North Shore Views
Buying a Home on Chicago’s North Shore
Buying a home is an exciting but often overwhelming experience, particularly if this is your first home. I can help you through the home-buying process and ensure that you find the right home for you, at the right price. I can help you with all of your home buying needs, including:
- Setting a Time Frame
There are a lot of variables in the home-buying process, which means the time it takes to find and buy your new home varies, too. A typical home search process may take three to four months, including the mortgage approval process, comparing and evaluating properties, making an offer, and the closing process. The loan process typically takes 30-45 days.
- Determining How Much You Can Afford
A general guideline to consider is that most buyers purchase a home that costs about one and a half to two and half times their current annual income. Mortgage payments should be about 26-28 percent of your gross monthly income. Existing debt is also considered in the mortgage process, and total debt payments (car payments, credit cards, student loans, etc.) should not exceed 40 percent of your gross monthly income.
- Finding a North Shore Home That Meets Your Needs and Wants
Before you start looking at properties, make a list of “must-have” features along with optional features you’d like to have. “Must-have” features may include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need to accommodate your family, location (consider commute to work, which schools your children will attend, etc.), lot size and special needs (handicapped access, etc.). Optional features may include the architectural styling, bay windows, landscaping, etc. Having a clear idea of what you want in a home will help your Realtor® find the perfect property for you.
- Navigating the Lending Process
Perhaps one of the most intimidating aspects of buying a home is the mortgage approval process. I’ll be here to help guide you through this, but there are many ways you can prepare early to make the process smoother. Start gathering documents you may need, such as W-2 forms, income tax returns for the past few years, pay stubs, records of child support or alimony, bank statements for the past several months, and your credit report. Also, be sure to allow for closing costs. Getting several bids will allow you to compare loans and get the best deal. I can refer you to some excellent lenders who will take great care of you.
Educating yourself about the home-buying process is key to getting a home you love and can afford. As your Realtor®, I am here to answer any questions you might have and guide you through this process. Give me a call at 847-687-5957 or email me with your question.