Chicago Real Estate Contracts Soar in Number

The Chicago real estate market is taking off!

In tracking the number of homes that have gone under contract this month, the trend is sky high!

The Chicago Tribune’s January 21 article about 2010 sales was all doom and gloom, but this report may be yesterday’s news…

Contracts signed for north side Chicago real estate in the last 30 days for the north side market* reached a high water mark – 733. Compare this to October pendings – only 160. These pendings will show up as homes closed in May and June.  This is a sneak peak into Chicago real estate trends  – keep watching to see if the market continues its upward climb!

This situation hit home for me last week – my buyers lost out in a double offer for the condo they hoped to buy. The Logan Square vintage 3 bedroom condo won’t close for 2 months, so we won’t know the details until then, but I suspect it was a full price offer by another buyer that won the day.

Spring is traditionally the busiest real estate season, as seen on the chart below.  The chart here doesn’t show the huge increase in real estate sales for 2011 because it’s tracking CLOSED units, not PENDING home sales.  Pending volume shows up as closed units 45-60 days later on the calendar.  The chart does show, however, the positive trend of 2011 over 2009.

Before we all do our happy dances, we need to check out new home listings, which are rapidly rising, too.  Currently, there are 5591 properties on the market. Based on the number of homes selling, it’s a 13.9 month inventory – in other words, it will take almost 14 months to sell out what’s already on the market (if no other homes are listed).   Remember, a healthy market is a 6 month inventory.

Illinois Association of Realtors Home Sales Statistics – February

National Association of Realtors Existing Homes Sales Stats

* North Side MRED  – 8007,8008,8003,8004,8005,8006,8077  attached and detached homes
Copyright Anne Rossley Real Estate – all rights reserved

Economic Indicators from NAR

This week’s economic indicators from the National Association of Realtors are not surprising:

  • Mortgage applications are down
  • Consumer Confidence is down from previous month to 53
  • Pending sales are down, due to the conclusion of the home buyer tax incentives

The house and senate passed an extension so that currently pending sales may close later and still qualify for the home buyer tax credit.

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West Lincoln Square condo sellers will pay closing costs

The home buyer tax credit expired, but Chicago first time buyers still have great opportunities!

One Chicago condo for sale – a real estate bargain –  is a 2 bedroom condo at 4830 N Albany in West Lincoln Square.  Reduced to $289,900, I challenge Chicago real estate buyers to find a better choice for price, condition, location, and financing options anywhere in the city.  You won’t — nothing is better than 4830 Albany!

These motivated sellers will pay closing costs!*

Qualified Chicago condo buyers can get in for as little as 5% down. It’s gorgeous, better than new, and with low assessments/taxes and average heating bills of $37/month, this is a fantastic opportunity!

According to Diane Pyshos of Chicago Financial, housing payments before tax savings (on federal income taxes) could be as low as $2015 per month with 5% down and a 5/1 ARM.  Combined annual income requirements on this scenario would be $ 86,268.  Select this link to see which financing scenario would best suit your situation.

Don’t wait to consider this opportunity!  Call today for a showing appointment!

Details on 4830 Albany –

  • On a quiet street just west of the Chicago River — near the Francisco stop
  • Better than new – seller installed all new windows
  • Two bedrooms PLUS den & 2 baths (1 in master!)
  • Brazilian cherry floors, granite counters, stainless appliances
  • Garage parking included
  • In-unit washer and dryer
  • Huge back deck
  • Sunny front bay
  • Low assessments and utilities
  • Walk in master closet and great storage
  • Immaculate – like new condition

Select this link to see a video tour of 4830 N Albany – 2N

This recently rehabbed condo is just what Chicago first time buyers are looking for.  The sellers have loved living here, and they look forward to sharing the details of the fantastic local restaurant and retail options with the next homeowners.

To see this lovely west Lincoln Square condo, call Anne Rossley at Prudential Rubloff 773.620.5333 .

For more information on financing options, contact Diane Pyshos (pyshos@msn.com)

* closing costs paid on contracts written by June 1 to qualified buyers.  Lender financing requirements apply.

