After the Tax Credit: Musings & Milestones

What to do now

So the Housing Tax Credit has come and gone. The Treasury Department estimates that 1.8 million people took advantage of the credit at a cost to the government of about $13 billion. For those who missed out on the credit, there may be a tinge of disappointment. But in the days tax_credit following the deadline we at @properties have been reassured by healthy market activity in showings, listings and contracts. Still, with the tax credit in the history books, it’s a good time to ask, "What should I do now?"

If you’re a buyer who was in the market prior to April 30, you’ve answered an important question. It’s not just about finding the right deal. It’s about finding the right home. The fact is buying a home today is a longer-term proposition than it was a few years ago, and a home has to work for you not only as a place to invest but as a place to live. From that point of view, $8,000 probably isn’t a make or break. Of course that doesn’t mean the right deal isn’t out there – especially with today’s low mortgage rates and plentiful inventory.

If you’re a seller now is a good time to step back and evaluate pricing and positioning. With the increase in recent transaction volume, there are more comparable sales today than six months ago. If your home has been on the market for a while, it’s a good idea to revisit the comparative market analysis. But it’s also important to point out that we at @properties do not subscribe to the notion – as some brokers do – that sellers need to fill the government’s role as a provider of homebuyer subsidies by automatically dropping asking prices or offering cash credits. The market needs to stand on its own, and we believe it can and will.

If you have questions about the real estate market, post tax credit, please contact me.

Celebrating 10 years and a new office

Finally, last month brought two important milestones for @properties. First, we announced that we will be opening a new North Shore office in Winnetka. We are set to begin construction on the office on Green Bay Road this month and should be open by late summer 2010. We are excited about serving the North Shore from this new location.

April also marked @properties’ 10th anniversary. We opened our doors back in spring 2000 with one goal: to provide the best real estate brokerage service in Chicago. Today, we’re the #1 broker in the city and the fastest-growing firm on the North Shore. Most importantly, our goal remains the same, and we’re working harder than ever to see it through. Thank you to all of our clients, associates, partners, family and friends for making @properties a success.