Finding That 'Just Right' Home

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Want to make the home buying process much more organized and enjoyable?  

It's important to be realistic about what you can afford and what is available in the communities where you want to live.  It's also important to realize that no house is perfect, and you will need to make compromises.  Your goal should be to get a home you really like that fits your needs and your budget. 

Your first step should be to sit down and make a list of what features are in your perfect home and organize the items into 3 main categories:

Looking For The Perfect Neighborhood? Where to Start?

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Before you start looking for a home to buy, you need to consider the neighborhood. There's no point in falling in love with a home in an area that does not suit your lifestyle. If you realize after you move that the neighborhood's not for you, it's too late.

There are so many things to consider when you're searching for the perfect neighborhood. Safety, amenities, schools, your commute to work, do you need a car, just to name a few.  Where do you start?  Here are some essentials you shouldn't overlook when searching for a neighborhood where you will be happy living.

Why You Should Never Buy a Home Without the Help of a REALTOR®

Young buyers meeting with real estate agent

You wouldn't defend yourself from a lawsuit without the assistance of an attorney, nor would you diagnose and treat yourself for an illness . . . you would consult a physician.  Likewise, you should never make what may be the biggest financial decision of your life without the assistance of a professional REALTOR®.

First Time Home Buyer? 9 Steps To Take Now

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Are you looking to purchase your first home?

Here are 9 steps to take to help you decide whether you're ready to make the move:

1. Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your desired area. Do a quick search of actual MLS listings in the area where you would like to live so you have an idea of what you can get for your money.

HOME BUYER FAQ: How much money will I have to come up with to buy a home?

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HOME BUYER FAQ:  How much money will I need to buy a home?

Answer:  It depends on several of factors, such as the price of the home, the type of mortgage you get, and what seller concessions are negotiated in your purchase agreement. In general, you will need to have enough money to cover the cost of (1) earnest money, (2) down payment, and (3) closing costs (the seller can pay all or most of your closing costs, depending on the loan).

How To Make A Strong Offer That Gets Accepted

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Housing inventory in Chicago and the Chicagoland suburbs remains low, making our local residential real estate market a seller’s market. Well-priced homes in desirable locations are selling quickly, and in some instances, receiving multiple offers.

In this climate, making a stronger offer than other buyers will make all the difference. Your agent will guide you through the process and help you create the strongest possible offer within your comfort zone and affordability limits.

Homeownership Rates for the 'Under 35's' is Increasing

Buyers shaking hands with real estate agent

According to a recent Bloomberg report, millennials want to own their own homes, and in increasing numbers would like to live in the suburbs. They’re getting married and having children later than their parents did, but they are starting to “cross barriers typically associated with buying,” Bloomberg reports.

Approximately one-third of home purchases are made by millennials who are making the leap from renting to owning their own home.

GOOD NEWS! Fannie Mae Announces Significant Changes to Help People With Student Debt

Learn about the significant changes made by Fannie Mae to help people burdened with student debt qualify for home loans.  Many first-time home buyers will be affected by these changes.  

If you have been turned down for a home loan in the past because your debt-to-income ratio was too high, Fannie Mae just announced it has raised the DTI ratio from 45% to 50%.  If you can document that someone else is making your student loan payments, say your parents or your employer, Fannie Mae will no longer count it toward your DTI.

Moving From Renting To Owning - What You Need To Know

Home buyers walking arm in arm in park

Purchasing your first home is a major life — and financial — milestone. After weeks or months of going through the search process and tempering your expectations to market realities, you get to sign on the dotted line and, at long last, join the ranks of homeowners.

But before you do, it’s important to keep in mind all of the changes that come along with homeownership. Owning a home involves a lot more than sending your monthly payment to a different address. There are a few more considerations to make before taking the plunge.