Chicago Real Estate News & Community Happenings

Why You Should Downsize Your HomeAs life goes on, people may see the need to purchase a large home. At some point, there may be a need to downsize from a larger to a smaller home. Downsizing can be a good option to consider, and it comes with quite a few advantages. Here are some of those advantages that homeowners interested in selling their current home in favor of a smaller home should know.

Smaller Homes are Less Expensive

Big homes require more energy to keep them lit and warm, but smaller homes don’t require the same amount of utilities, so that means smaller bills for the homeowner. Moving to a smaller home can potentially save hundreds of dollars every month on utility bills alone, and even more once the mortgage is factored in. Smaller homes are typically less

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6 Contingencies to Use When Buying a New HomeNo one wants to discover that the home they purchased, the home that they thought was practically prefect in every way, is actually filled with black mold, termites, and foundation that’s ready to break apart at a moment’s notice. This is why home buyers should utilize contract contingencies to protect themselves from committing to buying a home that is hiding some dark secrets. Here are six contingencies all home buyers, in Depaul or elsewhere, should consider using.

1. Inspection

All home buyers are encouraged to have their new home inspected after their offer has been accepted. An experienced home inspector can spot all the flaws in a home that an uneducated buyer would look over. An inspection contingency is a special allowance that

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Choose the right real estate agent to simplify selling a vacation homeSelling a vacation home is not necessarily more difficult than selling a primary residence, but there are different concerns and considerations, both logistical and financial, that are important to understand.

Find the Right Agent

First and foremost, assuming the vacation property is too far away to visit daily or even regularly, selecting the right real estate professional becomes imperative. Look for an agent with proven experience and local knowledge, a person who will keep you "in the loop" regarding developments, and a person you feel comfortable with. A resourceful, well-informed agent will be a resource for local needs, as well as knowing about market conditions and real estate trends.

Vacation-Only or Four-Season Home

While

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How Second Homes and Vacation HomesInvesting in a second home as a respite for future family vacations or as a rental property is a luxury that many owners often consider undertaking once their primary mortgage is nearly or wholly or paid off. However, the buying process will differ between obtaining a primary residence, a private second home, or a vacation rental property that will be partially used by others. Those who plan to buy using outright cash will not have to deal with the mortgage limitations on second homes and vacation homes, but they can still find these tips helpful concerning tax breaks.

Buying a Primary Residence

Buyers typically enjoy the best mortgage rates on their primary home purchase. However, there are very specific primary residence qualifications that

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Tips for Choosing the Best Real Estate AgentBecoming a homeowner is many people's biggest dream while also being one of the biggest investments of their lifetime. Whether one is a first-time homebuyer or has been around the real estate block before, careful consideration must be taken to choose the best real estate agent to maximize on that investment. Finding a real estate professional with the ‘right stuff' to help potential buyers find the perfect home in a timely manner will require some research, but it's time wisely spent. Here are five quick tips for finding a top-notch real estate expert.

Professionalism, Reputation and Experience Matter

One of the biggest mistakes homebuyers make is choosing an agent based upon who's listed at the top of Internet searches or online reviews and

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DIYOr Hire a Pro? Tips to DecideMany homeowners choose to complete DIY home improvement projects because they enjoy the satisfaction they get from improving their property. DIY home improvement projects are also more affordable than home improvement projects completed by contractors. However, DIY home improvement projects have their downsides. Homeowners who complete projects incorrectly can cause damage to the home or can even sustain an injury. If you're a homeowner who needs to upgrade your home and you're trying to decide whether or not to complete the projects without help from a contractor, these tips can help.

Assess the Danger

Some projects are dangerous without help from a pro. Some common examples of work that homeowners should not perform without some experience

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Landscaping Tips to Beautify and Improve SecurityA home security system may mean very little to burglars when homeowners unintentionally make it easy to access a property through their landscaping. Provided a good hiding place, a burglar may have enough time to break into a home with a security system and sneak away with valuable heirlooms and devices. Homeowners can do much to make their home an unlikely candidate for such activities. Landscaping is one commonly overlooked area that can help take a home off of a burglar's short list, whether in an area like Alta Vista Terrace or elsewhere.

Understand some of the easy options to improve home security with landscaping today.

When Planning Landscaping

Homeowners should realize that well-placed landscaping can help deter burglars from

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Home Buying Tips Often OverlookedBuying a home is a big step for many people and before any moves are made, it is important to know what you are doing and what you should be looking for. As part of this, many people look for some tips from people that either work in the real estate field or from those that have purchased a home before. While this is a great idea, there are often many tips that are overlooked or simply not talked about. In order to really prepare you for the purchase of a property, you need to know about the most common tips as well as some that are not as well known. These tips can help you make the right decision when you are buying a home.

Understand the Full Cost of a Home

For many people, the actual mortgage payment on a monthly basis is cheaper than

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Ways to Improve Curb AppealCurb appeal is a crucial part of selling a home. If the home does not look great on the outside then it is not likely that many people will look at the inside. If you are putting your home in the market, then you need to make sure you do some things to improve your curb appeal so you can attract buyers to take a look at your home. These are just a few simple home improvements that you can use to improve curb appeal for your home.

Paint the Door and Trim

You do not need to necessarily paint the entire exterior of the home in order to give it new life. Sometimes all you have to do is paint the door and the trim around the windows to give it that pop of freshness that the home needs. You may even consider going with a bold color for the door,

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Buying Options For Home Buyers with a USDA LoanIs it difficult to come up with the 10 to 20 percent needed as a down payment for a conventional loan? Know that there are mortgage loan products available that allow buyers to purchase homes for little to no money down. USDA loan programs are one of such programs making it possible to own a home in rural and some suburban areas.

Find out more about USDA home loans and eligibility requirements today.

What are USDA Loans?

These type of loans are offered through the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program and can be used to purchase a home in rural and many suburban areas. This type of loan is popular because it offers a zero money down option toward financing a home. The loan can be used to finance 100 percent of the purchase

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