The heat of Chicago’s summer lasted into October this year, bringing with it a hot real estate market, a hampered housing supply, and many exhausted buyers. Can prospective homebuyers lean into lower temperatures and a cooling housing market by considering a purchase this autumn?
A (Comparative) Cool Off
The seemingly never-ending pandemic has changed the ways in which we work, play, and live. Housing has become more important than ever before; in fact, calling Chicago’s real estate environment “a seller’s market” would be quite a considerable understatement. Hopeful buyers have spent the last few months against elevated prices and fellow competitive consumers looking for a perfect abode during the most pleasant time of year. However, that race may be on pace to change with the seasons. According to Emily Mack at Chicago Agent Magazine, “Although demand, and therefore prices, remains high, the end of the summer shows signs of stabilization in the local housing market.” That’s terrific news for those brave and determined enough to keep looking — even after the traditional homebuying season is over.
For buyers, navigating the market near year-end could mean more time to think, increased negotiating power, and highly motivated sellers. Unlike spring or summer when sellers can count on an abundance of interest and competition from desperate house hunters, buyers in the fall have somewhat of an upper hand. It is also worth noting that sellers who have their homes listed in the fall can be motivated by time that may not be on their side. They may be in a position of needing to relocate or wanting to sell imminently soon – perhaps after an unsuccessful summer sale. Other sellers are excited to buy a new home themselves… so selling theirs to you is top priority!
Those Low Rates
When searching for a house, there are plenty of sensible reasons that buyers choose to wait it out. When it comes to fall this year, though, mortgage rates won’t be one of them. (2021 marked a new record low for mortgage rates.) In fact, according to the Federal Reserve of Economic Data, home mortgage rates on a 30-year loan are at an astonishingly low 2.85 percent. So, what does this mean for a fall buyer? Solidifying a lower rate means securing lower monthly payments in the future and possessing substantial purchasing power in the short-term. Of course, the opposite is true when mortgage rates aren’t so low. In a less stable economy with elevated rates, long-term payments are higher… and so are the homebuying stakes. Look at those low rates now before deciding to wait and see.
Fall Buyers are the Belles of the Ball
With the aforementioned mortgage rates and spikes in housing loan applications, real estate brokers and lenders are balancing more than just an overabundance of buyers. Simply put, house hunters can expect a more personalized buying experience when they’re buying in a slower season. During hectic spring and summer months, agents and other home-related service providers (mortgage lenders and appraisers especially) are strapped for time, resources, and help. The homebuying process can seem more tedious and less curated, which can be exceedingly frustrating – especially during such a sizable life purchase. If a buyer is seeking an agent’s most open schedule and tailored attention, the autumn and winter months are most optimal.
With KlopasStratton Team, a personalized home buying experience is guaranteed, no matter the season.
A True View & Dreamy Décor
A pristinely sunlit house in the middle of July might look very different during the cold and dreary days of November. For a potential buyer, though, that might be a great perk. During autumn in Chicago, homebuyers are dealing with less smoke and mirrors – and are therefore seeing a house as it truly is (instead of what it looks like on its very best day). Unraked leaves and fallen tree branches might not make for perfect pictures, but they do portray a house in its natural state. Buying a house when the weather is less desirable can help a purchaser make decisions about future outdoor landscaping, estimate a probable cost for winter maintenance, and assess how an overall neighborhood feels when the foliage is less robust.
Purchasing a house just before the holidays can also position buyers in front of the very best furniture and home repair deals of the entire year. Perhaps a buyer is in love with a house that needs an all-over paint job and a gorgeous upholstered sectional. An autumn home purchase might be the ticket to a discounted painter’s rate and a Black Friday furniture deal that not even the best summer sale could beat.
Some other questions to consider this fall:
-What am I really waiting for?
-What other extraneous costs will I have – beyond the purchase price of the home I want?
-What is the sales history in the neighborhood I’m interested in?
-How long has x property been on the market?
-Am I thinking about both the short-term and the long-term pros + cons of the house I want?
-If I don’t make a move now, what will I miss out on?
Suffice to say, summer is undoubtedly Chicago’s sunniest season. But fall is illustrative of transition, reflection, and movement – it is a perfect time for big decisions and important change.
So when it comes to real estate, fall might make for the very best buy of all.
Ready to start your search? Contact us here!
A KlopasStratton blog by: Bridget Chambers, Life Coach, Writer
Catch us back here bi-weekly as we bring you curated and Chicago-based real estate content (with a life coach’s twist). Next up: Finding it hard to feel grateful? Try searching in your own neighborhood: Seeking Gratitude Right Next Door – Bucktown/Wicker Park Edition