Buying your first Chicago home is exciting, and often intimidating! Home buying is a big decision, and you want to make the best possible choice. This can seem tough in a fast-moving market when home inventory is lean and options are limited. Fortunately, you can take a lot of fear and uncertainty out of the process by educating yourself about home buying, and knowing your priorities. Here’s tips to help you!

First, if you haven’t already attended a home buying seminar, start right here! StartingPoint Realty offers free first-time home buying seminars throughout Chicago and the Northwest suburbs, all year around! These are sales-free environments, meaning that there is no marketing pitch, no obligations and no pressure. It’s a safe place to learn about home buying without any hype.

Once you are armed with information about credit reports, mortgage approvals, the home buying process, inspections and so on, you’ll be in a better position to figure out your home buying budget. From there, it’s all about finding the best home for your needs, for the money!

And this is where first-time home buyers can feel overwhelmed. Or under-whelmed, when the homes in your price range aren’t what you’d hoped for! Knowing where to compromise is essential. Here is what you should keep in mind when looking at Chicago homes for sale:

Lifestyle. Your home affects your quality of life. This doesn’t mean your home needs to be fancy! But it does mean that you should consider the distance from your home to your job, and from your home to desired amenities like parks, restaurants and retail stores.

You must also decide what is most important to you. A home with a 2-car garage in the suburbs, or the hip condo in walking distance to everything? What are the trade-offs you’re willing to work with? You may not get granite countertops and a walk-in closet in an older home, but you might get much more room for the money.

Always remember that decor can be changed. Don’t be afraid to like a well-built home in a good location, just because it isn’t as pretty inside.

Affordability. Think beyond the mortgage payment. You’ll have property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, plus maintenance costs and utilities. You may have local expenses like homeowner’s association dues, parking stickers and park district fees. Look at the cost of living as a whole. Owning a home shouldn’t make you go broke! In fact, a wise home buying decision should help you build equity and improve your household wealth!

Future resale value. Even if you plan to stay in your home for many years, think about how salable it will be when you’re ready to leave it. This is why school quality should matter to home buyers, whether or not you’re planning a family. The school district can be a make-or-break issue to a future buyer! Also, consider the quality of the neighborhood. Are businesses doing well in the area? Are homes well-kept? Are the neighbors friendly? How busy are the streets?

Location, condition and amenities all play a big role in home value.

StartingPoint Realty – helping first-time Chicago home buyers!

StartingPoint Realty specializes in serving first-time home buyers throughout Chicago and the Northwest suburbs. We provide complete education and guidance during the entire home buying process!

Be sure to attend a free home buying seminar to learn about Chicago home buying! Always feel welcome to contact us for help with your Chicago home buying questions!

Ryan Gable Broker/CEO Starting Point Realty
Phone: 847.348.1154
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