Informative websites are great, but when it comes to buying a home, you might need some more interaction. That’s the philosophy behind our space at 3224 N. Damen in Chicago. Whether you’re thinking about buying a home in the suburbs or in the city, we have information for you. Not only is the space set up for casual browsing of information that’s available to you, we teach at least one free first time home buyer seminar per month at this location. Along with a mortgage lender, we teach how the process works. We don’t sell you anything. Since, 2004, we’ve been teaching these seminars throughout Chicago and the outlying suburbs. We are always open by appointment, someone is there on the weekends (minus holidays) for a few hours Saturday / Sunday. Please be sure to check our monthly schedule and if our open times don’t work for you, please send us a note and we’ll make accommodations. Please know that you will not be hassled or sold anything. If you need more info or help, we’re here. If you want to just browse around, we’ll be out of your way.
We broke up the home buying process into three sections. In the space, each has its own high table for you to read while you’re there. Don’t want to stay? Pick up a folder and pick up which brochures you’d like to take with you. Here are some of the leaflets that we have available for you:
1st Station – Preapproval
- Do’s and Don’ts
- IHDA loans
- Rent Vs. Buy
- 7 Way to Accumulate A Down Payment
2nd Station – The Search
- Anatomy of a Listing
- Home Owner’s Association
- Transfer Tax Stamps
- Life Expectancy of Home Appliances
- HVAC / Roof
- Trends in Home Prices
- FHA & Condos
3rd Station – Home to Closing (Contract Signed, What Happens Until Closing?)
- Sample Home Inspection
- Sample HUD
- 5 Things that Happen After the Contract is Signed
- First 3 Pages of the Purchase Contract
- Home Warranty Info
- What Happens at the Closing?
Again, this is only a partial list of what we have available for you. Stop by, grab a cup of coffee, and learn how it all works.
Our initial thought was to write up some of the more popular neighborhoods and suburbs. But then we thought, “If this truly is an educational center, shouldn’t we include all neighborhoods and suburbs?” So we went out 15 miles from Madison and State, 157 Chicago neighborhoods & suburbs. We wanted to keep the info available to be concise and to the point. That’s why they are all written on 4” x 10” rack cards. Here’s the info we have on each area:
- General Description
- Point of Interest
- Annual Events
How long did it take us to compile and write all of this info? Don’t ask, but the good news is that it’s all there for you. If you need more info on any given area or on a suburb that’s further out, we can print a neighborhood report (about 8 pages of info) at the Chicago Resource Center.
Since 2004, we’ve noticed that the proximity of public transit is vital. It’s common to see it on a first time home buyer’s top three needs list. So when someone is in the resource center and they’re thinking about areas they’d like to consider, we wanted to easily lay it our for them. For those moving in the suburbs, Metra stations are always a topic of discussion. So we customized a Chicago & Suburb map with ALL the Metra stops highlighted on its respective lines. Where did we put this map? We printed it and adhered it to a 48” round table in the center of the resource center. Metra schedules? We have them all. Then we took the CTA map, enlarged it to 48” x 72” and placed it on our wall. When we’re talking about neighborhoods in the city with people, it’s an easy reference to show where each CTA stop is located.