Frequently asked questions
What's the first thing I should do if I'm interested in buying a home/condo?
The first and best thing someone can do once they know buying a home or condo is in their future, is to get pre-approved!
Getting pre-approved is a lot faster and easier than you may think. You'll meet with a lender and talk to them about your financial situation. They'll go over all the numbers and work backwards into a monthly payment that feels most comfortable, coming up with the purchase price from there! It is crucial to do this as soon as possible for several reasons.
1) If you get pre-approved early and something comes up with the credit report that needs to be remedied there will be time to fix it and adjust.
2) Getting pre-approved gives you a clear idea of what you can afford. It's best to do this before going to look at options so you know you're looking exactly in your budget. It's devasting when clients fall in love with a home and later find out they won't be able to make an offer because it doesn't fit the budget.
How long does it take to close after having an accepted offer?
The short answer is an average time frame between an accepted offer and closinng is around 40-45 days. This can vary based on the seller and buyer's situation and can happen as soon as 30 days, or as late as 90+ days.
What are closing costs and how does that affect the cash I need to come up with to purchase a property?
There are always costs associated with a home purchase. These fees go towards the attorneys, lender, title company, and city in which you're buying in.
In Chicago, the general rule of thumb is that closing costs are typically 1.5-2% of the purchase price.
This percentage can also tend to be a little higher for properties with a lower purchase price since many of these fees are fixed and can skew the percentage higher when the purchase price is lower.
If you're not cash heavy, there are ways to package this extra percentage into your loan so the funds can be financed and it would need to be clearly communicated before making an offer.