Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5 Tips for Buying a North Shore Home This Spring

It’s an exciting time in Chicago’s North Shore as we’re beginning to see the effects of the spring season. Trees are filling in with green leaves and flowers are finding their way to the earth’s surface causing a beautiful, fresh backdrop for us to enjoy. As a North Shore Real Estate agent, it’s a favorite time of year as the spring also tends to be the most vibrant in the housing market!

For those of you who have been waiting for this season to buy a North Shore home, you’ll be happy to know that now is an ideal time to buy! Chicago’s North Shore had long been a sellers market until the national housing market downturn. The last five years have been leaning towards the North Shore buyer’s favor, with this year seeing additional benefits for the home buyer.

The surplus of North Shore homes for sale has given those hoping to buy a home in Winnetka, Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glencoe or any of the surrounding cities an upper hand. Even though buyers are coming to the table with less money to work with due to tighter lending regulations, sellers are having to price competitively in order to sell. These “perfect” market conditions for buyers make now a great time to jump into the North Shore Real Estate market!

If you are ready to begin your house hunt on Chicago’s North Shore, take a few minutes to go over these five tips that will help you throughout the home buying process!

1. Think Long-Term- When buying a home in today’s market, you want to plan for the future. Consider your basic needs such as security, proximity to your job and other daily activities, the school system and room to grow if need be. You want to plan to be in a home for a minimum of three to five years.

2. Research and Take Advantage of Low Rates- Many lenders are encouraging buyers to lock in a long-term loan, such as a 30-year mortgage, to ensure taking full advantage of the historically low interest rates. An adjustable rate mortgage can work for some buyers, but you’ll want to discuss with your North Shore Real Estate agent which option is best for you.

3. Be Prepared to Make an Offer- Before you even begin searching for your North Shore home, you’ll want to get pre-approved for a loan. This not only helps you determine your home buying budget, but will make the process run much more quickly once you’re ready to make an offer. This will also force you to get your credit in order and gives you the opportunity to correct any credit issues before entering the North Shore Real Estate market.

4. Find a Recommended North Shore Real Estate Agent- Having the right agent journey with you through the home buying process will make all the difference. Conduct research online or talk with family and friends to get their recommendations. Many North Shore Real Estate agents have testimonials on their websites that will give you a good indication of other buyer’s and seller’s experience with that agent. You’ll want to find an agent who has experience in the North Shore Real Estate market and with whom you feel you can work with for however long it takes for you to find your North Shore home.

5. Live Within Your Means- This is a lesson that our country seems to be learning collectively. We’ve seen the damage that can come from buying homes we can’t afford and digging ourselves further into debt. Buying a North Shore home that fits your budget as it stands now will give the home a chance to appreciate. In the long run, your finances will be healthier and you’ll more than likely be able to afford your dream home next time around.

If you are ready to jump into the North Shore Real Estate market and find your new North Shore home, please let me know! I’d enjoy walking with you each step of the way through the home buying experience. There are many beautiful North Shore homes currently on the market from which to choose! Feel free to contact me today to get started!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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