Purchasing a home isn't just about finding a house you like and making an offer. Buying real estate involves a number of legal agreements and complicated processes, and it can be daunting to do it yourself. If you are considering buying a home for the first time, there are a few questions you may be asking:
Should I Hire a Real Estate Agent, an Attorney, or Both?
When looking for a house, many people start by getting in touch with a realtor and rely most heavily on their insight throughout the process. By doing so, you may not get the full picture when purchasing a home. There are a few things you should keep in mind before going with a real estate agent?
- A real estate agent can't anticipate or help you with legal issues. They can help you get connected with prospective sellers and evaluate things like curb appeal, architecture, and the neighborhood. These are important issues to consider when buying a home, but perhaps even more significant are the state of the home's title, the legality of alterations made to the home, and avoiding liability for a brokerage commission.
- Real estate agents use generic forms when drafting purchase agreements and other important documents. This could land you in a great deal of trouble later on. A real estate lawyer, on the other hand, is trained to anticipate potential problems and evaluate the essential documents in order to save you a headache in the future.
- Real estate agents are helpful, but they are still salespeople. They receive a commission if (and only if) you purchase a home, so they are motivated to get you to buy a house. Real estate attorneys typically charge flat or hourly fees for things like giving legal advice and preparing documents, and they are primarily motivated to protect you and help you make a wise home-buying decision.
Are There Ways to Make Buying a House More Affordable?
Yes. There are a variety of affordable ways to buy a home and a number of alternatives to standard house-shopping, including:
- Buying a home at or after foreclosure
- Buying a home with another person (also known as “joint purchasing”)
- Buying a home through a probate sale or at auction
- Buying a home as a short sale
You may also wish to purchase a home with extra space for renters. This can be a great way to make owning a home more affordable, but it does come with important tax and business law considerations, which you must walk through with an experienced real estate lawyer.
What Should I Do Before Purchasing a Home?
If you are interested in buying a house, there are a few things you should consider first:
- Budget: If you go into the home-buying process without drawing a hard line and knowing exactly what you're willing to spend, you will likely end up spending more than you can or should. Do yourself a favor and establish a budget beforehand, considering all costs associated with a down payment, closing, a mortgages, monthly payments, legal fees, and more.
- Credit: The better your credit, the more likely you are to get a favorable interest rate on a housing loan, and the more likely you are to be a candidate for the house you want. It may make more sense to wait until you've paid off some of your current or high-interest-rate loans before beginning to look for a house. It is also important to have a demonstrable pattern of paying bills on time and have physical copies of your credit report in-hand.
- Employment: Put simply, a consistent, well-paying job is non-negotiable for anyone seeking to purchase a home. It can significantly help you during the home-buying process if you have had a steady job for a few years (at least 2) and have not seen a major dip in compensation during that time.
There are a number of other key things you should be thinking about and preparing for if you are interested in buying a home. By contacting an experienced attorney right away, you may be able to prevent unnecessary conflict and set yourself up for a successful home-buying experience. Connect with a Chicago real estate attorney today.
Experienced Real Estate Lawyers Serving Prospective Homeowners in Cook County
At Ahmad Law Firm, we understand all the ins and outs of buying and selling real estate. Many buyers do not realize that a variety of legal agreements (and a significant amount of legal paperwork) are necessary when purchasing a home, and it can be challenging to wade through all of it alone. Our team knows how to handle titles, insurance, price negotiation, and everything else that the purchasing process requires, from beginning to end.
Connect with us today by calling (847) 791-2294. We are available 24/7 and offer free consultations.