Best Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in the Chicago Area

Buying our first home is a major milestone that many of us dream of. If you are buying a home for the first time, then there are many things you need to consider. In this article, we at An Opportune, Inc., offer the best tips to make the home-buying process as simple and effective as possible for first-time home buyers. 

1. Attend Open Houses

One way to get a better idea about housing-market trends in the Chicago area is to take a look for yourself. Attending an open house gives you a much clearer and detailed exposure to the property for sale then only viewing photos of it online. Also, you can walk into an open house without any pressure to declare an interest or put in a bid. Open houses offer you a firsthand look at the market, give you a chance to experience the properties in real-time and three dimensions and also give you a better idea about prices. 

Open houses also help you decide which specific features you tend to like and dislike. This will help you a lot in the home-buying process because it enables you to optimize your search based on these features. Additionally, attending an open house gives you the chance to ask the agent specific questions about the property and the area. 

2. Have a Long-Term Plan in Mind

A common mistake that first-time homebuyers make is to rush in without looking toward the long term. It can be very exciting to own your home, but you should never buy before you have some sort of long-term plan. Buying a home will probably be your most costly and significant investment, so it requires thinking through possible future scenarios. 

Of course, you can’t plan everything in advance. Life can be unpredictable, and we don’t have a complete picture of what the future may hold. However, this doesn’t mean that you should forgo having a basic long-term plan in mind. It should factor in considerations including: Do you plan to have children in the near future? Do you have stability in your present job, or would you be likely to relocate for the right offer? Will you be able to afford mortgage payments in the long term comfortably? Do you want to live in the city or the suburbs? You should consider questions like these as you begin the process of being a first-time home buyers.

3. Know What Your Priorities Are Going In

When buying a home, you will likely need to compromise a bit. You may not find everything you are looking for, but you can find a home that suits your essential needs. Therefore, it is important to clarify your priorities early on. One way to do this is to make one list of essential features that you need in your home and another list of features that you prefer to have in your home but can live without if need be. This will allow you to be more flexible when it comes time to decide which home to buy. Listing your priorities in advance will also save you time, as it will enable you to view only properties that are suitable for you. 

4. Shop Around for the Best Mortgage Financing

When buying a home, one of the biggest factors is the mortgage loan. It is easy to accept the first offer and not take the time to look into all your options. However, this could mean that you end up paying more. Don’t take choosing a mortgage loan lightly; carefully consider factors such as affordability. At An Opportune, Inc., we are willing and able to explain all of the options available to you. 

When choosing a lender, research their suitability by reading their reviews. If you Google An Opportune, Inc., you’ll see that dozens of reviewers have given us a perfect 5-star rating. Mortgage financing is always important, but as first-time homebuyers, it is even more critical to do your homework. A lack of research can lead to a higher rate and closing costs, which can be a financial burden for years. Therefore, it is vital to talk with a variety of mortgage brokers to make sure you get the best option available. 

5. Expect the Unexpected

The current Chicago-area housing market can hold surprises. It is a highly desirable and competitive market, which can make the buying process more complicated. This means that there is no guarantee that your offer will be accepted straight away. Even if you meet the asking price, you should not automatically assume that you will land the home. So it’s crucial not to fall in love with a home until the keys are in your hand. Having few options available makes the buying process far more stressful. 

In addition, in a competitive real estate market, most sellers can afford to wait, which means that there can be unexpected delays. The best thing to do is to stay calm and wait for the outcome. Setbacks and obstacles shouldn’t deter you from the process but instead should keep you level-headed. In this era of instant gratification, patience is truly a virtue – and the housing game requires patience. 

Additionally, because obtaining a mortgage loan is central to the process of buying a home, you should get a credit report before you apply. This will give you a better idea of what to expect. 

Closing Thoughts

The home-buying process can be both exciting and stressful, especially for first-timers. By following through with these tips, you can streamline that process. Once you have considered all of these factors and researched your options, you will be well-prepared to start viewing homes that are most suitable for your needs. 

An Opportune, Inc. is ready to help if you’re planning to buy a home or have recently started the process. Please reach out to us here or call us at (847) 498-2288 to learn more.