Profile picture for user7613537

Hi- I'm looking to buy my first home in the Chicago area soon. Any advice for where/how to start?

Since I've never bought or owned a home before any advice on things that I need to know beforehand or beware of would be appreciated. Thanks-
  • July 07 2013 - Chicago
  • 1
    1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

Answers (8)

Best Answer

Step 1. Talk to a lender - I'd recommend calling 1-2 big banks to hear what that particular bank offers and then talk to at least 1-2 brokers who have a wide variety of financing options. 

Step 2. Start going to open houses and looking online - This will give you a good idea of what the market bears. 

Step 3. Decide on an agent to work with - As you look online and attend open houses, you will meet a lot of agents. Pick someone you click with and feel will protect your best interests.

Step 4. Make an offer - A good agent will walk you through all the steps and prepare you for what could happen and what will likely happen from the time you make an offer to the day of closing. 

Step 5. Close - If your offer is accepted then you will order an inspection,hire an attorney, move forward with the lender process and if you are lucky, in about 6 weeks you will be sitting at the closing table signing a stack of papers. 

Step 6. Move in

Step 7. Live happily ever after! :) 

Good luck!  
  • July 10 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Reach out to a few agents and see which one would be a good fit for you to help you out. Its free for a buyer to use an agent so it makes sense to ahve them in your corner.
  • July 08 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Andrew Malak
Contact an agent you can trust and respect. Respect goes both way. Always buy the bigger you can afford, because when the new family comes it is not as easy and cheap to be replacing homes. Times flies. Location, location, location so in other words schools, schools, schools unless you are buying downtown. Even if you are not planing to have a family, when it comes to selling your home, majority will look for.. schools ! Don't think that you will re-finance down the road because it will cost you one way or the other. Always get 30 years fix, no pre-payment penalty; You can always pay off quicker but you have cushioning in case something happens. Homes are nice but they require maintenance. Do you have the time for it? Times is money and you are not getting any younger so always buy close to work (if you see future in your work). Always thing about the taxes and an association fees (if condo/town-home). These usually never go down but add a lot of additional and not usually expected burden on you finances.
  • July 07 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Matt Laricy
First off, speak with a lender. Find out what you can get approved for. From there, get a good Realtor. Interview two or three, and go with the one you mesh best with. This should be a good starting point.
  • July 07 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for John R Lyons
I agree with the answers above. 

I believe walking the potential neighborhoods will give you a great perspective on the lifestyle and feel that they offer.

Especially if you are an out of towner, you also need to start doing your research on how much home you can buy in different areas of Chicago. Zillow is a great place to compare values for homes. 

Think about parking or commuting situation. What might make your life easier?
  • July 07 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

1) Picking the Right area for you is a huge responsibility. Your agent can help, but you can help yourself by downloading some great apps to your phone or iPad. There are apps that show you the type of activity in the area & there are apps that also show you the crime in the area as well as the closest sex offenders. 

2) Make sure to make a needs & wants list before you start your search. This will help you prioritize & stay focused while home searching. 

3) Getting pre-approved is a Must, but also make sure you have an idea of how much you personally want to spend on a mortgage. You may get approved for a lot more than you'd like to borrow.

4) Pick an agent that works for you. They should do more than just show you homes. They should be able to give you an idea of your monthly mortgage as well as pros & cons of the homes that you view.

5) Understand that it is common for 1st time home buyers to not be able to purchase their "Dream Home". Make sure you pay attention to the amenities of the area, as well as your needs. You may not be able to purchase the perfect home, but that doesn't mean you can't purchase the right home for you. 

6) Your agent should have a team that they are accustomed to working with. This team should help your transition into home ownership.

Please feel free to reach out if you need anything. ;-)
  • July 07 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

If you are not familiar with the area you might want to rent for a year and then buy. If you are familiar with the area decide what you want and where you want it to be. Speak with a lender or 2 to see what you can afford and then speak with an agent to discuss it all and start looking. My web site has some lender references.
  • July 07 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for AndyLinss
Lot's of things.  If you know of a specific area or suburb of Chicago that you are interested in, you should contact a Realtor that is strong in that area.  If not, you need someone that is familiar with the region and can show you or refer you to appropriate agents, etc.  Work with a Buyer's agent to make sure your interests are covered and that someone is looking for things for you while you are out of town too. That Realtor should also get you in touch with local lenders, etc.

Aside from this, talk with people you know in town to get some opinions.  It may be friends/family, or people where you will be working, but let people know that you are interested and you will get valuable insights.
  • July 07 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.