I Want to Buy a Place, But How?
If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’re actually trying to learn about making one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life—you’re an adult!
You’ve probably been saving & renting, saving & renting, and now you have all of this money in the bank to buy your first place. What do you do now?
1) Plan ahead
I cannot express this enough. You're buying a home, not a TV--the more expensive the purchase, the more time it will take.
If you find a great lender, they'll even go over your financials with you to help figure out what you need to do to make the next steps.
2) Attend a Sip & Learn: Home Buying Edition
You get craft beers, snacks & home buying knowledge. Need I say more? Oh yeah, IT'S FREE. You can read all you want on how to buy a home, but as much as we all hate to admit it, there's just nothing like learning from a real person. Just do yourself the favor and register here.
3) Talk to a Mortgage Lender
Depending on your financial situation, job or anything else a mortgage company wants to be critical of, it could take some time to get preapproved for a mortgage. You have to submit a hefty amount of paperwork and information for this part. This is the most labor-intensive part, so if you can get through this, you're golden.
What does preapproved mean? It means that a mortgage company likes you enough to think about giving you a loan, and they'll give you a letter proving it.
Why do I need this? You need this because most Brokers probably won't show you properties, and sellers won't even look at your offer without it. A preapproval makes you look like a serious buyer (read: shows you can afford the property).
I don't know any Mortgage Lenders. That's ok because I do! Just ask me for some recommendations.
4) Let's go shopping
This is where "reality TV" is actually pretty realistic--thank you House Hunters.
Once your finances are figured out, I'll send you homes that meet your dream home criteria, and of those, you will decide which ones you'll want to see. Depending on the market and time of year, it may take a week or a couple months to find "the one," so don't get discouraged. It took us 4 months and a failed contract to find our current home.
5) You like a place. Let's try to buy it
With your handy dandy preapproval letter and the guidance of your Broker (me), it's time to put an offer on the home you want to purchase. This can go one of a few ways.
1) The sellers accept your offer on the first try: unlikely
2) The sellers reject your offer: possible
3) The sellers come back with a counteroffer: probable
4) You get stuck in a multiple offer situation: likely
6) Negotiate or Play Again
Most likely the seller will come back with a counteroffer, which means we negotiate with them until we convince them to let you buy their home.
In Chicago's current market, it's also very possible for there to be multiple offers. That means that multiple people want to buy the same property, so you need to put your best foot forward & give your best offer to win .
Things just don't work out with the offer? It's cool. On to the next one.
7) Your offer is accepted!
1) We have a home inspection to make sure the home doesn't have any surprises.
2) We ask your real estate attorney to go over all the documents.
3) We wait for the mortgage company to approve your loan. (typically 30-45 days from acceptance)
8) Welcome to the Homeowner's Club
& that's all folks! While no transaction goes without a hiccup, buying a place is actually pretty easy.
Have other questions or just want to talk real estate? Let's chat.