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Ready To Buy Your First Home, Here Is Your Quick Checklist

Buying your first home is a major milestone in your life, similar to graduating high school or moving out of your parent’s house.

When you buy a home or any real estate, you are making a long term investment decision in your future and potentially taking the first step toward your future financial security. However, buying a house before you are ready can actually be a negative move that puts a cramp in your plans.

It is important to assess where you are in life, so that you know whether or not it’s the right time to buy a house.

Some people buy their first home at 21, others at a later time period in their lives, and some might continue to rent for the rest of their lives – the decision depends on personal circumstances. But how can you determine for yourself whether you are ready?

Woman ticking on a checklist – isolated over a white background

You Have All Of  Your Finances In Order

Is your credit score looking healthy? Have you paid off your credit card debt, student loans or personal loans? If not, it is important to clean up your finances and pay down your debts before you start looking for a home, or you will be adding a mortgage on top of the debt before you are able to handle everything.

You Have Enough Savings For A Down Payment

Just because you can buy a home for as little as 3.5% down payment, doesn’t mean that you should. You will have your dream home, but your mortgage payments will be so high that you won’t have any money left over for repairs or improvements. Also, you will end up paying thousands of dollars more in interest over the length of the loan. The bigger down payment you can save, creating equity in your home, the better.

You Are Earning Enough To Comfortably Afford The Mortgage Payment

Financial experts recommend that you never take a monthly payment that is more than 25% percent of your take home pay – including taxes and insurance. Stretching yourself thinner will leave you little room for error and if your income drops for any reason – you will quickly find yourself in hot water.

You Are Happy To Settle In One Place

Could you see yourself settling in this location for the long term, or are you still considering moving elsewhere in the country or living abroad? Buying a home is a long term investment and there are many benefits to Home Ownership.

When you’re ready give me a call! Let’s move onto the next step! I’m here to assist in all your Schaumburg real estate, Barrington IL homes and Roselle properties and the surrounding areas of Illinois.

How To Get The Best Possible Deal When Buying Real Estate

No one wants to pay more than they have to for Real Estate. After all, investment potential is one of the greatest benefits of home ownership. You want your home to go up in value while you own it. The less you pay for your Barrington, South Barrington, Schaumburg, or Chicago NorthWest Suburbs Home, the more you stand to earn from it. Here are a few tips for getting the best possible deal on your new home.

  1. Buy at the right time. You find better Real Estate prices during certain times of the year and market conditions. For example, in a slow Real Estate market, sellers are usually more willing to negotiate to sell their home. Likewise, pay attention to the climate of a region. If you want to buy a home in the south, look during the middle of the summer when the hot, humid weather keeps buyers away. The same is true for our winters here in the Chicago area.
  2. Hire an Experienced Real Estate agent.  A Real Estate agent is usually the simplest way to find a great deal.  Agents have access to thousands of homes for sale. They know the home values of the area where they work.  Real Estate agents are also trained to negotiate with sellers. All this goes a long way toward finding you the best possible Real Estate deal.
  3. Have your credit in order for best loan rates. The better your credit score, the better your loan terms will be. This translates into lower, more affordable payments. If your bank pre-approves your loan, you have even more bargaining power with the seller and may get a better price or sale terms.
  4. Look at more than just the price. Just because a home has an attractive sale price doesn’t automatically make it a good deal. Major repairs can easily add up and cost you more in the long run. A slightly higher priced home in pristine condition is often a better value than one in need of some work.

Now is a fantastic time to get the Real Estate of your dreams at a great price. Let me help you find your next Barrington, South Barrington, Schaumburg, or  Chicago NorthWest Suburbs Home.

Six Easy Ways To Protect Your Home Against Burglars And Thieves

Burglaries are a concern for many North Americans. Although some communities report more break ins than others, everyone should be aware of their South Barrington, Barrington, Schaumburg, Streamwood, Roselle, and Chicago NorthWest Suburbs home’s safety and security. Protecting yourself and your home from thieves can contribute to a better quality of life.

There is much to be said about knowing your neighbors. By establishing connections with the residents around you, you’ll be better equipped to spot suspicious people. When neighbors look out for other members the community, they give thieves less opportunity to case homes unnoticed.

