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Buying a House
Buying a house in Chicago could be quite a adventure, minus of course the huge headaches, house visits, and like coma symptoms that ensue after you see the price tag. In fact for most of us buying a house in Chicago will be something quite different. In United States people do not usually design or make their own houses, thus the quality is much worse then in our own country. However unlike in Europe, houses are literary huge. If you are lucky you might live in a mansion just like the picture of my house above. But for most of us our houses would more likely resemble something bellow.
If you have not caught up on sarcasm, do not worry I am being comical. Houses in Chicago are of decent shape. Most of the people cannot afford new houses which range close to $300,000 and upwards. Therefore most of our people end up living in houses that are around 50 or more years older which are more affordable. However the prices in the last 7 years have tripled making the range of buying a house much smaller. The houses that are best for Serbians are in the range between $130,000 up to $200,000 for those better off. The prices range depending on the neighborhoods in the city. Best neighborhoods for us are in the North-West, North, and South-West. But after a while life in the city becomes too hectic and people choose to move to suburbs. Those are like small towns which are self-contained, however they are just a continuation of the city. Best suburbs where most of our people have moved to are: Berwyn, Skokie, Niles, Park Ridge, and Des Plaines. There are significant numbers in far off suburbs like Shamburg and Aurora.
Now the process of buying a house:
1)Get a real estate agent. He will find you a house that you ask him to and will do all the paper work that is necessary for about 10-15% of the house value. There is a huge variety and if your English is not proficient you can get Serbian real estate agents. But beware-real estate agents will take you to house visits and in the beginning they will show you the worse houses and slowly move up. Reason being they want to sell bad houses first because good ones are easiest to sell. When you talk to the real estate agent, tell him that you know how they work and if they don't do a good job you will switch to another agent. Trust me, they will listen to you.
2)Real estate agent will take care of everything, but it is up to you to go to bank and take a loan out to buy the house. For the house you will have to give a down payment or money immediately. More you give better your monthly rate is. In end more you give immediately better it is. To see how much you save, take this example-When you buy a house that is worth $100,000 after you pay it off it will cost you $300,000 of which $100,000 goes the bank and the other $100,000 goes to the government. Now you realize why United States is so rich.
3)Take out a insurance on the house because in case of some major incident such as floods or fires you will get reimbursement for all yours damages. Look under Insurance for more information on the companies that offer house insurance.
4)Take a moment to let the feeling that you have indebted yourself for the next 30 years slowly sink in, and that if you miss 3 payments you will be out on the street.
Have Fun! ;-)
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