(815) 222-8866

Barb Erdmier
RE/MAX Property Source
6072 Brynwood Drive
Rockford, IL 61114

Rockford Real Estate-Buying Home Tips

Step 1: Figure out how much you can afford
What you can afford depends on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, downpayment and the interest rate. The calculators below can help, but it is best to visit a lender to find out for sure before visiting Rockford homes.

Step 2: Know your rights
This may be the largest and most important loan you get during your lifetime. You should be aware of certain rights before you enter into any loan agreement.

  • You have the RIGHT to shop for the best loan for you and compare the charges of different mortgage brokers and lenders.
  • You have the RIGHT to be informed about the total cost of your loan including the interest rate, points and other fees.
  • You have the RIGHT to ask for a Good Faith Estimate of all loan and settlement charges before you agree to the loan and pay any fees.
  • You have the RIGHT to know what fees are not refundable if you decide to cancel the loan agreement.
  • You have the RIGHT to ask your mortgage broker to explain exactly what the mortgage broker will do for you.
  • You have the RIGHT to know how much the mortgage broker is getting paid by you and the lender for your loan.
  • You have the RIGHT to ask questions about charges and loan terms that you do not understand.
  • You have the RIGHT to a credit decision that is not based on your race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or whether any income is from public assistance.
  • You have the RIGHT to know the reason if your loan was turned down.
  • You have the RIGHT to ask for the HUD settlement costs booklet "Buying Your Home."

Step 3: Shop for a loan·          
Save money by doing your homework. Talk to several lenders, compare costs and interest rates, and negotiate to get a better deal. Consider getting pre-approved for a loan.
Step 4: Learn about homebuying programs
FHA loan programs offer lower downpayments and are a good option for first-time Rockford Real Estate homebuyers.
FHA loans have been helping people become homeowners since 1934. 
How do we do it? The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) – which is part of HUD – insures the loan, so your lender can offer you a better deal.

  • Buying your first home?
    FHA might be just what you need. Your down payment can be as low as 3% of the purchase price, and most of your closing costs and fees can be included in the loan. Available on 1-4 unit properties. 
  • Want a fixer-upper?
    FHA has a loan that allows you to buy a home, fix it up, and include all the costs in one loan. Or, if you own a home that you want to re-model or repair, you can refinance what you owe and add the cost of repairs - all in one loan.
    Financial help for seniors
  • Are you 62 or older? Do you live in your home? Do you own it outright or have a low loan balance? If you can answer "yes" to all of these questions, then the FHA Reverse Mortgage might be right for you. It lets you convert a portion of your equity into cash.
  • Want to make your home more energy efficient?
    You can include the costs of energy improvements into an FHA Energy-Efficient Mortgage.
  • How about manufactured housing and mobile homes?
    Yes, FHA has financing for mobile homes and factory-built housing. We have two loan products – one for those who own the land that the home is on and another for mobile homes that are - or will be - located in mobile home parks.

Step 5: Shop for a home with Barb Erdmier of Rockford Real Estate and REMAX Property Source in Rockford, IL: Barb provides extensive knowledge of the Real Estate Market in Rockford, IL area. She also assists buyers and sellers in the counties of Winnebago, Ogle, and Boone Counties. She has extensive knowledge about buying foreclosures, short sales, and luxury properties. 20 Million in residential sales ( 2007-2012 )

Step 6: Make an offer
Discuss the process with Barb, If the seller counters your offer, you may need to negotiate until you both agree to the terms of sale.

Step 7: Get a home inspection
Make your offer contingent on a home inspection. An inspection will tell you about the condition of the home, and can help you avoid buying a home that needs major repairs.

1. What does your inspection cover?
The inspector should ensure that their inspection and inspection report will meet all applicable requirements in your state if applicable and will comply with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics. You should be able to request and see a copy of these items ahead of time and ask any questions you may have. If there are any areas you want to make sure are inspected, be sure to identify them upfront.
2. How long have you been practicing in the home inspection profession and how many inspections have you completed?
The inspector should be able to provide his or her history in the profession and perhaps even a few names as referrals. Newer inspectors can be very qualified, and many work with a partner or have access to more experienced inspectors to assist them in the inspection.
3. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection? Related experience in construction or engineering is helpful, but is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection. If the inspection is for a commercial property, then this should be asked about as well.
4. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection? Some inspector associations and state regulations allow the inspector to perform repair work on problems uncovered in the inspection. Other associations and regulations strictly forbid this as a conflict of interest.
5. How long will the inspection take? The average on-site inspection time for a single inspector is two to three hours for a typical single-family house; anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection. Additional inspectors may be brought in for very large properties and buildings.
6. How much will it cost? Costs vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Cost does not necessarily reflect quality. HUD Does not regulate home inspection fees.
7. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report? Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector's reporting style and if the time parameters fulfill your needs. Most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection.
8. Will I be able to attend the inspection? This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector's refusal to allow this should raise a red flag. Never pass up this opportunity to see your prospective home through the eyes of an expert.
9. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association? There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see their membership ID, and perform whatever due diligence you deem appropriate.
10. Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date? One can never know it all, and the inspector's commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and service to the consumer. This is especially important in cases where the home is much older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training.

Step 8: Shop for homeowners insurance
Lenders require that you have homeowners insurance. Be sure to shop around.

Step 9: Sign papers
You're finally ready to go to "settlement" or "closing." Be sure to read everything before you sign!

Barb Erdmier - Rockford Homes Club Credentials