Chicago Real Estate: Will the Boom Continue?

By: Joe Pinto

Chicago, isn't only Frank Sinatra's "kind of town", it is a city loved by many people. Chicago is as cosmopolitan and as cultured San Francisco, yet as street-wise as New York; it is the city that unites this great land - the 'heart' of America, if you will. In terms of music and art, Chicago has always been ahead of the times: while New York shows us "what IS", Chicago shows us "what will BE". In terms of Industry, Chicago was the fountainhead of the West, and a driving force in the very creation of America. Today, with the city of Chicago still growing, but housing boom settling down, people are wondering about the state of Chicago real estate.

The fact is, while some Chicago neighborhoods are showing declines over the last year in both asking and selling prices, other areas of the city - notably, Des Plaines - are showing encouraging increases. And, while the Chicago housing market is not as "hot" as it was a couple years ago, it is certainly a great place if you're looking to buy a home that you plan on keeping for a while (whether a home or a rental property). Here's why:

GROWTH & "REHABBING"

Yes, at 3 million inhabitants (9.5 in the Chicago Metropolitan Area, or "Chicagoland"), Chicago continues to grow. As both a testament to and a symbol of this growth, the magnificent 2,000 foot tall Chicago Spire (now under construction) will be (upon completion, in 2010) the tallest building in America, and the tallest residential building in the world. For those who aren't thrilled about living almost half a mile above the Windy City's streets, there are plenty of other housing options in "Chi-town".

"Rehabbed" buildings account for some of Chicago's most architecturally interesting and sought-after homes. Rehabbing is simply the rehabilitation, refurbishment and often restoration of old buildings that have fallen into disuse, usually for residential use (lofts). Rehabbed buildings include former warehouses, factories, and other industrial buildings, many of which have been granted Heritage status by the City. Chicago's industrial past has left a wonderful selection of beautifully restored loft buildings, and matching neo-architectural condos.

Another choice open to those looking for a home in Chicago, is the foreclosure market. While this can be a tough nut to crack - and an especially difficult for those just looking to get rich quick - it is a viable way to save considerable money on a home. Whatever you choose to do, whether it's a loft, a condo, or a new family home, if you're looking to buy a home in Chicago right now, the market is on your side!

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