Wednesday, January 9, 2019

What are Closing Costs on Chicago's North Shore?

It may seem surprising, but did you know that the majority of homebuyers today aren't aware of closing costs? You may find that you have prepared for homeownership with your down payment and even have your first month's mortgage ready in your bank account, but this very important set of costs is commonly overlooked. 

As your local real estate agent on Chicago's North Shore, I've included a few key notes on closing costs below so you are better equipped to make the biggest, most important purchase of your life!

What Are Closing Costs?

Closing costs are recurring and non-recurring fees connected to both your lender and other parties in the sale—for instance, an attorney, inspector and title company—and are to be paid upfront at the closing table. Unless you have financed them ahead of time or worked your offer to arrange for the seller to pick up the tab, unfortunately there is no way around these costs.

Closing costs typically include:
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Title insurance
  • Loan origination
  • Home inspection
  • Appraisal
  • Document prep
  • Property line survey
  • Title search and recording
  • Loan underwriting
  • Wire transfer

How Much Will They Cost?

Closing costs tend to range between two and five percent of the total purchase price of the home. 

How Can You Prepare?

It is true that you may not know how much you will owe in closing costs until you find a home in Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Wilmette, Evanston, Glenview, Riverwoods, Bannockburn, or other North Shore communities and meet with a lender, but you can still gather a general idea based on your price range alone. For instance, with a budget for a new home around $150,000, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $7,500 in closing costs.

Once you've met with your lender on the North Shore, you can estimate how much you will owe in closing costs given your loan product, loan amount and the interest rate you are offered. You can use a mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payment and how that will fluctuate depending on if you've decided to finance the closing costs into it. 

Give me a call today to get started on your North Shore home search or with any questions you have about buying a home in today's market.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

North Shore Real Estate
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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

5 New Year's Resolutions to Make as a North Shore Homebuyer

Have you sat down and made a list of your new year's resolutions yet? It's always a fun exercise to take stock of your goals for the year ahead and make a plan on how to achieve them. For many on Chicago's North Shore, you might find that they are personal or health related, but one of them might be buying a home!

There are dozens of steps to take to successfully become a homeowner in 2019 and as your local North Shore real estate expert, I am happy to help you make that a reality! Below are 5 new year's resolutions to make in order to buy a home in the new year:

Eliminate indulgences
It might not be your favorite path to homeownership, but cutting indulgences can be a quick and simple way to save for a down payment. For instance, could you stand to cut cable and instead use Netflix? Or on the same note, is there a streaming service you could cancel? You might want to cut dining out and your morning coffee runs, instead packing your lunch and brewing coffee at home. These little indulgences can mean big savings if they're avoided!

Start a home savings account
You can't save specifically for your home if you don't have anywhere for it to go! Open a savings account specifically for your new home. Get into the habit of making weekly or monthly deposits—whatever you can afford—and watch your down payment grow!

Do a mortgage test run
The only way to truly know if you can swing being a homeowner in Glencoe, Highland Park, Deerfield, Winnetka, Northbrook, Evanston, Lake Forest, Wilmette, and the surrounding areas, is to do a test run. Try saving like a homeowner—meaning you set aside your monthly housing expenses and an amount for your emergency fund—and see if you can live with your new budget. 10% of your mortgage payment is a good rule of thumb to account for maintenance fees, so start there.

Pay all bills on time
There is nothing that can raise a red flag quicker to a lender than unpaid bills. If you intend to get approved for a mortgage in 2019, it is best to make sure you pay all of your bills on time. Not only does this keep your credit score high, but it shows lenders you are capable of managing a monthly payment.

Visit open houses
This may seem counterintuitive if you're not yet ready to buy a home on the North Shore, but attending open houses allows you to see what properties are available in your price range. This gives you a more realistic approach to the market and could even motivate you to save more!

Ready to make your dream of owning a home a reality this year? Give me a call today!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

North Shore Real Estate
View North Shore Listings
Visit My Website

Local Expert... with National Connections!