With the winter chill fully settled in and the holiday hustle and bustle right under our noses, it hardly seems like a time to think about purchasing Chicago real estate.
But believe it or not, now is a great time to buy. Winter is perfect for taking advantage of real estate deals, plus several right-now opportunities won’t be around forever, such as:
• For first-time buyers, the $8,000 tax credit from the government has been extended, and now a single person can have an income of $125,000 or a couple at $250,000 to be eligible.
• There’s no telling where interest rates will go, and right now we’re looking at the lowest levels in history, making it a great opportunity for buyers. Rates were lowered as part of the Fed’s 2008 program, which is now nearing its end and might not be setting things up so well for buyers in the near future. Before the Fed’s program, rates were well-above 6%. We could certainly return to that rate once that program has ended.
• Chicago home sellers are highly motivated in the winter season to move fast, making it a time best to negotiate a good buy.
If you’re looking at Chicago new construction, it’s also an opportune time to negotiate a deal, as many developers are under bank pressure to sell their properties and a developer’s profit comes from the last 20% of sales on that development. Some new construction properties might also offer closeouts to help the developer sell quickly (which could mean a great value for your new Chicago home).
Sellers are also motivated by buyers who can put down 15% to 20% or close the purchase within 30 days—good negotiating tools for you when shopping for a Chicago home. Those tools will benefit those looking to buy luxury Chicago new construction. A conforming loan on a $1 million-plus property will get you a great deal and if you put 25% to 30% down or close agreeing to a 30-day closing period you’re in an excellent negotiating position in the current real estate market. If you’re looking to pay cash for Chicago real estate, you’re in an even better position to negotiate price if you can close in less than 30 days as well.
This time of year is also a great time for those looking for a Chicago condo, as most associations know what their 2010 costs will be, so buyers aren’t left guessing.