Home Buying in Lincoln Park>Question Details

Julie, Home Buyer in 60614

Was Planning on buying a property, then got laid off, what to do?

Asked by Julie, 60614 Sun Jul 13, 2008

Ok, so I moved to Chicago Lincoln Park about a year ago and started looking for a place to buy a couple of months ago, but was subsequently unexpectedly laid off due to re-org. I am currently looking for other jobs. Should I proceed with my buying decision? or should I rent for a while until the job situation works out AND i am firmly set on living in chicago for a long time (5-10 yrs)? Would I be missing out on a great buyer market if I wait?

Here is the deal. I like Chicago, except winter time. I have savings around a quarter million dollars. I am single (not that matters) and upwardly mobile professional. have been making over six figures over the past. was looking for a 2 bedroom condo in a nice location.

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I would consider getting a job before even considering buying a home. Without a steady income it will be difficult if not impossible to obtain a loan. Good luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 13, 2008
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
I think you'd be wise to get a job first and then look for a home. Don't feel pressured because you think you're missing the "buyer's market,"--there will be plenty of bargains in, say, January, believe me. Also consider that when you apply for a loan, your employment status is pivotal nowadays. Good Luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 13, 2008
As a lender I can tell you that without a current job you won't be able to get a mortgage, unless you have a willing and able co-signer. I'm no expert in the Chicago area, but the sentiment in the industry is that it'll still be awhile before things start to turn around. No telling what the mortgage landscape will look like 6-12 months from now, but my guess is it will be even more difficult to get a loan esp. on a condo.

That means that someone with a job, good credit, and large down payment (which you'll have all 3) will stand the best chance of landing a good mortgage and getting a good deal on a condo.

Sit tight til you sort out the job situation, then get a good agent and take your time to find the perfect place.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 14, 2008
It may be tough to get financed without a job......and do you really want all that pressure? What if you have an offer in another citty? Do you really want to be an out of area landlord....selling could be expensive too...especially if it is a brief period that you own it.
Web Reference: http://www.cindihagley.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 13, 2008
Cindi Hagley, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
Hi Julie,

Have you found a new job in Chicago yet? Mortgage rates are very low, now is a great time to take advantage of them.

All the best,

Ivan Sagel
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2013
Hi Julie-
All of the entries sound great.

I agree, You do have to create a pro and con list to determine what is in your best interest.

However, we are in a bueyr's market, so even if you purchase now, and hold, selling later when the market increases, it still wouldn't be a bad time to invest.

It's actually up to you whether or not you have the where withall to handle a buy and hold situation. As long as you pay cash, it would still be a great investment.

If you feel more stability waiting until you have the permanent job, then you can rent.

And, depending on how you're looking at this situation, if you find a job in another city, the buy and hold might pose itself as more of a headache selling later, after you've relocated.

Hope that helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 14, 2008
I would recommend a job first then purchasing, but if you can find a good deal now and you have cash to close and potentially have a condo payment that is equal or less than what you may be paying in rent then go for it. You really need to sit and write the pro and con list for yourself and then see where you are.
Best of luck to you!!!
Web Reference: http://www.torilawson.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 14, 2008
Hi Julie:

I would hold off until I find a job. Like others said, you probably can't find a loan, not to mention a decent loan unless you want to pay all cash for it. And from what Tom said, a one bedroom condo; which I don't think is what you want if you plan to stay in there for the next 5-10 years.

I love Chicago also and lived in Lincoln Park while I was young and single. I can see why you like it. Winter wasn't bad when you are young. Chicago was one of places I would not mind moving to, but my husband thought Marin is better - he loves outdoors and can't handle the winter. So here we are!

Sherry - I gave you a TU. Great post with your own experience and you have your priority straight there!

Best to both of you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 14, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Novato, CA

You have 3 options:

1) pay cash for the entire purchase - that lines you up for a one bed in Lincoln Park

2) have a co-guarantor for any loan you take out to enable you to continue your 2 bed Lincoln Park search

3) discontinue your search until you find your new job.

Without current employment, even with a great downpayment, no lender in today's environment is going to proffer a loan to you without a) a job where you have suitable tenure or b) a new job that is related to what you have done for more than two years in the past. This is especially the case should you require a jumbo loan where there are far fewer lending entities making loans in Chicago (because Chicago is not considered to be a "high cost" community). (See my blog post at http://therealestateloungechicago.com/2008/06/21/the-big-tru…

By all means participate in today's buying environment taking advantage of one of the options above.

All the best,

Tom McCarey
The Real Estate Lounge Chicago with @ properties chicago
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 14, 2008

Recent changes to underwriting guidelines will make it difficult for you to find a mortage loan without meaningful employment regardless of down payment. Also underwriters will examine whether the new job you ultimately find is consistent with what you did previously. If not there is a greater concern about the new job working out. You are fortunate to have a sizeable nest egg to draw from. I would not encourage you to dillute your job search with house hunting. Nonetheless if you must move forward you will likely want to have a co-signer with good credit AND who's monthlly income exceeds their expenses.

Good luck to you!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 13, 2008
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