The weather is getting cold in Chicago, and daylight is dwindling. If you’re a first-time Chicago home buyer who didn’t have any luck with your home search this summer, you might be thinking of hanging it up until spring. But right now could be the best time to find a home in Chicago or the Northwest suburbs! Here’s why!
Home prices are coming down for the season. I talked about this in my recent YouTube video. We’re seeing price reductions around Chicagoland, and some buyers are worried that a reduced price means a problem with the house. Not the case! Most sellers who still have homes on the market want to close a deal before year-end.
Keep in mind that not all home sellers are selling just to take a profit. Some are selling because they have to. They may have a job relocation in progress, or they could have a military relocation happening. They could be involved in a divorce. Or they need to sell in order to settle an estate. They might be ready to retire, or be trading up to a larger home for a growing household. Sellers like these are highly motivated. That means lower home prices and more enthusiasm in negotiations!
You have less competition from other home buyers. Home buying isn’t as fun in the fall and winter. Homes don’t look as nice when the trees are bare, and the grass is brown or covered with snow! And who wants to look at houses when the Bears are playing? The fall and winter months separate the most committed home buyers from the casual home buyers. And then there’s families with kids who don’t want to disrupt the school year with a move, which is understandable.
Whatever the reasons, there are simply fewer buyers in the market during fall and winter. This means lower home prices, and it means your offers get more attention. You’re less likely to get caught in a bidding war, too!
Mortgage lenders, home inspectors and appraisers have more time for you. During the peak home buying months, it can take longer to get things done, because the transaction volumes can overwhelm industry professionals. This is especially true for home appraisers, who cover wide territories and do appraisals for both home purchases and refinances. Mortgage underwriters can also get backlogged. Closing timetables in the fall and winter months tend to be quicker, since there are fewer transactions in the pipeline.
Last call for 2017 tax breaks and interest rates. We can’t promise that income tax rules won’t change in the future. But for now, you could be eligible for certain income tax deductions if you purchase your home before year-end. Ask your professional tax preparer for details!
It’s also likely that mortgage interest rates will be rising throughout 2018. The Federal Reserve is expected to bump up their benchmark lending rate in December 2017, with more upticks to follow in the upcoming year. Between rising rates and the usual surge in springtime home prices, homes could cost a lot more in a few short months!
StartingPoint Realty helps first-time Chicago home buyers!
StartingPoint Realty provides complete education and guidance to first-time home buyers throughout Chicago and the Northwest suburbs! Attend our free home buying seminar to learn about the home buying process. There’s never any sales pressure or obligation!
Check out our list of home buyer assistance programs on our website! You can also visit our Chicago Resource Center for neighborhood information and personalized assistance.
Always feel welcome to contact us for help with your Chicago home buying questions!
Ryan Gable Broker/CEO Starting Point Realty
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