Buying Tips

While searching and purchasing a home in Chicago can be very exciting, it can also be very time consuming and confusing. A & N Mortgage Services, Inc. wants to make it easy for you.

Whether you are a first time buyer, relocating or looking for a Chicago investment property, buying a home is a huge decision that requires extensive research. Utilize your A & N Mortgage Services, Inc. professionals’ experience and industry knowledge to ensure you find and purchase your dream home.

Before you start house hunting, review the buying tips below to be sure you obtain the right home at the right price.

Pre-Purchase Warning:

  • A home is a large expense. To avoid excessive debt, make sure you aren't making any other big purchases during this time.
  • In order to facilitate the approval of your loan, keep your money stationary in your accounts and minimize the amount of transfers you are making around this time.
  • Have realistic expectations of pricing and the features your house includes. Some features can't be changed, unless you want to pay for costly major reconstruction.

Housing Types

Before investing in a new property, it is important to determine which housing type (single family, townhouse, condominium) will be the most suitable for your long-term and short-term goals.

Getting Pre-Approved

Your ability to buy a new home depends on your ability to borrow. Be sure you get pre-approved for your loan before you start searching for a new home. Getting pre-approved before you house hunt will help you determine your price range so you don't waste any unnecessary time looking at homes that exceed your budget.

Needs Versus Wants

Differentiate your needs in a home from your wants. Every buyer has an ideal house in mind that includes specific features, layouts and styles. The reality of house shopping is that no house is going to contain all of your wants and needs, unless you design it yourself. Start your house search by listing the features you deem essential in your new home and then create another list for the features that aren't a necessity, but would be an added incentive. Creating a needs vs. wants list will get you into your new home quicker and save you and your chosen realtor time in the search process.

Selecting A Realtor

You will be working closely with your chosen realtor, so be sure to select a realtor you consider to be trustworthy and attentive to the needs of your family during this time. If you choose to work with a new agent, it is suggested that you verify the agent’s standing with your state’s governing agency to make sure they have an active license and a good reputation.

Research Surrounding Areas

Before you make an offer, be sure to research the neighborhood and local surroundings. If you have children, research the local schools, sports programs, clubs and check to see if your children will have playmates in the neighborhood. Take into consideration the distance you will be from local freeways, grocery stores, entertainment, restaurants and what the traffic is like. By educating yourself with these details you will get a more realistic expectation of what life in your new neighborhood will be like. Your realtor should be able to get you the local area information you need to make a wise decision.

Making a Decision

Everyone wants to purchase the right home for his or her situation. Regardless if you are single or married, usually more than one person is involved in the decision making process. Before you set an appointment to see a house, make sure the decision makers and those individuals whose opinions matter the most are available for the showings. Home viewing appointments and showings are a waste of time for you and your broker when all key decision makers are not present.

Educate Yourself

The real estate industry and industry terminology are foreign to the vast majority of people. Unless you have worked in the industry, or know someone who has, the whole process can be confusing and overwhelming. Make sure you have a general understanding of the latest real estate industry conditions and terminology so that you can keep up with the conversations and documents related to your home purchase. Below is a link to help you learn real estate lingo:

List of Real Estate Terms

Placing Your Bid

At this stage in the buying process it is difficult to separate yourself and your emotions from any one piece of property. If you are willing to place a bid on a residence then it is apparent that your interest in the property is high. In order to increase your chances of getting a particular house, shorten the time frame of your bid. By doing this you will minimize the amount of time the seller has to shop your bid against other offers.

Have an Open Mind

Have an open mind when going through the showing process and consider all the possibilities a certain home may encompass. Not every home is going to be decorated as you see fit, just remember that some things are easier to change than others. When viewing a home try to visualize it with your furniture and according to your taste. It is easy to paint walls, change carpeting and re-landscape. However, adding a bathroom, expanding a room, or knocking out walls may get costly.

Professional Home Inspection

Arrange for a professional home inspection before the closing to eliminate any unpleasant surprises and to make sure the home is exactly what you expect to be getting. This inspection should include a detailed visual examination of the interior and exterior of the property. It includes the heating, electrical systems, plumbing, air systems, windows and doors, condition of the roof and basement. This inspection is particularly important because it will help you identify any defective areas of the house that you may have previously overlooked. Neglecting this inspection may cost you thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs in the near future.

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A & N Mortgage Services, Inc. is a BBB Accredited Mortgage Banker in Chicago, IL

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