Thinking about getting down with a down payment? Do it, says Grigory Pekarsky, a managing broker at Vesta Preferred Realty in Lincoln Park. The demand for rentals has driven up prices, with median rents in the metro-Chicago area up more than 9 percent over last year and home prices down more than 10 percent, according to Zillow, an online real-estate database. A more recent report, released by Deutsche Bank in March, cites renting in Chicago as 41 percent pricier than buying. “The talk of the town is that [home] prices have hit rock bottom,” Pekarsky says. “The best time to buy is going to be now.”
That’s provided you have a credit score above 620, between 10 and 20 percent of the home price saved for a down payment, a 33 percent or less debt-to-income ratio (the percentage of your monthly gross income that goes toward paying debt), a stable job and a plan to live in Chicago for at least three years.
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