1st Choice Homes Realty serving buyers and sellers since 1985.
New Home, New Life. We are your perfect partner to make it happen. Serving Clarendon Hills, Forest Park,
Hinsdale, La Grange, Oak Brook, Oak Park, River Forest, Riverside, Western Springs and other MLS towns.
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Buying your suburban Chicago home

You have a lot riding on your real estate decisions.  It is not just the most money you will probably ever spend at one time, so the financial stakes are high enough already, but it is also the physical, emotional and spiritual elements that will have a big impact on everyone before, during and after this process is wrapped up.


You need a REALTOR you can depend on to have your back, be there for you, work in your best interest, present your options objectively and guide you in the best direction for your needs and time frame.  You need a real estate advocate on your team to make 

it happen.


We strive to exceed your expectations.  You are not just a number to us.  You are a real family.  Someone we respect and will work hard for so you can proceed with your plans.


A very brief overview of the steps we will take to make it happen:


1.  Meet at the office or a public location to begin your file and review many things that need to be covered.  A list of things will be emailed to you to bring to this important first meeting.

2.  Apply for your mortgage loan and get approved.**  Or provide us verifiable proof of funds for purchase price and closing costs.

You need to be pre-approved for your mortgage loan or provide proof of funds if you are a cash buyer.  Go to Crown Mortgage (lender) (http://www.crownmortgagecompany.com/) and apply to be pre-approved for your mortgage loan or call them at 708-857-1897.   They will give you the numbers specific for your situation and discuss your best options. 

Most sellers and their real estate agents insist that all visitors be pre-approved prior to seeing property inside so they know they are dealing with a serious, qualified buyer.  Loan approval from Crown Mortgage is almost as good as being a cash buyer once you have provided everything they need to receive final approval! 

Tell your personal lender at Crown Mortgage to let me know you are pre-approved and the details so I can best help you find what you want.  My contact information:  Sharon Gonwa, 1st Choice Homes Realty, 708-217-8414 or sharongonwa@onlymyemail.com.

3.  Start looking at properties that meet your criteria, in your price range.

4.  Once you have found it, we will draft an offer.

5.  Your offer is presented and accepted (best case scenario).

6.  We work toward getting all the terms of contract fulfilled to close on the purchase of your new home or property.

7.  You move in and tell everyone you know about us!


Email us with what you must have and we'll send the listings to you!  

This is your very best option because you'll get EVERY LISTING, FROM EVERY MLS OFFICE that matches your criteria sent to you up to six times a day.

Not all office put their listings on the internet and some sellers do not want their listings on the internet.  So searching online may be fun, but it can waste of lot of time and what about keeping track of it all.

There's so much to tell you about buying property that we will only touch on a couple of things here. 

Getting to Know You:  This is a very important beginning.  There are many things that will take place during our meeting.  Here are some of the highlights.

We can't really begin to give you our very best and to service your real estate needs until we know what kind of property, features, and amenities you're looking for, your time frame, your financial qualifications and comfort zone, what's important to you, your situation, what you expect from us, what we expect from you, and so much more.

During our meeting we'll review agency (see my page about agency in this website), the buying process, our booklet, the forms you will probably  see, and answer any questions and address any concerns you may have.  From our meeting we will then determine if we should work together.

Let's assume we agree we're a good match and decide we'll work as partners.  This will set in motion a whole series of events.

Grounded Excitement:  Part of our job is letting you enjoy the emotional thrills and excitement of finding the home you want to call yours, but as an objective third party and your partner, it is also keeping you relatively focused on the realities (good and bad) of the property you're considering buying, the pros and cons of a particular property for your specific situation,  and the process involved to make it yours.

Present and Future Needs: We'll determine your housing needs and desires.  Not only for right now but also for the foreseeable future.  This is very important.  Perhaps you will be in your new home for several years to come so what you choose now will have to fit your current lifestyle and where you see yourself down the road.

Buying Power and Comfort Zone:  Next we need to determine your buying power by doing a lender pre-qualification/pre-approval and credit check.  (If you're paying all cash for your purchase we will need an original signed and recently dated statement from your account holder on their letterhead verifying all funds needed are available to you immediately or when needed.)  Once we know your maximum purchase price, we'll then determine your comfort zone and base our search on that figure.

