After buying one of the professionally decorated models at Lexington Park in Des Plaines for himself, Bill McPartlin, a real estate broker from Park Ridge, is singing the praises of buying a home or townhouse that is move-in ready.
"I have always bought rehabs. I felt like it wasn't really my home unless I knocked down a few walls or made an addition," he said.
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"But this time I was downsizing from a 3,500-square-foot home in Park Ridge and I didn't have a lot of time to find something new. I saw this model for sale and I really liked it so I bought it in only four days this past March," McPartlin said.
"It was the best decision I ever made. I even bought the furniture they had in the model. My old stuff wouldn't have fit in the new place anyway, so I just purged everything and it was liberating. I didn't have to take much time off work to move. I didn't have time for that. And all of the furniture they had in the townhouse was staged to fit and was very attractive. So I just donated my old stuff to family, friends and charities and I finally got rid of all the stuff that I didn't use, but thought was too good to throw away."
Originally, McPartlin planned to buy a townhouse in an established Park Ridge neighborhood after selling his house. But when he looked at the available units there, he realized most had become very dated and would need lots of work.
"I didn't want to come home from work for the next several months and have to face working on my new home," he said. "Moving is stressful enough without having to paint and decorate once you get in there."
So now he advises many of his real estate clients to buy something that is ready to go and won't need a lot of their sweat.
"It was a great transition for me. It was still a lot of work to move the stuff I did move and go through the things I had accumulated, but it was liberating," McPartlin said. "I have already settled into my new home, met a lot of the neighbors and have been elected to the condominium board."
Buyers who purchase models get all of the same warranties as those who buy units that have not been used to tout the community, said Jeff Benach, co-principal of Lexington Homes.
"No one has ever lived in the models -- eating, using the bathrooms, etc. -- so they have not seen any wear and tear. They are totally new and often have options included in them," he said.
Lexington has one more model left to sell at Lexington Park and then the community is complete. In fact, it is the only move-in ready unit Lexington has anywhere. Several are under construction, however, and will be available for September occupancy.
"I always wish we had more spec homes because we could certainly sell them -- primarily to transferees, people whose leases are ending soon and those who have sold their current homes quicker than they expected," Benach said. "But if my spec homes are sold too far out into the future, I know that I am selling them too cheap."
For more information, visit www.lexingtonchicago.com.
D.R. Horton Homes
Jessica Larson Roche and her husband, William Roche, of Pingree Grove had a whirlwind spring.
They had been living in a townhouse in D.R. Horton Homes' Cambridge Lakes community in Pingree Grove for about a year when they decided to look at the new single-family home models. That was in February. Within a few weeks, they decided to purchase the move-in ready home that corresponded to the model they loved. It was 99 percent complete at the time, so they signed a contract and closed on April 30.
In the meantime, they got married on March 15 and Jessica graduated from Purdue University with a degree in nursing.
"Everything just fell into place. My husband has a 10-year-old son and we have a dog, so we wanted more space and a yard," she said. "And financially, we could buy the house and keep the townhouse, which I wasn't ready to give up yet. We used Marketplace Homes to find a renter for the townhouse and we had one within nine days. It all went very smoothly and we only had to move about a mile.
"I am so happy that we did this. This is my dream house. It is gorgeous with a large backyard, so now we have room to rescue another dog," Larson Roche said.
She particularly enjoys the kitchen, which features dark espresso wood floors and cabinets, as well as a giant island. It is also open to the living room, which she likes because she doesn't want the family to be separated by walls.
"I don't think my personality type would have lent itself to building a house because it just takes too much time," she said. "Too many choices are confusing and stressful to me. I just know that if I had had to go through the design center, the house would have cost us $5 million. I would have wanted everything.
"This house already had so many upgrades and we didn't have to wait for what we wanted," she said.
"You know, we looked at these houses because we were already living out here. I really didn't want to move to Pingree Grove originally but my husband talked me into it," Larson Roche said. "But I absolutely love it. The neighborhood is amazing with the pool and the biking trails that we use all the time. Even though I have to drive an hour and a half each way to work, I am happy to live here. It is peaceful and quiet, there is no congestion and the neighbors are great. I have a very stressful job so the last thing I need on my days off is clutter in my head from the environment around me. We adore it here because it is so calming.
"Besides, we couldn't have gotten anything close to this nice for the amount we paid if we had been looking close to where I work," she added.
D.R. Horton always prides itself on keeping an inventory of quick move-in homes in its various single-family communities throughout the Chicago area, from Johnsburg to Elgin to Oswego and beyond, said Chris Naatz, vice president of sales and marketing for D.R. Horton's Chicago division.
Depending on the community, homes range in price from $209,990 to $461,990 and with the exception of its active-adult communities, most feature four bedrooms or three bedrooms and a loft.
"We have homes available at all stages of construction and most sell when they reach the framing stage because that is when people can get a better sense of what they are buying," Naatz said.
For more information, visit www.drhorton.com.