Your First Chicago Mortgage
Buying your first home is a big decision that you should consider very carefully. If you follow a few simple tips, your first Chicago mortgage can be a great experience that leads to an investment toward purchasing future homes.
Find a Home That Suits Your Needs
Many first time homebuyers go in with a wish list and the belief that they will be able to check off all of their boxes. The reality is that you often must compromise, and learn as you explore properties which things you can do without. Your dream might be a house, but a condo may actually better suits your needs. You may also dream of a fully finished home, but your budget actually better fits with a fixer upper that you can later turn around. Be sure though that you have the means to do some of the work yourself, or you can find yourself paying contractors beyond what the eventual value of the home will be.
What Can You Realistically Afford?
It is not always the best option to purchase a home at the high end of your mortgage qualification level. Consider things like your down payment, property taxes in that neighborhood, how much it will cost to commute, and how much you will have to spend in order to upgrade or maintain your home. Also consider closing costs and take a hard look at your final numbers before deciding how much house you can actually afford.
Choose a Qualified Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents help people find homes that fit their first Chicago mortgage needs, but they are also a tremendous help once you have identified a home you want to purchase. They submit offers, help with getting loans, and help complete the myriad of paperwork associated with a home purchase. Years of experience tell qualified agents where homes are located that fit your needs, and whether those homes are valued properly based on comparable sales in the area.
Have a Home Inspection
Sellers do not always disclose problems with their homes, and in fact in some cases may not be aware that problems even exist. A house may appear to be perfect, yet still may have problems with the foundation, roof, or other areas that be incredibly costly to fix. You real estate agent can help you negotiate with the seller if there are problems with the home. You can generally rescind your original offer if there are big problems, and you can then renegotiate based on who is going to take responsibility for paying for repairs.