Buyer Resources

Buyer's Guide

From your initial online searching, to developing your budget, to signing a contract, learn more about the entire home buying process with your Accredited Buyer Representative® ... Susan, Ron & David Pickard - Your Home Team!

Buying a home can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. This can be true whether you’ve purchased several homes or you’re preparing to buy for the first time. With the right support system and the help from The Pickard Group, you can make the most informed decisions.Our guide breaks down the steps of buying a home so you can start the process feeling confident and prepared. From developing your budget to signing your name on the dotted line, you’ll find helpful tips right here. Plus, we are here to help every step of the way.  It starts with your FREE, home buyer consulatation.

1. Define Your Goals / Buying Process Overview

Before you start looking, consider why you want to buy. Are you tired of renting? Do you want to buy an investment property? Figuring out why you want to purchase a home will help you make important decisions. Considering what you want and need out of your home will help you too. Where do you want to live in? How many bedrooms do you need? Knowing your preferences can help with filtering out homes that don’t fit your criteria. What does "perfect" looks like.  We make a plan to get you there!

Home Buying Flowchart

As Accredited Home Buyer Representatives (ABR) Susan, Ron & David Pickard are focused on getting you great results - helping you find the best home at the best price! The home buying process is complicated, with many people involved. Our goal is to make this process as smooth as possible!! Contact us today for you home buyer consultation. Office: 847-955-9290

2. The Benefits of The Pickard Group

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you may ever make. Whether you’re buying your first home, relocating or just moving down the street — you want a trusted professionals by your side. Working with an experienced team like The Pickard Group can make this process easier, helping guide you through the home search, purchase agreements, inspections, closing matters and more. We have your best interests at heart and can ease some of your stress to make it go as smoothly as possible.

3. Determine Your Financial Standing

Knowing your budget up front helps you focus your search and can save you both time and stress. Talking to a mortgage professional can help you to determine your buying power, how much you can afford, how much you should put towards a down payment, and can walk you through loan options and other costs or fees associated with purchasing a home. We have a referral network of mortgage professionals to help you get started understanding your situation and provide you a mortgage pre-approval.

4. Make an Offer

Once you find a home you’re interested in, we will negotiate the offer based on comparable homes in the area. If your offer is accepted, you’ll make an earnest money payment and be officially under contract. During the due-diligence period between signing the purchase agreement and closing on your home, your attorney can help you understand the conditions, provisions, and obligations of your contract. We will also help guide you through the appraisal and inspection processes.

5. Close on Your Home

This is the final step of your home buying journey. Closing is the official transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. Prior to closing, we will do a final walk-through at the home and provide you with a moving checklist. At closing, you will sign your mortgage paperwork to solidify your purchase. From there, you officially become a homeowner and will be handed the keys to your new home so you can begin making memories.

What is an ABR and why is it important?

Buying a home was one of the most important investments you will make. Realtors® who have earned the prestigious Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR® designation  have the skills and experience to represent your best interests every step of the way.

The Pickard Group is uniquely qualified with the ABR Designation to serve all of your home buying needs!

Contact us today for your FREE home buyer consultation. 847-955-9290

Mortgage Considerations

From researching neighborhoods all the way to closing, we can guide you every step of the way — and that includes sharing tips on things to consider as you shop for the right mortgage loan.

1. Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score can directly impact what mortgage loans and interest rates you may be eligible for, so work on getting it as high as you can before starting to shop around for a home. You can request a copy of your score through one of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax®, Experian® or TransUnion®.

2. Create a Budget and Start Saving for a Down Payment

There are several costs built into purchasing a home. The biggest expense to start planning for may be your down payment. While there may be loan programs with little to no down payment, many mortgage loans will require you to put down at least 20% of the total price of the home if you want to avoid additional monthly fees and expenses. The larger your down payment, the more of your home you will own from day one, providing you built-in equity!

Once you’ve started saving for your down payment, you may want to assess your budget to determine what you may be able to afford. Online resources and tools, such as mortgage calculators, can help give you an idea of what your mortgage payment might be based on the hypothetical amounts you enter for the loan amount, down payment amount, interest rate, loan term, taxes and insurance.

Click Here - Calculators

3. Research for a Mortgage Loan

To secure financing for your home, you can work with a bank or credit union in your area, a lender, a mortgage banker, or a mortgage broker who will research lenders for you. You may want to research the current interest rate averages for the area, as well as various loan programs that may be available so you can compare quotes and estimates from different brokers, bankers or lenders. 

There are several different types of mortgage loan programs that may be available. Therefore, it can be beneficial to research what programs you may qualify for in advance — especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. Some common mortgage options may be Conventional (Conventional or Jumbo), VA, FHA or USDA. And if you’re financially able and willing to pay cash, you may avoid interest and some closing costs altogether!

While these are common mortgage options, take time to meet or discuss with one or more mortgage professionals to review all of your possible options. Your mortgage professional will work with you to help find the best loan option for your needs and circumstances.  

4. Consider Other Expenses

Keep in mind there may be other expenses you’ll incur throughout the home buying process, such as inspection, appraisal and closing costs. These can easily add up to be from $3,000 to $6,000. In addition, there may be other expenses to plan on once you close on your new home, such as furniture, appliance purchases or landscaping.

5. Determine Your Mortgage Repayment Term

As part of shopping for mortgage loan options, you will need to determine your mortgage repayment term, which are commonly set at 15, 20 or 30 years. You will also need to choose a fixed or adjustable interest rate. Adjustable rate loans may provide lower initial rates, but can rise over time depending on market conditions. With a fixed rate loan, your rate will stay the same over the course of your mortgage loan.

6. Get Pre-Qualified or better yet ... Pre-Approved for a Loan

The terms pre-qualified and pre-approved may be used interchangeably or inconsistently by various mortgage professionals. More important than what the mortgage professional calls it, is what the mortgage professional reviews in order to provide it to you. Getting either pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan may give you a better estimate of a loan program you may qualify for if certain conditions are met and based on the level or review by the mortgage professional.

To get either pre-approved or pre-qualified, your mortgage professional will assess your credit history, current income and debt situation. Once completed, they can give you an estimate of how much you may be able to borrow, which is subject to certain conditions and final loan approval. Once you’ve been pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage loan, you will know how much you can spend and you can begin the search for the perfect home!

Here are referrals to get more information and your loan Pre-Approval

Home Trust Mortgage - David Geiselhart  Phone   (847) 338-7080 - Apply HERE

CrossCountry Mortgage - Christine Wallace  Phone (708) 525-5953

House Mortgage - Or Gera  Phone  (224) 489-8260    

7. Seek Final Loan Approval

After your offer has been accepted, you will submit financial documentation, such as pay stubs, tax returns and bank account statements to your mortgage professional to seek final loan approval. At this time, the mortgage professional can schedule an appraisal to ensure the home is valued at least at its selling price. You may also want or be required to obtain a property inspection to assess the condition of the home prior to purchase. Once the appraisal and inspection are complete and the final loan approval is obtained, it’s closing day — and the home is officially yours!

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