2024 is here. Is this the year you’re ready to take the plunge into homeownership? Feeling overwhelmed or unsure what to expect? If you want to buy a home in Illinois, you have come to the right place!
23 Legal is here with steps to get you through the process of buying a home smoothly. Attorney Ben Weaver is ready to help you achieve all of your real estate goals. The constantly evolving housing market landscape and real estate legalities can make homeownership seem challenging and complex.
So, if you are looking to become a first-time buyer, here is an overview of what you need to know about becoming a homeowner in 2024…
What’s Happening in the Illinois Housing Market?
Listed prices are higher in Illinois and there are fewer homes on the market. But does that mean it’s a bad time for you as a buyer? No! You can benefit if you make a move now. Interest rates are high and unlikely to go down anytime soon. That’s why, waiting won’t do much good. But since there are fewer buyers, sellers are willing to make concessions.
Despite high mortgage rates and interest rates, experts also predict that new constructions will have higher sales. Hence, you could always go for new construction rather than a lived-in home.
Top 5 Benefits of Homeownership
Let’s talk about why owning a home is beneficial for you:
- Owning a home means that you’re building equity over time. As the value of your house increases over the years, so do your financial gains.
- Homeowners have more stability – they have a sense of security about their homes and have more control over where and how they live.
- Owning a home also brings tax benefits. As an owner, you can benefit from various tax deductions, which reduce your overall liability.
- You can personalize the home to your preferences. This is not always possible if you are renting a space.
- Homeownership is a sound investment, as the value of property tends to rise as time passes.
So what are the steps you need to take to buy a home in Illinois?
12 Steps To Becoming a Homeowner in Illinois
1. Evaluate Your Finances
Assess what your current financial standing looks like. This includes your credit card score, savings, and debt. This assessment will help you figure out how much you can afford to spend on the house.
2. Save for a Down Payment
Once you have an understanding of your financial situation, and start saving for the down payment, we recommend setting an aim of 20% of the home’s purchase price. For financial assistance, look into first-time buyer programs.
3. Pre-Approval for a Mortgage
Work on getting pre-approved for a mortgage. This will determine the loan amount you can qualify for, making your position stronger when you apply for the house.
4. Hire A Real Estate Agent
Becoming a home-owner can be daunting especially when it’s your first time. Hire an experienced real estate agent to help through the process. They can offer valuable insights, manage paperwork and formalities, and handle negotiations on your behalf.
5. Begin House Hunting
Consider what factors are important to you regarding a home – location, amenities, proximity to facilities, and future resale value. You can then begin house hunting keeping your budget and these factors in mind.
6. Make an Offer
Once you have found a potential home, consult with your real estate agent and make a formal offer. Your agent will help you negotiate terms and conditions and present your offer to the seller.
7. Home Inspection
At 23 Legal, we encourage everyone to get a thorough home inspection done. It points out any structural issues in the homes, which is critical when making your final decision and offer.
8. Secure Financing
You’ve found your dream house; now you just need the necessary financing. Finalize your application for the mortgage, ensuring all the required documents are ready and in order.
This step involves signing the paperwork and transferring funds and ownership. A real estate attorney helps you navigate the closing process, ensuring you get the best deal.
10. Get Homeowners Insurance
Obtain homeowner’s insurance to protect your investment. Many lenders require this before finalizing the mortgage.
11. Final Walk-Through
Before the closing, your attorney and you should conduct a final walk-through of the house. It ensures necessary maintenance and repairs and that the home is in agreed-upon condition.
12. Closing Day
Attend the closing day with your real estate attorney. Sign the necessary documents and officially become a homeowner. Now you can move in and make it your own!
Best Programs for First-Time Buyers
If you are a first-time buyer, here are some programs that are beneficial for you.
- FHA Loans: These loans offer lower down payment requirements as the Federal Housing Administration insures them.
- VA Loans: These loans are favorable for veterans and active-duty personnel and often require zero down payment.
- USDA Loans: These loans cater to rural homebuyers, offering low-interest rates with zero down payment.
- Down Payment Assistance Programs: In several states, these programs help first-time buyers with down payment and closing costs, making ownership more accessible.
“Ben recently represented me in both the purchase and sale of a home, and I had a great experience working with him and the entire 23 Legal team! Ben has a calm approach that made the entire process very smooth, and he readily answered the many questions I had throughout the process. Would definitely recommend 23 Legal!” – Client Testimonial
Start Your Homeownership Journey with 23 Legal
Homeownership is an exciting chapter and an incredible accomplishment, but the legalities and investment may make it a little daunting. If you are a first-time buyer, team up with an experienced real estate agent and trustworthy attorney that have your best interests at heart.
Having someone like Ben Weaver by your side can make the process much easier. We’ll explain confusing terms, review documents, help with negotiations, and protect your interests. If you want to become a homeowner or invest in real estate in 2024, get started with 23 Legal! Connect with us here to navigate the world of real estate smoothly.
Ready to make the switch from renting to owning?
Accomplish your real estate goals with 23 Legal: (847) 447-6004
Why Choose 23 Legal
23 Legal offers Real Estate and Estate Planning legal services to individuals, families, community associations and small business owners throughout Chicagoland. We know how intimidating “the law” can be. In fact, when most people think of law offices, they think of stuffy leather chairs, huge wooden desks and pompous lawyers who charge outrageous fees. That’s not us! We believe in 1-to-1; the same lawyer should work with you all the way through. Whether you have an estate planning issue, family trust concern, or you have a legal problem in regard to a new home, business, real estate or remodel, you need a lawyer who cares. That’s where Ben comes in! We are great listeners; more than that, we are lawyers who believe that our clients always come first.