For the 10th consecutive month, the average home price across the country has increased, according to the February REAL Trends Housing Report. New and existing home sales were also up from the prior year. These are solid increases that point toward a stable recovery in the housing market.
This means something for the potential real estate buyer. As I’ve said before, each new sign of the market moving in a healthy direction is an indication that the window of opportunity is closing for Chicago real estate buyers to get a great deal on a home purchase. An Investment in Chicago Real Estate
I’ve already been surprised in 2013 as I see more clients than ever from foreign countries purchasing real estate in Chicago. Many are purchasing properties as investments and renting them out as an extra source of income. In today’s economic environment, it’s very hard to obtain a real return on your money, considering that bank rates are at all-time lows and interest earnings are next to nothing.
But an investment in real estate offers something different. Those who are purchasing Chicago real estate with cash are getting a return of 2% to 4%. That’s a great return in today’s market, plus gives you a tangible asset that should go up in value in future years once inflation finally kicks in.
Of course, that doesn’t mean buyers should snap up every property they can, as fast as they can. If you’re considering making an investment in a Chicago home, here are a few things to consider: 1. The property itself. All Chicago homes aren’t created equal. There are many Chicago condos in buildings that are better poised that others to maintain their resale value in the future 2. Cash is still king. From negotiating a deal to closing it, cash will often get you there. It’s especially advantageous if you’re making a purchase as an investment, but buying with cash gives you the upper hand and makes for a much more seamless purchase process. 3. Real estate is like the stock market. In other words, no matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to time just right. The best you can do is pay attention to reputable news and find that window that is most advantageous to you as a buyer or an investor. The Wall St. Journal and Fortune Magazine have both covered the market extensively and express the same sentiment: if you’re in a position to buy, now is the time to make a move.
I’ve had several clients already see their “coulda, woulda, shoulda” window pass them by. As the housing market continues to stabilize, away will go all of the factors that play into a buyer’s favor, like great prices and lower-than-ever mortgage rates.
To see what’s available on the market now, or to discuss how a real estate investment could offer a better return on your money, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at [email protected]
Lake Point Tower, at right, is one of many buildings along Lake Shore Drive that offer incredible views of Lake Michigan. Image via Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune