Why First Time Buyers are Choosing Gallagher & Henry

For first-time homebuyers, the real estate landscape has never been more advantageous. Today’s 30-year mortgage rates sit near record lows of 3.75 percent; loosening underwriting requirements have granted greater access to capital; and an award-winning local homebuilder like Gallagher & Henry offers dozens of dynamic home plans in choice southwest suburban communities.

In villages such as Tinley Park, Woodridge, Homer Glen and Lemont, Gallagher & Henry brings a portfolio of more than 40 home plans to towns with an established record of forward-thinking leadership, providing homebuyers in-demand amenities, high-achieving schools and robust recreational options alongside expert craftsmanship that ensures a community’s architectural integrity and the homeowners’ long-term investment.

“Savvy homebuyers today are looking beyond the decorations to construction practices and village leadership because they see the bigger picture of their investment,” Gallagher & Henry principal John Gallagher said. “And when they consider those factors and look at Gallagher & Henry, they see significant advantages in a local homebuilder that’s been here 60 years and is poised to be around for another 60 years.”

For first-time homebuyers – and, in fact, so many others pursuing a home purchase in early 2015 – the real estate landscape has never been more advantageous.

As rental rates across the Chicago area rise at a double-digit clip according to many industry estimates, homeownership is becoming an increasingly attractive option for residents looking to ditch the pitfalls of leasing for their own stake of land.

“The American dream of home ownership is as alive and relevant today as it’s ever been,” said Mark Zdenovec of Stearns Homes Loans. “Owning a home not only provides people a space all their own, but also allows individuals to build equity that will pay off in the future.”

During the recession, interest rates declined amid global economic pressures and rates have since reached lows unseen in nearly 60 years. Just one decade ago, the market touted 30-year fixed mortgage rates hovering near 5.875 percent. Today, homebuyers are securing 30-year terms at a once-unthinkable rate of 3.75 percent. At those rates, Zdenovec said, today’s home buyers are paying $363 less per month on a $300,000, 30-year fixed mortgage than they would have in 2005.

“The fact of the matter is that it’s a lot cheaper to purchase in today’s marketplace than rent, and that’s even before you consider the tax write-offs,” Zdenovec said, adding that the continued easing of underwriting requirements has sparked a jump in mortgage applications and provided many potential homebuyers greater access to capital.

With those favorable financial elements on their side, numerous industry forecasts predict a strong influx of first-timer buyers heading into the market, many of them favoring the sparkle of a new home over the uncertainty of the resale market.

“With a new home, buyers can enjoy the advantages and peace of mind that comes with a new build, including a home built to today’s efficiency and safety standards as well as one constructed with entirely new products that won’t need to be replaced anytime soon,” said John Gallagher, principal of Gallagher & Henry Homes, a Countryside-based homebuilder that has been constructing new homes in the Chicago area since 1954.

With eight new home communities across Chicago’s southwest suburban landscape, Gallagher & Henry has emerged a compelling choice for prospective homebuyers, as the homebuilder combines premier southwest suburban locations with a 61-year track record of building high-quality homes.

“We build the best homes in the best communities has been our team’s longstanding mantra and we still live by that mission today,” Gallagher said.

In villages such as Tinley Park, Woodridge, Homer Glen and Lemont, Gallagher & Henry claims new home offerings in towns with an established record of forward-thinking leadership, offering homebuyers a dynamic mix of in-demand amenities, high-achieving schools, robust recreational options and convenient easy access to the greater Chicagoland community with nearby expressways and train stations.

And with more than 40 home plans to offer, led by its modern-themed Lifestyle Series, Gallagher & Henry pairs diverse home options with expert craftsmanship that ensures a community’s architectural integrity and its homeowners’ long-term investment.

“Savvy homebuyers today are looking beyond the decorations to construction practices and village leadership because they see the bigger picture of their investment,” Gallagher said. “And when they consider those factors and look at Gallagher & Henry, they see significant advantages in a local homebuilder that’s been here 60 years and is poised to be around for another 60 years.”

Though an undeniably favorable climate for prospective homebuyers, Gallagher cautioned that the rising costs of building materials and labor will eventually drive up new home prices in new home communities across Chicagoland.

