Wednesday, August 30, 2017

5 Questions First-Time Buyers on Chicago's North Shore Should Ask Themselves

Buying a home for the first time on Chicago's North Shore is exciting, especially knowing you could be saving money when you're no longer renting. But before you jump into the local real estate market, there are a few questions you will need to ask yourself to be sure this is the right time for you to purchase a home in Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook and the surrounding areas.

Did I just change jobs?
If you've just experienced a job change, it could take longer to be approved for a mortgage through your local lender. Lenders typically like to see a solid employment history of at least two years and will want to see your tax returns and pay stubs as proof of income. But don't worry if you don't meet this requirement, it is not exactly a deal breaker! There are still ways to go about applying for a mortgage during a job transition, just speak to your lender.

Do I have a down payment?
Buying a home on Chicago's North Shore commonly entails putting 20 percent down. However, if you do not have this down payment ready and waiting, you can opt for a lower percentage. A lower down payment will require private mortgage insurance which will add to your overall monthly payment, but allows you to get around the standard 20 percent.

Am I ready for maintenance?
If you're purchase a single family home on the North Shore, maintenance will fall into your hands. Ask yourself if you're ready to take on yard upkeep and repairs like cleaning gutters or fixing leaky faucets. These often come with their own set of costs, so be prepared!

Am I familiar with closing costs?
Did you know most first-time buyers are not aware of closing costs? These include title, insurance, mortgage processing fees, and the like. Ask your lender what closing costs will run with your particular loan product to get an idea of how much you will be expected to pay at the closing table.

Is buying a better option than renting?
In today's market, buying a home is indeed a better investment than renting simply due to rising costs alone. But you will want to run the number to make sure your purchase will make sense in your overall payment. You can use a mortgage calculator to enter in expenses and come up with the number you could be paying each month. Doing the math is always wise before buying!

As your real estate agent on the North Shore, you can count on me to help you prepare to make a home purchase. Give me a call today for a list of available properties in Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook and the surrounding areas!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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