Hello Everyone.

  This is Charles McShan from Century 21 Universal. The Chicago  Housing Market for the year 2020, has it been good or bad? Well, we all know the answer to that question. 2020 has not been a kind year for the housing market in Chicago or for that matter the rest of America or for that matter the world. 

  January to June, What has happened In The USA?


The year started with the invasion of the Coronavirus pandemic. Sure people talked about it but no one knew what it meant. The majority of us might have thought that the coronavirus would be nothing than a bad case of the flu. But this virus was and is still worse than the yearly flu. We will recap all that happen from January to June in a minute but here we are in the last weeks of June. What is happening today? In the United States, the majority of the country has seen the virus reach its peaked and the curve has been bent downward. The death toll has slowed down but certain parts of the country there has seen a resurgence of the virus. 

   How did the coronavirus pandemic affect the Chicago housing market for the year 2020?  Well, another name for housing is simply the word structure. Sellers try to sell their home/structure., Buyers are looking to buy a structure/home. Last but not least there are the renters out there who are looking to leave there present rental unit/structure and move into another structure. 

    Buyers, Sellers, and Renters living in these structures were trying to live everyday lives. You can’t talk about the Housing market for the year 2020 without taking into account what the coronavirus has done to the people living within these homes/structures We also have seen from a landlord’s point of view what this virus has done to their bottom line. So lets now go back to Mid-March when this madness began.

    One by one in mid-March local State governments mandated it’s citizens to stop working and stay at home. By April the infection rate climbed out of control and the death count started to rise. Our loved ones, workmates, and friends were dying and you could not be with them in their last hours. Once thy died few people could attend their funerals and burial services. Also starting in April the people who did not die physically suffered economic death. They had lost their sources of income, their businesses, they were spending there living savings just to survive. Like I said earlier they this was more than the seasonal flu.  Millions of families were struggling to pay their bills, their rent, their mortgages. Grocery store shelves were empty, you could not find the regular necessities that you once took for granted. 

   As we entered the month of May our whole world was upside down. By mid-May, the Governor of Illinois started relaxing the the the lockdown order. The city of Chicago on the other hand lockdown order continued into June. Just as things were trying to get back to normal came that was the senseless killing of George Floyd by police officers in the city of  Minneapolis. The cities across America erupted into flames, violence, and protests which continue today. Many businesses in The Chicago area were destroyed delaying jobs coming back in there locations. 

       In this blog, we will not talk about the commercial real estate industry because they have taken a huge hit. When I walk across Devon street or other commercial areas I see numerous for rent signs on stores that were occupied just 4 months ago. Some of those stores were thriving with business. In regards to my local area, people came from other states and counties to shop on Devon Street. Look up into the sky, there are only a few planes flying. Look into the streets, there are almost no taxi cabs or limousines to be fought. Ridesharing is still available with temporary restrictions. As you travel throughout the city and suburbs you will also see close down businesses. Some closed due to the riots may never reopen. That is the situation we are in as we approach the final weeks of June and summertime is upon us.


Where Are We At Now In The Stream Of Time!

  Here we are in mid- June, the picture above is that of South Michigan ave. Last year at this time Michigan ave. was bustling with traffic from residents, business travelers, and vacationers. Today is like a ghost town a distance memory of itself. After a week of having the Downtown area completely blocked off to prevent further destruction, every major street is now open again. The majority of the hotels are either shut down or partially open. They along with other forms of businesses are trying to come back to life.  For recreation, all city parks west of the lake are now officially open. Lake Michigan parks and beaches officially remain closed. Shopping malls for the most part in the Stae of Illinois have reopened with new social distancing rules to keep everyone safe.   

  Some of the activities that make Chicago the exciting city that it is once was are as of this writing are coming out of lockdown. Activities such as the nightlife have just officially reopened with severe restrictions. Normally the bars packed people in like sardines(make that money) but the city will now mandate social distancing rules. That will be a good thing considering what is going on in Flordia and Texas. We do not need a resurgence of the virus here. In regards to the theatres, museums they will reopen. The health clubs are still working on finding a comprise to keep everyone safe who wants to attend those facilities.  In regards to our Professional sporting teams, their seasons are still being negotiated. That only leaves the main heartbeat of the city, Corporate Chicago. That corporate heart is still beating very slow. The corporate world did not shut down due to coronavirus. They just instructed their employees to work online from home.   

   But for Chicago to come back to life the downtown heart must beat harder and faster. Those empty corporate Headquarters must be occupied again. Zoom does work but you got those rent bills to pay on those structures so you must get your employers back into your corporate headquarters. That means Metra the commuter rail system along with the CTA must be operating on full weekday schedules and bringing people back to work downtown. That means packed trains and buses. Those people will then get off public transportation or get out of their cars downtown. They will go to work, go out to lunch, go to the banks, and the stores. For all that to occur the downtown sidewalks will have to be bustling with pedestrian traffic. If the streets become packed like they were last year could that allow the coronavirus to make a come back like what is going on in Houston and Dallas? We do not know but if the economic engine which is the downtown area combined with both major airports, does not come back to life we are in big trouble as a city. We need our downtown back.

