As people who bought in our 20's, Mike and I are devoted believers in doing what you need to do to make real estate investing a priority at the earliest of ages. We bought our first home with the help of an experienced agent who showed us everything from A to Z in our price range until we settled on a darling fixer upper in Bloomington, Illinois. We were educated on the market and wanted to buy something that would both work for our personal needs and give us equity, a spring board for future wealth. Here is an outline for you to follow so that you can do the same for yourself.
1. Do your research or have us do it for you; find a professional REALTOR® Or Two of them... Mike and I would love to help you!
Interview Realtors until you are comfortable; sometimes it only takes one conversation to put you at ease that you've made the right decision. Choose someone who will educate you on the process and who has personal availability. Sometimes large teams, piece you off to their underlings and you never get a chance to work with the team leader that you initial hired so be sure to discuss that ahead of time with the Realtor® so that you are all on the same page. With The McLaughlin Team, you are guaranteed from start to finish to work with one of us to the completion of your purchase.
We can also focus on finding you great Realtors across the country. Let us do the work for you (for free!) and put you in contact with a knowledgeable agent. Just submit your info below and we will get in contact with you about the location you are looking to buy in.
2. Discuss Financing Options with a Mortgage Consultant
We can’t say it enough, the first step is knowing what you can afford and what kind of loan options are available to you. Calling lender shouldn’t take more than a 10 minute conversation to get the ball rolling but for a more polished version of a Pre-Qualification, it is always smart to meet with them. After tax returns and a few pay stubs are supplied among a few other items, the world is your oyster… or at least your little patch of the world. Contact us, we would love to share with you our personal favorite lenders that have access to all sorts of loan options, great rates and low costs.
3. Price Range is IMPORTANT! What do I want to pay?
You might be thinking, ‘isn’t this what my pre-qualification will does for me?’ not necessarily. If your lender said you are pre- qualified for $225,000 for example, you may only feel comfortable spending $175,000 based on what your monthly payment would be with taxes and insurance. It’s best to determine that number before emotions get pulled into your decision making process.
4. What is your Timeline?
Are Mom and Dad kicking you out to make room for a man cave/ craft room? Is your one bedroom apt. lease up in a few months? Be sure to give yourself enough time to find a great place and close. This timeframe can differ in depending on your region. In the Chicagoland area it can take 5-6 weeks to close after a property is under contract.
5. Let’s Go Shopping!
As soon as you are prequalified and are working with a great Realtor (let us help you find one if you are outside the Chicagoland Area!), let’s go shop! Work with your realtor to define the areas and types of properties you are interested in seeing then take some time looking through those possibilities. Comfortable shoes and an open mind are encouraged.
6. Find Mr. “Right Now”
Note we aren’t saying you will find Mr. Right. Your first time home purchase will likely not be the only home that you will ever own. Your goal is to purchase something that meets your personal needs for the next 3-5 years and will help you build your equity for future wealth. You may not find something that is everything you ever dreamed of but more than likely the budget for that sort of property will be a few years away as you build your years and experience on the job. So keep an open mind and be sure to stay savvy with help from your Realtor.
7. You hired them, now trust them
Remember that advice from family, friends and coworkers can be helpful or hurt. Just as you are the expert in your field, Realtors are the expert in theirs! Keep that in mind when you are given their recommendations when it comes to making an offer and let them fight for you during the negotiation process. They are there to make it as easy as possible, so let them help!
Buying or selling a home? If you are in the CHICAGOLAND AREA we'd love to help! If not, let us find you a great Realtor in your area (for free!). Just submit your info below and we will get in contact with you about the location you are looking to buy in.