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Whether the time is right for you to buy a home is a personal matter that depends heavily on your finances and foreseeable future lifestyle. For example, if you can afford to buy, but might relocated in a year or two renting might be a better option. However, if you are feeling pretty stable, like you can live in your next home for 5-7 years and you have the finances in order to buy a place you would enjoy for that long then the time might be right for you to buy.

If your concern is the cost then be sure to consider the trend that rental rates have been following.

Graph of rising median asking rent 1988-2013

This graph shows the national trends of rental rates. Overall since 1988 they have been rising pretty steadily and are showing no signs of slowing. A report by rentjungle.com shows the same trend in Chicago. The average rental rate in Chicago for two-bedroom apartments in 2009 was $1614, by 2013 that number increased to $2006, a nearly $400 difference in only four years.

Most loans will let you lock in a rate for over five to thirty years, depending on the loan. By locking in a rate your monthly payments will remain the same throughout that time.

Keep this in mind if the finances are what are keeping you on the fence. It just might be the time to make that leap.

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