Your First Time Home Buyer Resource

StartingPoint Realty is dedicated to first time home buyers in Chicago and it’s surrounding suburbs. This site is set up to give the potential first time home buyer everything they need. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and view all available listings throughout the Chicagoland area, learn how the process works, play with our mortgage calculator, read a few issues of our monthly newsletter - The Elbowroom, find out what first time home buyer programs are available in your area, or if you’d like a more interactive experience, RSVP to one of our first time home buyer seminars.  It's a lot of information, and we try very hard to make it as simple as we can.  Thanks for stopping by.

Free Home Buyer Seminars

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Our Latest Newsletter

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Learn the Process

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Recent FAQs

Are the Listings on Zillow and/ or Trulia accurate?

For the Chicagoland area, the answer is ‘not really’. There are accurate listings on both sites, but there are many listings that are not accurate. Read More

What is earnest money and why do I need it to make an offer?

When you make on offer on real estate in Illinois, it is common practice that the buyers reveals all the terms of their offer. Read More

What's the difference between a short sale and a foreclosure?

The bank owned property is just that – bank owned. The short sale property is still owned by the home owner, but the bank has the final say on the price. Read More

How can a new home buyer better deal with a tight housing supply?

1. Be aggressive. If the property is a new listing and the comparable sales are right, it will sell quickly. Almost all of our clients have experienced a multi-offer bid in the past 60 days. Read More

True or False? Banks who own homes will not help with closing costs.

False. We have several clients who have received closing costs from REO’s (sellers who are banks). Two to three years ago, this would never happen. Today, it can be an option. Read More
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    Jen and Erik J.

    Melissa listened to what we were looking for in a house and responded with honest, unbiased advice. With StartingPoint and its partners, we felt we had a strong team behind us throughout the process. Melissa was very responsive to all of our calls and emails. She went above and beyond to meet our needs and we've already recommended her to friends. Thanks StartingPoint Realty!

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    Bob & Gina

    Tammy did a great job researching the area we were interested in, and traveled to see us often, even though we weren't in her normal selling area. We couldn't be happier with our first home buying experience and the help Tammy and StartingPoint Realty provided us. - Bob and Gina
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    Helen

    My agent, Tammy, was there for me every step of the way and encouraged me to keep the faith that everything would work out in the end. She was right... I got a great house in a great location at a great price. Thank you Tammy for all your hard work and dedication! - Helen
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    Jeffrey & Lindsay

    Tammy was always there for us, answering all our questions, taking us all over, and guiding us through each and every step. This was so helpful because we had never done anything like it before, so naturally, we had a lot of questions and needed things explained, and Tammy was great at that. - Jeffrey and Lindsay
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    Heather & Brian

    We just closed on our first home and could not be more excited. This day would not have been possible without our amazing realtor, Tammy Hufford! As first time homebuyers, we were unfamiliar with the home buying process, but Tammy helped educate us and remained by our side every step of the way. - Heather and Brian
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    Anna & Piotr

    Tammy made our first experience at purchasing a home for our growing family a great experience! She was very knowledgeable about the market and showed us properties that met our criteria. - Anna & Piotr
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    Rey & Olivia

    Ryan made our home buying experience extremely less stressful and we are very thankful for all of his hard work! - Rey Arroyo and Olivia Trujillo
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    Rochelle & Terri

    Ryan truly cares about his clients. Not only did we get a place that we love, we also gained a pretty awesome friend. He's the best! - Rochelle & Terri
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    Rich & Julie

    Ryan did a wonderful job "quarterbacking" my condo buying process. - Rich & Julie
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    Matt & Melissa

    Working with Tammy was just a blessing. I think we looked at less then 10 before we found the ONE and she was there for the whole process. You can't go wrong with working with someone like Tammy who is there for her clients! - Matt and Melissa
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Our Latest Office in Chicago

Chicago Resource Center – 3224 N Damen Ave
It’s not your typical real estate storefront.  There’s no receptionist, no land line phones, no listing sheets in the window.  Instead, we designed a space dedicated to education.  When you walk in and turn to the right, we have the home buyer process separated into 3 sections (pre-approval, the search, home to closing).  In each section, we have 12 different brochures with different subjects relating to each section.  How can I improve my credit?  We have info for that.  How long does each appliance / home component usually last?  We have a 16 page study printed out for you.  That’s only two out of thirty six.  Then, we customized a map with Chicago and the outlying suburbs overlaid with ALL the Metra stops spanning into the suburbs.  Wouldn’t it be cool if we had all the Metra schedules as well?  We got them.  Then, we took a few months and wrote rack cards for each neighborhood in the city of Chicago and every suburb within 15 miles of downtown Chicago.  157 neighborhoods in all.  Not into paper? We have it all on three Ipads.  We’ve got coffee, tea, pop, water, Wifi.  Stop in, relax, and learn.