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.



What You Should Know About Selling Your Home This Winter

winter, Wheaton real estate attorneysMost real estate agents and attorneys will tell you that that the spring and summer are the most popular seasons for buying a new home. As a result, they are also the seasons during which many people will sell their home, since, without a home that is for sale, the buyer cannot buy, obviously.

While it is true that spring and summer are traditionally the prime home-buying seasons, if you are ready to move now, there is no reason to wait until winter is over. With the right guidance, selling your home during the colder months could help you realize an excellent return on your investment.

A Smaller, More Competitive Market

Since springtime is allegedly the “best” time to sell a home, many owners throughout the region are likely to wait until the weather breaks before they list their homes. This means that if you decide to wait as well, your home will be on the market with dozens, if not hundreds, of homes, many of which will probably be in and around your neighborhood.

If you list your home now, there will be fewer homes available compared to a few months from now. As a result, your home will be able to stand out from the crowd. With fewer available options, potential buyers are more likely to end up looking in your direction.

Fewer Browsers and More Buyers

The “slower” home sales season also means that fewer buyers will be out and about looking for new homes. Those who are looking, however, are likely to be much more serious than those you might encounter during the warmer months. When the weather is nice, engaged couples and families often start browsing the real estate listings and attending open houses without any real intention to make an offer. During the colder months, you will have to spend less time and energy on “lookers” or “browsers,” allowing you to focus on well-intentioned buyers.

Highlighting the Features of Your Home

Meticulous landscaping and lush, green grass can certainly give your home curb appeal in the spring and summer, but the winter provides an opportunity to show would-be buyers that your home is equipped to handle the elements. If you have recently installed new windows or a high-efficiency furnace, for example, it is easier to show the benefits of such features during a cold-weather showing. Amenities such as hot tubs or fireplaces could also offer substantial appeal during the winter months.

Finally, nearly every home looks its best after it has been decorated for the winter holidays. Shimmering lights and colorful decorations create a welcoming atmosphere. When would-be buyers or open house guests feel at home, they are often more inclined to make a serious offer.

Call a Wheaton Real Estate Lawyer

While selling your home is possible during the winter, you will still have many legal issues to address before the new owner can move in. Contact a skilled and experienced DuPage County real estate attorney to get the help you need. Call Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC at 630-665-2500 for a personal consultation today.



What Should I Do If My Tenant Stopped Paying Rent?

rent, Wheaton real estate lawyersIf you own and lease out residential or commercial real estate, it is almost a certainty that you will be forced to deal with tenants who pay their rent late. You may offer a grace period to help your tenants, but sooner or later, someone will fail to pay on time. As a landlord, there are few things you might wish to consider—and some things you must do—before initiating formal eviction proceedings.

Communicate With Your Tenant

Communication is the key to preventing misunderstandings and solving small problems before they become major issues. If your tenant has missed the window for on-time payments, reach out to him or her to find out what is going on. Send a text message, make a phone call, or stop by, especially if this is the first time this tenant had a problem.

During your conversation, try to determine if the tenant’s financial situation has changed. If he or she is concerned about no longer being able to afford to meet the rental obligations, consider offering to let the tenant out of the lease. Be sure that the tenant knows that he or she will only have a few days during which your offer is valid—say five to seven days. You might be surprised by how quickly your tenant comes up with the money to pay.

Send or Post a Demand Notice

Before you can begin the process of evicting your tenant, he or she must be given the opportunity to get caught up on the rent. To provide this opportunity, you must notify the tenant in writing of the total amount due. You must also give him or her at least five days to pay in full before you can consider the lease to be terminated. Once the lease is terminated, you can begin eviction proceedings.

It is up to you if you are willing to accept partial payments or a payment arrangement, but the law in Illinois gives you the right to terminate the lease if full payment is not made. If you are not willing to accept partial payments or arrangements, your demand notice should state that only full payment will keep the lease in effect.

Speak With a Wheaton Real Estate Attorney

If your tenant has failed to pay his or her rent, you will need to take some kind of action to protect your rights and your real estate investment. An experienced DuPage County real estate lawyer can help you handle any type of landlord-tenant dispute, including the non-payment of rent. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC today.