In an industry like real estate, which can be as unpredictable as the stock market and have its share of ups and downs, I’ve seen a number of buyers say the words that put hindsight at 20/20: could have, would have, should have. We can never know if the “perfect” window for purchasing real estate exists, but by the time we’ve pinpointed it, it’s long behind us.
As I have indicated to many of my clients, I am seeing the Chicago real estate market turning around. Although it is nowhere near the market we had before the slowdown, most of my realtor colleagues have agreed that they are having a better year than they did last year. Other sources and statistics like the Wall Street Journal and economists have confirmed my observations.
Home Building Numbers a Good Indicator for Real Estate
Residential construction picked up momentum in September, now running at its highest level in four years–that’s a positive sign for the real estate market, the jobs market and the broader U.S. economy.
Many economists say that a sustained rise in construction could really build economic growth, drive down unemployment and provide hope for jobs in the construction industry. These factors are crucial in building confidence in the economy again, and maintaining a positive outlook that the real estate market is on the up-and-up.
Should You Wait to Buy Chicago Real Estate?
The quick answer here is, well, yes. Now is truly the time to purchase property, especially single-family homes, as I believe this is where we’ll see an increase in value over the coming years. Plus, this allows you to avoid the expense or condo assessments, which can easily run $2,500 to $3,500 a month for a large, 3,500-square-foot unit. That comes out to $42,000 each year, and can’t be claimed on your taxes, so many buyers want to avoid this added cost with a new home.
These assessments also increase with inflation or added amenities, so often it isn’t a fixed cost. For younger clients or those who don’t need or want the space of a single-family home, the way to to avoid large condo assessments is to consider moving into a 6-flat or 8-flat–assessments in these types of buildings are very affordable.
But regardless of the type of property you’re looking for, now is simply a great opportunity for buyers. When it comes to Chicago real estate, the last quarter is a fantastic time to purchase, as most sellers on the market are particularly motivated to move their properties before the notoriously slow winter period. If you have a realtor who knows the ins and outs of negotiating prices as well as the importance of resale value, you’re in a great position.
But keep in mind that those variables can–and will–change. Just like you can’t perfectly time the stock market, we won’t know that this opportunity is gone until it has already passed. You don’t want to be thinking “coulda-woulda-shoulda” after you’ve watched the market continue to look up.