The picture is starting to improve in the Illinois Real Estate Market. The Chicago real estate market traditionally kicks into gear right after Super Bowl Sunday and this year, it got an even earlier start. We are seeing many more first time Chicago Home Buyers out this winter, when compared with last year. Granted last year we had a blizzard, so that could have been a factor, as well.
More Chicago Home Buyers are planning to purchase in the $200,000 to $350,000 price range. The increased activity will help to sell off some of the existing distressed inventory that includes short sales and foreclosures, and eventually, prices will rise.
I believe the recent rise in the stock market is the reason for increased activity. Boomer parents have, for awhile, been wanting to help their children with a down payment on their first home, but have hesitated to take money out of their mutual funds because the share values were so low. Now that the stock market is up, they are more comfortable in pulling out money out to assist their grown children, who need help putting together a more serious down payment in today's marketplace.
That said, it's not too early for Chicago condo owners to begin getting their place into shape. A well maintained building can increase your sale price by up to 10% And, in our current market, that is described as a price and beauty contest that is continually repeating itself where Chicago Home Buyer's purchase well priced homes that look really good.
Into today's Chicago Real Estate Market, one cannot afford to lose a potential buyer because the outside of the building doesn't look or appear well maintained. As a Realtor, I experienced many instances where the buyers won't even step inside a condo building that is poorly maintained on the outside, even when they have an appointment to see the home! It is well known that homes and condo buildings with high curb appeal, commands higher pricing and takes less time to sell. Buyers will pay thousands of dollars more for a well kept condo or home because they trust that it has been cared for rather then neglected.
In fact, were you aware that curb appeal lends anywhere from $100 to $200 extra a month extra in 2-4 unit buildings just because of curb appeal?
Nothing can sour a buyer on a Chicago property faster then if they see litter on the street, and up against the curbs, unkempt parkways, and always with graffiti and garage doors that are dirty or falling apart. I'm not talking about replacing major elements such as bricks or siding, I'm talking about regular maintenance and beautifying tasks you'd like to live with anyway.
The bottom is, curb appeal, gets that buyer into your front door a lot faster and yields a higher selling price with less stress, all because your building or home, is maintained and is desirable on the outside because of it.