MLS Property Search:  Your information and housing needs are entered into our MLS database to search for property.  If properties meeting your criteria are available, the property information and photos are printed for your review.  We can decide if you want to see inside of any of the properties or if you want to take the listing information with you, drive by the properties, and check the outside of the properties and  neighborhoods.

We Found It!:  You've found a property you want to call "yours".  Remember "Grounded Excitement"?  Well, this is where it really comes in.  Prior to making your offer it's a good idea, if time allows, to visit the property at a different times of day, and days of the week.  A property will "feel" different during the day than it does at night, and differently during the week than on the weekend.  Listen to the neighborhood sounds and activity at different times and on different days - there will be a difference probably between a weekday/night and a weekend day/night.  Get out of your car, walk around, and decide if the neighborhood amenities and proximity to what's important to you will make you as happy as the house.

Hot Properties Require Immediate Action:  Sometimes a new listing comes on the market that we think might sell quickly.  You need to check your email very often or better yet, leave your phone number so we can call you with the information.  We promise not to bug you either.  But hot properties sell very fast and you don't want to lose out on a home that may be what you want.   We hate pesky sales people when they call - therefore, we won't violate your trust and confidence by calling you needlessly.  However, if you're serious about buying a new home, sometimes the quicker and easier you can be reached, the better, or someone may beat you to that hot new listing.

Check our towns page for information important to you and your decisions.

Next, if time allows, we'll make another appointment to tour the property once more, with your detailed checklist included in your booklet.  This will be invaluable in evaluating the property prior to making your offer and when the time comes to do a property inspection.  We also advise our clients to make a pro and con worksheet based on their needs and wants in the property they want to live in and eventually buy.

Making Your Offer:  Quite often the best properties on the market move fast, so once you have found what you want (and you will know it) then move fast so you don't lose the home you really want.  When we first meet and decide to work together we'll review the contract form and other potential documents necessary to buy your home - just in case we find the nearly perfect home and you want to buy it, and there are other offers coming in on it that day, you won't feel quite as over-whelmed and pressured.

Next, we'll prepare a computer generated market evaluation for the property, showing you what similar properties have sold for and the difference between the list price and the sales price, and average market times.  After all shouldn't you have the same information as the seller does?  This will be one of the components we look at in determining how much and what terms to offer when drafting your offer to purchase the property.

A word about making low offers would be - caution.  Some sellers are so offended and emotionally upset by low offers that it makes negotiating very difficult to practically impossible.  You'd be surprised at the number of great homes that are lost because of buyers inability or reluctance to negotiate a little on price, terms, or concessions.  Remember that in today's market $5,000 means about $35 more per month in your mortgage payment - or about the cost of going out to dinner and a movie once a month.  Quite a sacrifice for giving up years of pride and enjoyment in a home you would treasure and love.

Inspections:  We strongly recommend a professional home inspection be done and included as a contingent part of your offer.  A professional home inspection is an unbiased report on the condition of the structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.  We also strongly advise a pest inspection for termites and other destruction pests.  You can also do radon, mold and lead paint testing, plus others.

We will attend the home inspection and strongly encourage our buyers to         attend the home inspection too to learn first-hand about the workings and possible shortcomings of the property, just in case we have to negotiate on any problems that arise, you'll understand exactly what's being discussed and your possible options.  It will take about 1-4 hours depending on several factors. 

Closing the Sale:  There's a multitude of steps that have to be coordinated and completed before you really call this property "yours".  We will guide you through this complex maze. 

 The Cost of Renting
Wouldn't you rather spend your hard earned money on something you'll someday own instead of having a bunch of rent receipts to show for it.  

If you said "yes", let me help you invest in yourself and your future.

And rents certainly are not going down either so it will cost even more.


Rates will be going up
Property prices will rise


Now is the time to prepare
yourself with knowledge-before you start negotiating to purchase property.

The more information you have, the more you'll know and you'll better understand the buying process in suburban Chicago area.

Then when it's time to make decisions, you'll feel more confident about your choices and decisions.  Take notes!!

Please Read
IMPORTANT - Need to know issues, options
check the pages under the 
Buyers ++++

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                                                                 Email us for property information when you see an ad or sign and we'll send you the property information.What did that property sell for?

We look forward to being your trusted real estate partner.


Contact Us

1st Choice Homes Realty, 2021 Midwest Rd, Ste 200, Oak Brook, IL 60523
630-495-2888.  By Appointment Only

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