Thinking About Buying in Chicago?

By Tali Wee

If you’re considering moving to Chicago anytime soon, you’ll be glad to know that it’s ranked one of the top buyers markets and best places for first-time buyers.

The housing market across the country is still highly competitive, outpricing first-time buyers who typically have smaller down payments than other shoppers or investors. Zillow evaluated major metros nationwide to determine markets with the most opportunity for first-time buyers, looking at home values, affordability, inventory and the amount of competition from all-cash buyers. Chicago was ranked fifth, with a median home value of $203,700. Homeowners in Chicago spend 14 percent of their income on their mortgages.

Homes move so quickly in many markets that shoppers must make snap decisions to compete, leading to a stressful or regretful experience. Fortunately, inventory is high in Chicago, allowing buyers time to shop around before making the serious decision to purchase. Chicago ranks second in the country as the best buyers’ market for 2016. The extensive inventory grants buyers more negotiating power with sellers. Plus, sellers offer more price cuts to prevent homes from sitting on the market too long.

If you’re less interested in available properties and more drawn to custom homes, the city also offers several new construction developments. Burlington Meadows is a small community in North Naperville offering single-family homes, wooded views, and spacious backyards. Lehigh Station is also in Dupage County, in Aurora, offering more contemporary townhomes surrounded by walking paths and quick access to retail and restaurants.

The Lakewood Prairie community is located in Joliet, about 45 miles southwest of the Chicago Loop, offering single-family homes along with a club house including a pool, tennis court, sand volleyball area, and playground. Kearney Glen, near Lakewood Prairie, is a new development of single-family homes with open floorplans, offering community attractions such as a pond and playground. Depending on what you’re looking for, you should be able to actualize your dream home in one of the many communities near Chicago.

Whether you’re customizing a new home, landing a move-in-ready property or adding your own touch to a fixer-upper, you’re likely to have some of the best buying luck in Chicago this year. 

For reference:

Top Buyers’ Markets

  1. Philadelphia
  2. Chicago
  3. Baltimore
  4. Hartford, CT
  5. New York/Northern New Jersey
  6. Miami
  7. Indianapolis
  8. Jacksonville, FL
  9. Virginia Beach, VA
  10. Orlando, FL

Best Places for First-Time Home Buyers

  1. Indianapolis, IN
  2. Pittsburgh, PA
  3. Memphis, TN
  4. Cleveland, OH
  5. Chicago, IL
  6. Oklahoma City, OK
  7. Louis, MO
  8. Houston, TX
  9. Tampa, FL
  • Birmingham, AL

M/I Homes Collects Over 100 Coats for CitySquare in Dallas, TX!

M/I Homes DFW Partnered with our local CitySquare program to collect coats to help former foster children stay warm this season. 

Over the past few weeks, M/I Homes of Dallas Fort Worth employees, vendors, and trade partners have worked together to gather children and adult size coats to benefit those involved with the CitySquare Program.  CitySquare is a local non-profit organization that helps individuals transitioning out of foster care and onto their own feet, with many going into temporary housing.

Together we collected more than 100 coats and are thankful to have had the opportunity to have made a contribution!

M/I Homes Collecting Coats for City Square

M/I Homes Collecting Coats for City Square

M/I Homes DFW has initiated a Community Crew team to continue to help out with other service opportunities throughout the holiday season.  Our next volunteering opportunity will be in December helping to bag food and toys for another local non-profit organization, “Christmas for Children.”

Happy Homeowners: The Emerson Family

Many homebuilders will agree that our greatest joy is seeing our customers fall in love with the homes that we build.  Seeing our customers start to envision how they can live in one of our homes and then eventually getting to see that vision come to life is our favorite part of the homebuilding process!

Nycia Emerson and her family, one of our recent homeowners, purchased their new home in Austin, Texas in February of 2014 and moved into their home in October of 2014.  Since then they have been able to share memories and experiences of their new home and the home building process with our team.  We were fortunate to be able to capture her responses in our first “Happy Homeowner Interview!”  Enjoy!

The Emerson Family in their new M/I Home.

 

M/I Homes:  Is this your first M/I Home and what convinced you to choose M/I Homes over another builder?