You may consider getting your neighbors together to exchange contact information, or even form a community watch program.

Protect Your Privacy By Locking Up

Thieves often gain entry to homes through an unlocked door or garage. Make sure that when you leave your home you lock up behind you. Give yourself an extra moment or two to walk through the house and make sure that everything is properly shut and locked.

You may also consider reinforcing ground level windows and doors with additional safety locks. Wrought iron bars can mean better security for ground level windows out of street view, as they are popular targets for burglars and thieves.

Always Know Who’s Knocking

Installing a peephole on the front door works wonders for a person’s peace of mind. It’s important to know who is at your doorstep so you don’t open your door to an intruder. Burglars have been known to knock on a target’s door to see if they’re home. This also gives thieves important information, such as whether you have pets, deadbolts or security systems.

Be wary of suspicious visitors that come knocking at your door, and write down their description in case you end up needing it later.

Security Systems To Protect Your Home

Monitored security systems are a great way to feel good about your home security. There are many products available at a variety of different price points. These systems are easily installed by a professional, and are monitored by a security company. The monthly cost of the service will be offset by savings on your home insurance, and is well worth the protection the systems provide.

Stop Break Ins While You’re On Vacation

If you’re planning on going out of town, keep your plans on a need to know basis. Don’t let people know you’re away on your answering machine greeting or with auto respond email. These may be suitable for the workplace, but they are not safe for your personal messaging systems.

Have a neighbor gather your mail and take out your garbage to keep your home looking lived in while you’re away. You may also consider lighting and electronic timers to give the illusion that someone is home.

Spare Yourself From Burglaries

Spare keys can save the day, but can also tempt thieves. If you have a spare key hidden, make sure it’s hidden well in the back of the house. If you do use it, don’t return it to its hiding spot right away, and change its place from time to time. A better idea may be to leave a spare key with a neighbor or with a friend.

Security is an important component to a good quality of life. By taking simple steps to improve the security of your South Barrington, Barrington, Schaumburg, Streamwood, Roselle, and Chicago NorthWest Suburbs home, you can feel safe knowing that your house is protected from thieves.

For more helpful tips and info about the purchase or sale of your South Barrington, Barrington, Schaumburg, and Chicago NorthWest Suburbs Home, Contact “Stevie D.” at anytime … Direct # (630) 479-9479.

Common Details Buyers Overlook When Viewing A Home

When you are looking at a potential South Barrington, Barrington, Schaumburg, and Roselle real estate or home to buy, it’s important to pay attention to the details so that you can ensure that you are making the right choice. However, many home buyers will get so caught up in the excitement that they will miss certain important things that they need to know about the property.

If you are buying a South Barrington, Barrington, Schaumburg, and Chicago NorthWest Suburbs home, make sure that you don’t miss any of these commonly overlooked details:

Do the Appliances Work?

Take the time to test the major appliances in the home to make sure that they are functioning properly. This is a very likely flaw that is often overlooked in a home inspection. It is a good idea to ask your home inspector to run every appliance through its full cycle to make sure that there are no problems.

What Are the Neighbors Like?

Many home buyers forget to figure out who the people are who live next door and what they are like, which can really backfire later on. Perhaps your quiet neighborhood is disturbed by the sounds of partying late into the night, or your neighbor will let their free-range cats destroy your garden. Ask around the neighborhood to learn more about the people living next to you and what they are like.

How Many Outlets Does the House Have?

When you do a walk through of a house, you probably don’t notice the number of electrical outlets in each room. However, this is important because many older homes will have fewer outlets and these days the average family has many more electronics. If your home doesn’t have enough outlets for your television, computer and other gadgets, an electrician will need to come and add more, costing you additional money.

Are There Are Water Spots?

It’s easy to miss water spots, because they will often blend in with the color of the walls or ceiling. However, these spots will indicate that there has been a leak that has not been properly repaired, which will lead to many more problems including more leaks and mold. When you are looking at your potential home, always inspect carefully for water spots in kitchens, bathrooms, attics and basements.

