Avoiding buyer’s remorse

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You have been saving and saving for years and you’re finally at the closing table signing a huge packet of paperwork. Congratulations! You are now a homeowner! You unlock the door for the first time without your Realtor by your side and it soon sets in — buyer’s remorse — but unlike that coffee pot you purchased last week, you can’t return it for a full refund.

To avoid this all-to-common scenario, start with a checklist of what you truly need in your next home.

The first thing you need to do is tune out the chatter. As soon as you tell family and friends you’re searching for a home, they all become experts. Unless they know every detail of your personal finances and situation, their opinions are irrelevant. Don’t let the people in your ear sway you. Listen to your own heart and mind your bottom line as you make this crucial choice.

Always research the lender you are looking to use and be sure to ask plenty of questions. There are many different loan programs and a qualified loan officer will be able to explain the differences and make a solid recommendation to you based upon you financial situation and past history after looking at your credit report. The most common are the “conventional” and “FHA” programs.

Be sure to look at all the costs of homeownership, not just the purchase price. There are many different costs, some prior to your closing such as a home inspection or an appraisal, and some after you close such as landscaping and the cost to fix the pipe that just broke. If you are buying a property that’s part of a homeowners association, be sure to do your research on the association’s financial history and reputation. You will want to know if there are any pending projects that will affect your monthly dues along with any future plans just for starters.

If you are searching for a home within an area you are unfamiliar with, it is always a good idea to check with the city or town for upcoming projects or decisions that could affect your property taxes or the look or convenience of the area. If your home is adjacent vacant property, make sure you know what plans there are for it.

Once you do your research, make your choice, place a bid and have it accepted by the sellers, stop looking at homes: It will only add to your anxiety. It’s understandable to be anxious, but be sure you’re happy with your decision before you sign on the dotted line.

And check to see if there’s an out. Most sales contracts include a period during which you can cancel, usually within the first week of signing it.

As always, be sure to surround yourself with the skilled team of real estate professionals who can guide you through the process and take some of the load off your shoulders.

To contact me, call 708-583-8300, email 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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