Nycia: Yes, this is our first M/I Home and we were pretty sold right away.  When we saw what options & upgrade choices were available, along with the location, we just knew it was the perfect fit for us.  Not to mention the overall open floorplan is amazing!

M/I Homes: Are you happy about how your home turned out?

Nycia: We absolutely love our new home!  We have been living in our home for a year now and love sharing it with our family and friends.

M/I Homes: What is your floorplan called and what features of your home do you especially love?

Nycia: We live in the Barstow floorplan.  Our favorite thing about our Barstow home are the gatherings in our open kitchen and having movie nights in our large game room / movie room.  Also, we love waking up to our beautiful staircase each day which makes for a grand view!

M/I Homes: Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes?  Did you pick your homesite and floorplan on which to build your home, or was the home already started for you?

Nycia: We built our home exactly the way we wanted it and it was an overall wonderful experience.  We chose a greenbelt lot (overlooks a green space), which we completely love and enjoy each morning.

M/I Homes: Do you have any fun memories from building?

Nycia: One of my favorite memories during the build was visiting the site every other day and seeing everything take shape right in front of our eyes.  We also visited the house one time when the structure beams went up and took a black sharpie and wrote inspiring words all over.

M/I Homes: Was there something about your new home that made you immediately know you wanted to move in?

Nycia: It just felt right.  We visit homes all the time, especially since I am a planner and interior stylist.  We enjoy looking at new builds and model homes all over the Austin area, but we knew that the Barstow was the perfect home for us as soon as we visited.

M/I Homes: What do you like about your neighborhood / community?

Nycia: Oh, we couldn’t have asked for a better neighborhood.  As a matter of fact, wine nights have become very common with a few of our neighbors and our boys have really made friends.  We can’t keep them inside long enough!

M/I Homes: Anything you would recommend to someone looking for a new home?

Nycia: When looking for a new home, focus on the top three things most important things on your list, and let that help you find the perfect home.  Don’t settle.  Make sure you walk into a home and get that warm and cozy feeling.

M/I Homes: What were some of your “must haves” when you were looking for a new home?

Nycia: We wanted wood floors, large windows and tons of light. We also wanted to have an open kitchen, a game room, a large master closet and an extremely functional floor plan…. We have all of that and more in our new M/I Home.

M/I Homes:  What is your favorite memory so far in you new M/I Home?

Nycia: The first night we moved in and didn’t have a bed to sleep in, because we had mattresses being delivered the next day.  Sleeping on the floor never felt so good!  It was the best night’s sleep because it was in our dream home.  Also, our first Christmas in our new home was very special!

M/I Homes:  Would you purchase another M/I Home if you had the opportunity?

Nycia: Of course, and the process would be amazing all over again.

**Nycia Emerson is an M/I Homeowner and she is the founder and editor of She Inspires. She is also owner/wedding planner and designer at Inspired Events and Designs. She loves to inspire everyone around her and any chance she gets to  get creative brings her so much joy. She believes that living what you love and loving what you do, makes life much more peaceful.  She also believes that “Inspiration comes from the things that lift our spirits and allows us to love fully.”

M/I Homes of Dallas Starts Construction on a New Model Home!

MI Homes got an early start last Thursday morning, as we beat the heat and had the concrete poured for our new model home, The Turnberry A, in our Park Ridge community. M/I Homes is thrilled to be a part of the continued growth of McKinney, Texas.  Progress for this model is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year for our M/I Homes of Dallas / Fort Worth division, as well as the surrounding area!  This model is inspired by Anthropoligie (the retail brand), and will be decked out floor to ceiling with beautiful design and décor to really capture the hottest trends in Dallas / Fort Worth.  Soaring ceilings, beautiful textures, oversized tile and hardwood flooring will all be featured.  An amazing chef’s kitchen with a 5-burner gas rangetop and stainless steel vent and appliances, and a beautiful, oversized farm sink are in the works for this gorgeous new model home and  the game room and media room will blow you away with how much space is available!

