Chicago's North Shore - North and Northwest Suburbs Real Estate Archive

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Suggestions for First Time Home Buyers

by Allyson Hoffman

If you are considering buying your first home in Chicago's North Shore, North or Northwest Suburbs, there are inevitably many things to consider.  To streamline the process from start to finish, following these recommendations will help to ensure a successful adventure to homeownership:

 - Arrange for your mortgage financing up front even before you start to look for a home. The lender will focus on your ideal price range, your maximum loan value, and whether there are any credit issues you should address before buying. The lender should also prepare a pre-approval letter, which you’ll need to provide the seller when you make an offer.

 - Consider reviewing a blank contract form with your agent before you write an offer. This will familiarize you with contract details and may prompt questions.  You may also want your agent to explain the process of negotiating and counteroffers.

- Use buyer representation. It is important to have an agent who owes his or her total loyalty to you. So be sure to discuss your representation options with your agent. If you are purchasing one of your agent’s listings or their company listings, make sure you understand what your agent can and cannot do for you.

- Review the seller’s disclosure(s) before you make an offer. It’s important that your offer reflect the condition of the property. The seller could disclose a repair or condition that would affect what you would be willing to pay. So you should know this before you decide on an offer price.

- If the property has middle-age or older systems, consider asking for a one-year home warranty policy when you write the offer. Some sellers will actually offer these as an incentive to purchase to cover items that could malfunction during the first year of ownership since cash used for down-payment, closing costs, and other home necessities can deplete your cash reserves for potential repairs. A home warranty policy should reduce the risk of a future cash crunch if a warranted item needs repair that first year.

- Be sure to get the property inspected by a professional licensed home inspector who should provide you a written report documenting the condition of your new home. Follow the inspector’s advice if he recommends that you have another system specialist inspect a suspected troublesome feature.  Also ask your inspector to explain how to work or maintain appliances and unfamiliar home systems.

Have your agent prepare a market analysis of the property before you make an offer. It’s important to know what similar properties are selling for so that you don’t overpay. This process will assist you in assessing value should the seller remain firm on his/her price.

Are you a first time buyer who needs help finding your first home? Don’t hesitate to contact me to help you find the perfect home for you and your family!

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of geralt/Pixabay.com

Get the Best from Your Real Estate Agent

by Allyson Hoffman

You’ve decided it’s time to buy a new home, and you’re ready to hire a real estate agent to guide you through the process. Wise decision!

Presumably, your selected agent wants to provide you the very best service possible.  Here are several things you can do to help your real estate agent produce those results:

1Share your expectations
. Exactly what do hope your real estate agent will do for you and what are your preferred methods of communicating – phone, email and/or text?

2. Get pre-approved for a loan. Knowing your affordable price range in advance of your formal home search assures a better chance of finding and securing that ideal property because sellers typically require prospective buyers to have been pre-approved for a mortgage.

3. Be clear about wants and needs. Create a list of what you’re looking for in a home and share that with your real estate agent. Include as many details as possible – from the price range supported by your loan pre-approval to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need as well as the type of neighborhood you prefer to live in and the style of homes you like.

4. Be honest and frank. Speak up regarding homes you have viewed and share exactly what you liked and disliked about each. It will help your agent to better understand your expectations and make suggestions designed to guide you to the right property.

5. Move at your own pace. If you feel overwhelmed or tire when viewing more than a certain number of homes in one day, tell your agent so that your home tours can be designed to match your comfort level.

6. Be prepared to negotiate. While your agent will manage contract negotiations for you, be prepared to compromise. Ultimately some “give and take” will likely be your key to success when you finally select a home that you love, Offers, counter-offers and sometimes many counter-offers are necessary to reach an agreement and secure the home you want. Don’t risk losing it because you’re unwilling to negotiate.

7. Remember that you have the final word. Your agent can, and most likely will, make suggestions, but the final decisions are always yours. With your agent’s guidance when you locate the home that fits your needs, be ready to act quickly.

Just like any other relationship, a client-agent relationship, if managed effectively, should produce a more confident and relaxed setting that results in better decisions designed to help you achieve your real estate goals.

When you are ready to find the right real estate agent for you and your family, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, provide information on the buying process, make recommendations to trusted lender professionals who can assist you in determining how much you can borrow, and/or help you find your dream home.



Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo licensed from iStockphotos.

Beware of These Five Mistakes Between Your Loan Preapproval and Closing

by Allyson Hoffman

Real estate agents typically advise their clients to complete the loan preapproval process even before beginning to search for a new home. The process should clearly be worth the effort because once preapproved for a loan, prospective borrowers know what a lender is willing to contribute towards their purchase. Additionally, this ensures avoiding the wasting of valuable time looking at unaffordable homes.

It is important to keep in mind that a preapproval letter, even with a contract, is not a final approval. Unfortunately, inexperienced homebuyers sometimes make the costly mistake of assuming that final approval of their loan is guaranteed, a misstep that can potentially delay acceptance or lead to the loan be denied.

Here are five common mistakes to avoid while waiting to close on your home.

Taking on New Debt

While waiting to close on your home, don’t add new debt for household items such as furniture, appliances or decorating accents.  Avoid financing any major purchases like a new car or boat.

Sometimes even minor expenses can also be problematic when there are too many new charges to your credit cards. So, during this period, spend wisely and in a fashion that reflects your prior habits.

Moving Large Amounts of Money

Play it safe and let your down payment funds “age” for at least 90 days in your bank account(s).  Because lenders like stable finances and will review your bank statements during underwriting, it’s important to avoid large deposits or withdrawals. These transactions can raise red flags that ultimately delay the approval process.

Moreover, document thoroughly should you plan to use a gift or the proceeds from the sale of an item such as boat or car. Your lender will require paperwork to track the source of those monies.

Forgetting to Pay Your Bills on Time

There’s a lot going on when planning a move, so make sure to keep track of your bills. Packing can also be distracting. So whether you are moving to your new home or an interim location, make sure to contact all your providers ahead of time, verify all your bills are current and provide your forwarding address to minimize billing problems.

One way to avoid missing an important payment that could negatively impact your credit is to consider setting up online, automatic bill payments through your bank or with each provider individually.

Co-Signing for Anything

Some folks say you should never cosign a loan. That’s debatable, but you should certainly never cosign a loan while in the process of buying a home.  Lenders will consider this new debt, recalculate your debt-to-income ratio, and potentially reconsider approving your home loan.

Switching Jobs

Lenders love stability. So, if you are in the process of buying a home, this is not the time to change jobs or even the way your pay is structured – say from salary to commission based.  However, if you are offered that dream job at twice your current salary and they need an answer by the end of the week, call your loan officer and keep him in the loop. A loan officer who knows your situation can be proactive, possibility restructuring your loan package for underwriting so that no one is surprised a week before closing.

Minimize your risk by avoiding these contract-to-closing mistakes and streamline your smooth transition into your new home.

If you have any questions about mortgage pre-approval or the status of your credit, contact me for reliable references to lenders who deliver expert advice and results.  They can offer suggestions to improve your score or  recommend a wide range of loan options, and I can help you find the home of your dreams.



Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of am0903cass at Flickr.com.

 

Your Home Inspection Reveals …

by Allyson Hoffman

Congratulations!  Your offer has been accepted and you’ve gone under contract on a new home. However in most cases, the sale is still subject to satisfactory results of a variety of inspections prior to its closing.  Although inspections are not mandatory, a home inspection is strongly recommended, regardless of whether the home is new construction or over 100 years old.  Moreover, some types of loans, such as FHA financing actually require an FHA appraisal/home inspection. Typically other lenders permit buyers to decide if they want to assume the risk involved in the purchase of a new home without the benefit of a home inspection.  Opting out of this highly-advised inspection process may prompt your realtor to have you sign a letter stating that you have waived the right to step.

A home inspection is exactly as the name states.  It is an inspection of the home, typically conducted by a trained and licensed home inspector.  His, or her job, is to probe, detect and identify any deficiencies in the current condition of the home.  Additionally, inspectors can also recommend areas or systems that would be best evaluated by specialists.  These could include roofers, HVAC contractors, electricians, plumbers and/or structural engineers, amongst others. Ultimately, the inspector should provide the client with a detailed and photo-documented report summarizing the discoveries, judgments and recommendations.  Any home buyer can then use this report to make informed decisions about their pending purchase.  Some buyers presume that the home inspector is guaranteeing future conditions, efficiency or life expectancy of areas investigated.  This is not the case.  The current condition of the home is the main focus of the analysis.

