Chicago Real Estate: Now is the Time to Buy!

By: Kris Kombrink

You probably recall playing a game called "Telephone" when you were younger. Someone would whisper a statement into your ear, and that person would pass it on, until the message finally came back to the one who started it. Everyone would break into fits of laughter upon hearing how jumbled the message became as it went from ear to ear. Well, numerous articles have recently appeared in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune and other publications, stating that the real estate industry is going through a "doom and gloom" phase right now. Just like the "Telephone" game, the story gets bigger and more out of proportion as more media put in their two cents worth.

A few months ago, the media told us the housing market boom had burst. They were referring to markets in Florida, Las Vegas, and both Coasts, where markets have been appreciating at 25-30% a year for the last few years. It doesn't require a degree in Economics to understand that no product can continue having outrageous price increases and sustain unit sales. The East and West Coast real estate markets have always had violent peaks and valleys and that is what the media continues referring to.

The Midwest has always enjoyed stable markets that follow similar trends, but with prices varying only slightly. In a good year for the Midwest, we may see a 7% gain, while a bad year might show only a 2% increase. The homes in the Midwest are not showing an increase in home values right now. This has created a slight market adjustment, meaning that real estate is going down 2% in the Midwest, and not 30% that is typical of both Coasts. Everyone knows that a story has to be exciting and of high interest to make the news; and, the market in the Midwest just doesn't meet that criteria!

That brings me to the title of this article, "Now is the time to buy!" Buyers believe what the media says about the real estate market, even though they are reporting on markets other than the Midwest, so they decide to put their plans of home ownership on hold. At the same time, there is a glut of available homes on the market. High inventory of homes, now at an all-time high, means many sellers are reducing their asking price, many going way below market value. The result is obvious! You won't find a better time to buy, with prices and sellers so flexible! Why not take advantage of these low prices before the rest of the Buyers figure out what is happening?

Most people own a car and a house because you need transportation and a roof over you're your head. Statistics show that the average person moves every 5-7 years. Why? Because life circumstances change, the kids leave home and you need to downsize, more mature buyers are looking for the convenience of ranch-style living with everything on one level, maybe you're ready to start your family and need more space, newlyweds decide to invest in a home and build equity instead of renting, and the beat goes on.

So, you see, people will always move from home to home. The only question is when and the best answer for the best value is now! With home prices bottoming out, the market has corrected itself and inventory is high. Buy now, before everyone else jumps on the bandwagon. You've heard the adage, "Strike while the iron is hot!" Well, the iron is HOT; the time to buy is NOW!

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