We are looking forward to opening our Park Ridge community, at the corner of Virginia Parkway and Hardin, in October. We just had our sneak peak event at Harry’s at the Harbor in Adriactica where we released floor plans and pricing for this gorgeous new community. M/I Homes of Dallas will have a variety of floor plans options for families to choose from, starting at 1,830 square feet all the way up to 3,170 square feet. Pricing for Park Ridge will begin at $289,990 and go up to $399,990.

Make sure to join our VIP list to learn more about this gorgeous new community as it’s released. We will also be doing a Grand Opening at our Model Home towards the end of October, so you won’t want to miss any upcoming details. We know that you will love our homes and enjoy living in the #1 rated small town in the country, according to Money Magazine.

ExxonMobil Spurs Growth: New Tomball & Klein ISD Schools + Master-Planned Communities

Reblog from PinkArmadillo.com by Jennifer Grassman

Northwest Houston is seeing incredible community growth. Tomball has seen a population increase of nearly 23% in 15 years, and things seem to be just ramping up. The influx of new residents has necessitated the building of new schools, shopping centers, roads, and neighborhoods, including some luxury residences that are absolutely stunningly.

Much of Northwest Houston’s growth can be attributed to ExxonMobil’s new North Houston location in Spring. The oil industry giant is constructing a state-of-the-art “campus” designed to accommodate 10,000 employees. Located off I-45 and The Hardy Toll Road, ExxonMobil Houston will serve as headquarters for all of the company’s Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals companies, bringing an untold number of oil industry jobs to the area.

New Tomball & Klein ISD Schools

Over the next five years, Tomball ISD expects a whopping 3,700 new students. That’s almost 30% of their current enrollment. To accommodate, three new schools – Wildwood Elementary, Oakcrest Intermediate, and Creekview Elementary – are opening this August. A fourth school, Creekside Park Junior High, is slated to open in 2016.

But Tomball isn’t the only Texas ISD feeling the crunch.

Highly acclaimed Klein ISD is projecting that by 2020, five of their schools will be over capacity. In preparation, French Elementary opens its doors next month.

The as-yet-unnamed Elementary School No. 31 is set to open in 2016, with High School No. 5 to open in 2017. Plans for a Pre-Kindergarten school are also underway. In all, Klein ISD is investing $283,641,612 into building new schools and expanding existing locations.

Beautiful New Communities

The influx of new residents is also necessitating the development of new neighborhoods, and we’re not just talking cookie-cutter housing here. Some of the burgeoning communities in Northwest Harris County are incredibly upscale, ranging in value from $300,000 to over $1,400,000 per home.

In fact, the average value of homes in Tomball has risen dramatically from about $180,000 in 2012 to $360,000 in 2015.

Information via http://www.Zillow.com

One classy example of a new North Houston neighborhood is McKenzie Park. A master-planned community in Spring, it’s a quick 3 mile drive from ExxonMobil, and zoned for Klein ISD.

M/I Homes is among the builders developing McKenzie Park.

Among the builders developing McKenzie Park, M/I Homes is constructing some beautiful two-story houses, which include numerous lakefront properties. The homes boast sophisticated architecture, first floor masters, media rooms, designer touches, and fantastic spaces for Texas-sized entertaining.

Access to the community’s resort style swimming pool and splash pad is another amenity well worth noting.

More within the financial reach of upper-middle-class families, and zoned for Klein ISD, is Laurel Park, M/I Homes’ newest North Houston community. Within 10 miles of ExxonMobil, residents will enjoy quick access to 249, FM 2920, and the Grand Parkway. Laurel Park home prices range from $299,990 – $636,990.

With all these elegant new communities in construction, the whole northwest Houston area is expected to see a rise in property value, an increase in upscale shopping, and of course more funding for local charities, churches, and community initiatives from the new residents who are packing to move in.

An elegant interior view of “The Kathryn,” an M/I Homes model available in Houston area communities, including Laurel Park.

Love looking at model homes? View More M/I Homes Photos Here.

 

** Jennifer Grassman is a mother of two little girls, Jennifer Grassman is a writer, recording artist, and work-at-home mom. She publishes a Northwest Houston community magazine, The Pink Armadillo, and serves as Marketing Director for GeniSoft Water filtration systems.

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