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Home Buying in West Town : Real Estate Advice

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Thu May 16, 2013
Manuel Brown answered:
Dear Trulia Chicago,

Sometimes the best way to answer this type of question is to see what inspectors feel are the most important question a home buyer or homeowner should ask.

1. Is home inspection your only business?

Make certain it is! That's the only way to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. Many independent inspectors only work on a part-time basis to supplement their real businesses as contractors, roofers, etc., and their report findings might be suspect. Plus, you can find a good inspector by getting a referral from a satisfied customer. Avoid referrals from anyone who has a financial interest in the sale going through. When considering a particular inspector, ask for at least three references and check them out.

2. Do they carry all the necessary insurance, including professional liability (Errors & Omissions or "E&O"), general liability, and worker's compensation, and are they bonded?

Make sure they have Errors and Omissions Insurance. "This malpractice-type insurance protects the inspector (and indirectly the home buyer and those referring the inspector) against post-inspection legal problems." General liability covers personal liability not covered by the basic Errors and Omissions policy; and worker's compensation covers the safety of the inspector during the inspection.

3. Does your firm offer a written guarantee on the inspection?

It's best to hire an inspection company that offers a formal, written guarantee along with the inspection, although not many do.

4. How long does the inspection take, can I accompany the inspector, what type of equipment do they use and are the updated plus knowledgeable in the inspection business?

A professional inspection of the average house takes about two to three hours. Be skeptical of home inspectors who don't want you to tag along. Inspectors who invite the home buyer along will often offer valuable maintenance tips. A good inspector will have the most updated equipment available to him or her and to be proficient in its use.

5. What type of a report will I receive and when will I receive it?

There are various types of reports given by professional inspectors, including typed narrative (sent to the home buyer within a week) and on the spot written reports for those who need or want the information as soon as possible. Don't accept a verbal report without a written backup, since you will have no record of the inspector's findings for future referral. Home Inspectors should use a format, which is filled out on the spot and is presented to the client at the time of the inspection plus, they should explain it.

6. Is the inspector trained or certified in home inspection by a recognizable organization, such as the National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI), or the American Home Inspectors Institute (AHII), or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)?

With no official government regulation of the home inspection industry, certification by one of these organizations ensures that the inspector meets strict guidelines set forth by the largest and most reputable home inspection organizations in the country.

The above questions are questions are questions us brokers should be asking inspectors before we recommend any.
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Thu May 16, 2013
Manuel Brown answered:
To arrive at an "affordable" home price follow the guidelines of most lenders. Allow a total debt-to-income ratio of no more than 36 percent. And assume a housing payment-to-income ratio of 28% for our conservative estimate, and 33 percent for the aggressive one. Before buying, note you should also factor in other savings needs, including retirement and college.

During this time the entire time do not open any new lines of credit whatsoever until after you have closed on your new home.

Referenced from CNNMoney
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Thu May 16, 2013
Mark Malave answered:
I would go Edgewater/Rogers Park over that area all day long. They both have "L" access, Metra access, lakefront and Loyola University/Northwestern shuttle. Give me a call and we can discuss. 773-435-1605 ... more
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Wed May 15, 2013
Santiago Kensel Sanchez answered:
Great location for Young modern people ! you dauther has a great taste !
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Mon Aug 13, 2007
Ruthless answered:
Kudos to Jim for the emotion comments. I posted the following response to a buyer concerned that the home wouldn't appraise for the contract price. I think this is helpful for you as well.

http://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Buying/st_time_homebuyer_If_we_get_an_appraisal_that_is-7180--

I liked Deborah's question of whether you still want the home. Your response sounded like buyer's remorse, NOT REGRET. I think that is why Deborah said, "What if it appraises higher?"

The difference between buyers remorse and regret would be if you bought a new car or computer on clearance because the new models were coming out soon. You got a great deal (you think) because it was marked down by 30%. The new model comes out and it has some improvements and the new model price is the same as what you paid. That would be regret. But if the new model came out with some improvements that you would like but at a price higher than the old model's original price, that would be remorse. You don't really know if you would have paid the higher price or not because you have already spent the money. But you knew the new model was coming out and you chose to buy because of the opportunity to get a great buy.

If someone came along and put a higher back-up offer on the house you are buying, would you let the house go to them? The seller surely would let you out of the contract. The banking industry is EXTREMELY conservative these days. If prices ARE TRULY going down that fast, they will appraise it low to protect themselves. You should have your agent pull up "under contract" listings to see how things look.

So, if the appraisal does come out lower, you should buy it at the appraised price if you still want the home. Let us know what it appraises for.
Ruth
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