Over the past several months, our phones have been ringing off the hook with inquiries for City of Montgomery or Sycamore School District lots.  This might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it is certainly a substantial volume especially when compared to previous years and understanding that ½ acre lots are starting at $190,000.   What’s even more intriguing is the lack of supply of available lots and land in the area.  Since Montgomery has been fully developed for the better part of 3 decades, available properties often come with a premium attached.  Properties often only last a few days before a new homebuyer, builder or investor snatches them up.

The question is: Why Montgomery?  For residents, this is a no-brainer.  They tell us it’s the convenience, walkability and school district that make it so desirable.  Not to mention, the access to I-71/I-275 and community stability.

With all these attractive features, it’s no surprise that the good lots are going quickly.  Having been a part of over 69% of the lot sales in Sycamore Schools over the past 12 months, we know first hand the difficulty in finding good quality lots.  Despite that, we’ve been successful in finding our clients excellent properties by utilizing some unorthodox techniques not to mention a whole lot of patience.  Additionally, our comprehensive understanding of the building environment and process allow us to best access the area.  Here are just a few key concepts and facts that offer a glimpse into this specific 5.2 square mile market:

Montgomery at a Glance copyjpg

The Statistics: In 2011, there were 9 building permits issued, not including the Vintage Club Community. When considering that virtually all of these permits were homes priced 600,000 and up, 2011 was a solid year for Montgomery.  This is especially true when comparing to prior years.  In year to date 2012, there have already been 8 building permits issued (again, not including Vintage Club).   We are expecting this number to finish around 12-13 permits, 25-35% higher than the previous year.  We base this on our first hand knowledge of four to five additional new builds that have yet to obtain their building permit, but should be issued by the end of the year.

Teardowns: Since the majority of lot sales in Montgomery have come via teardown, the property price is not the only variable to keep in mind when building.  Additionally, a buyer (or builder) can spend $6,000-$10,000 to tear down the old structure to make way for building.  It has become so common place that we’ve developed specialize marketing and listing programs for homeowners that would like to sell there property as a home and lot to discover the highest market value.

The Builders: Although a variety of builders have had presences in Montgomery, there are a few that have become staples of the community.  Copper Creek Homes (www.coppercreekhome.us), Terry Inman Custom Homes, Ireland May Homes and Zicka Homes are common names you’ll see or hear about as you venture through the community.

Keep in mind that the noticeable building activity is representative of only a sliver of the interest out there.  Although new home permits will never reach an outrageous level with the lack of developable land, we’re very optimistic the level of demand will continue to stay strong as the tangibles and intangible attributes drive buyers to Montgomery.

–Mike Hines