Potential Red Flags When Buying a New Home

buying, Wheaton real estate lawyersBuying a new home can be a very exciting undertaking. However, there are also many potential pitfalls, and it is important to not take the process lightly. If you are in the market for a new home, it is a good idea to take your time and make sure that you are making the best possible decision for your situation. You should also enlist the help of a qualified residential real estate lawyer to assist you along the way. As you begin your home search, be on the lookout for red flags that might be indicators that the house you are thinking about buying would be a big mistake.

Difficulties With Inspections

A home inspection is an essential part of the home-buying process. The point of the inspection is to make sure that a prospective buyer is fully aware of any problems that exist with the home. Roof issues, water damage, outdated electrical wiring, plumbing concerns, and a variety of other problems are not always immediately noticeable without an inspection by a fully qualified inspector.

Unfortunately, not all homeowners are cooperative with the inspection process. An owner might try to influence the inspector or dissuade you from using your own inspector. If the current owner of the home you are considering is standing in the way of a comprehensive inspection, it could be a sign that the owner is attempting to conceal serious problems.

Missing Work Permits

If the home you are considering has had major work done on it—including additions or renovations—you and your lawyer should request a copy of the Report of Residential Building Record. Also called the 3R report, this report includes all of the municipally-issued permits for work done on the home since it was first built. If there was substantial work done without the appropriate permits, it could be an indicator that the work was not completed to code by a professional. As a result, the work may have been done poorly, leading to possible safety concerns.

Sounds and Smells

When you walked through the home for the first time, did it smell clean and fresh, or were there overpowering scents being created by potpourri or candles? If it was the latter, the owner or the listing agent could be trying to cover up permanent bad odors. Such odors could be caused by mold, pets, or a number of other sources.

Likewise, if there louder-than-expected music or any type of white noise, the seller could be trying to conceal noise—either from the neighborhood or the home itself. Before you make a decision to buy, ask the seller to turn off fans, air conditioners, and music so that you can hear what the home and neighborhood actually sounds like.

Contact a DuPage County Real Estate Lawyer

A new home will probably be one of the biggest investments you will ever make. Therefore, you need to take the process of buying a home very seriously. For guidance, contact an experienced Wheaton residential real estate attorney at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation today.





Planning to Purchase a New Home? Watch Out for These Common Mistakes

buying, Wheaton Real Estate LawyersThere are so many things to consider when you are thinking about a new home purchase. What neighborhood should you move to? What types of amenities are most important to you? Are there certain features in a home that you cannot live without? What size home should you buy? Fantasizing about the perfect new house, apartment, or condominium can be one of the most enjoyable parts about the home-buying process. However, those looking to buy a home should also be aware of the many pitfalls that can spell disaster. The home-buying process can involve complicated financial challenges and legalese-filled documents that are impossible to understand. This is one reason it is so important to work with an experienced real estate attorney when buying a new home.

Buying a Home that Exceeds Your Budget

Making a realistic budget can be extremely difficult. The majority of people grossly underestimate their actual expenses and forget about the small expenses that add up every month. If you overestimate the amount of money you can reasonably contribute to your mortgage every month, you may find yourself unable to make these payments on time. You could even end up at risk of foreclosure. When determining how much you can spend on a new home, make sure to consider the added costs which you do not necessarily experience as a renter. You will need to account for property taxes, utility bills, and the costs of maintaining your home.

Sticking to your budget can take a great deal of self-control. Many people struggle with this part of the home-buying process. Make sure you work with your real estate agent and lawyer to find a budget that will not leave you with more house than you can afford. Seeking pre-approval for your mortgage loan is one way to help ensure that you do not miscalculate your budget and overcommit.

Moving Before You Are Ready

Moving to a new home can be thrilling, however, home buyers should be wary of moving before they are truly ready. Most mortgage lenders calculate your average income using your income from the past two years. If you have not had your job long enough, you may want to wait a year or two before buying a new home. The same is true if you have not established a good credit score or saved enough for a decent down payment. Ultimately, it is better to know for sure that you are ready to buy a home than to find out you were not ready after it is too late.

Contact a DuPage Real Estate Lawyer

Buying a home is potentially the largest purchase you will ever make. To get the legal guidance you need when purchasing a new home, contact Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Call us today at 630-665-2500 for a personal consultation with an experienced Wheaton real estate attorney.





Tips for Purchasing Your First Home

purchasing your first home, DuPage County Real Estate AttorneyOne of the most exciting experiences for a person or for a couple is the purchase of a first home. After years of working hard and saving towards that down payment, it can feel very rewarding to actually sign on the dotted line and become a homeowner. However, the process is not without the occasional hiccup—and headaches. Therefore, following a few tips can help the purchase go smoother.

What is Your Credit Score?

One of the first steps a potential home buyer should take is to check his or her credit. Financial institutions put a heavy weight on a person's credit score when it comes to deciding how much—or if—they will approve a mortgage.

To begin, request a copy of your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies and look over these reports carefully. Examine your credit reports for any errors. Look for any unpaid accounts or accounts sent to collections. It is not uncommon for a person to apply for a mortgage and then discover that they have an unpaid credit card or utility bill from years ago. You may have forgotten the debt, but the mortgage company will look at those types of entries unfavorably.

If you do find unpaid debt, then make sure you pay it off immediately. Additionally, keep a record to show the bank or mortgage company that you made the payment.

Track Your Cash Flow

Purchasing a home and all the extras—both planned and unplanned—is expensive. It is important to know where the money you earn every month is going to and how much you should have left over at the end of the month. Keep track of exactly where and what you are spending it on.

For potential home buyers who are self-employed or contract employees, keep in mind that lenders will want to see at least two years' worth of concrete earnings before they will consider approving a mortgage.

Have Required Documentation Ready

When you apply for a mortgage, the majority of lending institutions will want to see your two most recent paycheck stubs, the last two months of all your bank statements (including blank pages), past two years' income tax returns, as well as any and all W-2 forms.

Figure Out How Much You Can Afford

It is critical to calculate what your debt-to-income ratio is in order to see just how much you can afford for a mortgage and how much of a down payment you will need to put on the home you choose. Financial advisors say a person should be spending no more than 28 percent of their gross monthly income towards housing expenses.

Once you find your home and qualify for the mortgage, there are still multiple legal issues which may need to be addressed during the home buying process. That is why it is important to have an experienced DuPage County real estate attorney representing you though this process. Call us today to schedule your appointment.