The Best Time to Buy a House in Illinois

By 

Thomas O'Shaughnessy

Updated 

December 23rd, 2020

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If you're a home buyer in Illinois you may have been watching home prices go up and up. If you're wondering about the best time to buy a house in Illinois, you will want to read on. It's our complete guide on what you need to know to get the best deal.

Buying a house is a stressful and emotional process. You'll likely have to spend weeks touring properties, fill out hundreds of forms, and invest a large chunk of your savings to secure the right house.

One way to make buying a house easier is starting the process at the right time. In Illinois, housing inventory, mortgage rates, and market trends vary from month to month.

For example, this year listing prices for homes in Illinois were lowest in January. On average, homes were $36,849 less expensive. While in September — the month with the highest prices — the listing prices were $22,208 more than the annual average.

In truth, the best time to buy a house really depends on your priorities and situation. Read on to find out which time of year will give you the most options and the biggest savings when buying a house in Illinois.

Best Month For


Listing price
January
10.0% lower than average
Housing inventory
March
8.0% more homes to choose from
Mortgage rates
December
2.90% interest for 30-year mortgage
Realtor.com data (October 2020)
Bankrate data (December 2020)

If you're interested in buying a home, the first step in the home buying journey is getting preapproved by a licensed lender. Even if you’re already pre-approved, shopping around for lower rates can pay dividends over the life of the loan.

You can fill out the form below to be instantly matched with a licensed lender who knows the area and can guide you through the process.

Best Time of Year to Buy in Illinois

While timing is important when it comes to the prices for which homes sell (they can be about 8% lower in January compared to July), it is not the only factor you should consider when deciding to buy a house.

For example, while it is true that prices usually dip in the winter, Illinois actually showed median prices rising in December 2018. That's because there is a lack of available inventory in some areas. A trusted real estate agent will be able to help you find a home that is just right for your budget (and at the optimal price) based on a variety of factors, not just based on the time of year.

The Best Places to Buy a Home in Illinois

Springfield

The capital city of Illinois has a lot to offer its residents. It's a city of about 120,000 people with an affordable cost of living. It's not uncommon to find a good home for under $130,000.

Buffalo Grove

Buffalo Grove is in Lake County in a region of the state that is regularly listed as one of the Best Places to Live in the U.S. by national media organizations. The community has an extremely low crime rate and some of the best high schools in the state. Some have 95% graduation rates.

Glenview

This community of 46,000 residents has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. It is a great family town with family parks dotted within its borders and surrounding communities.

Oak Park

Located in Cook County, this is one of the safest suburbs of Chicago. Its proximity to the Windy City makes it an ideal location for commuters looking for a community with excellent schools and an urban feel.

Naperville

This is a relatively wealthy community of about 145,000 residents. It boasts eight college campuses. It's located along the Illinois technology corridor and is the perfect location for people employed by major corporations in the area, including AT&T, Calamos, and BP.

Four Ways to Get a Great Deal On a Home in Illinois

1. Find a Great Illinois Real Estate Agent

A trusted real estate agent will be able to help you buy a home at the best possible price no matter what time of year you enter the market. While summer may be more competitive for homebuyers, there is also greater demand. A professional real estate agent will understand the nuances of the local market and will be able to negotiate effectively on your behalf.

They will help take the stress out of the home buying process. After all, you shouldn't make one of the most important financial decisions of your life alone.

A trusted real estate agent or broker will guide you through the entire home buying process. They will search out, evaluate and negotiate for a property on your behalf. They will also work with you to determine the criteria of the home you are looking for.

This may include such things as your price limit, the number of bedrooms in the home, and the style of home. The agent will schedule appointments for homes that meet your particular needs and parameters.

Real estate agents are knowledgeable about local inspection laws and are ethically responsible for making sure your best interests are kept at top of mind from the time you view a property to the time you sign the closing contract.

2. Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals

A real estate agent is more than just someone who is able to negotiate your home purchase or help you with the paperwork. A great real estate agent will help you lay out your needs and goals for your home purchase. What are the must-haves on your wish list for your home?

Do you need a certain number of bathrooms? Do you require a den? Or maybe you need a two-car garage. Whether it's trying to determine the financial parameters of your house search or just offering advice, your real estate agent will be one of your most important resources through what can be a daunting process.

3. Find a Lender and Secure Financing

Unless you plan to buy your home with cash, you'll need to apply for a mortgage. For most home buyers in Illinois, interest rates are among the biggest factors when choosing a lender. Doing a little upfront research and comparing options to find the best rates could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

For example, in Illinois a typical house is worth $218,000. Assuming a 20% down payment, if you took out a 30-year mortgage for 3.5%, your monthly payment would be $778. But if you shopped around and found a 3% mortgage, your monthly payment would drop to about $735.

Getting a mortgage is a big decision – and it pays to shop around! Keep shopping until you find a lender with competitive rates who also understands your goals. Don’t get pressured into taking on a bigger loan than you’re comfortable with – work with a lender who explains what you’re really signing up for.

It’s easy to start your home buying journey – answer a few questions to get instantly matched with a lender who works in your area.

4. Negotiate for the Best Possible Price

One of the most important qualities of a good real estate agent is being a great negotiator. After all, it's important to have someone on your side who knows how to make a great deal. They could end up saving you thousands of dollars or more.

Clever Partner Agents have access to up-to-the-minute data so they will be able to offer precise bidding advice. They will also guide you if you decide to make a counter offer, and they'll let you know if your bid is too low or too high for a particular property.

If you want to know more about the home buying process and how a Clever Partner Agent can help you, fill out our online form. A Clever representative will be in touch soon to answer any questions that you may have. You'll then be connected to a local Partner Agent for a no-obligation consultation.

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