Chicago Questions: How Do I Find an Affordable Home in Chicago?

Posted On Wednesday, 20 October 2021 20:23

Buying a house can be both a rewarding and liberating experience. When you own a home, you have a lot more freedom to live how you want to. This includes owning pets, redecorating, renovating, and more. 

But what if you're working with a limited budget? Can you find an affordable home that will be suitable for you and your family to live in? 

Obviously, you can find a run-down, low-budget home for a good price. However, that might not make for the best living situation. 

We are here to help. Keep reading for everything you need to know about finding the most affordable homes in Chicago that are move-in ready and completely suitable for families. 

Understand Your Budget

First, when buying a home, you need to know how much you can afford in living costs. Primarily, we're talking about your monthly mortgage payments. Based on your monthly income, how much can you comfortably afford to spend each month?

However, before you answer this question, it's important to identify the other costs that come with owning a home. These typically include:

  • Property taxes (Illinois average of $4,500 per year)
  • Utilities (power, water, gas, waste removal)
  • HOA fees (if applicable)
  • Services (cable, internet, phone)
  • Home maintenance and repairs
  • Homeowner's insurance

 

When assessing your budget, determine what your potential homeowner costs will be. Then, you can identify an appropriate monthly budget for your mortgage payment. 

Get Preapproved for a Home Loan

Now that you've adequately assessed your personal budget, you can approach the bank to get preapproved for a loan. This is a vital step in finding an affordable home for you and your family.

If you don't get preapproved, you won't know your home loan eligibility. If you start house hunting and putting offers down, you might find yourself underqualified for the home you fall in love with. This can be incredibly disheartening. 

Getting preapproved will let you know exactly how much money you can afford to spend on a house. It will also give you valuable insight into your prospective monthly payments, terms, and available interest rates. 

If you're unable to get qualified for even the most affordable homes in Chicago, it might be time to take a step back and reassess your credit score. Fortunately, there are simple ways to increase your credit score in a relatively short amount of time. 

Hire an Experienced Local Real Estate Agent

The internet has made it increasingly easy to shop online. We can buy everything from toilet paper to vehicles without ever leaving our couch. 

However, when buying a home, it's probably a good idea to enlist the help of an experienced real estate agent. They can help you find the perfect home based on the parameters you provide. This includes your budget, your lifestyle needs, your ideal location, and more. 

Realtors have access to all kinds of real estate listings and can help you tour and assess potential homes. They can also help you negotiate with the seller to get a better price. 

Identify Your Top Priorities

When shopping for affordable homes, you need to figure out your top priorities. If your budget is limited, there's a good chance you're not going to get everything you want in a home. As such, it's vital to identify what features of a home are negotiable and non-negotiable.

For example, you might need a home with three or more bedrooms to accommodate a growing family. However, finding a home that large might mean settling for a neighborhood that's lower down on your list. 

You also need to think about things like school districts, neighborhood safety and security, commute times, nearby parks, nearby amenities, etc. What schools do you want your kids to go to? How close do you want to be to work, hospitals, and other necessary services?

Ultimately, figure out what's most important to you and your family and what things you are willing to compromise on based on your financial limitations. 

Shop Through Real Estate Investment Companies

One of the best ways to find affordable homes in Chicago is by shopping through real estate investment groups. These companies buy a wide variety of homes in different price ranges. Some of them are distressed homes that they fix up and others are homes that fall under affordable housing and are move-in ready. 

Companies like the one found on this website make it even easier for low-income families to buy homes because they offer no credit check financing. These types of financing opportunities are ideal for people who have a poor credit history or limited credit. This includes families that have experienced hard times in the past and brand new homeowners who haven't had time to establish a strong credit score. 

Consider Mortgage Assistance Programs

When searching for affordable homes in Chicago, buyers can gain valuable assistance from certain city programs, like the Building Neighborhoods and Affordable Homes Program. The BNAH is an amazing program that provides homeowners of all kinds with up to $60,000. 

Of course, in order to qualify for this financial assistance, buyers must shop for homes in specific neighborhoods. If this sounds appealing to you, the neighborhood areas are North Lawndale, South Lawndale, Englewood Square, Humboldt Park/Garfield Park, and Woodlawn. 

It's also important to note that only the homes constructed under the City Lots for Working Families program qualify for these benefits. Therefore, if you want to take advantage of the home buying assistance offered by the BNAH, you must find the right home in one of the neighborhoods listed above. 

Looking for an Affordable Home in Chicago?

If you and your family are shopping for affordable homes in Chicago, you don't have to settle for a home that's run down, unclean, or in a dangerous part of town. Don't believe these types of myths surrounding affordable housing. 

Instead, follow our guide to find comfortable, high-quality homes in good neighborhoods that you can afford. And remember, there are programs out there to help people like you find the most affordable home for your needs. 

For more real estate tips, lifestyle advice, or financial guidance, check out some of our other articles before you go. Our blog was created to help people like you get ahead in life. 

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