Luxury Living Chicago Realty’s brokers are here to help with your home search every step of the way. Every team member is dedicated to providing personalized, professional, and prompt service. Our experienced agents share insights and recommendations of proven partners, including lenders, inspectors, and attorneys. We’ll ensure exceptional service for all your real estate needs. If you’re just getting started with the buying process, we’ve rounded up 10 helpful tips from our team:
#1) “Start early and take your time. Chicago’s housing market has limited inventory and if you’re trying to time a lease you could get stuck with a home you either don’t love, or worse, have to move into your parent’s basement. While overlapping rent and mortgage can pose a short-term challenge, the long-term benefits are almost always worth it.” – Jake Tasharki
#2) “Make sure you speak to a lender first and foremost. It’s imperative to speak to the “financial part of the equation first.” Ask someone you know what lender they have used. Ask your current real estate agent who he recommends. I’d recommend comparing both lenders; your friend/family referral and your agents’ recommendation. Tell the agent in layman’s terms your ideal plan because not everyone is destined for 10% with a 30 year loan. Lenders also have first-time buyer programs and they view you as a long-term client. Get a feeling for pricing and budget and then go to your real estate agent. Much easier if you tell your real estate agent your budget then them telling you what it should be.” – Sam Kahn
#3) “Don’t let a large down payment scare you from becoming a homeowner. Many people are unaware that you can buy a home with a down payment of less than 20%. There are lenders that offer loans with down payments of 5% or less. It is important to discuss your budget and goals with your lender to see all of the loan options available and determine what will work best for your situation. If a buyer puts less than 20% down they will be responsible for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) which is an additional expense that certainly needs to be considered, but even with PMI the numbers will often make sense for buyers that would otherwise be priced out.” – Riely Joosten
#4) “Make your mark. Remember that this will be your own home, so little cosmetic things can be changed to your liking: paint, counters, cabinets, doors, flooring etc. can become a statement of your personality and taste so do not let a bright or ugly color deter you from a solid investment opportunity.” – Spencer Terry
#5) “Be realistic. Take a deep look into your long-term financial and personal goals to see if buying makes sense. Your first home purchase will most likely not be your last and while it doesn’t need to be your dream home, make sure you are planning ahead with a home that will suit your needs 3-5+ years down the road.” – Travis Smith
#6) “Don’t write off small improvements as large and costly projects. No home is perfect and everyone has different tastes. If the home is very appealing to many buyers you can bet you’re going to pay a premium. Part of the fun in being a homeowner is putting your stamp on your own home. Don’t pay for someone else’s upgrades, which you may not care for in the near future anyway. Things like paint, hardware, and flooring are often low cost for high impact/return.” – Jake Tasharki
#7) “Shop around and ask questions. Talk to multiple mortgage companies and real estate agents. You want to make sure you can connect on a personal level, as trust and communication are paramount when you take on the biggest purchase of your life.” – Travis Smith
#8) “Trust your resources. A lender specializes financing. A real estate attorney specializes it contract, disclosure, document language. A real estate agent specializes in finding you the best home that suits your needs. Many times my clients love working with me because I have like-minded individuals that specialized in their craft working alongside me. The more you can narrow down what information you get from certain partners throughout this process, the better. Go to Sam for finding the home. Go to Mike for the numbers. Go to Adam to make sure everything legally is covered for you. That way you can focus on falling in love with a home.” – Sam Kahn
#9) “Home-buying is a massive investment and huge undertaking so it’s important to not let your emotions take hold. Partner with a broker who will take the time to sit down with you 3-6 months ahead of time to outline your goals, the entire buying process, and current climate of the market. It’s critical to align and refine realistic parameters and a sensible budget ahead of time; otherwise you are setting yourself up for headache and heartbreak. Extra points in finding a broker that will be candid about their professional opinion even if it’s not necessarily what you want to hear.” – Jake Tasharki
#10) “When you’ve found “the one” and are ready to make an offer, consult with your broker to determine a fair opening bid. This should be based on what you believe the property is truly worth and what you can afford. Many buyers’ first instinct is to submit an offer far below market value. This strategy often offends the seller and will not work when inventory is low.” – Vanessa Kanavos
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