     There are no easy answers for downtown Chicago to be revived. There will be new social distance guidelines, there might be stagger work hours all these things will need to be worked out and then implemented. Things might not be like they were last year in downtown Chicago but that is life. Life is about change. We all have to continue to move forward and in time Downtown Chicago along with the rest of the city will get its stride back. Maybe I should rephrase that statement. Chicago has been through a lot these last few months. With the ongoing coronavirus and ongoing protest movements, we will have to develop a new stride.

  Now that is the reality of how the first part of the year 2020  has affected people in this county. We also watched on the news how it has affected people worldwide. As old people back the day use to say,” Life goes on”.No matter what happens the living has to keep moving forward. That is cold but true. Certain things do not stop. You need to work to produce income. From the income you feed yourself, clothe yourself, you purchase/rent a place to sit back and chill out. Yes, you need a place to lay your head so you can sleep. Ask anyone homeless on the street today did they wake up today saying they like living on the street. They would tell you no. So it does not matter if you are rich or poor, a worker, a protestor, a college student, or a child still at home with your parents. Whether you are married or single very person wants a place to lay their head, to feel safe and secure. For the majority, the safety comes from having a home. Home is where the heart is, whether it is a rental unit or homeownership it is yours. At the end of the day, just before you close your eyes and go to sleep you feel good because you are going to sleep in your home. It can make all the difference in the world.

     The Chicago Housing Market For The Year 2020, Has It Been Good Or Bad

   The real estate industry in the state of Illinois is an essential part of the economy thus forth it was never under a mandated lockdown. Sure things slowed down but homes were being sold and homes were being bought. Ae we emerged out of this pandemic towards a new normal, what will that new normal look like? People are looking for answers and maybe in this Blog, you will find the answers you seek. These answers to your questions come straight from the experts and many people have asked me these same questions maybe these answers will benefit you also..  

1: Everything is so bad that the Sellers are desperate. Homes prices are going to fall, Right?

Many people think that prices will fall but here is what the experts say.  Click here> https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/how-to-negotiate-offer-on-home-age-of-coronavirus/?identityID=581eb638b3573ee807000005&MID=2020_0409_AcleNL&RID=4266573602&rticid=eml_prom.

2: For the home buyers here are more answers Please click here  > https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/home-buying-faq-purchasing-property-during-coronavirus/?identityID=581eb638b3573ee807000005&MID=2020_0506_ArticleNL&RID=4266573602&cid=eml_promo_Marketing_NonPRSL_ArticleNL_cons.11470102_2020_0506_ArticleNL-hero-blogs_trends     

3:How low will Mortgage rates go? I  heard that question a lot. Answer: Who knows how long will they go but keep this in mind they are low. Are you expecting 1 %? Do not hold your breath but click here for answers on this topic.  >https://www.realtor.com/news/real-estate-news/how-low-could-mortgage-rates-go-below-3-percent-if-you-know-where-to-look/?identityID=581eb638b3573ee807000005&MID=2020_0522_WeeklyNL&RID=4266573602&cid=eml_promo_Marketing_NonPRSL_WeeklyNL_cons.11517482_2020_0522_WeeklyNL-blog1mortgagerates-blogs_finance     

4:  If you remember last year the Summer market was slow due to low inventory. This year could be a repeat or it could be different. Check out this article. >  https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/summer-real-estate-market-coronavirus/?identityID=581eb638b3573ee807000005&MID=2020_0529_WeeklyNL&RID=4266573602&cid=eml_promo_Marketing_NonPRSL_WeeklyNL_cons.11537562_2020_0529_WeeklyNL-blog1summerhomebuying-blogs_buy

5: For you Homesellers: You have questions here are some answers Please click here  > https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/essential-home-selling-faqs-in-the-age-of-coronavirus/?identityID=581eb638b3573ee807000005&MID=2020_0609_ArticleNL&RID=4266573602&cid=eml_promo_Marketing_NonPRSL_ArticleNL_cons.11576782_2020_0609_ArticleNL-hero-blogs_sell

 6; Here is another article talking about Mortgage rates Please click here to read it.>https://www.realtor.com/news/real-estate-news/mortgage-rates-up-then-down-what-is-going-on/?identityID=581eb638b3573ee807000005&MID=2020_0612_WeeklyNL&RID=4266573602&cid=e

