Starting The Home Buying Process
We understand buying your first home can be intimidating, but we are here to help ease you into the the process of finding your new home. The Sharon Falco Group has sold over 5,000 homes in virtually every price range, neighborhood, and town in northwest Chicagoland. Getting our clients were they need to be, and when they need to be there, is our number one priority. If you are interested in purchasing a home please review the steps below to get started!
1. Get Pre- Approved
In order to purchase a home, you must make sure you have the ability to obtain financing. Often, potential buyers may have something effecting their credit that they were not aware of. This may prevent them from buying at that time. Most lenders will be able to provide you solutions to be able to get you where you need to be in order to purchase. Any offer that will be submitted on your behalf must be accompanied by a pre-approval letter supplied by your chosen lender. This notifies the seller that you are a qualified and serious buyer.
If you are planning to purchase the property using certified funds, you must provide a "Proof of Funds" (POF) letter supplied by your bank. This POF letter is equivalent to a pre-approval letter from a buyer that is financing.
It is also important to understand the additional expenses that are associated with purchasing a home. For starters, a down payment is required for most loan types. FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans and Conventional loans have different requirements for percentage down. Therefore, it is essential to check with your lender for the complete down payment amount. The only exception to this is for Active Military and Veterans who are choosing to purchase using VA Financing which allows the purchaser to finance up to 100% of the loan.
Closing costs are also an added expense for the purchaser. Closing costs include lender fees, appraisal fees, title fees, and attorney fees. Currently, the average closing costs fees range from $4,000 - $5,000. It is possible to ask the seller to contribute to closing costs, but there is no guarantee that it will be feasible in all types of transactions.
Remember, there are programs available to assist you with your down payment and closing costs. We recommend you check with your lender for eligibility requirements.
To get started on your pre-approval today visit our Lender Options page.
2. Set a Budget
Establishing your comfort level is an imperative step in the home buying process. Although you may be pre-approved for $300,000 it does not mean you are comfortable with your payments at that purchase point. It is important to remember, home-ownership is a great responsibility. There are other added expenses you will be responsible for in addition to your loan amount. For example, your taxes, insurance, and association (if applicable) are all expenses that will tack on to your monthly payment. Make sure to account for all of these expenses when figuring your comfort level. We also recommend you take into consideration an emergency cushion, in the event that something will need to be repaired to the property.
3. Choose Locations
The one thing you will not be able to change about your new home is the land it sits on. There are many things you need to consider when choosing the communities you would like to live in. Ask yourself these questions when deciding on the towns you would be open to living in:
- How far am I willing to commute for work?
- Do I need to consider the school zones and districts in my decision
- Do I want to be close to family or friends?
- Do I need to be close to a certain highway or train station?
- Am I looking for a town with parks or forest preserves?
- The most significant question is, What is important to YOU?
We have provided information on the communities we service here:
4. Start Your Search
At this stage, you should have your budget set, pre-approval in hand, and a list of towns you are interested in looking in. Now that we are prepared to purchase we have the ability to start searching for your new home.
We will then set up a MLS (Multiple Listing Service) search which will allow you to have access to the most accurate data. This service will be the most efficient way to provide you listings that meet your specific criteria.
For more information about getting started contact us directly at 630-307-2760!