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A Practical Guide to Buying Illinois Real Estate

Aug 25, 2008
Buying a home is not an easy task. In fact, for first time buyers, there are few things more confusing than the process of buying a house from start to finish, and many first timers don't know exactly where the start of the process actually is. Here are a few tips that will make life easier for the first (or second or third) time home buyer.

Say, for example, that you are interested in investing in Illinois real estate. You either are looking for a new home for yourself and your family, or you just like the investment potential. The very first thing you need to do before looking for the right Illinois real estate investment is take a look at your finances and determine how much you can afford to spend.

There are several resources available to help you calculate your mortgage and figure out what you can afford to spend on your Illinois real estate investment, but for simplicity sake we'll stick with the formula of three times your annual income. Of course other factors can affect this formula enabling you to afford more or less, but it is a general rule.

You should also meet with your chosen lending institution to research interest rates on mortgages, find the best rate available, and try to get pre-approved for a loan. Getting pre-approved for a loan is one on the best things you can do going into the house purchasing process, it gives you and your seller confidence knowing you can pay exactly what you say you can.

Once you have determined how much you can afford to spend on a house, you should hire an Illinois real estate agent. Some people chose not to hire a Realtor, believing their services cost too much, and end up struggling through the house searching and purchasing process all by themselves. This is unfortunate because it is not the buyer, but the seller who pays a real estate agent, so there is really no drawback to getting an agent working for you, and you also get the benefit of their expert Illinois real estate advice.

Its now time for the fun to begin; now you begin narrowing the search and viewing houses. Typically you will sit down with your Illinois real estate agent and search a data base of houses for sale in the areas you are interested in. You can immediately weed out the houses that are outside of your price range, don't fit your size specifications, or don't have all the features you want. The result is, you end up with a list of properties that fit your basic search criteria, and you can go view the homes to decide if they are right for you.

Once you have found that perfect piece of Illinois real estate, your Realtor will then help you negotiate the actual sale of the property with the owner, hopefully getting you the best price possible.
About the Author
Working with an Illinois real estate agent from RE/MAX of Illinois (http://www.illinoisproperty.com/illinois-real-estate.aspx) takes the stress out of first time home buying. Art Gib is a freelance writer.
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