Deciding to Buy

Buying A Home In Chicago


Pre-approval is basically a promise from the lender that you’re qualified to borrow up to a certain amount of money at a specific interest rate, subject to a property appraisal and other requirements.

The process of getting pre-approved is actually quite simple. All you have to do is provide your lender the documentation that they require. Be prepared to supply your loan representative with pay stubs, bank account statements, tax returns and W-2 forms from the previous 2 years, and documents to show other sources of income (which could include a second job, overtime, commissions and bonuses, interest and dividend income, Social Security payments, VA and retirement benefits, alimony, and child support). Beyond that, the ball is in the underwriter’s court.

Some other things you can do to increase your purchasing power:

  1. Work to improve your credit score.

  2. Correct any errors on your credit report, which could help to raise your credit score.

  3. Decrease your overall debt and improve your debt-to-income ratio.

  4. Increase your down payment amount in order to qualify for a larger loan.

First-Time Buyers

Buying a home can be thrilling and nerve-wracking at the same time, especially for a first-time homebuyer. It’s difficult to know exactly what to expect. The learning curve can be steep, but most of the issues can be resolved by doing a little financial homework at the outset and working with an experienced agent that can handle any curveball that may arise in the process.

Planning ahead and researching neighborhoods is most important. Or you can hire a real estate broker to help you. Although not all real estate transactions are done with realtors, majority of consumers turned to one in the sales process. 

Taking time to visit open houses is a helpful way to figure out what neighborhoods and areas are suitable for you. You are not required to come with a licensed Realtor©

If you are looking to engage a Chicago realtor@ please contact a specialist at 312-404-5994.




Are you relocating to Wilmette or Winnetka? Looking for more information to help you find the right city and neighborhood for your family?

Our relocation guide includes the most up-to-date and vital information for people looking to move to our area. Successfully moving depends on having the right people in the right places. KoenigRubloff’s award winning relocation service is achieved with a professional staff of Real Estate agents and trained relocation agents servicing five counties in the metro Chicago area. To find out more information click here.

Escrow & Closing Cost

Closing costs will generally range from 2 -3% of the purchase price depending on a number of factors. The following estimates apply to the city of Chicago, but will be similar for most of the suburbs such as Wilmette and Winnetka real estate closings.

All closings are done through the buyer’s and seller’s and sellers attorney’s. If you are unsure who to use, ask the realtor you hired to recommend 2-3 attorneys they have personally closed a deal with.

Almost all of these costs are paid at the time of closing. To view more information about closing cost for buyer and sellers click here.

Private & Exempted Real Estate Listings

Are you looking for homes that are pre-listed and are exempted from the MLS? Often time Sellers sign listing agreements and are not ready to begin showing their home until they physically prepared the home for sale. The List agent is required to put the home on an Exempt Listing Sheet. If you are still not sure if an “exempt listing” is right for you please contact a sales associate who can help answers your questions or locate a exempt list in your desired neighborhood.

Home Warranty


A home warranty is a contract between a homeowner and a home warranty company that provides for discounted repair and replacement service on a home’s major components, such as the furnace, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical system. A home warranty may also cover major appliances such as washers and dryers, refrigerators and swimming pools.

Most plans have a basic component that provides all homeowners who purchase a policy with certain coverages. Homeowners can also purchase one or more optional components that provide additional coverage at additional cost. To view pricing for home warranty  from American Home Warranty click here.

Moving Tips

  1. If possible, try to make a moving plan at least six to eight weeks prior to your actual moving day.

  2. Obtain three different movers’ estimates. The summer and the last few days of each month are the busiest times for movers, and some charge higher rates because of this. If you can be flexible, try to schedule your move in the middle of the month and avoid moving in June, July and August.

  3. Ask your salesperson if the company is a member of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). Members of the AMSA abide by the terms of the Association’s published tariffs (rates for moving) and agree to participate in the Arbitration Program sponsored by the organization.

  4. Once you’ve interviewed several moving companies, make sure you have the details of each estimate and retain a copy. If you are moving out of state, your mover is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to provide you with the consumer booklet, Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move, and information about its dispute settlement program.

  5. Once your goods are packed, write your name on several sides of each box in order to make it easier to identify above and beyond the inventory stickers placed on it.

  6. When your goods arrive at your new home, make sure you are present to inspect them. Do not sign anything concerning their condition until you have inspected each box and every piece of furniture. If there is some damage, write that on the inventory list. Before the movers leave, make sure your appliances have been hooked up. Then take a deep breath and begin settling into your new home.

Checkout the whole article here.

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