We found a great PDF over at the Illinois Association of Realtors web site, outlining 10 important facts you should know about the real estate market in Illinois. Without further delay:
1. There is no such thing as a national real estate market. What happens in Las Vegas…well, as far as the housing market there, yes, it tends to be very different than Illinois. Real estate markets are local, so don’t get too concerned about what’s happening outside of where you are selling (and want to buy). Pay attention to local pricing trends, volume movements and changes in inventories, rather than misleading news headlines about national sales trends.
2. Over the long term, Illinois home values are relatively stable. From 2004 to 2007, the median price of an Illinois home increased 10.3%. In the Chicagoland area, the news is even better — the median price rose 13.9%. Owning a home remains a smart investment over the long term, especially for those who keep their home for six to ten years.
3. Your house is your home, not just a place to make a quick buck. While speculators and investors certainly were present during the recent housing boom, most homebuyers don’t buy their home to flip it. Remember that there’s value in the local community, your neighborhood and the piece of mind of owning your own home — things that are hard to measure, but certainly of value.
4. Homeownership has a positive effect on the local economy. A 2007 study by Chicago-based RFC Economic and Financial Consulting, Inc. found the direct and indirect results of home sales in Illinois injects $11.9 billion into the local economy. This includes furniture and appliance purchases, movers, home repairs, etc.
5. There is credit available to homebuyers. Buyers with good credit ratings, positive documentation showing adequate income, work history and assets, and a realistic view of what they can afford are able to get credit for the purchase of a new home. It is, however, well worth being prepared for a longer and more scrutinizing process — something most of seemed to have forgotten was the norm not too long ago.
6. The market favors first-time homebuyers. Young buyers tend to have higher incomes and less debt burden. In addition, often being renters or living with parents, there’s no pressure to get a contract on a current home. And remember there are still many good financing programs available for first-time buyers.
7. Owning a home builds wealth. Renting does not. Remember, home ownership is a long term financial strategy. According to recent figures from the Federal Reserve Board, the average renter’s net worth is $4,800, while the average owner’s is over $170,000. While these figures may have been true before the current economic situation, it’s probably still true that homeowners are much more asset-rich than their renting counterparts.
8. Second home? Oh yeah. Investors and prospective retirees, depending on their financial position, should know that now is the perfect time to consider investing in a second home. Illinois has plenty of available inventory and in locations that are highly desirable.
9. Get help from a qualified sales associate or realtor. No matter who you choose to help you with the home research and buying process, rely on someone who knows the neighborhood, has knowledge of the market and gives you the extra attention you certainly deserve.
10. NOW is the time to buy. With abundant inventory and moderate prices, there’s no better time to purchase a new home than now. If you’re a buyer, this market is for you. As a seller, be patient and price your home correctly. Experts all agree that realistically-priced homes sell faster, so set your selling price competitively.
See, now don’t you feel a bit better about the housing market in Illinois? To discuss any of these issues futher with one of our sales associates, simply schedule an appointment online. We’ll contact you to confirm your appointment and be eagerly awaiting your arrival.