“For now, many builders are absorbing these increased costs, but it can only last so long,” he said. “That’s why first-time buyers would be wise to jump into the market sooner rather than later.”

Gallagher and Henry adds Calysta home plan to expanding Lifestyle Series

Lifestyle Series home plans highlight Gallagher and Henry’s mission to honor homebuyer desires

To respond to the area’s rapidly changing real estate market, Gallagher and Henry knew it had to adopt a bold and innovative strategy. “Continuing the status quo doesn’t work in today’s marketplace,” Gallagher and Henry principal John Gallagher acknowledged. “As a homebuilder, you need to be responsive to homebuyers’ must-haves. Home plans must be relevant and competitively priced.” With that recognition in mind, Gallagher and Henry unveiled its Lifestyle Series, a collection of new single-family residences built for today’s lifestyles. First came the Amberwood ranch, an architectural gem that embraced the open floor plan and distinct living spaces today’s homebuyers so desire. In mid-2012, Gallagher and Henry then introduced the Briarcliffe, a four-bedroom, two-story option that dazzled with functional layout and convenience

With the Lifestyle Series’ first two offerings, Gallagher and Henry, whose homebuilding experiences crisscrosses six decades in the Chicago area, quickly gained a new legion of fans. “We really got to know our buyers, learn about their ‘must-haves,’ and applied that directly to our home designs so that we’re building homes for how people want to live today,” Gallagher said. Contemporary design and open layouts characterize Gallagher and Henry’s Lifestyle Series, a growing collection of single-family homes designed with the needs and desires of today’s buyers in mind. The three Lifestyle Series home plans are available in Gallagher and Henry communities in Tinley Park, Homer Glen, Lemont, Palos Park, and Woodridge. Now, Gallagher and Henry presents its latest Lifestyle Series offering: the Calysta, a two-story home covering its 3,365 square feet with expansive living spaces both shared and private.

The Calysta features an expansive eatin kitchen with breakfast island and walk-in pantry that opens into a family room covering more than 250 square feet, ideal space for those who enjoy entertaining. A formal dining room, living room, powder room, and private office complete the first floor. On the second story, a master suite covers the entire rear of the home and includes a master bathroom with double vanities, soaking tub, stand-alone shower, and oversized walk-in closet. Three additional bedrooms all feature walk-in closets and 144-180 square feet, while a 300-plus square foot laundry room adds convenience and added flexibility to accommodate hobbies or exercise equipment.

“Our homebuyers have said over and over that they want space, but they want that space to be functional and to be used in a smart way,” Gallagher said. “The Calysta is the home design that brings this all together. At more than 3,300 square feet, it’s a large home, but one that uses its space wisely to give comfort and breathing room.” The Calysta is priced in the low $400,000s and joins the Amberwood and Briarcliffe as new offerings available at six Gallagher and Henry communities: Radcliffe Place in Tinley Park; Goodings Grove and Kingston Hills in Homer Glen; Covington Knolls in Lemont; Suffield Woods in Palos Park; and Farmingdale Village in Woodridge. “We’ve long prided ourselves on the fact that we build the best homes in the best communities and the Calysta continues this tradition with a contemporary home plan at a competitive price point,” Gallagher said. Launched in late 2010, the Lifestyle Series utilizes market research from both current and prospective Gallagher and Henry homeowners to drive new home design. With homebuyer insights in hand, the Lifestyle Series hits on the most desirable elements sought by today’s homebuyers, including open floor plans, three-car garages, full basements, and mudrooms. Each new Lifestyle Series home also includes Energy Star certification as well as architectural shingle roofing, Andersen low-e wood windows, high-efficiency HVAC systems, and insulated foundations.

