Why Homebuyers are Hustling to Move

The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled new behaviors from social distancing to fewer trips to the grocery store. For many homebuyers, the pandemic has compelled something else: an intensified home search.

According to a recent survey by real estate brokerage firm Redfin, 25 percent of homebuyers say the pandemic has caused them to move and/or speed up their moving timeline.

“Somewhat counterintuitively, the coronavirus-driven recession is propping up the housing market,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather says. “Homebuyer demand is surging… largely because Americans value the home more than ever and are willing to prioritize housing.”

Fueling the Acceleration

According to industry analysts, the urgent motivation to buy is being driven by two significant factors: record-low interest rates and a swelling desire for more space.

As the Fed has adopted low interest rates to stimulate the economy, prospective homebuyers have gained added purchasing power. Current interest rates on a 30-year mortgage continue hovering near 3 percent, a historically low floor which translates into substantial monthly savings for buyers and altering their budget. Of those Redfin survey respondents accelerating their moving timeline, 55 percent said low mortgage rates were influencing their plans.

The pandemic has also forced many to re-evaluate their current living situation, a process that has led many to seek more space, both inside and out. This includes defined areas for work, such as a study or office, as well as added room for recreation, including home fitness or children’s play.

New construction, in particular, is generating heightened interest from buyers. Dwindling resale inventory, enhanced purchasing power thanks to lower rates, and the appeal of a never-before-lived-in home are bringing buyers to Gallagher and Henry, which offers large suburban lots, an assortment of distinctive home plans, and the ability for buyers to customize home plans to their needs. With new construction, buyers can also avoid bidding wars for resale properties and enjoy a thoughtful, guided experience that includes coordinating interior and exterior selections.

What Buyers Want

While the pandemic has accelerated homebuyers’ timelines, it has also changed their wish lists as well. In fact, 75 percent of respondents to the Redfin survey said the impact had altered their homebuying plans and preferences.

• 21% want a designated space to work from home
• 23% want more outdoor or recreational space
• 13% want a home with a bigger yard
• 10% want a bigger home
• 9% want a different type of home

One out of seven buyers, meanwhile, have moved their home search to a different area, many focusing in on suburban communities, which are seeing soaring interest compared to their urban counterparts.

With single-family home sites currently available in eight different communities, Gallagher and Henry offers homebuyers added space and the ability to land a home that suits their precise needs and wishes.

In the Spotlight: Radcliffe Place

As one of the largest new home developments in the 128-year history of Tinley Park, the entire Radcliffe Place community consumes 375 acres in the award-winning southwest suburban village.

Since welcoming its first residents in 1995 as part of an opening phase of 83 homes, Radcliffe Place has been one of the Southland’s most in-demand communities, so much so that buyers have even camped out for a shot at selecting their desired lot. Today, Radcliffe Place remains a top-flight community rich in integrity, spirit, and, of course, high-quality Gallagher and Henry-built homes.

Prices for new single-family homes in Radcliffe Place start at $441,500.

Find Radcliffe Place: The Radcliffe Place community is located just west of 84th Avenue and 175th Street.

Suburban comforts: The standard lot at Radcliffe Place is 85 feet wide at the building line and all of Gallagher and Henry’s brick homes include three-car garages and ENERGY STAR certification.

In high demand: As Gallagher and Henry has opened new phase of development in Radcliffe Place over the years, prospective buyers have routinely lined up outside to claim their preferred homesite. In January 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that 25 buyers lined up in advance of the sales office’s opening – some waiting more than 24 hours in wintry conditions – to grab their lot. By the close of the opening day, buyers had captured 29 of the 34 available lots.

A homeowner’s perspective: “Radcliffe Place has been a wonderful place to call home. We have great neighbors, love the walking paths around the community, and enjoy the space we have inside and outside of our home,” Rene K. says.

Radcliffe’s model home: In 2015, Gallagher and Henry debuted the Danbury model home at Radcliffe Place. The fourth new home plan in Gallagher and Henry’s vaunted Lifestyle Series, the Danbury is a two-story, 2,604-square foot home with four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The Danbury’s open-concept floor plan includes a family room-kitchen combo spanning some 600 square feet as well a mud room, study, second-floor laundry, and full basement.

Fast fact: The Radcliffe Place community was initially named Charlestowne. Longtime Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki heralded it as “the last large subdivision in Tinley Park north of Interstate 80.” Original plans called for 1,112 single-family homes, 277 condominiums, and 485 townhomes, though Gallagher and Henry later scaled down the effort to respect density concerns. Still, Radcliffe Place remained “one of the few areas left where people can move to bigger homes but still remain in the Village of Tinley Park,” Gallagher and Henry co-founder Bob Gallagher told the Chicago Tribune.

Super schools: Radcliffe Place’s school-aged residents can attend three of the Southland’s most highly regarded schools in Millennium Elementary School (grades K-5), Prairie View Middle School (grades 6-8), and Victor J. Andrew High School. Millennium and Prairie View are both rated Commendable schools by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) with students scoring well above state averages in English Language Arts, Math, and Science. Andrew High, meanwhile, earned an Exemplary rating from ISBE for performing in the top 10 percent of schools statewide.

America’s leading family-friendly village: Tinley Park earned a nod from Businessweek as America’s “Best Place to Raise Your Kids.” The publication cited Tinley Park’s high-performing schools as well as the village’s low crime rate, job growth figures, and local amenities, including various parks and a historic downtown. The National Council for Home Safety and Security also recognized Tinley Park as one of America’s 100 Safest Cities.

Interested in learning more about Radcliffe Place? The sales office is open Thursday-Sunday from 9am-5pm. To schedule a visit or to request additional information, please contact the Radcliffe Place sales office at (708) 614-0800.