Heather, Other/Just Looking in 60655

Should i buy my first house in the Chicago-Mt Greenwood area ASAP or wait until 2008 in this buyer's market?

Asked by Heather, 60655 Wed Aug 15, 2007

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Heather, I'm embarrassed that I have never even heard of Mt Greenwood. I've worked (not as an agent but a children's party planner) in the area for years and know Oak Lawn fairly well. From investing in and researching real estate in all areas of greater Chicagoland, I know there is a huge difference between Oak Lawn, Blue Island and other pockets near you (I have done some parties in Beverly before).

The data you get from the real estate maps in the Sunday Trib is valuable to know but sometimes very skewed by a new million dollar subdivision or low cost townhomes. From the little research I have done while composing this, I'm guessing Mt. G might be similar to Summit or Lyons (if you've ever heard of those towns). As a whole, they are remaining stable because some people think it's undervalued and could be the next boom while the people living there might still be having trouble with mortgage payments, upkeep costs and voting down tax increases. As I said though, I don't know Mt Greenwood so my comments could be completely wrong. Over the past 5 years there has been increasing values but in the past year declining. The good news is that according to zillow's demographics, 92% are homeowners. An increase in rental property usually leads to a decrease in values.

My advice is to look for a home that is below the area's average or median value. If half the homes are priced below $250,000, don't buy anything over $250,000. Buy a three bedroom home surrounded by other 3 bd 2 bth homes. You can get a much better price if it only has one bathroom but before you buy it, figure out where you would put another bathroom (half or full). When you can afford it, put in a second bathroom. This should increase the value faster than appreciation. There seems to be a lot of 2 bd 1 bath homes in 60655. Don't buy a 3 bedroom home in a neighborhood with all 2 bdrm homes because then you will have the nicest house on the block which is bad for overall value.

I hope this helps. If you can afford to buy, there is no reason to wait. You would be well advised to work with a local Realtor to make sure you are not over paying for a property. With interest rates still relatively low and many sellers willing to negotiate, you could do very well for yourself.
Good luck,
p.s. My first home was a 2 bd 1bth in Cicero and now I own two huge homes, one in Western Springs and another in Oak Park.
Web Reference: http://www.oak-park-il.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
I am not a local REALTOR in the Chicago area, so cannot comment on the market there. But, are you aware of the turmoil in the mortgage industry? I simply wish to advise that if you wait, it may be harder to secure a mortgage. Best of luck and happy hunting!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Hi Heather,
What's important to you? There is the time-value of money to be considered. For instance, if you are currently renting, how much would you be spending on rent (with no return on it) until you purchase? Would it be worth more in the long-term to purchase now, save money on rent, and watch your investment increase in equity?

Many sellers right now are quite willing to negotiate and are happy to get a contract. If you find a place you like in your price range, you should make an offer and negotiate for the best deal. Waiting might only mean dealing with a more aggressive market, and sellers who are less likely to negotiate.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2007
Houses in the neighborhood go quick.One of the best spots to buy in Cook County. Great neighborhood! I seen a few that need fixing up. Make it the way you want it and enjoy! Prices only go up! Why not buy now! Im going to be selling my house in spring. There will be alot more for sale there when the weather breaks. Its a even market there. They go quick.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 16, 2008
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