“Today’s real estate market is a competitive one filled with smart buyers who know what they want,” Gallagher said. “We’re working hard to please them.” Gallagher called the Amberwood the perfect kick off to the Lifestyle Series. The three bedroom, two-bathroom ranch plan, which starts in the mid $300,000s, features two distinct wings to the home – one hosting the master suite and the other holding the two additional bedrooms and one bathroom – with common living areas consuming home’s center. “The Amberwood is open, luxurious, and has the modern amenities and architectural details our homebuyers have told us they want,” Gallagher said. “It showcases the new perspective we’re bringing to home design.” After the Amberwood, the Briarcliffe wooed buyers from its blueprints alone. A two story home starting in the mid $300,000s, the Briarcliffe hosts four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms across 2,700 square feet. “The Briarcliffe answers the call for value,” Gallagher said, pointing to the home’s three car garage, luxurious master suite, and multi-functional floor plan as the primary reasons the Briarcliffe has attracted homebuyers. Now, with the Calysta in the fold as its third Lifestyle Series home, Gallagher said his family-run operation is poised to continue its positive momentum. “Buyers responded with great enthusiasm to the Amberwood and Briarcliffe and we’re optimistic the Calysta will be just as well received,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher and Henry announces builder closeout pricing for townhomes and condos

With a dwindling supply of condominiums and townhomes available across its four distinct southwest suburban communities, Gallagher and Henry recently announced builder closeout pricing on both model homes as well as homes ready for final selections. Townhomes are available at Kingston Hills in Homer Glen starting at $225,900 and Radcliffe Place in Tinley Park starting at $244,900, while condominiums at Goodings Grove in Homer Glen and Farmingdale Village in Woodridge open at $179,900 and $239,900, respectively. “These are all communities filled with many happy homeowners and we’re excited to be nearing capacity,” said Gallagher and Henry principal John Gallagher, whose family-owned company is now in its 58th year of building new homes in the Chicago area. At Kingston Hills and Radcliffe Place, Gallagher and Henry’s four two-story townhome plans range in size from 1,821 to more than 2,400 square feet, each floor plan claiming a distinctive feel sure to appease any lifestyle.

The three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom Addison, for instance, includes a first-floor master suite and loft space, while the Dalton places a premium on entertaining space with open firstlevel living characterized by a family room-kitchen combination. The Dalton’s second level also includes three bedrooms and laundry. With three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, the Beldon has a loft option to go along with a luxurious master suite punctuated by a walk-in seated shower. Finally, the Clayton is Gallagher and Henry’s lone two-bedroom townhome option, though a loft space, eat-in kitchen, and spacious master suite ensure comfort and privacy. In building its townhomes, Gallagher and Henry focused on modern layouts characterized by open floor plans. Two-car garages, full basements, and 10-by-10 brickpaved patios for outdoor living provide the townhomes the space of a single-family residence minus the maintenance needs.

“Our townhomes give space and modern conveniences alongside choice, which are all critical ingredients in today’s marketplace,” Gallagher said, noting that buyers can still select their final finishes and move in within 45 days on select townhomes at both Kingston Hills and Radcliffe Place.

The Gallagher and Henry townhomes also feature high-quality interior finishes and architectural elements included in the base price, such as granite countertops, customdesigned wooden cabinetry, volume ceilings, and style-filled master suites. “We made a concerted effort to really differentiate our townhomes from others in the marketplace with four very different floor plans and to include superior finishes and upgraded details in the starting price,” Gallagher said.

Distinctive design and high-quality construction is just as apparent at Gallagher and Henry’s condominium communities – Farmingdale Village and Goodings Grove, where fewer than 10 units remain in Homer Glen’s exclusive new condominium development.

All condominiums are corner units, an innovative architectural design that provides the residence a decidedly un-condo-like interior feel. The four-story elevator buildings feature all brick exterior construction and concrete floors, construction materials that highlight Gallagher and Henry’s focus on durability, but also heighten each unit’s energy efficiency and privacy.

At both Goodings Grove and Farmingdale Village, Gallagher and Henry offers a pair of two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium floor plans – the 1,600-square foot Alden and the 1,540-square foot Dover. Fourth-floor units, meanwhile, add a loft space into the floor plan for additional space and flexibility.

Gallagher and Henry packs its condominium homes with modern conveniences, including full-sized in-unit laundry, indoor parking, gas fireplaces, and private balconies.

“From the get go, we wanted to offer no-maintenance condominium living that didn’t look like a rectangular block,” Gallagher said. “We wanted to create condos that had dimension and some real dynamic spaces. We’re proud to say we accomplished just that with our buildings at both Goodings Grove and Farmingdale Village.”