Home inspection reports can be presented in various forms.  However, most reports address similar pertinent areas of evaluation.  The pre-inspection agreement will be the first document signed by both the inspector and home buyer.  This agreement states that the inspector agrees to conduct an inspection for the purpose of discovering major deficiencies in the current condition of the home.  It often bullet points all that will be inspected, pointing out that latent and concealed defects are excluded.  The agreement will also explain that they are not looking for environmental hazards, such as radon gas, lead-based paint, or airborne hazards. (There are other specialized inspection companies that perform these services). 

So what should a home inspection provide?  First, the home inspector should assess the structural condition of the house and basement (if applicable).  The inspector typically checks the soundness of the structure and for the absence or presence of water damage.  If there is no basement, the slab, or crawl space will be surveyed.  Secondly, the heating and cooling unit/units are assessed.  There should be remarks regarding their present condition, age, type and any recommendations for repair or further analysis.  Examples could include the necessity for cleaning/maintenance, the presence of moisture on or in the lines and evidence of rust or cracked heat exchangers.  The inspector will also report on the plumbing and bathrooms.  Water lines, pipes, drains, water heater/heaters, and all areas of the baths (tub, commode, fan, shower, and vanities) will be commented upon.  The electrical system including the circuit breaker or fuse box is also reviewed for electrical hazards, service capacity, proper circuits/wiring and conductors as well as outlets and fixtures.  In particular, the kitchen will also be scrutinized heavily from the countertops and cabinets, to the sink, dishwasher, range/oven, refrigerator and ventilation which should be tested for functionality and compliance with code regulations.  Investigation of the floors, walls, ceilings, stairs, fireplaces, door and windows are also surveyed and reported in the interior section of the report. Lastly, the inspector should enter the attic space checking for moisture, stains, insulation and proper ventilation. 

The exterior of your new home will also be reviewed in the home inspection.  Many times inspectors start on the outside and then do the interior of the property.  From ground up to the roof, the inspector examines the condition of everything from the shingles and flashing to the chimney, gutters, and downspouts.  Exterior walls coverings and trim (siding, brick, etc.), porches, garages, and carports are also included in the analysis.  Finally, the property or grounds on which the house sits, gets an examination.  In this section notation for driveways, walkways, retaining walls, landscaping, fencing, grading, decks, patios, porches and balconies is provided. 

The most important part of your home inspection analysis report is the summary page(s).  These pages will itemize any, and all, findings or remarks regarding deficiencies and defects found by the inspector.  Once received, it is fully up to the purchaser to determine what, if anything, to do with this information.  If the list is extensive, buyers will often ask the sellers to make repairs at their expense prior to closing or to provide credits.

Performing an inspection of this scope is nearly be impossible to accomplish without qualified assistance.  So do not opt out of having a trained and licensed professional thoroughly assess your new home.  Spending the money and time upfront for a quality home inspection may well save thousands of dollars later on repairs.  To easily avoid this potential calamity, simply perform a home inspection.  Indisputably, this decision is of paramount importance.  For additional information regarding the sale or purchase of a home, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your home.

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

Photo provided by flickr.com

The Truth About Home Prices as Interest Rates Rise

by Allyson Hoffman

Interest rates have begun moving upward, a new concern to buyers currently searching for a home. Understanding how increasing interest rates impact the price of the home will help to determine the time to buy and how much house buyers can afford.

How Interest Rates Impact Affordability

Lower interest rates reduce the overall amount paid for a home and the monthly financial obligations. Since payments directly tie to the loan amount and therefore, the amount a buyer can be approved for, any change in interest will inevitably make a substantial difference in what type of home is affordable and potentially affect a buyer’s ability to find the house of their dreams.

For example, consider a $300,000 house mortgaged with a 4% interest rate and a loan term of 30 years. Presuming a 20% down payment ($60,000) and a loan amount of $240,000, monthly principal and interest payments would be $1,146.00. If that interest rate increased by even one percent to 5%, monthly payments would correspondingly rise to $1,288.00. This payment, based upon the higher interest rate, is nearly equal to the payments a buyer would be making if they had paid $330,000 for the same home mortgaged at 4% -- or a whopping ten percent increase in the price.

