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Old 12-01-2011, 09:15 PM
 
103 posts, read 259,600 times
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I have been browsing these forums for a while now since I will be moving to the Chicago area in January. I'm in the military and will be working in the downtown area. For what I have seen doing my research about housing in Chicago is that right now owning a home of about 250K in some suburbs will place me paying less (sometimes way less) that if I went to rent on some of those same areas I'm looking to move.

My questions are, is my view a fair assessment of the housing/rental situation in Chicago right now? What's the overall state of the housing/rental market in Chicago right now? What would be the better advice rent or own? I have the mindset of not buying right now due to the housing market mess and because being in the military we move so much and I know upfront that I'm only going to be stationed there for 4 years only but by doing my research it has open to me the possibility of buying.

Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:07 AM
 
2,930 posts, read 3,708,032 times
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I would rent until I got a better sense of the area. Housing prices may increase or they may fall, but the last thing you want to do is be tied down somewhere you don't like. It is also easier to mislead an outsider about the value of property, since you don't know what things go for in general in the area.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:26 AM
 
28,394 posts, read 68,303,166 times
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While I suspect that it is true that payments for principal, interest, property taxes and insurance may be very close to a little below what you might pay in rent, if your timeline is less that 7 years or so and you have nothing left to budget for repairs / maintenance you will be better off renting.

$250 is not going to go far in any desirable part of Chicago nor any desirable suburb, if you are further hoping to use a 3% down type loan any downward shifts in price will wipe out any equity fast...
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:26 AM
 
3,793 posts, read 5,573,712 times
Reputation: 2105
I think it will be better to rent. It is a good time to buy a home or condo but only if you are going to be staying in it long term. If you are new to the area and might not stay here long term it is better to rent.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
4,070 posts, read 3,306,267 times
Reputation: 7498
Back before the economy went south, you could buy a home in many parts of the country, stay there a couple of years, and sell it without losing money. As far as I can tell, that's no longer the case in most areas of the country. I'd suggest anyone should consider renting for a couple of years before buying in an unfamiliar area, no matter what part of the country it is. No one wants to move to a neighborhood based on the kind of superficial impressions you get during one or more visits, then find out in a couple of years you hate the area but can't get out of the mortgage without taking a serious financial hit.

On the plus side, there are a lot of great deals out there. And if you buy then decide to move down the road, you can probably rent out the property until the numbers improve ... but that would no doubt impact your ability to buy something else.
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