The Best Time to Buy a House in Chicago

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Clever Real Estate

Updated 

April 22nd, 2019

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The best time to buy a house is when it feels like the right time for you. Otherwise, there are a few guiding principles that will help you decide when to pull the trigger on one of the biggest decisions in your life.

So you’ve decided to buy a home in the windy city but the feelings of excitement are replaced with several natural concerns. There are thoughts about a down payment, how much house will your budget afford, interest rates, and is now the best time to buy a house in Chicago? Fortunately, a good local agent knows the market and has the most up-to-date answers to when it's the best time.

Ideally, it would be great if there were hard-fast rules about when to buy a house, however, that is not the case because there are so many variables to the housing market.

Nevertheless, we can help with a few suggestions based on historical trends and future expectations. Traditionally, the most new listings hit the market in the spring. That also means that’s when the competition is the most fierce and homes are on and off the market quickly. The competition also drives up home prices and sellers are very optimistic.

However, as the season comes to a close, some buyers start to get anxious and fear losing out on the “prime time” to purchase a home. Some then end up paying a lot more for a house than they originally intended. If you have some time and can be patient, typically as more homes are listed, the homes for sale inventory is the greatest during the months of April, May, and June.

Best Time of Year to Buy in Chicago

As the city awakes from winter and flowers start to bloom, so does the listings. The new listings in Chicago create the toughest competition during the months of March, April (the highest), and May. This is a great time because of the spike in inventory after the slower winter months. The downside is higher prices, and the sellers are less willing to negotiate or give in to other concessions.

This presents a dilemma for the home buyer, by waiting the competition won’t be as much a factor, prices may drop and sellers are more motivated. However, you may also miss out on the home of your dreams. Of course, when you add the concern of finding the right agent, current interest rates, lending options, and your personal financial situation, and it all can become overwhelming.

The Best Places to Buy a Home in Chicago

Chicago is home to 2.68 million people and it's no wonder the city continues to grow. Chicago is a beautiful city: it has great food, incredible festivals, and more culture and art than most countries. Each year thousands of people decide to live there. With so many awesome choices, finding the perfect home for you may not be the easiest task to accomplish.

So, we put together a short list of the best neighborhoods to make your decision a little easier.

  • Near North Side is the oldest part of Chicago. The fabled water tower is one of two structures that survived the Chicago Fire in 1871. The Walter Payton College Prep school is also located here and offers world-class math, humanities, science and adventure education programs.
  • Lincoln Park is known for having the best overall quality of life. However, it also means a higher cost of living. The park is lined with trees, the streets have old brick houses and this also where you’ll find a zoo and a museum. A great place with a hefty price tag.
  • Lake View has the sixth most amenities per capita in the city. And it’s a Chicago Cubs fan dream-land, because it’s within walking distance of the famed Wrigley Field. If you’re a fan and have to live here, be prepared since this is where you’ll find the city’s highest cost of living.
  • Near South Side is great if you need to be close to downtown, but want to live someplace more affordable. There are plenty of cool attractions like Soldier Field, Museum Campus, and McCormick Place. The neighborhood offers residents an urban feel and you’ll find lots of coffee shops, parks and bars.
  • West Town is an artists’ haven. It’s a mixture of artists of all types, like musicians, and performers. The vibe is young and hip, especially around the Wicker Park area. If you have more of a polished style, then Bucktown is where you want to be. The best part is that it is one of the city's safest areas.

4 Ways to Get a Great Deal On a Home in Chicago

  1. Find a Great Chicago Real Estate Agent: A buyer’s agent partners with you in the search for your next home. Their added value includes insight on homes that are priced right, and lenders with the best interest rates and terms. They’re also experts on various types of financing options available to you. These are just a few of the reasons you shouldn’t go through the process alone.

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

  1. Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals: This is the time you want to work with your agent to discuss your particular desires. Not only is location a prime concern, but if you have small children, area parks and neighborhood schools are also important. Perhaps you plan to get a dog, so you’ll need easy access to a dog park, and maybe a fenced yard. Your agent will help you decide how much house you can afford based on your budget and financial situation.

Learn More: What to Look For When Buying a Home

  1. Find Lender and Secure Financing: Your agent has working relationships with several lenders and have a good pulse on different programs that can help off-set some expenses such as closing costs and down payment. If you’re on a time restraint, the agent will educate you how long everything takes from the offer, inspection, appraisal to the closing date, which normally can take up 30 to 45 days.

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

  1. Negotiate for the Best Possible Price: After seeing a number of houses and finding that perfect one, the real excitement begins. Once you locate the home of your choice, the agent help you submit an offer, then after the inspection, the will negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deal possible.

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

We get it. Buying a home is a big deal and you want the purchase of your next house to be as stress free as possible. We can also help you get a home buyer rebate to get $1,000 back on the price of your home.

Clever connects you with a top-rated local agent who will give you a no-obligation consultation and answer all of your questions. Contact us today.

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