2015: The Year of Your New Home

Young Couple buys new homeBuying a new home is a big decision and may be the most expensive purchase you ever make. You’ve spent hours online researching agents, neighborhoods, schools and listings. You talked to friends and family about their home and their process. You know your price range and that you’re ready to buy (or at least you think you’re ready). You may even know what you want in a home; however, when you start to make steps in the right direction, something always comes up. An unexpected expense, a lack of trust in your agent or maybe it just didn’t “feel right.” Does this sound like you? No need to worry—these situations happen. These issues are normal and even necessary components to buying a home. To help you overcome these obstacles, find the right home and make your buying experience easier, here are three tips to purchasing your new home in Chicago:
1. Recruit an advocate – An agent is necessary to the home buying process, but yours is your advocate by researching agents beforehand.  Your agent should be a guide to the home buying process and to the market, and they should have the valuable information you need to make a smarter, more informed decision. Talk to friends and family in your area. Use the internet as a valuable resource to find credible, local agents to vet. You want someone who is on your side; otherwise, you’ll be unnecessarily hesitant throughout the whole process. Hesitation is normal, but the subject of hesitation is the key. Hesitation about the house, location, price, and other factors are to be expected, but your agent is not something that should cause you to hesitate. Once you have a trusted ally, you’re ready to start making your home buying dreams a reality.
2. Balance your head and your heart – Your head, or logic, will appeal to data, numbers, or anything that makes logical sense, and the heart is how you feel about the situation. A home is very much about the numbers and the cost. Based on what you can spend, you will be looking at very different home styles, sizes and even possibly locations. However, the emotional implications of buying a home are less obvious. You could walk up to a house and get a good feeling that only increases as you tour the property. You walk out into the backyard and picture your kids running and playing and you become overcome with emotions—you cannot quantify or predict these elements. Be aware of these as you go about your search. You’ll want to simultaneously analyze your feelings and the numbers to predict a potential conflict. If you have a good agent and have done plenty of market research beforehand, you’ll be better equipped to balance your fiscal goals with your instinctual ambitions to make your decision confidently.
3. Searching for a bargain? Forget about it. While everyone loves a deal, real estate is a completely different type of purchase from retail or grocery shopping. If you’re purchasing a new home, you may find incentives or special offers, but the home price is based on market conditions and not something that can be bargained with. If you’re purchasing a previously owned home, you will have more room for bargaining, but the motivations for each seller will vary. While some can wait for the highest offer, others need to sell immediately and may be more inclined to take the first offer. Continuously searching for a bargain may be a sign that you are not ready to buy. Trust your agent, your head and your heart, and use the available market research to determine if your bargain dreams are unrealistic. Be patient, but not unreasonably so. Constantly low balling is a form of self–sabotage and can mean you’ll miss out on the perfect home.
We realize everyone is different, and real estate is a unique purchase. Your decision will be rooted in multiple elements: primarily finances, practicality and emotions. Once all of these elements align, it’s time to buy your new home in Chicago! If you want to make 2015 “The Year of Your New Home,” dedicate yourself to these resolutions and forge onward with confidence.