5 Tips for First Time Home Owners

 Are you  tired of renting and are a first-time home buyer eager to get into the market? Here
are steps to take to help you decide whether you’re ready to take the

1. Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area. Web sites such as Zillow and Homegain
can give you a general idea of what you should expect to pay. You can
also do a quick search of actual MLS listings in your area on a number
of Web sites, including the site of the National Association of Realtors. Better yet, contact a knowledgeable real estate agent in Chicago, who knows the area’s and the prices well. 

2. See what you can afford. Use Bankrate’s  mortgage calculator
to see what your payment would be. To get a sense of the maximum you
should spend, use MSN Real Estate’s home affordability calculator

3. Find out what your total monthly housing cost would be, including
taxes and homeowners insurance. To get a feel for the maximum amount you
should spend, including taxes and insurance, use MSN Real Estate’s home affordability calculator. In some areas, what you’ll pay for your taxes and insurance escrow can almost double your mortgage payment.

4. Find out how much you’ll likely pay in closing costs. The upfront
cost of settling on your home shouldn’t be overlooked. Closing costs
include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement
fees, taxes and prepaid items such as homeowners insurance or homeowners
association fees. You can see what closing costs average in your state
by looking at Bankrate.com’s annual closing cost survey.

5. Look at your budget and determine how a house fits into it. Fannie
Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28% of their income on
housing costs. Go much past 30% and you risk becoming house poor.

Sponsored by Pam Plotkin

Whether you are buying or selling a home, you’ve come to the right place
to achieve success in Chicago’s exciting housing market. As one of
Dream Town’s highly-trained real estate agents, I will help you reach
your goals through expert knowledge of area neighborhoods and
exceptional client services.