 7:Here is another article. It talks about the fact that there is a low housing inventory just like last year but that is not stopping the serious buyers. Despite all that is happening in our country people are still looking to buy. If you wish to read it please click here>  https://www.realtor.com/news/real-estate-news/summer-home-buying-season-heats-up/?identityID=581eb638b3573ee807000005&MID=2020_0612_WeeklyNL&RID=4266573602&cid=eml_promo_Marketing_NonPRSL_WeeklyNL_cons.11589462_2020_0612_WeeklyNL-blog1buyingseason-blogs_buy  

There you have it, the majority of these articles were published by Realtors.com These are answers to some of your questions but keep in mind there are no concrete answers. Why? This coronavirus hit the world and the housing market like a Mike Tyson knock out punch. It shook the very foundation of our society. This virus hit us hard and heavy. Its effects are still strong and the virus not going away. Remember the Spanish flu of the last century. Its effects lasted for years. This too could last for years and there could be a second wave. The expert’s answers vary, some are predicting foreclosures and short sales by next year. Some are not  No one knows for sure, no one has a crystal ball. So it is best to follow the Bible’s advice at Matthew 6:34 to live one day at a time with all its anxieties. In other words, live for today but plan for the future.

    Here is some good advice. So if you want to sell your home, do not overprice it. Why? Because buyers know the market price of the homes in your area. The buyers will simply overlook you and they will not be around when you finally decide on dropping the price. For the buyers out there stop thinking the sellers are so desperate that they will take any lowball offer. There is still a low inventory of the homes on the market. You could lose the home that has the majority of your wants and needs just by trying to be cheap and playing hardball.

As professional Realtors, we have to keep up with the changing technology. Things such as virtual tours, zoom meetings electronic signatures and doing more things online. But we can never forget this business of Selling homes was founded on the old school method of putting shoe leather on the ground and meeting and greeting people. Yes, Realtors must meet and greet people daily. Now with this pandemic upon us, certain things had to change quick fast and in a hurry. For example the open house.

  The open house allows people to come in groups to view the property. You serve refreshments, food, and try to make everyone comfortable. Things have changed for the last few months open houses were not allowed. Now they are coming back with certain restrictions. You must limit the flow of people into the house at one time and you must keep the home disinfected. To avoid lawsuits because people are looking to sue you should reframe from serving refreshments and other things they could touch. You can do this by opening all cabinets and doors. There are still clients who want to test the water and they should be free to do so. You the Realtor must keep the groups separate, keep the place sanitized wear a mask and you must insist that all visitors wishing to enter must wear a facial covering. If they do not wish to honor that request. Do not let them in!  As they say “We are all in this together” Welcome to the new normal.

So far in this blog post, we have talked about the Buyers and Sellers. Now let’s talk about the Renters in our Chicago market. In my last post, I talked about renters who had the expectations of changing residences either on May 1st or October 1st of this year. Many of these tenants had either saved their moving expenses or were in the plans of saving their money. Things were looking good then Pow! the coronavirus pandemic occurred and then out of nowhere came the government-mandated lockdown. If you were not considered a non-essential worker you lost your job the main source of income and you had to stay home. This started in mid-March and lasted until just a few weeks ago for many. For the majority, the money they saved for moving now being used to survive every day. and they might not have anything saved up in their Bank account

  If you were an essential worker and you kept working through the pandemic you are in better shape. You paid the majority your bills and you did not take any major hit on your credit. If on the other hand, you were one of the millions who were laid off. Your bills began to pile up and as a renter, you might have paid April’s rent but now May and maybe not even June. Chances are the majority of the non-essential workers are either back at work or will be back soon. A lot of people mistakenly think that they should be released from that debt. Sure it was not your fault you could not work. The Governor told you to stay at home. But you know America is not built that away. The bills you accumulated, your creditors will come for them. The same way and homeowner owes his mortgage payment and the auto-dealer wants their car note your landlord wants their rent payment. The landlord has to pay her/her bills and if you go to work you want your boss to pay your salary that you worked hard for right? Right.

   While Illinois mandated lockdown is officially over. Unofficially the utility companies which represent light and gas and add your cell phone companies to that list are still under restrictions not to turn off your service. You know it is only a matter of time before the Gas, the light, and the phone companies start mailing disconnect notices. Are you preparing for it?. On March 19th of this year, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of the city of Chicago asked the property owners to give their tenants some leeway or grace. She also said, “If your cash flow allows you might discount, defer or forgive the June or July rent but be sure to document any agreement with your tenant and you might be able to recoup the lost funds from new government subsidies.” Now for renters behind on their rent, there could be a possibility that the government or some charitable organization might help you with your pass rent. This could only work for renters wishing to stay where they are for another year.

   On the other hand, if you are still planning on moving and you have not caught up with your rent payments. You might be caught between a rock and a hard place.No future landlord will rent to you knowing that you owe past rent where you live now. Those subsidies might come through but with the political turmoil going on in Washington they might not. Your present landlord might not just let you walk away The future landlord knows the know the present landlord could take future legal action on you the tenant. How will they get paid? You do not want to risk all of that an put a negative charge on your credit report. If you cannot get a government agency or a charity to pay your past rent and If you are not financially able to move this year try to stay where you are for 1 more year. 

