Getting them in the door – Special incentives help make owning a new home a reality.
(Posted By chicagofestivalofhomes.com)
If you’ve ever driven past a model home and wished you were pulling into its driveway or enjoyed looking at the stylish interiors of a newly built home and imagined yourself entertaining guests there, it may be time to indulge the fantasy. Prospective homebuyers may be surprised to find there are many ways to help make that new home a reality.
Call it a sign of the times or even, in some cases, clever marketing, but incentives all boil down to savings and extras.
To get buyers over that hurdle from dream to reality many homebuilders and developers offer a variety of incentives. The promotions are enough to get people’s attention and get them in the door to see all the development has to offer. And often, it’s the little nudge they need to get them into their own home.
Roger Gerstad, president of Gerstad Builders, says incentives can help make an inquirer into a buyer.
“We have seen incentives are definitely the only thing that attracts potential buyers in this market,” Gerstad says.
Sweeten the pot
In a real estate climate that can be favorable to the buyer with a large market of choices, homebuilders are sweetening the deal to make a new, move-in ready home the best choice. On top of being able to choose from layouts, appliances, finishes and paint colors to make the new home fit a buyer’s taste without the hassle of removing wallpaper, replacing appliances and budgeting for a new roof, homebuilders are helping to make new homes more affordable.
Gerstad says they offer a number of incentives and they vary at each of its four locations including Richmond, Poplar Grove, McHenry and Williams Bay, Wis. Each of Gerstad’s communities offers a variety of options ranging from two to five bedroom homes.
Gerstad says some of their offers include 10 percent off the base price, building out in phases, and upgrades to select lots. Additional cash incentives and upgrades worth up to $7,000 also are available, he says.
So how do you get in on these deals? It’s as simple as starting the conversation.
At Gerstad Builders a sales staff is available on-site at each location and will sit down and discuss the options with potential buyers including modifying all plans to meet a buyers needs.
“Our specialty is to make dreams come true,” Gerstad says.
Gerstad has made upgrades such as wider hallways, larger doors and more floor space in bathrooms a more standard feature to help buyers age in place with more accessible homes.
New England Homes, developer of Acadia on the Green condominiums in downtown Downers Grove, is offering $40,000 in incentives, which can include $10,000 in upgrades, half price on an additional parking space and assessments paid for a year. The luxury condominiums include one to three bedrooms and up to 2 ½ baths in a mixed-use building in the heart of the vibrant downtown.
Weiss Development, which built River’s Edge condominiums in Vernon Hills, will pay up to $20,000 in mortgage, taxes and assessments.
Seeing is believing
Do the incentives sound too good to be true? Homebuilders say there is more flexibility in today’s market and they are working with homebuyers to make the new home a reality.
Scott Stern, president of TriGen Builders of Homewood, has been building homes for 26 years, following in his father’s footsteps. Stern is helping make homeownership affordable by offering FHA loans and allowing buyers to put in the “sweat equity” to earn a portion of their down payment.
Stern’s latest development, Markham Meadows, is offering homes at $190,000. Stern says if the buyer is willing to purchase their own materials and paint and stain the interior of the home they can put down a $2,000 down payment and earn the additional $4,600 toward the three bedroom, two bath home.
“It’s really a throwback when you think about it,” Stern says of new homeowners helping build something from the ground up.
About 99 percent of Stern’s homes are sold to first time buyers who have credit and income, but no cash, he says.
Stern says they provide guidance and a booklet spelling out details such as how much paint to purchase. Nobody paints until they are lender approved and friends and family can help. Sterns says homebuyers have had painting parties to show off their new home and get an extra hand.
“When you look at it, it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling,” Stern says adding that he believes buyers are drawn in by the incentive and wonder how it is possible.
“There’s a lot of paperwork and patience with the clients, but it allows someone to purchase who wouldn’t otherwise be able to own a home,” he says.
Stern says he believes the sweat equity also is a catalyst for people to work hard to stay in their homes because of an additional sense of pride in ownership.
At 565 West Quincy a 241-unit condominium development in the West Loop there are plenty of draws from FHA financing that can offer as little as 3.5 percent down to the Q Room, an amenity featuring two bowling lanes, a movie screening room, a putting green, pool and foosball tables, a bar area, and a fully equipped fitness center with cardio equipment and weights.
In addition to all that, anyone who purchases one of the five remaining units at 565 Quincy by Oct. 31 will receive a $5,000 gift card toward furniture at West Elm, a 10 percent discount on the furniture purchase as well as free design services.
The condominiums range from 700 to 1,058 square feet with one bedroom to one bedroom plus den options with a parking space. Prices for the condominiums range from $194,900 to $289,900.
Dean Radcliffe moved into 565 West Quincy in August after being introduced to the residences by a friend and found the furniture incentive appealing.
“I had chosen to move very lightly, with only my bicycle, musical instruments, clothes and an air mattress,” Radcliffe says. He used the gift card for a sectional sofa, bookcase and rug and has plans to purchase a few more things.
“The credit was generous enough to extend the purchasing over several visits,” he says. The staff at West Elm also was helpful making choices and making the shopping experience fun, Radcliffe says.
The author of this article is: chicagofestivalofhomes.com
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