Buyers

July 18, 2016

Today's Starter Home is Different

Back when we bought our first house, we were looking for something with "potential." Decent neighborhood, enough space, a good floor plan, some vintage details and a yard for our future dog.

We understood that a house we could afford would need some TLC: a fresh coat of paint, some ...

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Posted in Buyers, Real Estate, Sellers
July 14, 2016

Can My Down Payment Be A Gift?

Even people with great jobs can have a hard time buying a home. They may have the income to qualify for a loan but not the cash for the down payment. In the good old days of the housing boom, zero down loan programs were plentiful and easy to come ...

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Posted in Buyers, Real Estate
July 10, 2016

Home Buyers: If You Want Your Deal To Close, Choose Your Lender Wisely

Most of us don't buy a home very often, so we don't get a mortgage very often and we don't understand the pitfalls of not choosing our lender carefully. We think to ourselves, "I'll go online, Google home loans, find the best rate, lock it in ...

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Posted in Buyers, Real Estate
June 6, 2016

Want a Good Deal on a North Shore Home? Buy Granny's House

Granny's house

If there's one thing I've noticed about today's home buyers, it's that they do not want to do work.

Oh, sure, I get the occasional client who is not afraid of a house that needs some TLC or even one who really does want a project ...

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Posted in Buyers, Real Estate
June 5, 2016

Buying, Selling or Building a Home in a Flood Plain: What You Need to Know

One of the first questions prospective buyers ask about a house they are considering purchasing is: "Has the basement ever had water?"

And with good reason. The heavy rains and repeated instances of "100-year floods" in recent years have become a nightmare for homeowners and municipal governments alike, causing extensive ...

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Posted in Buyers, Real Estate, Sellers
Feb. 18, 2016

Condos and Co-ops at Wilmette's Plaza del Lago

Along the east side of Sheridan Road, across the street from Wilmette's Plaza del Lago, are seven multi-story condo and co-op buildings offering incredible Lake Michigan views. Although they are independent of one another they are known collectively by the locals as the Plaza del Lago condos. They are ...

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Jan. 2, 2016

New Rules You Need to Know About Getting a Mortgage Easier

If you are planning to buy a new home and get a mortgage to finance the purchase, you should be aware of the new mortgage disclosure rules (called TRID) that went into effect on October 3, 2015. Also called "Know Before You Owe," the new rules are designed to make ...

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Posted in Buyers, Real Estate
May 27, 2015

Where's The Best Place to Live on the North Shore?

Sometimes when I work with clients who are new to the area they will ask me, "So, what do you think is the best place to live on the North Shore?"

Even if it were legal for me to answer this question, which it's not, I could not answer ...

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April 26, 2015

Transfer Taxes on the North Shore. What Are They and Who Pays?

Often when my clients are reading a listing sheet for a North Shore property they are interested in purchasing, they will see a comment on the agent remarks section that reads something like: "buyer pays transfer tax" and they ask me what that is. A transfer tax is basically another ...

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Posted in Buyers, Real Estate, Sellers
March 9, 2015

Closing Cost Credits: What Can I Ask a Seller to Pay?

 

Ever since the housing market meltdown, it has become fairly typical for home buyers to ask sellers for closing cost credits. This is just a way of getting a "discount" from the seller and reduces the amount of cash the buyer needs to bring to the closing table.

  ...

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Posted in Buyers, Real Estate, Sellers