Chicago is one of the best cities to live in, thanks to great culture, fantastic food, and some of the finest architecture you'll find in the entire country (seriously, if you get a chance, do an architecture tour here!). It should come as no surprise to anyone, then, that Chicago is one of the most in-demand real estate markets in the country. Even with the winter upon us, homes are selling fast, and it has been a fantastic time to buy a home in Chicago.
Now that we are entering the spring season, you should know that spring is one of the best (and fastest-paced) times to buy a home in Chicago. If you're looking to make a move to or within this beautiful city during spring, here's what you need to know.
Buying a Home in Chicago: More Inventory in the Spring
During the winter months, most people aren't thinking about selling their home. They're thinking of shoveling their driveways and staying indoors (this is especially true with COVID). Plus, let's be honest, a home with a bunch of snow around it doesn't quite have the same curbside appeal as a home with green grass and blooming foliage. Ultimately, this means lower inventory during the winter months than almost any other time of the year.
However, once spring arrives and the weather warms up, everyone starts contacting their local real estate agent to put their home up for sale. There tends to be a high inventory level in the spring, which means you are more likely to find the home of your dreams. Whether you want a beautiful condo downtown or a lovely home up in Evanston, spring represents the time when you'll have the most selection available to you.
With more inventory and less snow, buyers also come out in full force! Spring represents one of the busiest seasons in Chicago real estate as would-be buyers emerge from the snow and wind to find their dream home. This flurry of activity usually manifests itself through lower time on the market for homes and slightly higher prices (since some properties will get into multiple offer scenarios).
However, for homebuyers, this also has an upside. Because there are so many buyers, there are also a lot of open houses. Sellers want to cash in on this time and get people putting offers on their homes rather than somebody else's. During the spring, you can take a Saturday, find all the homes you like, and go from open house to open house with your real estate agent. Then you can put an offer in for the one you like best.
You'll Know If There Are Structural Issues
One of the hidden benefits of buying a home in the spring is that you can easily see any structural issues. Suppose, for example, the roof leaks on the home you want. When you buy a home in the summer or fall, you might not have any idea. Maybe it hasn't rained in a while. Perhaps the rain isn't enough to cause havoc cause it is such a small leak, but two feet of snow on the roof is.
However, when you buy a home in the spring, that home has just undergone the harshest season in Illinois. It has withstood wind, snow, ice, and everything else that the winter season brings. You'll know if there are any significant problems with the home (or even a condo). You'll know if there was water damage due to a leaky roof or if the gutters were too backed up, causing water to drain too close to the foundation.
Additionally, you'll also get a better sense of what the property looks like when it's not under a foot of snow. You'll see where the flower beds are, the lawn starts and stops, and the quality of the grass. You'll have a better sense of the home's shape, size, and color once the snow melts and the warmer temperatures arrive.
In a way, buying in the springtime gives people the most peace of mind. You can have confidence that the property you're purchasing can withstand the harsh Chicago winters with relative ease!
It's Much Easier, Physically, To Buy a Home in Chicago in the Spring
This point might be a little obvious, but it's worth mentioning. It's so much easier to look at real estate in the spring as opposed to the winter. You don't need to wade through piles of snow or risk Chicago's winter traffic to see a property. All you'll need to do is wear a jacket (maybe), and you're all set to see whatever home you want.
Similarly, buying in the spring means you don't need to deal with the humid summers to see the properties you want. You won't need to go from an air- conditioned car, to hot outside, to an air-conditioned home, to look at all these properties.
Buying a home in Chicago during the spring is just a more comfortable experience all around during the springtime (many of these points are also valid when purchasing a home in the fall, as well).
Buying a Home in Chicago? Consider Doing So This Spring
While there are pros and cons to buying a home in any season, spring represents one of the best times to buy for anyone looking at living in this city. Yes, prices might be slightly higher due to the increased competition, but the selection is fantastic. Now is the time to find the home that you truly want, rather than waiting only to find out the home of your dreams isn't on the market.
If you're looking to move to Chicago, check out our Rowland Group buyers guide. This concise but powerful guide will walk you through all the steps of buying a home here in The Windy City. Of course, when you're ready to look for your dream home, please contact me! I would love to learn more about your particular circumstances and find you and your family the perfect home!