Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Buying Your First Home along the Lake Michigan Shoreline? Take a Look at These Tips!

Living along the Lake Michigan Shoreline is ideal for many people who long to enjoy a vibrant community, beautiful scenery, beach access and an overall excellent quality of life.  In fact, many first time home buyers are drawn to Evanston, Chicago’s North Shore, the Indiana Shoreline and Harbor Country for these very reasons!  
If you’re taking the time to check out our blog, perhaps you’re considering moving to the Lake Michigan Shoreline and buying your first home.  We’re glad you’re here!  As the Lake Michigan Shoreline Property Advisors team, we’re here to be your trusted resource and provide you with the information you need to make a well-informed decision about buying or selling a home along Lake Michigan’s shores
Buying your first home can be really exciting and overwhelming all at the same time.  We enjoy working with first time home buyers, and take the time to carefully prepare them for each step that lies ahead.  Part of our process is to ensure that they’ve taken some necessary steps before they even begin looking for a Lake Michigan Shoreline home as this will help the entire process run much more efficiently.
If you’re a first time home buyer and are thinking about how to begin the process, we suggest taking a look at these ten steps!
1. Create a Housing Budget- Have a clear understanding of your budget each month, and do not spend more than 30% of your gross monthly income on your Lake Michigan Shoreline home. This includes your interest, principal, homeowners insurance and taxes. You don’t want to put yourself in a financial bind that you are constantly struggling to maintain each month.
2. Save Up- Begin to save the difference between your monthly rent now and what you plan on your monthly mortgage being. This will prepare you for what the monthly payments will look like once you move into your home and help you make any needed lifestyle adjustments now.
3. Check Your Credit Score- Lenders will put a lot of weight on your credit score, so you want to make sure to have your credit in order. They will determine how much you qualify for in a mortgage based heavily on your credit.

4. Determine Your Needs and Wants- You’ll want to make two separate lists based on your needs and wants. Your needs should be those things you absolutely have to have in your Lake Michigan Shoreline home.  Your wants will be those items that you would prefer, but are willing to compromise on. 
Narrowing down and sorting out your needs and wants will help immensely when searching for a home in Evanston, Chicago’s North Shore, the Indiana shoreline or Harbor Country. You’ll have a clear picture on what you are willing to let go of, since you will most likely not find a home that has absolutely everything you would like. Know when to give and when to stand firm. You’ll quickly narrow down your home search this way!

5. Find a Reputable Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate Agent- You’ll want to find a real estate agent who has experience in the Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate market.  An agent who has years of experience in the area will be a great asset in helping you find a neighborhood and home that best fits your needs and lifestyle.

6. Find a Lender- It is easy to want to begin searching online for your home, but without a sense of how much you qualify for; it’s easy to waste time looking at homes you might not be able to afford. Meet with a lender before you begin looking at homes and get pre-qualified. You’ll be able to search more effectively online and when you begin working with a Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate agent to find a home.

7. Choose the Right Area- We feel that any you can’t go wrong in any Lake Michigan Shoreline areas that you choose! However, we also understand that each neighborhood or area of town does have a unique atmosphere and things to offer, so you’ll want to find the place that suits you the best.

8. Make an Offer- Your Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate agent will be able to give you a list of comparable homes in the area, and can help you determine an offer that is fair for the market. They will also make sure that you are being dealt with fairly as a first time home buyer.

9. Have a Home Inspection- This is very important! Even if the home looks perfect inside and out; there is no way of knowing what issues there may be without a home inspection. You don’t want to buy a home only to find that it needs the roof replaced or there is water damage. Having the home thoroughly inspected allows you to know exactly what you can expect in the Lake Michigan Shoreline home you buy.

10. Finalize- Once the contract is signed; you’ll still want to stay in touch with your agent and lender. There are always last minute finalizations that need to be made.
These ten tips should give you a clear overview of the home buying process!  Of course we’ll be with you each step of the way, but we feel that as a buyer, you should also be fully informed of what’s going to take place.  Our goal is to make sure you have a great home buying experience, especially if you’re a first time home buyer!
As always, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to get started!  We look forward to helping you buy your first home!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

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