Inventory homes are available for quick moves
You just sold your starter house where you've lived for three years. Although you want to purchase a new home in a nearby community, you need to move before your kids start school. In other words, you can't wait six months for a new home to be built. This is when an inventory or move-in-ready home would be a good fit for the buyer.
Inventory homes or quick move-in homes are homes that are already complete or near completion and are available for immediate sale and occupancy. These homes often include builder upgrades with higher-end fixtures, cabinets and flooring. Depending on the stage of completion, buyers may still be able to choose certain features to customize the home.
Inventory homes are built to the same quality standards as the builder's other homes in the community and offer the same warranty. You will experience the freshness of a newly constructed home when you turn the key and step through the entry into your new house.
Many area builders offer inventory homes at their new-home communities, which means there are no construction schedules or delays for buyers. The home is ready for the buyer to move in.
M/I Homes always has move-in ready homes available to meet the needs of first-time buyers moving from a rental, move-up buyers or those wanting to downsize who recently sold their homes, said Cheryl Bonk, director of sales and marketing for the builder.
"In many of these situations, buyers don't have time to wait for a new home to be built," she said.
Shodeen Homes, too, always has a good supply of inventory homes available because there's a need for them, said Anna Shodeen, director of marketing.
"People buy inventory homes for a variety of reasons, and we've been very successful selling them," Shodeen said.
Meritus Homes offers move-in-ready homes on a regular basis and currently at The Enclave at Mill Creek in Addison and Lake Vista in Lake Villa.
North Mark Homes is building several inventory houses, including a couple that will be ready in May or June for quick deliveries.
Years ago people had homes built from a blueprint, and although today they build from a floor plan, many people still want to see what they're going to buy, said Kim Meier, president of KLM Builders.
"And when people have their house for sale, they want to know what they will get for it before they make any financial commitment for a new home," Meier said. "When they have a buyer and the deal is done, they'll look for a new house. Then they're eager to move into a home right away; they don't have time to wait for a home to be built."
How do builders attract buyers to their inventory homes?
Many inventory homes are situated in the most desirable neighborhoods, already a draw for buyers. A good location also helps with resale value if the buyer will be transferred or will move up to a larger, more expensive home.
North Mark Homes offers Springfield Pointe subdivision in an infill location in Bloomingdale that is adjacent to Stratford Square Mall and near restaurants, entertainment, parks and forest preserves.
"This community in such an excellent location is a great choice for new-home buyers," said Jeff Pelock, president of the company. "And with no other new-home construction in the area, we're the only game in town."
West Point Builders offers a single-family inventory home at West Point Gardens in Elgin that sits on a park. It will also have an inventory home at its new Ashcroft Place community in Oswego where pre-sales are in process, said Pat Curran, president of West Point Builders.
Builders offer popular designs and the latest amenities. K. Hovnanian Homes only builds inventory homes that have proved to be best-selling floor plans. It also select the most on-trend and popular finishes for those homes, said Andy Konovodoff, president of the company.
"We have found when transferees come into our sales centers, these quick-moving homes sell quickly because they're available for immediate delivery and have the latest design features in a location buyers want," he said.
Move-in-ready homes at communities by M/I Homes are always appointed with the features that represent the latest design trends, Bonk said.
And at Meritus Homes, designers select neutral colors that are liked by the masses rather than identifying a certain segment of the market, said Jay Dulla, executive vice president.
For Shodeen Homes, it's all about the design package. "Inventory buyers like the color choices that we've already made because we're constantly reviewing what is selling and what buyers want. Right now ranches are really popular in all of our communities. It's a matter of building what is in demand right now. And we have a variety of available designs," Shodeen said.
Inventory homes offer good value, and builders may offer incentives to sweeten the pot.
Some builders offer free upgrades or special pricing on select options, and they may include upgrades that are usually optional or free gifts such as a plasma TV.
Bonk says that M/I inventory homes come with the best value as they're typically offered with a price savings, free appliance package, closing costs and below market rate with their preferred lender. Savings vary by community, location and home site.
Builders advertise and promote inventory homes. Shodeen does monthly promotions from time to time on its inventory homes and offers information at its sales centers.
Shodeen Homes, Meritus Homes, K. Hovnanian Homes and KLM Builders all advertise on social media and have had a good response. Meritus Homes also offers YouTube videos and participates with real estate brokers on sales through the listing services, Dulla said.
KLM Builders tells customers about its inventory homes and invites them to walk through and see the homes that are available at its communities.