Don't Make This Common Mistake When Purchasing a Home

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While referrals from friends or realtors may be convenient, make sure to do research when choosing who is involved in the approval and closing before purchasing. Shown below, the attorneys at Lattas Felton & Minkus, LLC have come up with a list of suggestions on how to avoid making this major financial mistake.

Lattas, Felton and Minkus, LLC

Home ownership is a rewarding achievement and valuable investment. However, potential homeowners should prepare themselves adequately to ensure a smooth purchase of a new home. The purchase of a new home involves many issues that most potential homeowners fail to consider that require a keen eye to analyze all perspectives of a home purchase. In order to best cover all perspectives, it is suggested and often required that the homebuyer hire certain individuals involved with the purchase in addition to a real estate agent. It is important to remember that it is the home buyer’s right to determine who he or she hires for the services provided in the purchase of the home. Unfortunately, many forego the opportunity to find a more experienced or reasonably priced service provider because they simply chose the person suggested by only one friend or a realtor. Here is a list of services that should be thoroughly researched prior to hiring.

The first perspective that must be considered when purchasing a home is that of a home inspector. No building is perfect and nearly all homeowners learn how to properly deal with common home repair issues. However, even the most experienced “do-it-yourselfer” should hire a qualified home inspector. When doing so, it is important to look for one with experience and skill as a contractor to ensure they have a trained eye for hidden repair issues.

The second perspective is that of an attorney. For most Americans, the purchase of a home is the largest investment involving the most complex series of contracts and legal documents in their lives. Therefore, it is paramount to retain the legal protection of a trained real estate attorney. When selecting a real estate attorney, it is important to consider the attorney’s experience and specialization in the area and type of home in question. The consumer should retain the services of an attorney that specializes in real estate.

Additionally, potential homeowners wishing to plant their roots in Chicago should consider the extra issues arising from buying a condominium or townhome. Nearly all condominium units and many townhomes are managed by a condominium association or homeowners association, also known as “HOA.” Such associations serve as an additional private government to provide services for residents ranging from shared utilities, to lobby upkeep, to landscaping to maintenance of spas, gyms, or even a rooftop pool.

Associations may also elect to impose restrictions on its residents. Restrictions may vary and commonly deal with issues of pet ownership, smoking, renting, and parking, among others. Associations often use many different documents such as condominium declarations, addendums, contracts, and documented voting meetings to facilitate its services. It is important to have an attorney receive and examine copies of all association documents to prevent an undesired restriction on the use of a condo or townhome.

Associations also exhibit the power to collect assessments from the unit owners that it serves. An assessment is essentially a fee for the services rendered that is often charged to unit owners monthly or quarterly. There may also be additional fees such as special assessments, move-in fees, and document processing fees, just to name a few. It is important for a potential homeowner to consider assessments and fees in addition to a mortgage for financial planning purposes. Association documents usually contain complex legal terminology. Therefore, it is important to have an attorney properly review the association budget and documents to reveal possible hidden fees.

This article was written by David E. Sill. David is a young real estate entrepreneur with experience buying as well as managing rental property in Chicago Illinois and Central Pennsylvania. David works in conjunction with Lattas Felton & Minkus, LLC located in Chicago, IL. To find out more about the law firm of Lattas Felton & Minkus please visit their website at

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Robert Lattas
Lattas, Felton and Minkus, LLC
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