Catch up with all your bills including rent, get your credit score back in the high 600s, and then you will be ready to move. Keep this in mind in the Chicago area more now than ever before your credit score counts. Landlords want your credit score over 620. That is the first thing property managers ask me about rental clients I represent. What is there credit score? If your scores not over 620 and your paycheck is not over 3 times the rent amount you will need a co-signer If they take you at all. Take this for what it is, friendly advice. The rental market has tightened up and rental prices are skyrocketing throughout the whole city. 3 Bedroom rentals are going from $1.500 to well over $2.600 a month. If you are comfortable with these rental prices then give me a call and I will get to work for you. Rentals are popping up everywhere. On the other hand, some people would say I rather pay a $1.700 on a house payment than on rental payment. If you feel that away click the link at the bottom of the page. I have mortgage specialists ready to go to work for you. Here is an article also from Realtor.com that looks at the Coronavirus pandemic from a renter’s point of view. Please read it below. https://www.realtor.com/advice/rent/rental-faq-renting-a-home-coronavirus/?identityID=581eb638b3573ee807000005&MID=2020_0612_WeeklyNL&RID=4266573602&cid=eml_promo_Marketing_NonPRSL_WeeklyNL_cons.11589462_2020_0612_WeeklyNL-blog5coronaviruserarenting-blogs_rent

That article and the sub-articles go into a detail that will benefit renters as far as what they can expect from their landlords and local governments. You like it then pass it on.

The Summary, As A Realtor, What Should The Future Hold?




 This blog covered the main aspects of Real Estate. Buying Selling and Renting. This blog post contained a lot of information. As a licensed professional, it was my job to get this detailed information out to you the consumer. As professional Realtors, we constantly trained to keep with the changing aspects of the Real Estate market. We as an organization will keep you updated on the coronavirus as it affects the housing market. Personally let me tell you about my office. Century 21 Universal is located at 7300 N.Western Ave in the West Ridge neighborhood of the city of Chicago.

   This area along with Rogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown, and North Park has a combined rich blend of single-family homes, condos, vintage apartment buildings 2-4 flat units and a rich host of High and low rises complexes. Add to that are surrounding Suburbs of Evanston, Skokie, Lincolnwood Niles, and Morton Grove. The rest of my work area consists of the rest of the city of Chicago and the surrounding western and southern suburbs. If you are thinking about purchasing a home in this area or any part of the city of Chicago. Please contact me. As I wrote in my last blog post We also have clients in Lake, Will, Dupage, and all the rest of Cook County. If you a particular area in mind of looking for a home you do not have to leave this site. Just click the link and begin your search right now.  Please click here >  https://homeasap.com/cmacakachicagolandrealtor

 Personally, my job is to track the local market, to stay on top of trends, transactions, and prices. Professional Realtors take advantage of the Multiple Listing Services or the MLS for short. This is up to date Real Estate Data that updates every 15 minutes. Zillow cannot update their data as fast we can. This is our advantage. During this pandemic, many people for various reasons have taken their homes off the market. Many buyers are also hesitant in this time of uncertainty but as the above reports have shown there are still activities in the Housing market. If you are ready to move forward, do not be afraid. Every situation is different and every situation is unique. Follow your gut and follow the data.

In closing. The Chicago Housing Market for the year 2020 has it been good or bad? The answer to that question will depend on the person you are asking. Some people so far have had a good year. On the other hand, a lot of people have suffered a lot. What does the future hold? In time Chicago will come out of this pandemic and civil changes in society will make us even stronger.  Yes, this is a rough time but good times are coming .whether today or tomorrow or next year. When you feel you are ready to Buy, Sell, or Rent  I will be here for you. All my contact information is below. Thank you for reading this blog. Feel free to leave any comments. Continue to maintain social distance if, not for yourselves think of the senior citizens you will come into contact with.  Summertime is officially here. Take care and be safe until the next time


P.S. News Flash for Chicago Rental population:

On June 18th the Chicago city council passed a law about protecting the Chicago rental tenants from eviction due to the coronavirus. Rental tenants of Chicago you have to read this so you know your rights. Please click the link here and pass it on to any Chicago tenant that you might feel would benefit from it.> https://www.domu.com/blog/chicago-passes-new-covid-19-eviction-protection-ordinance?utm_source=Domu+Landlord+Newsletter&utm_campaign=7882903272-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_LANDLORDS_6_18_2020_EVICTIONS&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_557dc2fe54-7882903272-407785153



                                                        Charles McShan


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   Once again if you are looking to buy a home you can begin your search here >https://homeasap.com/cmacakachicagolandrealtor