Read more: What to look for when considering a fixer-upper

These are just a few of the common details that home buyers will overlook when they are looking at a potential home to buy. For more info and tips about buying a Schaumburg home, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, or Roselle real estate, contact me at: (630) 479-9479 or email at: sdprorealtor@aol.com

What To Consider When Buying A Fixer-Upper

In your imagination it seems like a great idea – you purchase an older run-down South Barrington, Barrington, Schaumburg, Roselle or Streamwood property and you have the chance to fix it up and turn it into the home of your dreams. However, the renovation project that is simply a quick montage in your imagination will actually take several months or years and thousands of $$$ dollars in real life. The concept of renovating a “fixer-upper” property is exciting, but the reality is a lot of work and investment. How can you make sure that you are making the right choice for you?

One of the main advantages of buying a fixer-upper property is that you will usually be able to get the property for a much cheaper price. But is it worth it for the amount of time and money you will need to invest in the property?

Here Are Some Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself When Making Your Decision:

·   Do you (or your friends and family members) have the skills to be able to perform most of the renovations yourself? If you do the labour yourself, you will be able to save thousands of dollars that you would have spent hiring contractors, which will make the renovation a much more profitable project.

·       Are you comfortable with the idea of living in a construction zone, perhaps for several months or more? There will be dust and noise everywhere and you might have to cope without a kitchen or a shower for a while.

·       Make sure that you have a thorough inspection of the home performed so that you can see whether the home has a sturdy foundation, good wiring and plumbing, etc. If your inspection reveals any structural issues or water damage, you might be in for more than you bargained for. You need to start with a house that has “good bones”.

·       If the home has serious structural, plumbing or wiring problems you should stay away – these repairs are very expensive but “invisible”, so you are unlikely to recoup your costs when you sell the home.

·       Add up the estimated costs for renovating the property along with the cost of the home – does it still work out to be a better deal or would you be better off buying a new property.

·       What is your strategy for financing the renovations? If your only option is putting it on the credit card, you might want to think twice because this is a very high interest option.

Buying a fixer-upper can be a great investment and can give you the opportunity to transform a run-down old house into the property of your dreams. However, make sure you that you consider the choice carefully before making your decision. Feel free to give me a call anytime for information on Schaumburg real estate, Barrington Homes or Roselle Fixer-Uppers. Image by Bill and Vicki T Flickr

Face The Numbers, A Mortgage That Works For You

Before taking out a mortgage to buy a Home in the Barrington, Schaumburg, Streamwood, Roselle, or the Chicago NorthWest Suburbs, it’s time to take a realistic survey of your finances so that you can determine your price range and what size of home you can comfortably afford. Buying a home that suits your finances will mean that your mortgage payments will be easily within your budget and won’t cause you financial stress.

Many people, when offered a large mortgage by the bank, are tempted to buy homes that are outside of their price range. It’s easy to see why a larger property or a more luxurious home might be appealing, but by stretching too far beyond your means you are courting with disaster.

If your monthly mortgage rate just barely fits within your budget, without room for savings, retirement contributions, or to build up an emergency fund – it will only be a matter of time before things start to get tight. What happens if you lose your job, or if your income decreases? If you are unable to meet your mortgage payments, it is easy to slip very quickly into debt or even bankruptcy.

 

This is why it is so crucial to buy a home that fits your budget. Here are some questions to ask yourself for figuring out how much mortgage you can comfortably afford:

·      Make a detailed budget that chronicles your monthly incomings and outgoings.

How much money do you really have each month to work with?

·       What type of safety net do you have if something goes wrong, in terms of savings and family support?

·       How large of a down payment are you able to save up? At least 20% of the property cost is recommended, but more is always better.

·      How much outstanding debt do you have from your other lenders, such as your credit card debts, your bank loans, student loans, etc?

·       How stable is your income? Do you have a steady pay check or are you self-employed with variable income?

·       Are you willing to change your lifestyle and lead a more frugal life to get the house you want? Is there anywhere you can cut expenses and spend more on your mortgage payment?

·       What will be the total of all of the costs associated with purchasing the home, including closing costs, inspections and other fees?

·       What are the costs associated with moving? Don’t forget to include the moving van, new appliances, hotel expenses, gas and meals out during the transition period.

Once you have asked yourself these questions and taken a close look at your budget, you will be able to determine realistically what you can afford when buying a home – so that you can find that dream home that meets your budget. Give me a call if you have any questions regarding homes and real estate in Schaumburg or surrounding areas in Illinois.

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