10 Steps to Purchasing Your First Home

10 Steps to Purchasing Your First Home

1.  Call the IRS at 800-829-1040 and request free tax transcripts for the last four years
2.  Call your HR department at work and request a payroll report for the last six months
3.  Visit a reputable lender, such as a bank or mortgage broker
4.  Get Pre-Qualified for a loan to learn how large of a loan you qualify for
5.  Interview 3 skilled realtors who work in the area you want to find a home in
6.  Meet with a housing counselor to learn about grants and First Time Homebuyer incentives
7.  Search for homes in only the neighborhoods you like and have reasonable commute times
8.  Limit your search to homes that are 20% less in cost than what you re pre-approved for
9.  Interview at least 2 homes inspectors use them whenever you make an offer
10.  Hire good legal counsel that is experienced and focused on real estate

Good Resources:

A.  Latin United Housing Association (
B.  Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association (
C.  NLO First Time Homebuyer Guide – request at

Great Depression Real Estate Values

Great Depression Real Estate Values – NLO Nelson Law Office  In 1933 the housing market bottomed out.  Your could get a mortgage for about 4% and housing values fell to as little as 25% of the 1929 boom prices due to foreclosures and a simple lack of demand for homes.

In 2006, a condo which sold for $140,000 can be sold for $50,000.  This over 50% reduction in real estate values couldn’t even be conceived of during the housing boom.

The good news is that this is allowing most Chapter 13 debtors to get rid of their second mortgages.  The bad news is that for many of us we have lost a lot of equity in our homes.

The really important thing to remember is that whether you are selling a home in a real estate closing or filing a bankruptcy – 2011 is not an ordinary time and extraordinary if not surprising things are happening.

For basic values on real estate – I recommend trying

For realistic values that are rock solid I recommend a licensed appraiser such as Sara Chambers at PF Appraisal (  Oftentimes, asking a realtor for a recommendation is a good place to start.

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