Great tips for first time and even seasoned buyers looking to get back into the process this fall 2016 season. Investing in due diligence can save time and money in the long and short term. sellers-buyers

The average age for first-time home buyers in the U.S. is around 33, a relatively young age for such a big life choice. That said, buying your first home at any age can be a stressful and time-consuming experience.

Luckily, there are a few crucial pointers that will help make the journey to home-ownership a less bumpy ride. Here are just a few tips to get you on your way:

Use an experienced Realtor who knows the area and the market.

Your realtor can make or break your home buying experience. If you know where you want to live, try and get a realtor referral. Fifty four percent of buyers found their agent from a personal referral or had used an agent they’d worked with before, according to 2016 figures from the National Association of Realtors. So start by asking friends, family or friends of friends who live in your area of interest for recommendations.

A good realtor has knowledge of the area — a great time saver — and more important is his or her ability to listen and execute what you are looking for.  A good realtor will be in your corner until the closing — and, in some cases, beyond.

Make a short list of your non-negotiables.

Before you start seriously shopping, consider your lifestyle and values. What features would enhance your well-being? And what would make you miserable? From there, make a list of non-negotiables,– from location, to square footage, to amenities — that you must have in your future home. This will also help guide your realtor.

There is nothing better than knowing exactly what you want, but it’s hard to find everything in one property. The best way to gauge your options is to visit open houses in the area and get acquainted with the local market. Visit apartments that are both above and below your budget to see how values differ with features and location.

Draw up a hard budget and stick to it.

Let’s say you’re interested in a home, but you’re not sure it’s in your price range. That’s a problem. Before you start browsing, it’s crucial that you iron out important questions such as, what is the most you can afford? What is your ideal price range? To help you get started, use an online mortgage calculator to determine the maximum monthly payment you can afford based on the price of the home after you put down a down payment and over a 30-year-mortgage.

“Make sure your monthly budget considers the total mortgage and maintenance costs of a property..

If you fall in love with a house but the monthly payment is more than you can afford, when including all your other fixed expenses, it’s time to move on.

You can also enlist the help of your bank’s loan officer to help you arrive at a figure. He or she will be able to tell you how much the bank will lend you and at what interest rate. While this figure doesn’t necessarily equal what you can afford to pay for a home, it will give you an idea of the most you are able to pay. More information and tips HERE

Gloria Matlin and team member Zack Matlin,  both experienced North Shore Realtors, and consummate real estate professionals; top performing service oriented resource. Look to her for guidance on these and similar high ranking real estate tips for the North Shore region of Chicago this fall 2016 season.

Autumn's List

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Being a first-time home buyer is exciting! There is also a lot of information to take in and digest all at once. Being a Realtor, the most valuable education I have received has come from home inspectors. I am able to spot common repairs and issues when I am showing homes to my clients. Thanks to Home Depot, now you can have an edge when viewing properties as the consumer.

Take a moment to check out this guide for first-time home buyers:

http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/the-ultimate-first-time-homebuyers-guide/

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