You’ve probably heard the term “buyer’s remorse.” It happens more than you’d think for home buyers, especially first-time buyers. The process of buying a home – from getting financing to negotiating to closing – can be a lengthy and complex process. Much of it buyers are unfamiliar with and so wind up making some missteps. To help you avoid making these mistakes, here are 5 things home buyers wish they knew before purchasing a house in Chicago.
1. Importance of Pre-Approval
Before you set out on your Chicago home search and certainly before that important step that comes right before purchasing a house (making an offer), you should get pre-approved for a mortgage. It will save you loads of time, give you more negotiating leverage, and may save you money.
Getting-approved will let you know exactly how much a mortgage lender will lend you. That way you can confine your house hunting to those actually within your price range. In addition, if you’ve been pre-approved, sellers will see you as a serious buyer and, as a result, will be more willing to enter into negotiations. Without pre-approval, sellers may dismiss you as a mere tire kicker.
2. Need to Visit a House at Various Times
Another one of the things home buyers wish they knew before purchasing a house in Chicago is the need to visit prospective homes at different times of the day. The house will look different, and the neighborhood may change its personality.
Here’sand example from one first-time buyer: “When I bought my first property, I didn’t know the area too well . . . I visited on a sunny morning. The area looked green, and it was close to a train station. After buying, I found out the area got really shady at night. And the local teenagers enjoyed breaking mailboxes and elevators, resulting in unneeded HOA fees.”
That’s why industry pros recommend visiting a house during both the day and night, as well as on weekends. Contact a local agent to find out more by calling 773.233.8180.
3. The Many “Hidden” Costs
Many home owners say they wish they’d known, before purchasing a house, about the many “hidden” costs. The cost of buying goes far beyond the monthly mortgage payments. Without factoring in these many other costs and recurring expenses, buyers often wind up purchasing what they can’t really afford.
These costs include:
- Property taxes
- Homeowners insurance
- Private mortgage insurance
- Hoa fees
- Maintenance and repairs
“[M]ake sure,” industry experts advise, “you factor in the total monthly cost of owning that house. This will give you a true sense of what you can afford.”
4. Importance of Setting Emotions Aside
And, often, home buyers found, too late, that their emotions are not a good guide in purchasing a house. So before purchasing a house in Chicago set your emotions aside and take an objective look at everything.
One couple, for example, signed a contract right away – on the basis of emotional appeal alone – on a house they loved and that ticked all their boxes. But that was a mistake because the inspection later revealed that they’d have to replace most of the roof, the water heater, much of the plumbing, and bedroom windows.
“To fix all of the issues, we were looking at $20,000 out of pocket, and the seller offered just $500. Yet, I loved the house and I wanted to make the repairs. I had to step back and detach emotionally. From that point, I realized this house was looking like a money pit . . . [D]on’t let your emotions rule as you may end up regretting your choice.”
Your agent can be a huge help here by providing the needed objectivity. You can find out more by calling 773.233.8180.
5. The Fact and Amount of Closing Costs
Many home buyers also say they wish they’d known more about the closing costs before purchasing a house in Chicago. Even though closing costs may pale in comparison to the purchase price, they can still add up to a substantial amount of money.
Closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price – a broad range, but nothing to sneeze at. Many people find that after making a big down payment, they then have to scramble to cover closing costs.
The Value of a Good Agent
One last thing a lot of buyers say they wish they’d known before purchasing a house in Chicago is the value and worth of a good local real estate agent. It often turns out that they don’t hire a good agent or don’t listen to their agent if they do. And then they find in retrospect that that was a huge mistake. Our qualified agents can help you avoid common house-buying mistakes. To discover more, give us a call today at 773.233.8180 or send us a message.