If you’re waiting for spring to buy your first Chicago home, stop waiting! Springtime home shopping is an outdated tradition, and following the herd could cost you opportunities. Here’s a few reasons why!
The tradition of spring and summer home buying originated with families working around the school year. If you have school-age children, accommodating showings and moving households is more complicated when school is in session.
In the Chicago area, the home buying season was also tied to annual lease agreements, which typically came up for renewal in May or October. Renters who opted not to renew their agreements were among the most motivated buyers!
But gone are the days when buyers could afford to leave the market for months at a time. According to statistics by the Chicago Association of Realtors, home sales during December 2019 were up 10.6%, compared to December 2018. January 2019 home sales are up 7.3% compared to the same month last year.
While real estate has always been a year-around business, it’s now year-around busy. The major driver in recent years is the short supply of entry-level homes. Serious home buyers remain ready to jump when the right home comes along, no matter the season.
We have more buyers in the market these days who are not concerned about the school year. This includes empty-nesters who are downsizing, real estate investors and first-time buyers. Even for buyers who do have school-age children, moving during the school year isn’t always an issue. Plus, it isn’t always possible to line things up during summer break.
Today’s home buyers are empowered by real estate websites and apps that make staying in the market year-around easy and convenient. It’s hard to imagine, but just 20 years ago, the idea of listings being compiled on third-party websites and shared with the public was an evolving concept. (Not all MLS organizations, nor brokers, were on board with the notion.)
The nature of rental agreements gradually changed as well. While there’s still a number of annual lease agreements out there, month-to-month agreements have become more common.
We have also been in a long-running era of crazy-low mortgage interest rates. Interest rates for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage have not averaged above 5% since 2009. Low rates keep adding fuel to home demand. For example, rates took a dip in the third quarter of 2019, which helped boost home sales late in the year.
Of course, a number of people still wait until spring to get serious about buying and selling a home, simply because warm weather makes the processes more comfortable. But if this is the only reason you are waiting to start your Chicago home buying journey, you might find yourself behind the curve!
StartingPoint Realty – your first-time home buyer specialists!
StartingPoint Realty proudly serves first-time home buyers throughout the Chicago area. Get an introduction to home buying by attending our free home buying seminar! There’s no sales pressure and no obligation. Space is limited, so please register your choice of location and date to reserve your seat!
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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