Hi Carrolyn...Great question!
The very first step is to calculate the move and determine whether it is a good move or not...
Like what the values are in the sell/buy senario, what funds will you use and where will they come from; equity in your existing home or cash/savings you could use...
Stuff like that...you will need to get with someone to go through all of this and then you will have a good idea of the next step:
Put your home on the market and go house hunting!
This is the best way to sell/buy because you can take advantage of the market for BOTH transactions.
With regard to your condo you will wnat to contact the association and get the details on what is involved with a sale there...
You will also need to get with a Realtor who has experience in the area you are buying or looking to buy so you can get the best service and beat other buyers to the hot homes for sale...a good agent will make the difference of a mistake or horroe story and a smooth closing for both properties...
Carrolyn - there are MANY other steps in between but I hope I have given you a good starting point...feel free to contact me directly if you have more specific questions...... more
As a Pittsburgh agent I can't give advice specific to Illinois, but I can tell you what the general issues would be.
You'll need a good local realtor to guide your search and price your home. (Coldwell Banker has a very effective referral agency; they can find a local realtor from the dominant broker in the region -- not necessarily Coldwell Banker -- and match your needs in great detail (incluidng even matching communication style and personality).
The first question is what are you trying to do? Are you going to occupy one of the units and rent the others? This impacts your financing; you can usually get better rates and terms on owner-occupied property (both for loans and insurance).
The next question is whether you have to sell before you can buy. If you cannot get financing approval without selling your condo, you'll have to make a contingent offer, which is less likely to succeed. In the best case, you can get financing preapproval without having to sell. You should figure out which situation you're in before getting too serious about looking.
Finally, make sure your agent has done multi-units before. In Pittsburgh, multi-units are semi-commercial (at least those with > 2 units; true commercial is > 6 units). This means they're subject to a different set of building codes, and you have to deal with zoning and occupancy permits. (Check with your local realtor for conditions in Forest Park.)
Banks are mostly on the ball now regarding multi-unit issues, and won't let you buy property that is drastically out of compliance (meaning -- they couldn't sell it quickly if they had to, which increases their risk). However, quite a few changed hands at the height of the market a couple years ago with lax lending standards and insufficient attention paid to zoning matters. You don't want to get burned when cash-strapped cities start enforcing codes and fining property owners! Whatever you buy, make sure you're legal *before* closing.... more
On craigslist, you press the button 'post to classifieds' (it should be on the far upper left corner), then click on 'housing offered'. I recommend using postlets.com to create a free flyer(they even give you instructions on how to post to craigslist). Once you have created your flyer, you will copy the html code that is provided for you and paste it in the description area.... more