Thinking about buying a home in Champaign-Urbana IL? It’s a big decision, as you know, but one that can immensely improve your lifestyle, as well as put you on a path to a rewarding financial future when done with discretion.
Here are a few tips that can help prepare you to move forward with the purchase of a home:
1. Get a free copy of your credit report. You can get a free copy of the report from each of the three credit bureaus annually at www.annualcreditreport.com. Simply take a look and make sure that everything on the report is accurate. If you find errors, get in touch with the credit bureau and have it corrected, if possible, before you apply for a home loan. (Be warned that errors can sometimes take months for the credit bureaus to correct and errors, unfortunately, can negatively impact your ability to qualify for a home loan!)
2. Take a look at your lease to know when it expires and whether or not you need to give notice to your landlord that you will not be renewing the lease. I’m speaking from experience when I say that what you think you remember is on the lease from back when you signed it may not be an accurate memory, so it’s important to go back and have a look.
3. Think about how much you can afford (eventually you’ll need to talk to a lender, of course, to know for sure) and also think about how much you’re willing to spend on a Champaign-Urbana home. What is the maximum monthly payment that you’re comfortable with? Be sure to factor in that you’ll have quite a few additional expenses with owning a home than you have with renting (additional utilities, maintenance, etc.). Simply being aware of the numbers ahead of time can help keep you within your own designated budget when it comes to choosing a home.
3. Make a list of things that are important to you to have in your next Champaign-Urbana IL home. Examples: located close to where you work, at least 2 bathrooms, large backyard, granite countertops, etc. This list will most likely change a little as you start looking at homes and discover your true priorities. You’ll also realize that you most likely are not going to find a Champaign-Urbana home with everything on your list, and compromises will have to be made. But this list can serve as a great starting point for you and your real estate agent to begin the search.
4. Speaking of real estate agents, you may want to begin researching the ones in your area. No matter where you live, there will be lots and lots of real estate agents to choose from. Even so, they are not all the same, so you’ll want to make sure that the agent you choose is qualified to help you and is someone with whom you could work well. You might start by asking some friends if they know of anyone they would recommend. Another option is to visit some open houses to “interview” the agents and see who is knowledgeable and who you’d be comfortable working with. And of course, you can always research the agents online.
Any questions? Feel free to get in touch with us anytime. Good luck and happy house hunting!