Area builders remain bullish on homeownership

You want to buy a new home, yet you hesitate. Is this the year to dive into homeownership or should you wait until next year?

Industry experts say 2019 is a great time to make your move. Say goodbye to rent increases and older, inefficient homes, and say hello to open floor plans and the latest and greatest amenities.

It's always a good time to buy new construction, said Lance Ramella, president of Housing Trends LLC in St. Charles.

“Prices haven't increased much, so the value is there,” he said. “Interest rates are great. Everything is good. The only thing on my Christmas wish list is lower property taxes.”

Area builders agree that now is the time to plunge into the marketplace. “Everyone has been talking about Suze Orman saying now is the best time to buy, period,” said Jeremy Lund, director of sales for Shodeen Homes.

“Low interest rates are motivational, and 3¼ percent on a 30-year fixed (rate) mortgage is incredible.”

Mortgage rates vary by lender and based on buyer's credit score, but locking in a lower interest rate now before they begin to move up will save a buyer tens of thousands of dollars during the period of the loan.

In this environment, builders stand ready to meet buyers' needs by offering inventory homes ready for immediate delivery and offering various incentives to buyers who purchase a new home.

What are inventory homes? Inventory homes, quick move-in homes or spec homes are either under construction or completely built and are available for immediate sale and occupancy. They are so named because they're part of the builder's inventory, which means someone can purchase it and move in quickly.

These homes often include builder upgrades with higher-end fixtures, cabinetry and flooring designed to appeal to a broad market. Depending on the stage of completion, buyers may still be able to select certain features to customize the home.

Inventory homes are built to the same quality standards as other homes in the community and offer the same warranty. When you purchase an inventory home, you will still experience the wonderful feeling of owning a new home as you plant roots in a new community.

Shodeen Homes, which builds quality, energy-efficient single-family homes and townhouses in the Tri Cities area, welcomes buyers with incentives specific to a community where they can save up to $25,000 on new construction. The builder also offers special pricing of $298,500 on a move-in-ready home in Elburn, which is a phenomenal deal, Lund said.

Plote Homes presents its popular Brentwood ranch design for immediate delivery at the Lakes of Boulder Ridge in Lake in the Hills. The home features 10-foot main-level ceilings, three bedrooms, three baths, study with coffered ceiling, expanded kitchen and great room with cathedral ceiling and fireplace. The home includes a finished walkout basement, screened porch with vinyl windows and open deck.

As a fall incentive, Plote Homes offers a free screened-in porch for buyers who purchase a home through the month of September, said Christin Cortese, Plote sales manager.

“With fall our strongest market, we have homes in various stages of construction. One might be near delivery, and one with roughed-out framing where buyers can still choose amenities such as cabinetry and flooring.”

The community is age-targeted to older buyers, but not age-restricted, Cortese said. “Many of our buyers have sold their homes in the spring and summer and move here to be closer to their families for Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

North Mark Homes will have two, two-story, move-in-ready homes available in 30 days at Springfield Pointe in Bloomingdale, said Julie Pelock, owner.

“After we close on one of these homes, we start another one to always have one in the works. Buyers who don't have a home to sell can purchase a home immediately. We offer six floor plans and have 30 lots available at the community.”

Springfield Pointe sits in an infill location 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,” Pelock said. “And with no other new-home construction in the area, we're the only game in town.”

At Airhart Construction's communities, homes that show well and are priced well sell almost immediately, said Christy Whelan, director of sales. “Everyone loves to buy something new.”

Many older homes need updating, which means a lot of improvement dollars. Older floor plans have smaller, cut up rooms and lower ceilings. With new construction, buyers will have newer, open floor plans with high ceilings and the latest options and colors builders offer today, she said.

Airhart Construction offers immediate delivery on the last residence at Courthouse Square in downtown Wheaton. A full brick home with an open plan, this house features a kitchen, great room and home office on the main level. Two large bedrooms with private baths sit upstairs. The home has a private brick paver courtyard. Also, it's prepared for an optional elevator. An on-site community center at Courthouse Square with fitness center, hospitality suite and outdoor lap pool provides a desired amenity.

Another home ready for delivery is the McAlister, a cottage-style rowhouse at Stafford Place in Warrenville with a walk to library and recreation center location. The home features wood flooring throughout the main level, a kitchen with oversized island, master bath with custom tiled walk-in shower, a front porch, rear balcony and professional landscaping.

KLM Builders always has a couple of spec homes in the queue. KLM just sold a ranch, and now it is starting another ranch that will be ready in 90 days, said Kim Meier, owner of the company. “We also have a two-story home with four bedrooms ready for quick occupancy, and we have a lot of new models that we will debut by year's end, and some of those will be for quick delivery,” he said.

“We're starting homes that will be priced in the low $200,000s,” Meier said. “With more than 20 different floor plans in a variety of sizes and prices, we cater to the whole market.”

KLM Builders is selling a near complete Monroe II spec home at Whispering Oaks in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. Courtesy of KLM Builders
A Waterford floor plan by North Mark Homes is ready for occupancy at Springfield Pointe in Bloomingdale. Courtesy of North Mark Homes
This is the kitchen of a single-family home for sale at Courthouse Square, a rowhouse community in the heart of downtown Wheaton. Courtesy of Airhart Construction
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