Our Buyers’ Most Frequently Asked Questions…Answered!


Our Dirty Little Secrets for Buying a Home

Buying a home can be confusing. That’s why the tips and strategies you’ll find in our 8-week series will set you on the right path. It’s our own unique approach and a “behind the scenes” glimpse of what you should look out for and consider when starting your own search for a home.

As homebuyers, you want to make sure you don’t make a mistake throughout the process. Or, you might worry that you don’t know what you don’t know!

I hear from my clients all the time about their concerns and questions when buying a home in today’s market.  That’s why I’m here to provide answers to some of the most common questions I get so you can become better informed and more reassured.

The questions swirling around in your mind are likely the same ones other buyers, like you, want to ask too.  And, more than likely, it was the same questions that buyers who went before you have also asked!

I’ve heard your question before, and even if I haven’t, no question is ever a “dumb question,” so ask away!  And, if you have any questions that aren’t listed below here, reach out and ask! 

Even though each buyer’s situation is unique, you’ll find the question/answer sections below helpful in giving you some insight on what steps might be best for you. 

Plus, maybe you’ll also learn something “you didn’t know you didn’t know”!

Q:  How do I know the property value will increase?

Although there are no guarantees, there are clues and historical data that are indicative of future performance.  One thing that drives home values on the North Shore is maintaining your home with updates visible to the buyer’s eye, and its location within the town you choose. A home located near a particular elementary school or close to the downtown, Metra and/or transportation, and in some suburbs along the North Shore, being close to the lake is very desirable! 

If you know the area is changing and is going to increase in density or desirability, you are likely to see an increase in value over time, perhaps more than other areas.  

Being near transit is also a good indicator that your value will increase over time.  The good news about the North Shore market, in general, is that it remains a very desirable place to move with convenient options to get into the city and has great schools for your family with low inventory.  That is a recipe for an increase in value overtime.

However, you still need to buy smart — each neighborhood, block and/or building can be different and it’s important to understand so you don’t overpay.  

There is an old saying that says you make money in real estate when you buy, so focus on that and you’ll be fine when you sell.

Q:  How long does the process of buying a home on the North Shore take?

This can be a tough question to answer. We have very low inventory still on the North Shore, so it is important to make sure you find the right home for you first!

Once you have found your home the process can move anywhere from 20 days to 60 days on average. At times, we are seeing where sellers are asking for some lease back time after closing to allow them to get a new place. In this case, you can close between 20 and 45 days and then you may add another month until you get into your home.    

Once you have decided the number of days you want to close in, it is important to work closely with your agent, lawyer, and lender to keep the process moving smoothly. I manage this process for my clients to help them make sure each steps is on track to achieve getting our “clear to close.”

I work with several lenders who can start the underwriting process before you find a home to put you in a position to close faster, allowing you to get into your home faster, which positions you in a way that is more appealing to a seller and like you are a cash buyer because you can close quickly.

Ultimately, the timeline and process for closing on the North Shore can happen in as little as 20 days once you have found your home. If you choose to close quickly, then listen closely to your agent to stay on that timeline to achieve your goal!

Q: What are some tips for finding a home on the North Shore with very low inventory?

Finding a home in this market can seem a little daunting! However, if you have some tips and insight, it can ensure a smooth and happy process to buying your new home.

I like to help my clients by meeting with them first to get a full understanding of exactly what they are looking for before we go out to look at home. This saves to in the end because I am able to draft a plan to help them hone in and move quickly.  

Having a deep understanding of the different communities and towns within the North Shore is key. That is where you want to rely on your agent’s in-depth knowledge to connect you with pocket listings and homes on the Private Network that not everyone has the opportunity to see.

Another great option is finding a home that needs some work. With all the older homes we have on the North Shore, it can really help if you are willing to do some work to get the home you want! This also gives you the chance to put your own spin on a home so it becomes the perfect space for you and your family.

It is really important to be patient and persistent throughout the process! Remember that low inventory markets can be competitive, and it’s essential to be prepared, have a clear understanding of your needs, and be ready to act swiftly when the right property becomes available. Having a knowledgeable agent will be your most valuable asset throughout this process.

Q:  How do I get a good deal in this market?

Good question, and one I focus on for each and every one of my clients!  I always say, you make money when you buy in real estate, so making sure you buy right is HUGE.  

The one and only way to make sure you are getting good deal is to look at the specific neighborhood or block you are buying in and compare your home to what has sold over the last six months to nine months.  

There will be a range in price depending on the specific location and condition.  Compare the home you want to buy with what has sold recently to make sure you are not overpaying.  

Also, get information from your agent about the home, and make your offer accordingly.  The longer a home sits on the market, the more likely you can get a lower price.  

And please keep this in mind—just because something is “cheap” doesn’t mean it’s a good deal.  Be sure not to make this crucial mistake!

Here are just a couple questions I seem to get frequently from clients. There is so much more. Please reach out so I can help you answer your specific questions.Next week is one of our most favorite articles — Is the “Paradox of Choice” Derailing Your Home Search? We tell you the secrets from this book that can help you focus on making a decision and not being overwhelmed by too many choices. You don’t want to miss it!

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I'm Stephanie Eiden and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true. 

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