While a buyer may be comfortable affording the extra $142 per month, their lender will need to approve the loan for the higher amount as well. Depending upon a buyer’s debt-to-income ratio, this may be feasible or not.  So if you are looking at the top of your budget range, even a $100 increase in your payments could mean the difference between approval and rejection. Assess your basic payment information with online mortgage calculators.

How to Deal with Rising Interest Rates

For those actively in the market to buy a home soon, now is the time to act before rates rise further. Lower interest rates and home prices make purchasing a property more affordable.

One way to increase affordability and purchase a home priced near the top of your budget (or just over) is to pay points on your loan. Points are determined based upon the amount of your loan with each point equaling 1% of your mortgage balance. Points are treated as prepaid interest on your loan and thereby can reduce the rate offered, the associated payments required and thus, the affordability to the borrower.

In summary, when shopping for a home and selecting the right financing, pay attention to both the interest rate and the price of the property. This will help to ensure that you choose a property that fits your needs and financial capability. For additional information on the buying process or recommendations to trusted lender professionals who can assist you in determining how much you can borrow, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you find your dream home.



Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets. 
  

Image courtesy pixabay.com

The Benefits of Having a Buyers’ Real Estate Agent on Your Team

by Allyson Hoffman

In today’s world many people presume that they can use the internet and advice from friends to successfully navigate through the home buying or selling process. Yet,  but with ever- changing real estate market conditions, it advisable to consider hiring an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent when you are looking to buy a Chicago North Shore, North or Northwest suburban home. 

Here are the top 10 reasons:

  • Experience

Purchasing a new home may well be the largest expenditure that you‘ll ever make.  So it simply makes good business sense to enlist all the help you can get.

A seasoned real estate agent has likely completed more real estate transactions already this year than most folks will do in a lifetime. That adds abundant knowledge and experience that can help to assure safely and securely navigating the buying or selling process.

  • Knows the Market 

If you are buying, a real estate agent will likely know what's happening in a particular area, or neighborhood, and ultimately help you to determine if a home of interest offers a good value.  An agent can provide current "comps" (comparable properties) for similar recently-sold homes, as well as those that are currently on the market.

Established firms and agents will have access to a host of proprietary tools and property information that may be otherwise difficult, or even impossible, to find on your own. Well-informed decisions will undoubtedly be easier with the abundance of data an agent can provide.

  • Saves Time

A good real estate agent will handle organizing tours and access for you to view new properties as they become available by arranging appointments with the listing offices at times that are as convenient as possible even if your time is somewhat limited.

However, keep in mind that accessibility is a two-way street! So, try to maintain as much flexibility as flexible as possible given that appointments may need to work for the seller and their agent too.

  • Good Listener

When you choose a real estate agent, look for someone who asks as many questions as you do.  A skilled agent will note any price range limitations you provide but should also help to expand your options for available properties by adjusting their recommendations based upon other insights gained in your discussions.

A strong agent will not only seek information but also truly listen to your point of view.  Your personal needs and goals should be reflected in their suggestions.  For example, you may be starting a family, need to configure your new home to accommodate an office or note your readiness to downsize.

  • Tells the Truth (even when you don't want to hear it!) 

Expect that a good real estate agent to sporadically challenge you by asking tough questions and even disagreeing on occasion.  When a recommendation seems to miss the mark, wait to make any decision until you have garnered all the facts your agent can provide.  Learn to trust your agent's intuition, insights, and perspectives.  More often than not, they will lead you in the right direction.

  • Respects Your Budget

One of the most important steps that your real estate agent can assist you with is to determine how much you can afford to spend.  To that end, he or she may well ask you to consult with your accountant, financial planner, and/or mortgage broker before you make this important decision.

Because there's a lot more to purchasing than simply having cash for the down payment and securing financing, an experienced real estate broker will help you plan for the other expenses associated with purchasing a home in the market area of your choice.  Finding a terrific housing match should include one that you'll be able to qualify for financially and that will work within your budget.

  • Team Player 

Your real estate agent should be able to recommend a great team of professionals to support your purchase including mortgage brokers and appraisers, contractors and designers or real estate attorneys.

