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Spring Developer Incentives Spark New-Home and Condo Sales

  • April 9, 2012

by Don DeBat

Wolf Ridge Condominiums in Northlake

Housing experts say the Rip Van Winkle-like new-home and condominium market will gradually awaken by the end of 2012 after more than five years of slumber.

So what’s the attraction for home and condo buyers to get off the fence and purchase units this spring? Developers are offering attractive incentives to help market inventory units that are ready for immediate move-in, along with affordable prices and the lowest mortgage rates since 1949.

Developer incentives range from free assessments and free real estate taxes for a year—a $10,000 value—to choosing giving buyers a choice of free hardwood floors, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances or a washer/dryer.

However, the biggest incentives in the marketplace this spring seem to revolve around cash discounts off the price as developers try to reduce the condominium inventory. Discounts of up to 51 percent—totaling tens of thousands of dollars—are being offered at one Loop condo tower, and if you pay cash you can pocket another 10 percent off.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index recently reported that Chicago-area home prices are currently at levels not seen since May of 2001, and condo prices are hovering at 2000 levels.

And, mortgage interest rates are at record lows—the lowest since 1949, experts say. In early April, average 30-year fixed-rate home loans were hovering at 3.98 percent, near the all-time record of 3.87 percent, reports Freddie Mac.

Here’s a sampling of current incentives for buyers in city and suburban developments:

  • Wolf Ridge Condominiums. For a limited time, the developer—the City of Northlake—is offering to pay both the real estate taxes and condominium assessments for the first year of ownership at the 60-unit Wolf Ridge Condominiums located at 77 N. Wolf Road just north of North Avenue (Illinois 64) in Northlake. The incentives are valued at $8,000 to $10,000.

    “This is like expense-free living for a year, since your taxes and fees—include building insurance, management, water, gas for heating, cooking, clothes drying and hot water, snow shoveling and plowing, landscaping, and window washing—are all prepaid for the first year,” said Paul Dincin, partner in Catapult Real Estate Group, the exclusive marketing agent.

    Prices on 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom residences with 1 or 2 baths and 1,080 to 1,790 square feet of living area begin at $149,900 and range upwards to $239,900. Heated indoor parking is $7,500. Monthly assessments range from $203 to $318. Call 708-492-1010, or visit

  • Belle Plaine Commons. For a limited time only, purchasers at Belle Plaine Commons, an active-adult age-55-or-better community at 2335 W. Belle Plaine in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood, can choose free hardwood floors, granite counter tops, stainless-steel appliances or a washer/dryer, said Rena Appel, Development Coordinator for North Center Associates LLC, the developer.

    Prices at the 92-unit Belle Plaine Commons, range from $169,500 to $180,000 for the three remaining one-bedroom condominiums with 848 to 900 square feet of living space.

    Three remaining one-bedroom-plus-den condominiums with 1.5 baths and 1,011 square feet of living space range from $195,000 to $199,000. All prices include one outdoor parking space. Heated garage parking is available for an additional $15,900. For an appointment, call Mary Jaeger of Baird & Warner at 773-442-6995, or visit

  • Lake Park Crescent. Aggressive pricing and a near Lake Michigan location is the attraction at the 68-unit Lake Park Crescent at 4012 S. Oakenwald Ave. in the North Kenwood-Oakland neighborhood. Once priced at $498,000, these new-construction duplex CityHomes now feature final close-out pricing starting at $229,800. One-bedroom CityHomes now start at $139,800, according to Draper and Kramer Incorporated, the developer.

    Lake Park Crescent also offers special grants valued at up to $26,500 and a low-down payment and Federal Housing Administration-insured financing to make home ownership an affordable reality. Call 773-268-0400, or visit:

  • 200 N. Dearborn. 200 North Dearborn has introduced special 2012 sale prices that reduce original pricing by as much as 51 percent. Cash buyers receive an additional 10-percent off the sales price. This special offer is good for a limited time and subject to change, so serious buyers are urged to hurry. Call 312-558-1200 or visit:


Don DeBat’s weekly real estate column is syndicated by DeBat Media Services. For more home-buying information visit his website at:

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