Gina Fiasche…, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

I have a budget of 280,000. How high of a listing price can I look at? 290, 300 etc..?? Looking at northwest side of Chicago, and near burbs.

Asked by Gina Fiaschetti, Chicago, IL Wed May 19, 2010

I'm looking at a house that is 324. not super updated, big house though. Am I looking too high?? Is it impossible? Thanks.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Chris Richter, , Chicago, IL
Wed May 19, 2010
Hi Gina,

I can't speak to home values, but I can speak to math (btw, not a recipe for being cool in high school). The math behind the pre-approval that you received is horribly flawed: tell me your income, I'll tell you a property value.

That method breaks down when the market isn't a 1960's suburb with identical homes, identical tax bills, and rates rarely changing. That does not describe Chicago in 2010.

If you found a home at $290k rather than $280k, but the taxes are $4k instead of $5k, the $290k home is less expensive.

If your preapproval is 30 days old, a $290k home today is less expensive than $280k was a month ago since rates have gone down.

There are a lot of "ifs," but you can manage them if you know what they are. If you want to walk through a pre-approval that leaves you better off, drop me a line.

My $.02,
1 vote
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Wed May 19, 2010
Cash is king. That means you will have no problems with financing. As such banks, and some sellers will prefer you slightly lower offer over a higher one that has financing and might not happen.
0 votes
Gina Fiasche…, Home Buyer, Chicago, IL
Wed May 19, 2010
Thank you all so much. I forgot to mention I am a cash buyer does that change anything??? And... I was with an agent for 4 weeks, and saw a lot of houses that I had to find, so it didn't work out. Thanks :)
0 votes
Mark Manz, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed May 19, 2010

Chris hit the nail on the head. The first thing you need to do is sit down with a qualified individual and formulate a plan on exactly what you can afford. Nothing like finding the home of your dreams and finding out you can't afford to purchase it. Once you have figured out your parameters talk to a Realtor. As a buyer it costs you nothing, the commission is paid out from the proceeds from the sale on the seller's side. While there are a lot of great deals in our market it is a waste of time to speculate what you can purchase without a blueprint.

Happy hunting,

Mark Manz
Broker Associate, SFR
Prudential Rubloff
2663 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60614
direct 773- 551- 7811
fax 773- 572- 6584
0 votes
Joshua Zarga…, Other Pro, Lynbrook, NY
Wed May 19, 2010
What ever your budget is, you need to allow about 5% of your budget to fix things around the house during the first year of living there.
Protect yourself for any surprises...
Good luck!
0 votes
Neil Coleman, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Orland Park, IL
Wed May 19, 2010
Homes in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, on average, sell for 94-95% of the asking price. Based upon this math, you could start looking at homes in the high 290's. That said, you need to know more information about the seller and the seller's situation. How long has the house been on the market? Have they already dropped their price? Why are they selling...divorce, relocation, short sale?
Check out my website, email me at, or call me at 847-709-2005. I'll be glad to answer any more questions that you may have...Neil
Web Reference:
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed May 19, 2010
Your agent can best advise you by sharing comps--recently sold similar properties in the immediate area--that data will give you a general idea on listing price/sell price--however, do keep in mind ultimately it's the seller that decides to accept and reject--also do keep in mind that lenders have their income v. debt criteria for qualifying for the amount of a mortgage—oftentimes requiring that housing costs are not in excess of one-third of gross income in addition to a stipulated income v. overall debt-ratio. What lenders don’t know are borrowers’ non-debt spending habits, present and anticipated. You, the borrower, need to consider the economic factors of your lifestyle that would impact on your individual comfort level of affordability. A mortgage outside your budgetary constraints can dramatically alter your overall living conditions. So, be sure to factor micro and macro economic concerns into your mortgage amount deliberations.
0 votes
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Wed May 19, 2010
It all comes down to the individual seller.

You may find that you make an offer of $280k on a $350k house and the seller desperate to move out accepts it. You may find a seller with a $281k house feels insulted at an offer of $280k.

Part depends on what the CMA says the house should be worth and part depends on how desirable the house is. Part depends on how badly a seller wants to sell. You just might offer $70k under asking and get it accepted. Get an appraisal done and find out the house will only appraise for $25k under your offer.

Asking price and value are often not related to each other. What you offer depends on your strategy. Do you care if you offer low and lose the house? If not go low and be prepared to walk away. If you are afraid of losing the house perhaps a higher offer is for you.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more