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Old 10-27-2011, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Plainfield
64 posts, read 164,124 times
Reputation: 26

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Hello!

I have some home buying questions I was hoping you guys could help me with. My husband and I will be purchasing a home next year - our lease runs through early June. When should we start working with an agent and how should we time this whole process out?

This will be our first home and we are trying to be very conservative and are looking at homes around 250k. Although we could spend more we've found plenty of homes (as we've started looking) in Naperville district 203 and 204 in our range. In fact, it seems many more enter our price range each week. Great for us, not so great for the sellers.

Would you purchase an older 70's style home in district 203 or go for the newer homes in 204 (NV High is the only area we're looking in, no WV or MV)? Or even consider North Plainfield? We plan on sending our children to Catholic school, so we're looking at this from a resale perspective.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:16 PM
 
28,384 posts, read 67,998,510 times
Reputation: 18190
Resale tends to be better, in the price you are considering, in 203, though there are a whole host of factors that are worth considering -- location, size (lot and structure), uniformity of neighborhood, quality of construction...

Generally if you intend to be "ready to buy" in June I would recommend gearing up for shopping around the second week of January. In all honestly the trickiest thing about a first time buyer tends to be eliminating the stuff that "just won't work" and if you live in the area already then you probably can do some driving around NOW to rule out parts of town that you do not want to be near. Of course if you have started to do some preliminary investigation into what you can afford that implies you have at least a basic grasp on your credit score, debt-to-income ratio and importance of documented work history.

Many good real estate agents in Naperville would be happy to work with you as a buyers agent -- probably smart to "informally" feel them out either at Open Houses now or by stopping in at "new buyers events" that some host...

Good Luck!
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:39 AM
 
198 posts, read 724,384 times
Reputation: 83
If you are going catholic I would stay within a reasonable travel distance to Benet if this is a home you expect to be in K-12 and that is your preferred high school which may mean 203. No one moves unless they have to in the winter months which is why you see prices dipping all over and they usually continue to do so until about March. Spring typically both inflates prices and rates even in the last few years. So my advice would be to go out once or twice before the holidays to do your homework, educate yourself on your options without any pressure to buy, really get a feel for the 70's homes vs the newer builds further out, do the test drives to work and school so you know what commute you are buying and so you really know what you want and that expectation matches reality, then start no later than January seriously looking, being prepared with pre-approval or proof of funds so that if a deal pops on a home that fits all your needs you can jump because in your price range there are still a good number of buyers, especially in Naperville.
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Plainfield
64 posts, read 164,124 times
Reputation: 26
Default Great Info!

Thank you for the information - I wouldn't have imagined we would need to be seriously ready with paperwork in January. We did start working on all of our financials earlier this year and met with a loan officer. As of this month all of our credit cards will be paid off, which should fix the only issue we were having.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Plainfield
64 posts, read 164,124 times
Reputation: 26
I was just wondering - with the way prices dip in the winter. Would the best "deals" on homes be available in March? If that's the case, it may pay to break a lease.

Once you make an offer on a home, how long does it typically take to have an offer accepted (no short sale craziness)? If your offer on a home was accepted in March, when would you typically be able to move in? I'm sure these are novice questions - but I'm certainly a novice!

Thanks again!
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:09 PM
 
28,384 posts, read 67,998,510 times
Reputation: 18190
There are some factors related to school calendar and weather that do tend to favor the "early season buyer" but you also should know that a lot of sellers don't really kick into high gear until after spring break / Easter season so although you may find the sellers with "aging" listings with many days on the market more recpetive to a "bargain basement" offer the better inventory may not even be listed in March...

That said it would be unusual for the period from offer through acceptance till closer to be less than 45 days. It may take closer to 60. Many sellers are fine with "delayed occupancy" and those with kids in school may actually prefer not to move until school is out (typically in June) and they will rent back their house from the "new owners" to make their own move easier. In such a case you would not need to break your lease...

If you did want to get out of your lease early it may be worth asking your landlord / management company if you cooed arrange for a mutually agreed conversion to month-to-month ahead of time w/o penalty. Many will do that for tenants in good standing...
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:59 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,907 posts, read 35,007,171 times
Reputation: 42372
I've seen a lot of pros and cons about 203 and 204 on this board over the last few years, and I'm sure it went on before I even got here. I believe that 203 tends to have lower, more stable property taxes, but the trade-off is that the houses are older and smaller. School-wise, I think 203 and 204 are about equal. 203 is closer to (or in) downtown Naperville, and it's easier to get to I-88 or 355. 204 is a longer drive if you're coming from that direction, which can make for a grinding commute, but some people prefer the openness and newness of the area. It's six of one, half a dozen of another, in my opinion. I think you should move somewhere you like--you have to live there. Think about your own commute, your own need for shopping and parks, what kind of neighborhood you want, how far away the Catholic school is, which of the three libraries you like best, where your doctor and dentist and vet and auto mechanic are, etc. If you find something that you really love, somewhere that is a great place to live and not somewhere you just tolerate, someone else will love it too.

We live in 203, so if you have questions let me know.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:14 PM
 
10,290 posts, read 12,415,948 times
Reputation: 5979
I would not buy in Plainfield.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Will County
179 posts, read 412,685 times
Reputation: 72
ChacoGirl: You have it backwards. You need to find your mortgage lender first, then the agent. I'm a mortgage lender, and I can tell you .. starting NOW and getting your credit and financial documentation in order well prior to looking for a home is important. With processing taking longer than it used to, you can never start too soon. Taking action now also insures that your credit report is error-free and scores are maximized by the time you actually make application and hope to buy. Your lender will also be able to recommend area real estate professionals that can assist you in finding your home. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask ... or shout-out here for more assistance. Best of luck to you and your family ...
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:44 AM
 
624 posts, read 866,341 times
Reputation: 197
Btw, speaking of Naperville, how good/bad is the new Metea Valley High School (Dist. 204)?
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