FIRST TIME BUYER? Is 2017 the year you have decided to make this decision?  Many first time buyers realize that although sometimes the thought of ownership is a bit frightening, the benefits of ownership can be great.  I have been helping first time buyers for almost 30 years find their first home.  I have given over 30 seminars on this topic and am a first time buyer expert.  

First Time Buyer Concerns

First Time Buyers are concerned with not knowing the process, they are afraid of making the wrong move, and get advice from websites and everyone they know and do not know how to sort through the enormous amounts of information to make good, solid decisions when buying their first home.  They don't understand all of the terms.

If you work with me and my team, will go through the steps that you will need to do with patience and explanation.  To be successful in buying, you need a great team.  I can refer you to expert professionals, such as attorneys, lenders, and inspectors, who will assist you in the process.  If you have questions, I am always available to provide answers or I will refer you to the right person.  If you have questions now about where to start, what is the best timing, or any other questions, just give me a call at 773-442-2357 or email me at

What is a Short Sale? A short sale is the purchase of a property where the seller knows that the value of the property is less than the amount he owes on his mortgage. When you make an offer on a short sale, the bank does not own the property, the seller still does. The seller will take your offer and ask his bank if they will consider it. The seller gets no benefits or proceeds from the sale, they are simply relieved of the debt.  The short sale process is often very lengthy, because the banks have a complicated process before they can waive the debt. Before you consider a short sale, be sure you have flexibility in your present living situation due to the undetermined time it can take. Expect that the offer you make will get counter-offered. It doesn't always happen but often the lender will require more than you offer. This is normal, too. The good news is that if you have patience and flexibility, you will often be able to purchase a great property under value.  There are a lot more details for me to explain if we are working together, so if you have other questions, please contact me at 773-442-2357 or and I will respond.

Is a Foreclosure Purchase different that a Short Sale Purchase? Yes! In a foreclosure, the property is now owned by the bank that made the original mortgage, not the seller.  The foreclosure process for the bank to get possession is long, and by the time it is listed for sale, it has usually been vacant for some time.  Often there is considerable damage to the property due to weather, vandalism, or a seller who leaves angrily. You will be able to have a property inspection once your offer is accepted, so be sure to allow for possible repairs.  The short sale purchase process is lengthy, but a foreclosure sale can close quickly (14-45 days). Be aware that you will always buy a foreclosure "as is", without any warranties, and will be required to sign the lenders amendment after your offer is accepted.  In a condominium in Illinois, you may have to pay up to 6 months back assessments.  There are other things in a foreclosure purchase that you should know and I can help you with. Feel free to contact me at 773-442-2357 or

So now you know about short sales and foreclosures, what about a "regular" or standard sale purchase?  The first step in any purchase is to determine how you will buy it and how much you can spend.  If you are planning to pay cash, you will need to be able to provide a bank statement indicating that you have the cash available.  This is called "proof of funds".  If you are planning on getting a mortgage, your first step should be to contact a lender for a "pre-approval" letter.  This pre-approval letter should indicate the maximum mortgage you are qualified for, how much you plan on putting down for a down payment, and the type of loan you will be getting (conventional, FHA, VA, etc).  The type of loan is very important information. This allows me to know what properties to show you, and how to write a contract on your behalf. If you are qualified for an FHA or VA loan and you want to purchase a single family, condo, or 2-4 unit, I will need to be sure it meets FHA/VA guidelines.  I try to do that before we even see the property. The lenders I refer you to are well versed in these types of properties, too, and will be very helpful in answering a lot of your concerns.  If you are going with a conventional loan, there are other requirements for these, too, which I will help you sort through.

Once you get your pre-approval or have your proof of funds, then we will begin the fun part--shopping for your home.  With the benefits of the internet, I set you up so that you will get notified with real-time data when a property is newly on the market, a price change, or back on market.  This is different that working through Zillow/Trulia, or any of the other public sites.  When you find a property you want to go see, I will make the appointments for us to view them.  I can help you as we are going through the property with ideas (if you need them) for furniture arrangements, rough estimate of costs of possible changes that you may want to do, and other questions you may have to determine if this is the right property for you.  

Once you select a property, I will help you with the paperwork and answer any questions you may have.  Once your offer is accepted, I will assist you with the purchase process.  There are many other details to this process that I will assist you with and each purchase is unique.  My nearly 30 years of experience will help guide you.  

I am reachable at by phone at 773-442-2357 or by email at