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Teri Novak is planning a five-hour trek to Southern Illinois tomorrow.

She’s made the drive from her suburban Chicago community of Lemont many times in the past few weeks since deciding to try to buy a home in Williamson County. She has an appointment Friday to look at a house that went on the market just this past Monday.

She hopes it’ll still be for sale when she gets there.

Like many potential home buyers, Novak is facing a real estate market with limited inventory, a large number of people looking to buy and serious competition in finding a home.