Strike while the housing market is hot
Pic: Wikimedia Commons
Regarding Home Prices, Chicago Hasn't Seen Something Fly This High Since Michael Jordan
CHICAGO, Ilinois — For centuries philosophers have called life a "game." After all, there's even a classic board game simply called Life. As far as games concerning life go, perhaps Einstein put it best:
"You have to learn the rules of the game. And then, you have to play better than anyone else." —Albert Einstein
According to data from the real estate website Zillow, of the 10 largest cities—"Chicago had the fastest-rising home prices" this past fall. Perhaps Monopoly, history's most popular real estate board game, serves as the perfect metaphor to illustrate the following insight.
Each player in the game moves around the board, buying and trading properties. Of course, because every game has an objective, the sole aim is to develop houses and collect rent from opponents.
Unlike Monopoly, players in the game of real-life don't care about driving opponents into bankruptcy per se. Rather, players in real-life merely strive to make as much money as possible.
Just as buying properties when low and driving up the value is the name of the Monopoly game, real estate in real life is no different. Of course, this game board is made of Chicago, not of cardboard.
Chicago's game board is made of properties outside of downtown named South Loop and Hyde Park, not of Park Place and Boardwalk.
Whereas the demand in Monopoly usually reflects a roll of the dice, Chicago's game is spurred on by a nationwide demand which real-estate agent Sheila Dantzler called "a smaller pool of homes for sale led to the acceleration in price growth everywhere in the country."
To put it simply, the pandemic has triggered a "readjustment of priorities" in Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. For many Chicagoans, lifestyle benefits seem to override the glamour of city life.
It appears the roomier and slower-paced suburban life has become far more appealing to many than the fast-paced yet cramped living conditions in the city. Even Millennials, now hitting their 30s, see far more appeal in low-interest rates of suburban homes coupled with extra space for schoolchildren.
So cramped is The Windy City, roughly half of the city's 2.7 million residents live in park-poor areas. Indeed, if New York City is the "concrete jungle, Chicago can rightfully be called the "concrete forest."
In short, with "more than 16,000 Illinoisans [having] died from COVID-19" in 2020 alone, it's no wonder home buyers are fleeing from downtown areas into the outskirts. And due to the abrupt exodus, residents continually push up property value.
"Common sense," said Emerson, "is genius dressed in its working clothes."
To put it simply, because common sense will take you further than any other trait, to profit from the above insights by no means requires having an MBA from Wharton. Rather, a touch of common sense and a basic handle on terms such as investment strategy and leverage and real estate flippers will serve as the little that goes a long way.
In short, so far as Chicagoans investing in real estate goes, perhaps it'll be wise to remember:
Life may not always be easy, but it's always simple.