Northern Illinois Real Estate – One of My Favorite First Time Home Buyers Story. (part 1 of 4)

 house sold in Wheaton illinois

 Aaron and Debbie purchased their first home with our team in Wheaton.

Searching for œThe One

When my husband and I relocated from Washington, D.C., to Chicago, we knew home buying was in our future, but we weren™t really sure where to begin. Chicago is such a large city, and each suburb has its unique characteristics. As first-time home-buyers, we knew having the assistance of a realtor would be invaluable. In January 2011, we began working with the Julie Anne Real Estate Team to find the perfect place.

During our initial call, Julie tried to determine what we were looking for, but in all honesty, we weren™t exactly sure ourselves. We are both pretty flexible and easygoing, so we had a hard time deciding on deal breakers. We knew we wanted at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms. We needed a garage, but we didn™t care if it was attached or not. We wanted a yard, preferably fenced in. While newly remodeled homes certainly are pretty, we weren™t afraid of doing a bit of work ourselves.

On our first outing, Julie took us to 10 homes for sale in Glen Ellyn and Wheaton. Unfortunately, sometimes it™s hard to know that you don™t want something until you see it in person. Even on that first day of house hunting, Julie made very valid points that helped us narrow down our choices and better understand what we were really looking for.

That day, we fell in love with a home in Wheatonthat we thought could be œthe one. It was a cute Cape Cod from the 1950s, with a bright sun-room and an office attached to the master bedroom. My husband thought it was a bit small for us, but I thought for sure it would work. We weren™t quite ready to make an offer, so we held out. We saw a few other houses we liked, including a four-bedroom, two-bath ranch that both overwhelmed and intrigued us.

Our second outing took us to homes for sale in Schaumburg, Roselle, and Bloomingdale. While we saw some very nice properties, the more we thought about it, the more we realized that these communities didn™t have exactly what we were looking for. We really liked that Glen Ellyn and Wheaton had downtown areas centered around train stations, with lots of independent businesses and strong community vibes.

Around this time, we found out that the house we loved was under contract. This disappointed us terribly, but we both believed that our house was out there somewhere. As much as we kept thinking about that first house and checking and rechecking the listing to see if it would come back on the market, we knew we had to move on.

Next, Julie took us around Palatine and Arlington Heights. Having grown up in Palatine, I was quite familiar with the area and really wanted to find œthe one here. While we saw some nice real estate, we just didn™t feel that connection.

On our fourth, and what would be our last, outing, we went back to Wheaton and Glen Ellyn. Before going out, Julie suggested we think really hard about what it is we wanted in our first home and try to select only the best of the best to view.

We went to a handful of properties, but none of them really stood out. Lately, we had been thinking more and more about the four-bedroom ranch we saw on that first day, especially since the price had dropped! The more we thought about it, the more we realized that while it was a bit big for us right now, it really was the perfect house for our future.

We found ourselves with some extra time that day and Julie took us back to the house for sale in Wheaton. As soon as we pulled up, my husband and I started to get excited about the possibilities. The four bedrooms meant I could have a dedicated home office. The kitchen opened up to the family room, which meant our future children could be playing within sight. The garage had ample space for a workbench, where my husband could work on our bikes or his guitars. The fenced-in corner lot meant our future dog could get plenty of exercise and fresh air.

This house met everything on our wish list. Master bath “ check! Attached two-car garage “ check! Basement “ check! Formal dining room “ check!

We saw that they were having an open house the next day, so we knew we had to make a decision quickly. We didn™t want another house we loved to slip out of our grasp, so we decided to make an offer.

Stay tuned for the continuation of our real estate adventure!

 Debra Berkowitz McCraw is a freelance writer and editor based in the Chicagoland area. Learn more about her on her website,

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