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So, you’ve decided to buy a home or invest in real estate.
Congratulations! Your investment could turn out to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. But if you’re new to the process, it can also be daunting — especially when there are so many options and so much information out there. That’s why we created this guide: to help make your first real estate transaction as easy as possible. We’ll walk through what’s involved with buying or selling property in the Chicagoland area and surrounding suburbs, from understanding your financing options to finding the right agent for your needs.
A Complete Property Guide for Buyers, Sellers, and Investors.
The right time to buy a home is when you are ready. If you’re not ready, then wait. It’s that simple. You need to know why you want to buy and what your plans are for the property.
If you have been renting for years, then it may be time to make an investment in real estate, especially if the rent keeps increasing every year or two.
There is no such thing as the perfect house. But there are things you should look for in a neighborhood, house, and community when you’re hunting for your dream home.
- Neighborhood: Is it safe? What kind of people do you see walking around outside? Are they all dressed up to go out or are they running errands? Are there children playing in the streets? How close are restaurants and entertainment options (bars, clubs)? What type of vibe does it have? Does it feel friendly or hostile?
- House: Is it clean on the inside? Do you like its style and layout (open concept vs. traditional)? Do you like its color scheme/wall paint colors? Are there enough windows for natural light and ventilation? How about closet space — does this place have enough of it for everything that would go into your closet(s)?
- Community: Is it well maintained with green spaces nearby where residents can walk their dogs or play sports with their kids after school? Do people generally look happy when they come home from work because they live in an area where there is some activity going on every day (like grocery stores within walking distance)? Or does this area seem more isolated — with few stores nearby that make shopping convenient; limited public transportation options meaning fewer opportunities exist for residents to get together socially; etc.?
Now that you’ve decided to buy a home, it’s time to determine how you’re going to finance your purchase. Once again, this is an area where having professional help can make all the difference in choosing the right mortgage program for your needs and circumstances.
A mortgage is essentially a contract between two parties: one party lends money to another party. In exchange for this loan, the borrower promises to pay back both principal (the amount borrowed) and interest (the cost of borrowing). The lender determines how much money borrowers can borrow based on factors such as their credit score and assets available as down payment or equity. There are many different types of mortgages available depending on where you live, what type of property interests you most, and how much money is available from other sources such as family members or friends who may want something in return like rent payments or even just favors done around the house once everything settles down after closing day has passed.
Preapproval is the process of getting your lender to confirm that you are qualified for a loan, usually before they run a credit check or perform any other checks. The hope is that this will save you time and money by eliminating the need for lenders to do their normal due diligence on your file if they’ve already made the decision to lend you money. This can also help motivate sellers who might not otherwise accept an offer from someone who isn’t preapproved.
Sometimes, buyers who don’t get preapproved end up falling in love with a house and making an offer anyway without having done so — which means they won’t be able to buy it! If this happens, there’s no guarantee that another lender will approve them based on what their current financial position looks like.
A real estate agent is a licensed professional who can help you buy or sell a home in Chicago, IL, and nearby areas. They’re trained to understand the real estate process, from locating the perfect home for you to negotiating with sellers and buyers.
Realtors are also experienced in finding homes that meet your needs. This includes everything from making sure there’s enough space for pets and children, to ensure that the neighborhood is safe and quiet enough for you to rest easy at night.
Now that you are familiar with the buying process, let’s dive into the steps of selling and renting.
Selling a Home? Find a real estate agent who will be your partner in this process. This person should:
- Have good communication skills, as well as a good knowledge of the market in your area (check out reviews online).
- Be willing to take on clients from all over the world (beyond just local buyers), if needed.
The Real Estate Investment Guide is a comprehensive guide on the ins and outs of investing in real estate. It covers everything from understanding what makes a good investment to calculating the property’s value, income, and return on investment (ROI).
- Read up on the topic: There are dozens of books, blogs, and online resources that can help you learn about real estate investing. Reading is a good place to start because it’s free!
- Understand the basics of investing in real estate: In order to become an educated investor, it’s important for you to understand how the entire process works. This includes understanding things like how properties are valued and what role interest rates play in a home purchase.
Once you have a good grasp of these basic concepts and more advanced ones such as financial metrics like depreciation and leverage ratios, then it will be much easier for you as an investor who understands them well enough that your knowledge won’t hold you back from making smart decisions when buying or selling property (or both).
- Buy and Hold. If you’re looking to invest in real estate because of its long-term growth potential, this is the strategy for you. You’ll purchase a property with the intention of keeping it for years — even decades — to come.
- Flipping Houses. Flip properties are homes that are bought and sold within a short period of time for profit.
- Renting Out Your Investment Property. The rent from an investment property will help offset the mortgage payments and other expenses related to owning it until you decide to sell or move into the property yourself (or even just increase your net worth).
- Rehabbing Properties. If purchasing distressed properties sounds like a good idea, consider rehabbing them into something more valuable before reselling them at higher prices down the line when market conditions improve (like today!). It’s important when doing so that any repairs made on said properties aren’t done so cheaply as they may cause future buyers to worry about whether or not their new home will last during bad weather seasons such as winter months which tend to require expensive heating equipment maintenance costs throughout North America every single year since our winters tend towards being colder than most places around the world with similar climates.
- Find an Agent Who Specializes in Investment Properties.
- Find an Agent Who Has Experience in the Local Market.
- Find an Agent Who Can Help You Find the Right Property.
- Find an Agent Who Can Help You Negotiate the Best Deal.
- Find an Agent Who Can Help You Find Tenants.
If you’re thinking about selling your property, here are some things to keep in mind that can help make the process easier.
- Know the market. Your agent will be able to tell you what similar properties have sold for in recent years, but it’s also good to do some research on your own. Look at comparable listings and get an idea of what they’re asking and how long they’ve been on the market. You might notice a pattern — for example, certain homes tend to sell quickly or linger longer than others — and this knowledge can give you an advantage when it comes time for buyers to make offers.
- Know yourself as a seller. Are there any changes that could be made before putting up this listing? For example, if there is something majorly wrong with the home (such as severe water damage), then it might be worth fixing so that potential buyers don’t see those problems right off the bat when touring through your house!
If you’re a buyer, seller, or investor, there are plenty of ways to get started. Here are some tips for each:
- Buyers should contact a real estate agent and ask them to show them properties that meet their criteria.
- Sellers should contact an agent to help with putting their home on the market and making it look its best before listing it. Once it’s listed, they can expect offers from buyers at any time – so they may want to consider staying somewhere else while they wait for offers to roll in! If they accept an offer, the buyer will provide proof of funds through a preapproval letter from their mortgage lender before signing any agreements to buy your home. This ensures that both parties aren’t wasting valuable time looking at houses when they could be working towards closing on one instead!