Meet any Chicagoan and you’ll find yourself talking to someone who’s delighted with their city and takes great pride in all of the little nuances that come with living in the nation’s third largest metropolitan area. With over-the-year job growth up 1.3% and home values that, like the rest of the country, have seen increasing price appreciation steadily over the past year; Chicago is gearing up to benefit in what many experts believe will be a shift in migration back to the Midwest. The rising cost of living in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York is leaving many first-time and struggling homeowners looking for alternative, more affordable options while maintaining all the amenities and allure of big-city life.
The historical city of Chicago, founded in 1833, is known for its food, architecture, and night life. The dominant Midwest metropolis, “The Windy City” attracts nearly 4 million visitors annually. In addition to its famous deep dish pizza and comedy clubs (the likes of which launched the careers of Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, and Chris Farley to name a few), Chicago also boasts five of the 15 tallest buildings in the United States. Home to 10 Fortune 500 companies just within city limits, it’s no wonder that Chi-town’s real estate market is “really hot,” with “no sign of any real slowdown in sight,” according to the CEO of Clayco, a Chicago-based construction firm.
Construction in both residential and commercial projects is anticipated to reach $14.3 billion this next year, with an estimated $8.3 billion consisting of residential rental and for-sale housing (up 67% from 2015). Despite the incredible amount of new homes expected, demand remains high with supply struggling to keep up. Zillow recently projected a 1.7% appreciation rate in home values over the next 12 months. With the combination of today’s ultra-low interest rates and ever-increasing property values creating the “perfect storm,” those considering to purchase a home or refinance their mortgage would be wise to take advantage of these favorable market conditions sooner rather than later.
Homeowners have more options than ever these days. Refinancing to shorten the term, lower the rate, consolidate debt, or pull cash out of the home’s equity has never been a smarter move. Often, direct lenders like Network Capital are able to combine the benefits and accomplish several of these goals at once. Even those who may be in distress, or “under water,” have hope.
The government has recently announced that it will extend the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) into September of 2017. This is especially good news for Illinois residents, who were among some of the hardest hit in the housing crisis nearly a decade ago. By the end of 2010, almost 31% of Chicago-area homeowners were underwater. This program gives those who owe more than their property is currently worth a chance to cash-in on the incredibly low interest rates in today’s mortgage market.
Use these mortgage refinance and amortization loan calculators to see how much you could save!
There’s even more good news for prospective and current homeowners. Not only has GSE giant Freddie Mac recently purported that interest rates would reach a 40-year low in 2016. These days, there are a lot of no- and low-down payment programs available meant to help first-time buyers segue smoothly into the world of homeownership. Veterans utilizing the VA programs are allowed to finance up to 100% of their mortgage, while non-military consumers can take advantage of FHA loans where as little as 3.5% is needed for a down payment. Even conventional loan programs have options that make needing to come up with 20% a thing of the past, as FannieMae’s HomeReady® program allows up to 97% financing.
The best way to discover exactly how much you can benefit from a refinance or purchase, is to get in touch with a licensed mortgage expert in your state. With a direct lender like Network Capital, not only will you cut out the ‘middle man,’ but you’ll also save money with their “no lender fee” policy. Lender fees include origination, rate-lock, processing, and underwriting fees; which many banks and lenders opt to charge.
With constant technological advances, finding out what options are available to you is quicker and simpler than it’s ever been.