BY JENNIFER AMES
Q: I hear the Lincoln Park market is strong. Have prices leveled off or are prices still rising?
A: Lincoln Park was among the city’s first residential neighborhoods to recover following the recession. This is because it offers a fabulous array of amenities for people of all ages, including easy access to Downtown and the lakefront. When the economy started to improve, there were fewer homes for sale than there were qualified buyers, which created competition and steady price appreciation. The market slowed down as we moved into the holiday season which caused prices to stabilize, but mortgage rates are still very low and there is minimal new construction. Therefore, once the holidays are over and potential buyers receive their year-end bonuses, we expect another robust spring selling season.
Q: How does it work if we need to sell our home to buy our next one? Do sellers take home sale contingencies?
A: In the last year, the market shifted from being a buyer’s market to a seller’s market. That means there is a good chance that when you put your home up for sale, it will be under contract relatively quickly. The challenge is finding your next home when the good ones are selling within days of coming on the market. I recommend that you start looking at your purchase options at the same time you get your home ready for sale. Once you have honed in on a location, property type and price range, see everything that fits your criteria as soon as it is listed. When you find the right home, it is not likely the seller will entertain an offer contingent upon selling your home. So you might instead negotiate a longer closing date to allow you to time to sell your current home. If that strategy seems too risky, you put your home under contract first and negotiate a longer closing date so you have time to look and buy. The risk in that scenario is that you may end up moving into temporary housing if you don’t find a home you love before your closing.
Jennifer Ames is an award-winning residential real estate agent specializing in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Her full-service team leads the city in sales with nearly $150 million sold so far in 2013. You can contact her at 312.440.7525 or email@example.com