Relocations, both long distance and within the area, are increasing as corporations begin to move their people again and individuals choose to return to the Chicago area or move for personal reasons.
Many of those relocating, especially those moving for their job, do not have the luxury of time. They need to find a house and move quickly in order to reunite their family or to settle into a new routine that does not distract from that new career position.
So those starting a new job often think they need to confine their search to older resale houses in order to expedite the process. But area builders say that many of them keep an inventory of "move in ready" homes that are ideal for transferees.
In addition, an area builder specializes in buying foreclosed properties and giving the houses extensive renovations before putting them back on the market. This company has homes in established neighborhoods, many with great charm, which are available quickly, too.
"My relocation buyers are very concerned about resale so they are looking for quality-built homes in neighborhoods that give them an opportunity for a good return," said Gail Niermeyer, a broker and relocation expert since 1988 with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Naperville. "They are also very determined to find good schools.
"Commute is another concern. They want to locate near their job so that their commute isn't too bad and many want to be close to parks, shopping and schools," she said.
In the past, Niermeyer would send lists of available homes to clients about two weeks before they were planning to visit the area, asking them to look them over and do their research. Now, however, homes are selling so quickly that transferees no longer have the luxury of analyzing listings in advance.
"They need to come in, find a house and potentially pay more than list price," she said of transferees working on tight relocation deadlines.
Those who want to be in Naperville don't have many options for new construction unless they are willing to rent for awhile and contract to have a house built, Niermeyer said. But those interested in other area communities like Plainfield, Oswego and North Aurora can include new construction communities in their searches.
Mill Creek in Geneva is a large planned unit development that traditionally sees many people who are relocating, particularly from the coasts, said Nate Amidon, director of sales for Shodeen Residential.
"We have seen a lot of relocations recently from places like California, Georgia and Pennsylvania. They are a big source of business for us. It is obvious that companies in this area are starting to staff up and put people in place again," Amidon said.
The fact that Mill Creek boasts two public 18-hole golf courses; a nine-hole, chip-and-putt course; 17 miles of bike and walking trails, 900 acres of preserves, tennis courts, outdoor pool and clubhouse is a big drawing card, particularly for those who are accustomed to such communities in the coastal states.
"Many of the people relocating are used to this kind of community and they expect it, so that puts Mill Creek in a unique position relative to other home communities that don't offer these kinds of amenities," Amidon said. "Buyers understand that you can't change where a home is located.
"We have found that transferees look at the area and the builder before they even look at the houses themselves," Amidon said. "They want a great school district that will put their children ahead of the curve, great amenities and a place where it is easy to meet people."
Mill Creek always has homes available for immediate move-in, as well as moves within 60 or 90 days. They try to consistently keep about 18 homes in a wide variety of styles in varying states of completion at all times. Visit www.shodeen.com to see what is currently available.
D.R. Horton is also committed to the needs of those relocating, so it has immediate-delivery homes available at the majority of its 13 communities throughout the Chicago area, said Chris Naatz, vice president of sales.
The builder has homes at virtually every stage of construction, as well as a few that are ready immediately.
"We anticipated several months ago that this would be a strong spring, so we started building homes to be ready and we have not been disappointed. It has been an incredibly busy spring," Naatz said.
D.R. Horton understands buyers need to have the option to move quickly and that many want new construction, so its staff works to accommodate them and make sure area relocation specialists are regularly educated about the D.R. Horton option. Attractive lending options are also provided, both through the builder, and often, through the relocation company.
Naatz said he is seeing many people now relocating for their careers, as well as a sizable number of people relocating from other parts of the country to the company's active-adult communities here. Most of these buyers want to return "home" after an absence or want to move closer to family.
"We are even seeing people whose company might be moving from Naperville to Schaumburg, for instance, and they don't want the long commute, so they move, too," Naatz said.
To see D.R. Horton's selection of immediate-occupancy homes, visit www.drhorton.com.
K. Hovnanian also makes sure to have between two and four quick-delivery homes available at each community and sales associates who are very familiar with local schools, chambers of commerce, restaurants and other amenities are happy to direct transferees, said Andy Konovodoff, president of the Chicago division.
"We are well aware of people transferring around the country and certainly are accommodating," he said. "The last few years we have not seen as many as we did in the early 2000s, but there are pockets of activity. For example, Navistar moved offices into Lisle and we saw a pickup last year of approximately 20 sales from transferees into the Oswego market."
For information about K. Hovnanian homes, visit www.khov.com/Illinois_Home_Builders.
Right Residential LLC, a firm specializing in the acquisition, renovation and resale of foreclosed homes, is seeing some relocation traffic, too.
"Relocation specialists are contacting us for their clients because we have a reputation of having totally rehabbed homes, priced fairly and ready to move in to," said Chris Shaxted, executive vice president.
"But our homes are currently selling so quickly -- usually in less than a week after they are listed as available -- that people from here and those relocating, too, are buying them before they are even completed. We list homes on our website that will be available soon and Realtors are contacting us about those and putting in offers while they are still being renovated," he said.
Since the Right Residential homes are older houses that have been made "like new" through exhaustive renovations, buyers get the individuality and character of an older home in an established neighborhood, with all of the bells and whistles of a new home.
To see the homes Right Residential has ready and those that will be available soon, visit www.rightresidentialllc.com.