Chicago housing options show silver lining

Buying property is a big step. You must make sure your finances are in order and you need pre-approval from a reliable lender. However, thick skin may also help you succeed in today's tough market.

The national economy is still in recovery, but that should not deter you from purchasing real estate in Chicago. There are many advantages to homeownership - the first being that a home is a tangible asset. This means that while the market tries to rebound, you can remodel, paint and conduct a variety of do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, so when values do begin to rise, your home will be atop the pack.

Currently, the real estate market in Chicago has experienced several signs of positive growth. Sales in May 2012 were 23 percent higher than the housing numbers seen in May 2011, ChicagoNow reports. What's more, the average time those for-sale homes spent on the market fell by 14 percent to 160 days, while median sales price rose 1 percent. All of these signals point toward an improved buyer market, and a stabilizing Chicago region.

In addition to positive market indicators, mortgage lenders began promoting an even more attractive 15-year offer. While you may have never thought rates could go any lower, they may soon be marketed at 2.97 percent for a 15-year fixed-rate loan, The Chicago Tribune reports. That may be enough to encourage a large population of prospective homebuyers to claim available properties.

The reduced mortgage rates and climbing housing market statistics symbolize an evolving and recovering local real estate market in what has been one of the nation's hardest hit regions. Fortunately for those who invested in property in the past few years, owning a Chicago home today may prove to be a lucrative investment in the future.

When looking for available Chicago homes, you might want to take advantage of low-rate mortgages and buy a home slightly larger than you normally would be interested in. This may prove to produce a higher return in the future when property values increase. While you might not always think of a home as a retirement investment, you can certainly gain a significant portion of money when you take care of your Chicago home and reside in it for several years.