  • Getting to Closing 

Remember that finding the right property is only the beginning. Your real estate agent should be well prepared to negotiate aggressively on your behalf, and assist in coordinating with financing professionals at your bank or mortgage broker’s office, any other agents involved in the deal, and with your real estate attorney throughout the process until the purchase is complete.

  • Gives Timely Updates 

It’s important to stay in regular contact with your agent throughout the buying process so that new property updates arrive on an as-available basis.  Changes in the local real estate market conditions, mortgage rate fluctuations should also be reported.  Likewise if your priorities change, or if your research turns up a property you may be interested in seeing, be sure to promptly let your agent know. Working together closely should help to ensure finding the right home more quickly and efficiently.

  • The Relationship 

While some Northern Illinois home buyers try to find a perfect property on their own given the readily-available internet access to more real estate information than ever before, the most accurate and current information will always be located through a real estate professional and their area Multiple Listing Service.  Moreover, since most buyers trust their real estate agent to assist with one of the most important transactions in a lifetime, it’s prudent to also value the importance of a personality match when choosing your real estate agent.  Find one who you not only trust and respect, but also look forward to working with.

When you are ready to begin your next real estate adventure, whether buying or selling, feel free to contact me to discuss your situation and your options.  I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300

[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of iStock.com

Choosing a New Neighborhood: What to Consider

by Allyson Hoffman

There’s a lot to contemplate when shopping for a new home. While it is important to determine how much space you’ll need and how many bathrooms and bedrooms are essential, the location, the neighborhood and the community you select should provide the lifestyle you are seeking to fulfill your family’s passions and requirements.

So, when you consider all the interior features you prefer, remember to look outside the home, too. The neighborhood where you choose to buy your home can also influence how well it retains its value over the years, as well as how much you will enjoy living there.

Because differing priorities in every family are the norm, it’s up to you to decide what is truly important.  Thus, when selecting the area that is right for you, here are some essentials to evaluate when buying a home:

Location – Homes close to amenities like public transportation, jobs, downtown centers, schools, and shopping areas tend to hold their value. Parks, bike paths or jogging trails often add additional neighborhood benefits.  Regardless, it is crucial to assess your personal location preferences such as an easy commute to work or nearby proximity to schools, relatives or friends.

People – Signs of recent improvements and revitalization may signal a neighborhood undergoing renovation where values are stable rather than in decline.  Many buyers also are happier in areas where neighborhood demographics match their own.  So while it is important to seek signs of stability in your new locale, you might also consider who lives there and how they would relate to you and your family.  Are they young professionals, families with kids or retired folks?  Ask yourself what would make you most content and keep that in mind when selecting a home to buy.

Access – Efficiently-designed neighborhoods allows you to get around easily. Assess the amount of traffic, how the streets are laid out and if there is ample parking. Pedestrian conveniences can also help to maintain home values. If you are not in a rural setting, you might want to consider areas where walking is safe and easy such as those with adequate sidewalks and lighting.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for choosing the best neighborhood. What is attractive to a young single person just out of college might not suit a family with four children under the age of 12.  So determine your own priorities for your next neighborhood, as well as your home.   If your expectations are clear before you buy and you share this information with your agent, it will be much easier to find that near-perfect match for you and your family.

When you are ready to buy your next home in your favored neighborhood, please contact me.  I would be delighted to meet with you and discuss the neighborhoods of interest to you in Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs in the Northern Illinois Area. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of gabellorama/Pixabay.com

Be a Power Buyer by Mastering the Pre-Qualification Process

by Allyson Hoffman

You're ready to buy a home, but do you really know how much you can afford? 

Before you set out on your new home search, it is important to know how much you your budget will bear.  This is referred to as being pre-qualified for a mortgage and can be accomplished by meeting with a prospective lender.  During the pre-qualification process you should learn the following regarding your finances such as:

      - How much home you can afford

     - The amount of down payment you will need

     - The minimum down payment and the advantages of higher down payments

     - What the bank feels you can afford for a monthly payment 

Determining this information ahead of time will also assist your real estate agent in finding the right properties for you your budget limits.

The next recommended step is to be pre-approved.  This step is more involved.  Your lender will need to review your finances in greater detail, including running your credit profile, to determine how much money they can tentatively agree to lend you for your home purchase. Your lender will review the following:

     - Gross Monthly Income

     - Credit History

     - Amount of any/all outstanding debts

     - Source and amount of money available for down payment and closing costs

     - Type of Mortgage

     - Interest Rates, etc.

