Making the choice to buy may seem more like a huge leap than a first step, but it doesn’t need to be. The key is to do your research and be ready. If you’re buying a home next year or next month or next year, find out what you can afford, consider the place and what you want in the home. If needed, work with an agent to determine your options including how much you will need for a down payment. A pre-qualification letter always accelerates the process when you’re ready to make an offer on a property on MillsReal.com or MillsRealtyChicago.com.
Critical Factors to Reflect on
- Are you a client of a Mills Realty agent
- What Can You Afford
- Steps to Finding Your Home
- Are you in the process of repairing your credit with the help of a Mills Realty broker
Purchasing a home can be an intimidating process, for First-Time Buyers. Mills Realty, we support smart and sustainable homeownership as it advances Mills Realty mission for stabilizing neighborhoods. That’s why Mills Realty is proud to bring you the new American Dream Service Program. If you’re a First-Time Homebuyer, we encourage you to take advantage of the program to prepare you for the tasks and responsibilities of homeownership.
What can you afford?
If you want to obtain a home, you’ll need the capital and credit. And, most likely, you’ll need a mortgage. But despite what you may have heard, getting a loan may not require a perfect credit score or a huge down payment. However, it is helpful to get your finances in order before you start housing hunting or before you speak to a lender.
Here are some important steps to help you evaluate just how financially ready you may be to purchase.
- Determine what’s affordable
- Understand your credit
- Review your finances
- Save for a down payment
Understand what you can afford. If you want to buy a home, you may need a mortgage to finance the purchase. But how much mortgage do you need? Take a close look at your budget to see how much you’re spending each month on housing and what’s affordable for you (i.e., can you spend more, less, need to stay the same?) Don’t forget, you’ll also need to budget for other expenses to maintain the home as well as general homeownership costs—and these may not be in your current budget if you are renting.
Steps to Finding Your Home
You’re ready to start your house hunting. Sounds easy enough… but… there are a few things to do before you get started, such as: finding the right resources, prioritizing your wants and needs, scouting locations, etc.
When it comes to finding a home, you’ll want to:
- Find an agent
- List your requirements (needs and wants)
- Research locations (neighborhood/community)
- Start searching
- Find a home
- Make an offer
These steps may not always follow a particular order, but one step may influence another. For example, you may choose a real estate agent that specializes in a particular area you want to live in. Or your needs and wants may determine a certain type of home only available in a specific location.
A knowledgeable and experienced real estate professional can add real value to your search. They’re knowledgeable about particular communities and market prices, and will provide advice and support throughout the process including contract negotiations, financing, home inspections and closing.
Not all agents may fill the same role — some may work exclusively with buyers; some may only focus on selling properties; some may play a different role based on the property. Here’s the typical breakdown:
Buyer’s (or Selling) Agent: works with the buyer to find a home and make an offer and represents the buyer in the home buying process. You work with a buyer’s agent when purchasing a home.
Listing Agent: works with the homeowner to list and market the home for sale, and represents the seller in the home buying process.
Are you ready to be a homeowner?
Once you’ve determined if you’re financially prepared and your lifestyle is ready for a home, you’re ready to start the next step of your home buying journey.
Remember that all offers on MillsFReal.com properties must be submitted by a Broker/Agent. All offers for properties must be submitted through Mills Realty.
Financing Opportunities for New Homes
A foreclosed property can represent a fantastic opportunity and a good value — but a Mills Realty property can offer even more. Some homes may qualify for special incentives, which will be clearly indicated on the property details page of an eligible property.
Government programs allow accessible financing and support sustainable homeownership. Key features include:
- Low Down Payment and Flexible Sources of Funds. Allows down payments as low as 3%, with no minimum contribution required from the buyer’s own funds (on 1-unit properties).
- Conventional home financing with private mortgage insurance (PMI) that, unlike many government-insured loans, may be eligible for cancellation when home equity reaches 20%.
- Homeownership education helps buyers get ready to buy a home and be prepared for the responsibilities of homeownership. The required training offers an easy-to-use, online course provided by Framework.
- Underwriting Flexibilities. Through an innovative new feature that supports extended households, income from a non-borrower family member or other adult living in the household may be considered to allow for higher debt-to-income ratios.
* There are other requirements for getting approved for a mortgage. Speak with your lender to learn more
Financing Assistance Programs
Many state and local housing authorities offer financing programs that can assist you with the down payment and purchase of your new home. Additionally, HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) provides homebuyer funds through special financing programs and many other programs.
For more information contact:
Mills Realty Inc.
2640 W. Touhy suite 212
Chicago Illinois 60645