A bird’s-eye view of buying

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Buying your first home can be a stressful event. The process can be a long one, and there are a lot of things that you need to do to prepare yourself. It can be helpful to take a bird’s-eye view so you can better prepare ready yourself for the journey ahead.

First, you will have to figure out your needs, wants and budget. This will guide you through every other step of the process. It’s important to determine these things in the beginning, so you don’t waste time heading down dead ends. A home is so much more than looks and location.

Next, you must do your own research. This includes reading up on real estate topics, watching videos, and even speaking with professionals. You don’t want to jump into such a large commitment without any previous knowledge. Start looking at homes on your own and it will give you more of an idea of what you want.

Finding an agent is the next step of the process. You’ll want to go with someone you believe to be trustworthy and honest, someone who will give you the truth even if it’s not pretty. The last thing you want is to run into a bunch of issues with your home down the line. It is important to find a knowledgeable agent because they have access to more resources than the regular consumer and may know how to navigate the market better. It takes some of the pressure off to have someone to rely on.

Money is a huge part of the process so it’s critical to find a good mortgage lender to help you with your loan. After providing your credentials, you will be preapproved and know exactly how much you can spend on your new home.

The agent you choose will send you listings, and it’s your job to go out and take a look for yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Going to open houses are important because sometimes the pictures don’t do the property justice. You might hate the pictures but fall in love with the atmosphere of the place. Consider the location the house is in and its surroundings. The attractions near the home might just sell you on it.

Once you find a place you like, it’s time to put in an offer. Your agent will help you decide what’s right for you and what’s a fair for the seller as well. Negotiating is important, with most buyers leaving a little wiggle room on the original price.

When your offer is accepted, you sign a contract. This involves multiple agreements, including a home inspection contingency where you then get the place checked out for any repairs that need be done. Depending on your contract, you could ask the seller to pay for the repairs. Your lender will need to have the home appraised to make sure the property value is enough to cover the mortgage.

Last but not least, is the settlement. You then sign the last of the paperwork to make it official. Congratulations! The keys are now in your hands!

To contact me, call 708-583-8300, e-mail gz@zerillorealty.com or visit www.zerillorealty.com.


About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation's 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.

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