We’ll help you buy your home
The Experts at Streeterville Properties Group know that buying a home is one of the biggest and best investments most people will ever make. Our goal is to make the process enjoyable and as stress free as possible. We are happy to provide the resources on this page to get you started but we encourage you to come in to our office for a consultation.
When you are ready contact one of our Experts to start the search for your dream home and receive the kind of real estate experience you deserve!
Benefits of Home Ownership
Owning a home helps you establish financial credibility. When you pay rent, you never see the money again. Paying on your mortgage is different. You are building equity in your home. Part of the money you pay each month pays the principal and interest on the loan, the principal is going toward your ownership of the house. So at the end of your loan term, you’ll have money invested in the home that someone would pay directly to you if you decided to sell the house to a perspective buyer.
Owning your own home provides you with independence and more privacy than renting. You are free to paint walls, change floors, plant flowers, and anything else within legal bounds.
As you make more payments and own more of your home, you add to its investment value. Most improvements you make will also add to its value.
A home reflects its owner’s values and lifestyle. Owning a home can provide you with a source of pride, enjoyment and satisfaction.
A home can provide security against inflation because the value of your home increases as prices go up.
Being established in a community provides a sense of belonging, stability and security.
Interest on your mortgage loan is deductible on your yearly personal income tax return. Many of the closing costs associated with purchasing your home are deductible, as are your property taxes. The Sale: If you decide to sell your home and you have owned and occupied your principal residence for at least two of the past five years, you can earn up to $500,000 on the sale of that house and pay no federal income tax whatsoever. That’s assuming you are married – singles get up to $250,000 tax free. And here comes the kicker: You can do this as often as every two years for the rest of your life.
Finding the Right Home
Real Estate Agents
You can sit down with a Real Estate Agent and discuss your needs, type of area, style of home, amenities and everything you really want in your next home. You can meet and speak with several Agents until you find the right fit. After all you will be spending a lot of time together! The right Real Estate Agent will be an invaluable asset in your search. An agent will access a Listing Service which covers all properties listed for sale within a specific area. Together, you can select the homes you would like to see, set appointments and preview homes in a short period of time. A skilled agent will also guide you through every step of the entire process and refer you the best inspectors, mortgage lenders, and attorneys if necessary. When you find the home of your dreams and are ready to put in an offer your Real Estate Agent will have the skills and information necessary to negotiate the best price for you.
Many people go through the real estate classified section or browse the Internet to find a home that appeals to them. However, your real estate agent will have many listings available that may not appear in the newspaper or Internet on a continuous basis. New listings come on the market daily.
Multiple Listing Service
Your real estate agent should have access to the multiple listing service (MLS). The MLSNI includes a great deal of detailed information on Chicago properties for sale including:
- Square Footage
- Virtual Tours
- Annual property tax
- Current financing (when assumable)
- Listing company
When Previewing A Home
- Write notes when previewing a home so you can compare the pros and cons of all the properties you view. This way you will be able to discuss the details later with your real estate agent. What finishes, views, appliances, and room sizes appeal to you? Take pictures with your cell phone or digital camera.
- Ask questions about the home and discuss any objections or concerns you may have. There are no silly questions!
- Ask about the neighborhood – schools, shopping, restaurants, entertainment, recreation, and transportation.
- Ask specific questions about the construction of the building; electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling systems, how old, what’s included in my assessments, etc.
- Do you like the floor plan?
- Imagine your furniture in the space? Will it fit and how would you arrange it?
Finding your new home should be a rewarding and memorable experience. Have a good time and enjoy the process! Get started now by contacting one of our Experts
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between “pre-qualified” and “pre-approved”?
A mortgage pre-approval is one of the most important steps in home buying, and one that should be performed before you begin your search. If you are “pre-qualified” you have determined, with a loan officer, what price you can afford based on the down payment, your debts and the amount the mortgage company will approve for your mortgage. Being “pre-qualified” is only a determination of your probable credit. If you are “pre-approved”, your credit, employment and funds have been approved by the lender. Click here
to view our Mortgage Information page. We have hand picked several preferred lenders to help answer any questions and get you started.
What are closing costs?
Closing costs are an accumulation of charges paid to different entities associated with the buying and selling of real estate. For buyers, they are usually about 2-4% of the total sales price of a property. Some of the closing costs you might encounter are: application fees, appraisal fee, county taxes, credit report, discount points, documentation fee, escrow fees, homeowners’ association fees, loan fees, mortgage insurance, origination fees, tax registration and title insurance premium.
What is a point?
One point is equal to 1% of the new loan amount. Whenever government regulation, state usury laws and/or competitive practices prohibit the lender from charging a rate of interest that would make the real estate loan competitive with other fields of investments, the lender must seek some method of increasing the yield for the investors. By charging “points”, the lender can bring the real estate loan up to those other investments.
What is earnest money?
When you make an offer, you will need to put up an earnest money deposit as a sign of good faith that you are seriously interested in buying a home. That deposit becomes a part of the purchase price and is held in a trust account until there is full acceptance of the offer. Typically, an earnest money is 3-10% of the offer amount.
What is title insurance?
Title insurance protects the named insured against loss because of defects, liens, encumbrances, adverse claims or other matters not shown or disclosed to the new owner that attach before date of policy.
Is VA or FHA financing unfair to sellers?
FHA and VA loans provide purchasers the opportunity to buy homes with minimal cash investment and at lower interest rates. The result is a larger market for sellers, who also benefit by receiving all cash for their equity.
Why Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?
- Your Agent can help you determine your buying power.
- Your Agent has many resources to assist you in your home search.
- Your Agent can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property.
- Your Agent can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
- Your Agent provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property.
- Your Agent can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.
- Your Agent can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.