Home Buying in 60302>Question Details

Irene, Home Buyer in Oak Park, IL

House for sale in Oak Park

Asked by Irene, Oak Park, IL Sun Jun 22, 2008

I currently live in Oak Park, in a one bedroom condo. I have great credit, credit score 780 and I make 98K. I am the one of four siblings who will have the responsibility of taking care of my mother when she can no longer take care of herself. I found the perfect house for me right now, and my mother should she at some point need to move in with me. The problem is this, the house is listed at 319K and I can only afford 275K. I have 20K in the bank but that is it. Once I use that for the downpayment on any house I will no money for repairs or emergencies. Do you think if I wrote the home owner a letter and expained my situation it might make him/her more receptive to my offer? With the taxes, etc. I really don't want to go over the 275K. I've been looking for over 6 months. The homes in my price range need so much work to even make them liveable. Any suggestions?

Help the community by answering this question:


Did you have any luck? What has happened?

I saw a house on HUMPHREY that closed for 44% of it's asking price for a 5 bedroom 2 bath home close in September for only $160,000. I can only guess that this house probably was purchased for so low because the buyers convinced the sellers that it was in such bad shape it should be torn down. Oak Park is a wonderful community with so much to offer but you are right, they need so much work to even make them liveable in your price range. If you haven't bought yet, give yourself plenty of room financially to make necessary repairs. Only put down 5% if you can and put the rest in an emergency fund. In negotiating a price, ask the sellers for credits for necessary repairs and assistance with closing costs. Do NOT be afraid to offer much lower than the asking price.

Good luck,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 16, 2008
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
Hi Irene,
Interesting conundrum you and many buyers are finding themselves in these days... What can you really lose by putting in the offer at your preferred price? Many sellers are negotiating far more than they would have previously. Conversely, many sellers would not be able to afford to sell their homes for much less than they're asking... It's a case by case situation, and you won't know til you try. Best of luck!

Laurie Christofano, Realtor with The Pych Team @ RE/MAX in the Village, your #1 pick for local full service real estate services
Web Reference: http://www.KyraPych.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008
Oak park has had very favorable market stats for sellers recently. Over the past 14 days, 18 single family homes are posted under contract, and 20 homes have closed. In contrast, only 8 homes have entered the market for sale.

Place an offer and see if the seller is willing to go with it. I always recommend my clients write a letter expressing their interest and complimenting the seller's home (everyone is in a more favorable mood when complimented) when bidding in a competitive situation. When writing a letter to the owner, careful to not play the violin for too long. You want to make sure that you let the owner know you are motivated to purchase, love the home, and are capable of closing. This should get you the best response.

I would suggest having your agent look at the recent sales and comparing this home to known closings. If 275K looks like a fair price, include these comparables with your offer.

I too looked long and hard at Oak Park and River Forest during my home search a few years ago. I ended up purchasing a fabulous prairie school home in North Maywood. We love our home and our neighborhood, and still are only a short bike ride/walk to OPRF area. Nowadays, I am a Landmarks Commissioner in Maywood and am proud to be part of the vibrant renaissance happening there. There will be a historic housewalk in Maywood on July 13. Email me if you'd like more info. If you're interested in exploring alternatives, ask your agent to show you properties in Berwyn, Maywood, Galewood, Elmwood Park, etc.

Good luck with the search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 23, 2008
Put an offer for 275k and see what happens. They can either reject or counter. If they reject wait 2 weeks then make another offer. If they counter then you counter. Don't give the sellers your personal reasons why you are offering 275k because the sellers are not from the Red Cross and they probably won't care. Now if you give valid reasons for going to 275k ie:needs alot of work, similar houses that sold RECENTLY are selling around that price etc then those are legitimate reasons to lower the asking price.

Now, where do you come up with the down payment and avoid PMI. Do what I did and go with bank of America. I locked in at 6.75 and I am only putting 5% down. Also, they are paying for ALL CLOSING costs except taxes, insurance, escrow. So now you have some more money to make a counter-offer.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
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