Buying North Shore real estate should be fun, not at all stressful. If you are in the process of searching for your dream home, keep these 10 tips in mind for making the process as peaceful and enjoyable as possible.

  1. Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy or sell. If you find a home now, don’t second guess, wait on interest rates or the housing market — you may risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The North Shore housing market usually doesn’t change fast enough to make that much difference in price and a great home won’t stay on the market for long.
  2. Find a North Shore realtor you connect with. Home buying is not only a hefty financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the real estate agent you select is both highly skilled, experienced, and a good fit with your personality.
  3. No house is ever perfect–accept this fact. If it’s in the ideal Chicago-North Shore location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the boiler needs repair. Make a list of your top “must haves” and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.
  4. Your home won’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get too caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself — room sizes, kitchen finishes, etc. — that you overlook important issues as noise level, location to conveniences, and other aspects that can have a big impact on your lifestyle.
  5. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a final decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family — the people who will be living in the property.
  6. Choose a home first because you love it; then consider appreciation. A home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live. U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually over from 1998 to 2002 and are projected to continue to do so, well into the future.
  7. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is certainly a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on an offer may cost you more in the long run. Negotiation is about give and take.
  8. Plan for the future. Don’t procrastinate or wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, researched home insurance, or setup a schedule for your move. Also, presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved circumstances will make your bid far less attractive to sellers.
  9. Don’t forget maintenance/repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself without a plan “B” or worse, let your home deteriorate.
  10. Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the very first time, is a big financial step. The great plus is that yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to purchase a home and what made you fall in love with your selected property in the first place.

If you need additional guidance or tips on buying a home, renting a home, North Shore homes for sale, or even to review housing market conditions for North Shore real estate, feel free to visit our office located at 640 Vernon Ave, Glencoe, Illinois 60022. Our Coldwell Banker real estate branch has been a trusted community resource for over 40 years.