic reader.

Our DJ and MC extraordinaire Steve Rogalla at All-Pro Music played great tunes for the fashion shows and had quite a few of the ladies up and dancing until close. Icon Photo Booth was pretty busy throughout the night capturing the fun moments amongst all the girlfriends attending.

And a very special thank you to Evan Blum our coordinator and host! Evan put in tons of hours planning, searching for the perfect variety of vendors, organizing, ordering and executing all the details for a fantastic night out for the girls. You amaze us all.

This event is always held in the month of November on a Thursday from 5pm to 9pm. We hope to see you there next year.

Purple Wedding Flowers

Purple Wedding Flowers desc

Source: Purple Wedding Flowers

Posted April 14, 2016 by bartletthillsweddingblog in Bartlett Hills

11 Fresh Wedding Favors For The Eco-Chic Couple

11 Fresh Wedding Favors For The Eco-Chic Couple.

Source: 11 Fresh Wedding Favors For The Eco-Chic Couple

I love #8/Fresh Fruit Favors for Guests to Enjoy or Take Home.

Posted April 7, 2016 by bartletthillsweddingblog in Bartlett Hills