Real Estate Ownership – Benefits of Buying Your Home

What are the reasons for owning real estate?  In a nutshell here are 7 reasons for home ownership…

1. Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, as well as some of the costs involved in buying your home.  If you buy before April 30, you may be eligible for the federal tax credit of$ 8000 first time buyer tax credit

2. Appreciation. Real estate has long-term, stable growth in value. While year-to-year fluctuations are normal, median existing-home sale prices have increased on average 6.5 percent each year from 1972 through 2005, and increased 88.5 percent over the last 10 years, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing. When you own real estate, it can be a provide great appreciation.

3. Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.  Owning real estate can generate equity.

4. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.  See this link for home real estate capital gains information.

5. Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed-mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will increase.  When you own your home, you can budget and plan, keeping monthly costs down.

6. Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and benefit from your investment for as long as you own the home.

7. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years gives you a chance to participate in community activities, lets you and your family establish lasting friendships, and offers your children the benefit of educational continuity.  There is no better way to establish a connection within your community than by owning your home.

Online resources: To calculate whether buying is the best financial option for you, use the “Buy vs. Rent” calculator at www.GinnieMae.gov.

Call Anne Rossley today to find out if owning real estate is right for you.  Anne can be reached at Prudential Rubloff — 312.620.5333.

First Time Homebuyer Credit Questions and Answers

The IRS has posted questions and answers about the homebuyer tax credit.  Basically, you qualify if

  • You haven’t owned a home in the last 3 years
  • You purchase a home as your primary residence between 4/8/08 and 5/1/10
  • You close on the home before July 1, 2010
  • Combined income for a married couple phases out between $ 225,000 to $ 245,000

IRS_logo

To download a PDF copy of the IRS Questions and Answers, select this link.

Search properties for sale in Chicago using Prudential Rubloff’s Map Search.

Or …

Sign up for the Homebuyers’ Club and see all listings for sale in the Chicago marketplace — all property types — real estate in all neighborhoods and all price ranges listed by all real estate agents in Chicago.

Anne Rossley of Prudential Rubloff can answer your Homebuyer Tax Credit Questions – select this link to submit any questions you have about your situation…

Now is the time to start your home search!

Congress Extends Home Buyer Tax Credit

Congress voted today to extend the home buyer tax credit.  Here’s how to qualify for the $ 8000 savings:

First Time Buyer Tax Credit

  • Sign a contract to purchase by 4/30/10 and close by June 30
  • Buy a home for less than $ 800,000
  • You must be a first time buyer — i.e. if you haven’t owned a home for 3 years, you qualify.  Also now — as long as you’ve lived in your home for 5 years, you can get a tax credit of $ 6500.
  • It must be your principal residence
  • Your single income can’t exceed $  125,000/year, and if you file jointly, the maximum income is $225,000 .   It’s a graduated limit starting at $ 75,000/$ 150,000.

Call Anne Rossley at Prudential RUBLOFF today to find a home for sale in Chicago at a great price!

5% Down Payments on Condos

As of September 1, Wells Fargo is offering condo loan programs with as little as 5% down.  Since the Sept ’08 meltdown, condominium financing has been difficult, and  for a time, the only low down payment programs were FHA loans.   FHA financing was not available in all buildings, however, so many buyers, while willing to buy, have been unable to get the financing necessary for a home purchase.Commonwealth Plaza

Now, buyers can do 5% down, as long as their credit scores are over 700 and their debt ratios are under 41%.

Without question, first time buyers need to jump in and take advantage of

  • $ 8000 buyer tax credits
  • buyers’ market – low prices and high inventories available
  • low down payment loan programs

Call Anne Rossley at Prudential RUBLOFF today to find a Chicago condominium!

Lane Sears, RWF Mortgage

2009 First Time Buyer Tax Credit Explained

This video from Pat Callan, President of the Illinois Association of Realtors, discusses key housing provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.   In it, he talks about how Illinois residents can benefit from the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, increased Illinois FHA loan limits and energy-efficient housing tax credits.

Links:

Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit FAQs

First Time Buyer Tax Credit Explained

On February 17, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $780 billion plan to stimulate the economy and move the housing industry.

Included in this plan is the first time buyer tax credit. Here, the National Association of Realtors spells out just what the plan includes, and what is different from 2008.

2009 Tax Credit

Related Links:

Coping:How does that First TIme Home Buyers Tax Credit Work?

Wells Fargo First Time Buyer Help Page

Home Buying Calculator

Chicago Condos for Sale

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