First time home buyer? Fall is your moment!
If there was anything I specialize in besides renovations, it's first time home buyers. Maybe it's my age, maybe its because I can relate, either way, working with first time buyers is my jam. Buying your first property is like prepping for national finals in a sport. You've done years of work leading up to that season of prep. Years of working your butt off, years of sacrifice and you have finally qualified. Usually my first timers start planning years in advance. We meet to chat about what last things they need to accomplish to qualify. We meet to see if they are on track. And finally, we meet to put the pedal to the medal and start looking. During those two first meetings buyers always ask the same question, "When is best time to buy?"
Chicago's real estate market is seasonal. That means there are times of the year that are intense and fast moving, times of the year where almost nothing sells and times of the year that move at a nice calm pace. The spring market is the busiest of the whole year. Starting between Jan 1 and super bowl weekend the "world" (aka the city) wakes up from their winter and holiday slumber. All the buyers and sellers remember they had goals, plans and dreams and some of those start and end with real estate. This begins about a 3 month period of no sleep. My humble opinion, the spring market is the major leagues. Properties sell within hours, properties have multiple offers, realtors have more buyers and sellers than they know what to do with. Whether the market is a buyers market (lots of inventory) or a seller's market (lack of inventory), the spring market is insanity.
Being a first time buyer can be scary, overwhelming, stressful and just plain hectic. Adding the intensity and fast movement of the spring market to an already new experience can be both disheartening and just outright disappointing. It's a normal occurrence to be in multiple offer situations in the spring and to lose out on properties simply because you are 5 hours too late. Like I said, the major leagues.
So - back to why I like fall for my newbies. The fall market is the older, wiser, more structured sister to the whirlwind spring market. Fall has great movement, excellent inventory options and buyers are just as excited to host their first thanksgiving as they are in the spring to host their first patio bbq's. Fall however, has a calmness, that spring does not. A predictability that is very helpful to the first time home buyers of the city. The stability that the fall market provides is one that allows buyers to feel excited about their search without feeling they need to make split second decisions in order to secure just about anything. And for those buyers with pesky leases not ending in the fall, don’t worry! Finding subletters in Chicago is a very easy task and one your realtor would happily help you with. If you fell in love with your rental a year or two ago, someone else will too! Take some pressure off yourself and buy your first home in the fall. You’ll thank me once you’re cuddled up on the couch in your new home, thinking about all the twists and turns that got you to that moment.