The Best Time to Buy a House in Illinois

By 

Thomas O'Shaughnessy

Updated 

April 5th, 2019

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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.

If you’ve ever lived through an Illinois winter, you know there aren’t too many people that like to venture out into that kind of cold. So, it’s only natural that home sales decline throughout the state in the winter months, particularly in January.

Illinois follows the national trend. Home sales and inventory dip in December, January and February because of the weather and due to the number of holidays during the season. While there’s good news in lower home prices for home buyers, less inventory also means less choice.

When it comes to price, the two best days for buyers are Christmas and Easter Sunday. As for seasonal differences, homebuyers will find more competition during the summer months when the weather is warmer and people are house hunting.

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.

Learn More: What Does a Real Estate Agent Do for a Buyer?

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.

Learn More: What to Look for When Buying a Home

3. Find a Lender and Secure Financing

If the seller accepts the offer, the real estate agent will work with you on getting a home inspection done, offer advice, and lead you to professionals who can help with the legal paperwork. They will also be able to point you to any state or federal loan or grant programs that could assist you with the down payment, closing costs, or even your mortgage.

One of the first steps you need to take when seriously searching for a property is to secure proper funding to purchase a home. That’s straightforward if you are purchasing a home with cash. If not, your real estate agent will be able to discuss several loan options that may be the right fit for you.

Finding the right one requires working with a mortgage broker, a bank, or credit union. A good real estate agent will be able to lead you to a lender that you can trust.

Learn More: A Step-By-Step Guide to the Home Loan Process

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.

Learn More: How to Find a Buyer’s Agent That’s a Good Negotiator

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