Buying a home takes time. There are several steps along the way that need to be taken. Don’t feel like you need to rush, even if you’re planning on selling your existing home in the meantime.
Here are six steps to buying a home in Illinois that you should pay close attention to:
1. Do your homework.
Once you’ve decided to buy a home, the first thing to do is start researching houses. Look at homes and neighborhoods where you’d want to live.
Examine home prices in the area, as well as amenities and other features that you want in your dream home.
Look at market trends to see what types of homes are selling and how long they tend to stay on the market.
This can give you a better idea of what to expect once you’re ready to choose the right home.
2. Get your finances in order.
Now that you know what you’re looking for, the next step is to get your finances in order. Take some time to determine how much you can afford.
Start saving for a down payment as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to set a timeline for when you want to own a home.
This will help you decide how much you need to set aside for the down payment every month. Make a schedule or chart to track your progress.
You should also take the time to get pre-qualified for a loan.
The banker or loan officer will look at things like your employment history, debt ratio, and banking information so that they’ll know what kind of loan they can offer you.
Feel free to shop around until you find the best rates and terms for your own individual needs. Your real estate agent can provide you with a list of several trusted local lenders.
3. Find an agent.
You can go out and buy a home on your own, but most prospective home buyers lack the insight and knowledge of the market that a real estate agent can provide. An agent is a local expert and also a experienced negotiator to get you the very best value on the home.
The real estate agent will use this information to come up with a list of homes that meet your criteria. You don’t need to pay the real estate agent to meet with them. They receive commissions from the seller after a house is sold.
4. Decide on the home you want, and make an offer.
The next step is to start shopping. Your agent will schedule homes for you to tour. Don’t be afraid to ask questions while you’re there and take notes.
Once you’ve found the house that’s right for you, make an offer! Of course, if you’re working with a real estate agent, they will submit an offer on your behalf to make sure that your offer is reasonable, based on the estimated fair market value of similar homes in the area.
After you reach an agreement with the seller, your agent will arrange collection of any earnest money, inspections, and communication with your attorney.
Once inspections have been completed the closing of the home can take anywhere from a couple weeks up to 60 days depending on both the seller and buyers needs.
The title agent will conduct research to ensure that the seller is the rightful owner of the home.
They will also look for any liens, taxes or mortgage loans currently on the property as well as any easements or legal restrictions that the home may have. You will meet at the title company to sign all paperwork and then Congratulations the home is yours!
5. Have the home appraised and inspected.
After your offer has been accepted, you should make time to have the home appraised. An appraiser will give their unbiased estimate of what the house is worth.
This lets you know if the offer you’ve made is comparable to other properties in the area. The appraiser will conduct the estimate and inform all parties involved in the assessment.
Most offers usually require a home inspection. This is done to evaluate the home’s condition and identify any potential problems or pre-existing issues that should be addressed.
The inspection should be done within a few days of the offer being accepted. If there are things that need to be fixed, you can renegotiate or even withdraw your offer if the home needs significant work.
Both the home buyer and the home seller will receive a detailed report of the appraiser’s findings. You’ll also be able to conduct a final walk-through of the property before the sale is complete to see if any necessary repairs have been made by the seller.
6. Complete the paperwork, and move in!
The final act is to sign all of the required paperwork. This is usually done at the title company’s office.
It can take a few days to a week until the mortgage loan is funded after the signed paperwork has been sent to the seller.
After the seller receives their check, you’ll be handed the keys to your new home! Now you’re ready to move in!
This is the home buying process in a nutshell. Keep in mind that some steps can take more time than others to complete, but every part of the process is crucial to success.
The hardest part is getting started. It may be very frustrating at first thinking about where you want to live and what kind of home you want to have. Getting your finances in order can also take a while.
Thankfully, there are real estate agents, lenders and other experts that can help. They are there to answer your questions, give advice and help you through the process along the way.
Reach out to them whenever you need to. They want you to achieve your dream of owning a house that you’ll be proud to call your home for many years to come.
Have questions or want to see home in person?
Call or Text Chris 630-234-1770
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Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Christina Cash a call at 630-234-1770 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.