Preparing to take the plunge

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So you’re thinking about buying a home but you don’t know where to begin. There are several tasks you need to tackle months before you start house hunting in earnest. Getting started early will ensure that no surprises arise to trip you up on the way to your purchase.

Do you know how much you want to spend? Is your income where it should be? Check your credit rating if you’re seeking to finance your new property. For a small fee, you can pull your credit on your own from many different online website.

Check your report and make it a priority to clear any negative items. This will increase your credit score and help you qualify more easily for the loan. If you consult with a qualified loan officer, they can assist you with finding a down payment assistance program if available through the federal government or your state and help you through the loan process.

Well before you engage in serious house hunting, you need to save, save, save. Start by projecting what you can afford on a mortgage, including the taxes and insurance. Calculate what you spend now on rent, and place the difference in the savings account each month. That will acclimate you to paying the higher amount and accrue cash toward a down payment.

Do you already know where you want to live? Many people start their search in one area only to realize there is nothing in their price range or that works for them. Even though you are not ready to buy, start talking to a Realtor and visit some open houses to get a grip on the market you’re interested in. This will save help you fine-tune your search while giving you a realistic sense of what’s available in the area.

It’s never too soon to contact a real estate professional. You may also want to surf the net for home-buying seminars sponsored by state or local government agencies. They can offer a wealth of information about home hunting, financing and ownership.

Happy preparation!

To contact me, call 847-292-4700, e-mail or visit


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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