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Laying the groundwork

Couple using a laptop and smiling

Couple using a laptop and smiling

 

If you’re a first-time buyer or you’re upgrading to a new home, here are several steps to prepare yourself for the journey.

It’s never too early to start doing your research and plan accordingly. Whether it’s via the internet or by taking a late night drive through a desired area. Some websites sites, including mine, offer buyers detailed information on school districts, taxes, dining, parks, and much more.

Also make sure to assemble a capable team that includes a Realtor, loan officer and attorney, along with a home inspector. A Realtor can assist you in finding homes along with pricing and recent sales data within your desired area. The loan officer will assist in securing funds for your purchase. There are attorneys that specialize in real estate and will provide information to you on the legal aspect of the purchase. Do your research on anyone that is involved with your purchase. Many times these individuals will have a website or Facebook page that can easily be found by simply entering their full name into a search engine.

“Cash is King,” so start saving now! Most buyers don’t realize when purchasing a home that you’ll need more money than just your down payment. Although, the down payment makes up the majority of funds needed to purchase, you’ll have other closing costs that could add up to thousands of dollars and most of the time these funds cannot be financed. You’d be surprised how that $5 morning cup of joe ads up in the course of a year. That $1,500 could go toward an unexpected repair or that new entertainment center you’ve been eyeing!

Many buyers ignore their credit reports until it’s too late. Pay your bills on time all the time and never co-sign for someone else’s cell phone, credit cards or other loans. So many times, a loan officer will hear the excuse that an outstanding bill doesn’t belong to the applicant because they had co-signed for a friend, ex, or relative, and they’re not responsible for it. To that, I say, “you’re wrong.” It’s still ultimately your responsibility. On the other hand, you don’t want to eliminate all credit entirely. Do not cancel any cards or pay off any loans until you meet with a qualified loan officer.

If you are looking to purchase a foreclosure or short sale, be prepared to wait, giving yourself a minimum of six months. Make sure you consider potential repairs, since many of these are distressed properties and are sold in as-is condition. Work with your Realtor to pick the right property based on your needs and budget.

Finally, start getting ready at your current residence. if you rent, let your landlord know your plans. Also many times when moving, people often throw away items that they believe to be junk. Instead, plan early and have a yard sale and put a little extra money in your pocket. Remember! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Remember, you can never do enough research and planning, and you should always surround yourself with a capable, knowledgeable team!

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 sergeant-at-arms for the village 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.

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