If you read my previous blog post, you would have found out that there are 77 neighborhoods in Chicago. 77 fricken neighborhoods! Yes, this is a very large city overall. If you look at a map you can see just how big Chicago really is. But not every area is created equal. Not every area offers the same types of properties, nightlife, and neighborhood feel. So where should a person start narrowing down where to live?
There are a few questions I will ask buyers when I meet with them:
- Do you need to be close to public transportation or the highway?
- What type of property do you want to live in?
- What type of neighborhood do you prefer?
- Do you need parking or outdoor space?
- What is your price point?
Once I have this conversation, then I can get a better feel for what people are looking for. For example, if someone needs to be close to the expressway then they are going to be looking on the west side of the city. If they need public transportation then areas Like Lake View, Lincoln Park, and River North might be best. If they want a single family home and do not have a million plus budget then they will need to look on the west side and northwest sides of the city, west of I-90/94.
Many buyers I meet with have really no idea of where they want to live. It is totally OK if this is you. What I suggest doing is have some fun and go explore different areas. Go grab a drink and dinner, or get lunch. Walk around the areas at different times of the day. Go for a drive around in the areas and stop in at open houses to get a feel for the type of properties are available there. This should be your research time and trust me, the more research you do up front the more likely it will be that you will find the place you are looking for. If you are looking at many different types of areas and properties it will be impossible to make a decision. This will cause you to miss out on properties you really want.
So my advice, do your research up front. Speak to your agent about different areas you are considering. Your agent should be able to help narrow them down for you. Then once you know where to focus start your property search for real and start seeing the properties you are most interested in. If you do this, you will be able to move fast on the one you feel is right for you and won't miss out on your dream home!