For additional information on Gallagher and Henry and its condominium and townhome communities, please visit www.gallagherandhenry.com.

Gallagher and Henry

Reality Check: Gallagher and Henry hosts industry expert forum

Event in Homer Glen offers informational sessions on staging, lending, and more

Confused by the barrage of reports detailing real estate trends and lending guidelines? Seeking information about what it takes to sell a home in today’s market? Gallagher and Henry, one of the Chicago area’s most reputable homebuilders since 1954, looks to provide answers. On Saturday, October 8, Gallagher and Henry will host its “Lifestyle Showcase Event: An Industry Expert Forum” to help current homeowners and prospective buyers understand current marketplace realities.

The free event, hosted at the Amberwood model home at 15037 Ivy Court in Homer Glen’s Kingston Hills community, begins with refreshments, sandwiches, and snacks at 10:30 a.m. followed by an assortment of 30-minute presentations providing savvy, practical advice from local professionals in the home design, home care, and real estate fields. Gallagher and Henry principal John Gallagher says the aim is to educate, entertain, and enlighten. “There’s a lot of misinformation about the real estate market swirling about and we see the confusion and concern that creates,” Gallagher said. “By bringing these various professionals together, we hope guests gain clarity on current market conditions and better understand the marketplace, so they can accomplish what they want with respect to their housing situation.”

Lisa Vaisvila of Lombard-based Home Staging by Lisa will open the Lifestyle Showcase Event program at 11:00 a.m. A member of the Chicago chapter of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, Vaisvila will provide insights on current design trends and staging tips for selling a home. www.gallagherandhenry.com At 11:30 a.m., Jim Melka Landscaping presents on fall lawn care and plantings to maximize curb appeal, while Vince Krydynski of Orland Park’s Handyman Matters will speak at noon on readying the home for winter and easy home fixes. From 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., Kelly Ryan of RE/MAX Synergy will discuss local market success stories, market valuations, and the homeowner’s pre-sell checklist. Mark Zdenovec of Fifth Third Bank will then close the event with a 30-minute presentation on the current state of the lending industry and available financing products. Representatives with Wells Fargo and Wintrust Mortgage will also be in attendance to answer guest questions on the present lending environment. “We’re proud to be partnering with these experts, all of whom will provide strong insight into what it takes to get a home sold today and what it takes to step up into your next home,” Gallagher said. “We want to arm our guests with the realities and professional knowledge that allows them to make the best decisions for their situation.”

Many of the presenters will be offering event-only discounts and promotions to attendees. In addition, guests who attend all five sessions will be entered into a drawing at the event’s conclusion for a $100 gift certificate to Francesca’s. Guests can attend the free event by registering at www.gallagherandhenry.com. The “Lifestyle Showcase Event” gathers its name from Gallagher and Henry’s latest line of buyer friendly home plans. Featuring both ranches and two-story home plans, the Lifestyle Series represents practical home plans injected with the day’s most current homeowner desires. The Amberwood ranch, the first new home design in the series, debuted last fall. “The Lifestyle Series is driven by our desire to always have our homeowners top of mind,” Gallagher said. “We surveyed our current homeowners as well as prospective buyers to find out what they wanted in a home.

The Lifestyle Series represents that feedback.” The two-story Briarcliffe is the second home in the Lifestyle Series. Like the Amberwood, the four-bedroom, 2.5-bath Briarcliffe features the sought-after elements, including an open floor plan layout, three-car garage, and bedroom walk-in closets for maximum storage. The Briarcliffe starts at $364,200 in select Gallagher and Henry communities. Three homebuyers have already signed contracts for the Briarcliffe. It’s a sign, Gallagher said, that the Lifestyle Series is resonating with buyers. “To have three contracts on the Briarcliffe before the foundation for the first home was even poured highlights the fact that we’re offering plans resonating with today’s homebuyers,” Gallagher said. For additional information on Gallagher and Henry, its Chicago area communities, and the “Lifestyle Showcase Event,” please visit www.gallagherandhenry.com.