Condo Property in NW Sububan Chicago Tries Rent-to-Own

The Heritage of Palatine, a new condominium development in downtown Palatine, a northwestern suburb of Chicago, has started a rent-with-option-to-buy program on a handful of its remaining units.

Palatine, Ill.—The Heritage of Palatine, a new condominium development in downtown Palatine, a northwestern suburb of Chicago, has started a rent-with-option-to-buy program on a handful of its remaining units. According to the property’s developer, R. Franczak & Associates, the program encompasses the three remaining builder models at the property.

The plan helps address a difficulty that condo  are having in a lot of markets. Namely, even buyers who are in the market and otherwise qualified for a purchase might have a hard time accumulating enough for a down payment, a loan requirement that’s a good deal more iron-clad than it used to be.

The model units in the program include two two-bedroom floor plans and one two-bedroom-plus-den floor plan. Rent for the two-bedroom units is $1,850 a month and $1,950 a month for the two-bedroom-plus-den unit. All three are slightly larger than 1,500 square feet and have been professionally decorated.

If renters sign up for the rent-to-buy plan, $500 of their monthly rent will be escrowed to go toward purchasing the condominium at the end of a year’s lease. That is, $6,000—not enough to be a down payment by itself, but perhaps enough to make the difference between amassing a down payment and not doing so.

Prices for the condos start at $249,900 and include a full warranty. Each condominium includes a balcony and nine-foot ceilings, as well as stainless-steel appliances, wood floors and granite countertops, oak trim and doors or six-panel Colonist doors and trim. Indoor heated parking and storage are also included.

The condominium is one of the few residential developments to break ground in Palatine this year—an adjacent R. Franczak development includes townhouses—and one of the few in the northwestern suburbs in 2011, for that matter. All together, the Heritage of Palatine includes 48 condo units, most of which have been sold.