Ready to buy a home? Great! Although today is the best time to buy a home (mortgage rates may never be lower!) It may be the hardest time to buy a home.

Purchasing a Short Sale or Foreclosure is a different ballgame from a regular home sale.

When buying a home you need a team of experts to work with you.

The Lender: Choose a lender that writes mortgages in your area (at least your state). Each state has different RESPA laws (Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act) In my opinion (and experience)  it is near impossible for a lender to know all different rules in all states. Also, your lender should by readily available for you and your team should a question arise (even email is fine here). I have worked with lenders that answer there phone at 8 p.m. on a Sunday night and I have worked with lenders that you press 12 buttons on your phone just to leave a message that isn't returned. It's obvious which are better. Your Agent should give you a list of names.

The Attorney: Choose a Real Estate Attorney,  not a family lawyer, a divorce lawyer, etc. Just Real Estate law, it's hard for someone to be an expert if they only do something occasionally. If your buying a short sale, your attorney should specialize in short sales and have successfully closed more than a few. (Ask your Real Estate Agent for a list of names).

The Real Estate Agent: Choose an Agent that you feel comfortable asking questions, and is knowledgeable in their answers (even if they have to "get back to you") They should "get back to you" in a reasonable amount of time (depending on the urgency of your question). Don't look to your agent to tell you what schools are "good" or what areas are "good". Your agent should be responsible for finding you the house that fits your needs, in your price range, and make sure you don't overpay for it. Your agent should show you comparable homes that have sold, help you choose your offer price, write a strong offer, and know how to negotiate it with factual points. Your agent should be there with you through the closing, and at the closing. Your agent should be there for you after the closing. (Ask me for a list of good agents in your area).

The Home Inspector: Although you only see your Home Inspector once, the job he presents is of great importance. The Inspection is done after the price has been negotiated (and your offer becomes a contract) and before the 5 day attorney (and inspection) review period ends. The inspection cannot change the price you've offered, negotiated, and settled on. It can, however proove points to negotiate repairs, or credits at closing, or give you the opportunity to walk away from the home. Your inspector should be knowledgeable about current building codes, village requirements, and home equipment and appliances. They should also have the tools to test these items. Finally, an inspector should present a professional and timely report. I have worked with Inspectors that will give the home owner a "manual" to their new home. For of list of Home Inspectors like this, let me know.

Better than luck is preparation.  It will save you a lot of time and a ton of stress.

This Month In Real Estate       Eight steps to buying your home

Deciding how much house you can afford           Creating your home wishlist

Location, Location, Location           Opting for new home construction

How can a real estate agent help me?              Eight important questions to ask your agent

Mortgage Calculator                Contact us about buying a home