My wife and I rented a home in a subdivision named Lehigh Station last year. Lehigh is in Aurora, right on the border with Naperville.
The subdivision was brand new, built behind a Meijer and near a shopping mall. It was probably only 50% built when I moved in.
Originally priced between $300-$350K, the homes were attractive on the outside. Brick, with many windows. Inside, the models were all very similar. But they were decorated beautifully. Stainless, granite. And they all had that new house smell.
But I was a renter. And I wasn't the only one.
Many of the homes were vacant. The subdivision always seemed empty. Few people outside. Little mingling amongst neighbors.
Where were the barbeques?
Yet the building continued. And continued.
I still watch the market activity closely at Lehigh Station, and it highlights to me the dangers of buying new construction.
There are currently 16 homes for sale on the MLS in Lehigh Station. None are under contract.
The prices range from $239,900 (a pre forclosure) all the way to $361,000.
They are still overpriced.
The builder is holding inventory. Many of the homes remain vacant. More and more renters.
And none are under contract.
There are people that bought at Lehigh that are losing their shirts. They cannot afford to sell. 100% financing and interest only loans were the choice for many of these buyers.
Short sale or forclosure will be the option for many.
It is sad. I still have friends that live there.
So when you are shopping for a home, don't fall in love with the new house smell...
And before you buy anything, call a real estate agent that you trust.