Analysis of this information will allow the lender to determine two important ratios:

     - Debt-to-Income Ratio
       Your bills/debt each month should not exceed 36 percent of your gross monthly income

     - Housing Expense Ratio
       Your monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 28 to 33 percent of your gross monthly income

Though there may be some flexibility in these ratios (depending upon the lender and the type of loan program you prefer), submitting your information to your lender’s automated underwriting program for approval should provide you a greater sense of confidence in your ability to secure the financing you’ll need to reach your objective.   With a strong pre-approval in hand your offers to sellers should be better received and more likely to be seriously considered.  

For more information on the home buying process, please feel free to contact me for additional information or assistance. And for recommendations to top notch lending professionals or to discuss the buying or selling of homes in Chicago’s North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs, feel free to contact me today.  I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo Courtesy of InspiredImages/Pixabay.com

Your Final Walkthrough – What to Expect

by Allyson Hoffman

For most homebuyers, the last step prior to sitting down at the closing table is the final pre-closing walkthrough inspection. This visit affords you the last chance to view the home prior to it officially becoming your new home and is the time to make sure that everything is as expected.

Typically, the final walkthrough should preferably be scheduled within 24 hours of closing.  If major repairs are anticipated, some experts advise scheduling two walkthrough visits. The first, ideally about a week prior to closing, should establish that required repairs are completed or nearing completion.  The second, within 24 hours of closing, should ensure that the home is essentially in the same condition as when purchased and that all items to remain are both present and in good working order.

Things to Do on Your Final Walkthrough

Bring your home inspection report, a copy of contract and seller’s disclosure form so you know what items were to be repaired and what items are to remain with the home.
- Check for all items (window treatments, appliances, pieces of furniture and fixtures) that should remain to make certain those are present in the home. If not, have your agent contact the seller’s agent immediately.
- Check that no unwanted items are left behind. It’s the sellers’ responsibility, not yours, to remove their unwanted belongings.
- Check all appliances to ensure they are in working order.
- Check the HVAC unit to make sure it is still heating and cooling properly (weather permitting).

What If You Find a Problem?

First, it is important to understand that contracts typically stipulate that a home be left  “broom” or “vacuum” clean … neat, but not immaculate. So, unless the house is very dirty, making a fuss over the cleanliness of a home is likely not worth the effort.

Second, minor imperfections like blown light bulbs or light damage/marks on the walls or doorframe are also probably are not worth a delay of closing.  In the long run, unless you are purchasing a new construction property, it’s generally cheaper and easier to just fix these minor problems yourself.

However, if you find a major issue such as a missing appliance, fixture etc., a leak or defect that will negatively affect the value of the home, have your real estate agent immediately contact the listing agent to begin the process of reaching an agreement that resolves the concern.  The sooner you make that call, the better.

In the end, what is important enough to delay a closing and what is not remains the choice of the buyer.  For recommendations regarding the final steps in closing a new home or to discuss the buying or selling steps for homes in Chicago’s North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs, feel free to contact me today.  I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of Palo Dobrick at www.LakeCountyHomePhotos.com  

 

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Chicago Illinois area, you won't want to miss these two highly acclaimed, Chicago Illinois specific, real estate books that I was a co-author of.

 

As a home seller in Chicago Illinois, the book, Get the Best Deal When Selling Your Home will guide you through the home selling process and cover topics such as:

   Selling Your Home: The Basics

   Buying Your Next Home

Contact the author to purchase a copy of this book or for more information about the authors and a detailed listing of the Table of Contents visit Buying in Illinois or Selling in Chicago?.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

As a buyer, How to Make Your Realtor® Get You the Best Deal will guide you through the purchasing process and describe the following topics: 

   History of the home buying process

   A new law for the people

   How to select your Realtor®

   Negotiating the best deal      

Contact the author to purchase a copy of this book or for more information about the authors and a detailed listing of the Table of Contents visit Buying in Illinois or Selling in Chicago?.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require additional information regarding either of these books. I would be happy to discuss the contents of these books with you in more detail.

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1
YouTube


Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

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Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview IL 60025
847-310-5300
Fax: 847-400-0881

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Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL, 60025

(847) 310-5300
[email protected]

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