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9 Facts You Should Know about Today's Illinois Real Estate Markets

Think locally and long-term and do your homework.

1. Affordability is at a generational high.
The combination of lower home prices and historically low mortgage rates has made housing exceptionally affordable relative to household income.
2. Grab a low interest rate while they're still here.
Mortgage rates remain at historic lows but this scenario can't last forever. A quarter percent change in the interest rate can mean tens of thousands of dollars in costs over a 30-year mortgage. For example, an increase from 5 to 6 percent on a 30-year $200,000 loan can change the monthly payment of principal and interest by $125, an increase of 11.6 percent.
3. Today's market offers opportunities for first-time, trade-up and investment buyers.
If you've been thinking about buying your first home, a move-up home or second homeor find you have to relocate current inventory levels plus historically low interest rates and affordable prices make this an excellent buying opportunity.
4. Sellers must set a compelling price.
To sell quickly in today's market, make sure your home carries a competitive price, not just a comparable one. Seek help from a real estate professional to better understand current market conditions. With foreclosures and short sales at discounted prices, plus more supply of homes than demand from buyers, selling today requires realistic expectations related to pricing and time on market.
5. Sellers can recoup on the buy side.
Waiting until later may cost you in the long run. What a seller may lose on the sell side can be recovered on the buy side when you take advantage of the low interest rates and lower priced homes.
6. Good credit and staying within your budget key.
Lending rules have tightened after the turmoil in the financial markets in recent years, and this will affect your ability to get a loan. It's important to pre-qualify for a mortgage to know how much home you can afford. Check your credit report for free at and take steps to safeguard or improve your credit history.
7. Safe and affordable mortgages are available´┐Żeven for people with less-than-perfect credit.
A mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Authority ( or can be the answer for first-time buyers who have a hard time getting financing and enough money for the down payment. Also, the Illinois Housing Development Authority ( offers special loan programs that include down payment assistance.
8. Owning beats renting over the long-term.
Owning a home is how many families begin to accumulate wealth. A typical homeowner's net worth is 49 times that of a renter's.* Homeownership is an investment in your future offering immediate shelter benefits and long-term value. *According to the National Association of REALTORS® calculations using statistics from the Federal Reserve Board.
9. Getting help from an Illinois REALTOR® is a smart financial decision.
It has never been more important to work with a REALTOR®, the local market expert, to properly assess market values. Some areas have two levels of pricing-distressed sales and traditional sales. REALTORS® have access to the most up-to-date and comprehensive property listings and sales information. REALTORS® know your market and can offer trusted counsel for both buyers and sellers.

Here are 10 ways Your Illinois REALTOR® can help you buy a home or property:

1. Provide up-to-date information on the market, financing terms and competing properties
2. Establish the full market value of your home or property via a current market analysis (CMA)
3. Offer suggestions to prepare your house for sale and make it as appealing as possible to potential buyers
4. List your home or property with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS
) 5. Market your property aggressively through advertising and promotion, and a network of other real estate agents and the public, assuring the widest range of qualified buyers.
6. Handle all selling details, from listing your home to placing ads, handling inquiries, and arranging appointments for showing
7. Sell your house within your timeframe
8. Help negotiate the best deal with your best interest in mind
9. Navigate all the paperwork and take care of the details to get an accepted offer to closing

Here are nine ways your Illinois REALTOR® can help you sell your home or property:

1. Determine your buying power and criteria
2. Research available properties in your market via many resources such as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and a broad network of REALTORS® even if you are locating to another city
3. Show you properties that meet your specific criteria
4. Give you objective information about each property
5. Negotiate a price that fits your budget
6. Help you understand different financing options and identify qualified lenders
7. Provide up-to-date information on property values, real estate taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, and local zoning changes
8. Recommend home inspection services to help analyze the structure and condition of the home
9. Understand the complex paperwork and steps for the purchasing process
10. Serve as your advisor from "offer through closing"

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