Purchasing a home is by far one of, if not the largest purchase a person will make in their life. As with many purchases most people start their search online. The problem is most people automatically start searching for homes before learning the process and laying the ground work. Before you are ready to look at homes it's imperative to understand the process. Another mistake people make is that they run straight to a lender to find out how much they can afford. This mistake can have serious consequences down the road. There are 3 important steps when starting a home search...
Step 1: Contact a Realtor - A real estate Broker's services are much more extensive than just finding homes and taking you to look at them. A Realtor (real estate Broker) is there to guide you through the process and recommend experienced and proven vendors such as lenders and attorneys to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. It is important to find a Realtor you are comfortable with and stick with them throughout the process. Attempting to use or contact multiple Realtors can create legal issues and make it difficult for anyone to properly represent and guide you.
Step 2: Contact a Lender - Get at least 2 - 3 recommendations from your Realtor. Realtors work with Lenders on a regular basis and typically have a handful of Lenders they know will properly guide you and successful close the transaction. Too often I see people randomly walk into a bank, ask to be pre-approved and end up with an inexperienced mortgage consultant that ends up unable to close on time. The lender will then pre-approve you and give you an estimate on costs. It is important to stay within a comfortable payment rather than automatically going with your pre-approved maximum.
Step 3: Set your search parameters with your Realtor - Too often people rush to the web and start looking on Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com. The best advice I can give you is DONT - these sites get the listings from various sources, including the MLS (Realtors Multiple Listing Service) however their inventory is incomplete and quite often inaccurate. There is also a serious delay in the data. It can take, hours, days and even weeks for these sites to get a listing and by that point there is a good chance the property is under contract or about to be in a multiple offer situation. These sites also have a delay in removing pending and sold properties. in today's market even a day delay can cost a buyer a property. The Realtor's MLS is the most current and complete data source and is the first to be updated since it is the ultimate source for the other sites. Have your Realtor setup an auto search and you will be emailed as new properties come available or as prices change. Searching the web for a property yourself will only cause you frustration during the process.
Starting with these 3 simple steps will lay the ground work for a smooth transaction. For in-depth details on the process including the offer process and closing process call or email -
Chris "CK" Kravetz
"Building clients' wealth through real estate"
AHIT trained and certified member NACHI
Illinois license no. 050.0001212
224 636 4422 | 847 996 3220
Home Inspection Tips
For Home Buyers, Sellers and Real Estate Professionals
The Three Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Make
Mistake #1: Thinking you can’t afford it.
Today, buying the home of your dreams is easier than ever before. Many people who thought that buying the home they wanted was simply out of their reach are now enjoying a new lifestyle in their very own new home.
Buying a home is the smartest financial decision you will ever make. In fact, most American and Canadian home owners would be financially broke at retirement if it weren’t for one saving grace: the equity in their home. Furthermore, mortgage rates are more flexible today than ever and tax allowances favor home ownership.
Real estate values have always risen steadily. Of course there are peaks and valleys, but the long term trend is a consistent increase. This means that every month when you make a mortgage payment the amount that you owe on the home goes down and the value typically increases. This owe less-worth more situation is called equity build-up and is the reason you can’t afford not to buy.
Mistake #2: Not hiring a buyer’s agent to represent you.
Buying property is a complex and stressful task. In fact, it is often the biggest single investment you will make in your lifetime. At the same time, real estate transactions have become increasingly complicated. New technology, laws, procedures and competition from other buyers require buyer agents to perform at an ever-increasing level of professionalism. For many homebuyers, the process turns into a terrible, stressful ordeal. In addition, making the wrong decisions can end up costing you thousands of dollars. It does not have to be this way!
Work with a buyer’s agent who has a keen understanding of the real estate business and who is on your side. Buyer’s agents have a fiduciary duty to you. That means they are loyal to only you and are obligated to look out for your best interests. Buyer’s agents can help you find the best home, the best lender and the best inspector. Best of all, in most cases, the buyer’s agent is paid out of the seller’s commission, even though he/she works for you.
Mistake #3: Getting a cheap inspection.
Buying a home is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make. This is no time to shop for a cheap inspection. The cost of a home inspection is very small relative to the home being inspected. The additional cost of hiring a certified inspector is almost insignificant. As a homebuyer, you have recently been crunching the numbers, negotiating offers, adding up closing costs, shopping for mortgages and trying to get the best deals. Do not stop now. Do not let your real estate agent, a patty-cake inspector or anyone else talk you into skimping here.
NACHI front-ends its membership requirements. NACHI turns down more than half the inspectors who want to join because they can’t fulfill the membership requirements.
NACHI certified inspectors perform the best inspections by far. NACHI certified inspectors earn their fees many times over. Do yourself a favor... get the quality inspection you deserve.
Call Kristian Martin at 224/636-4422 or Allison Martin at 224/636-4433
to schedule an inspection or for more details on Martin Home Inspection Services, Inc.
Courtesy of NACHI. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors is a non-profit organization helping home inspectors maintain inspection excellence through education and testing.