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House-hunting for singles

When buying your first home, don’t forget to consult Mom!

When buying your first home, don’t forget to consult Mom!

So you’re single and ready to make the homeownership commitment. Well you’re not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors, 36 percent of recent home buyers were unmarried. With home prices and interest rates as low as they are, right now is a perfect time to buy instead of renting an apartment and paying someone else’s mortgage.

And when it comes to buying your first home, the first rule is something that I learned over the years, and that is that mamma is always right! Although the opinion of your friends and co-workers can help, many of them probably have never gone through the home-buying process. I have ran into several occasions were the buyer loved a property only to bring their parents to see it and the parents pointing out issues they would have never thought.

Rule No. 2? Do your best to identify your needs both now and in the future, so you can have a long-lasting relationship with your new home no matter what phase of your life you are in. Life moves quickly and changes can come at anytime. Will your new home be able to accommodate a new spouse, children or a job change?

Make a list of your must-haves, like a driveway or a third bedroom for example, and share that list with your broker. Remember, you probably will not be able to find the perfect home with everything you are looking for, so make sure your list includes the items that you cannot live without.

Don’t stretch your finances too thin. Just because a bank is willing to give you X dollars, doesn’t mean you need to spend it all. Usually a bank would like to see the mortgage amount to no more than roughly 28 percent of your total income and roughly 32 percent of your total monthly bills. Remember, you don’t want to be house rich and cash poor, which means all your money goes toward your house, leaving you no money to enjoy your life.

You should also ask yourself if you have the entire down payment or if you’ll need to borrow from a relative? Most conventional programs will not allow you to borrow the entire down payment, although you are able to borrow some of it, but an FHA loan will allow you to borrow the entire down payment if needed from a relative.

Be sure to team up with a real estate professional who can guide you through the above process and buy the first home that’s right for you.

To contact me, call 847-292-4700, e-mail gz@zerillorealty.com or visit www.zerillorealty.com.

About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation’s 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.