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Highlands of Weatherby: Rolling terrain,
financing incentives offered in custom home community

Reece & Nichols Realtors

Tucked behind Hawthorn Elementary on Barry Road is one of the Northland’s “secret spots:” Highlands of Weatherby, according to the marketing team. The 71-lot, new-home subdivision is just a block off Barry Road and hidden behind some of Platte County’s rolling hills.

Highlands of Weatherby is described by the marketing team as perfect for those who want or need to have close access to interstates, hospitals, shopping or the airport without having to give up a warm, secluded countryside feel.

Homes in Highlands of Weatherby start in the $400,000s. Move-in ready homes are available or prospective homebuyers can work with a builder to have a home custom built.

“Mother nature was good to us,” said Susan Silvy, project manager for the Highlands of Weatherby. “We have beautiful rolling hills, large trees and uniquely designed custom homes that back up to 23 acres of wooded common area.”

“We’ve been very pleased with the growth of this development,” said Carter Buschardt, lead Reece & Nichols agent for the Highlands of Weatherby. “Half of the subdivision is built out at this point. It’s moved very quickly, which is definitely an advantage to the homeowners. We were even able to have the grand opening of the neighborhood pool this summer. We currently have five unique spec homes available for sale and they are open from 1 to 5 p.m. daily.”

Something the Reece & Nichols team has recently instituted in the Highlands is address Web sites for all the homes for sale. Interested buyers can search by the address of the home for sale to take an online tour of the home. Homes that can be toured online are 8075Mastern.com, 8090Chariton.com, 8035Caldwell.com, 8070Chariton.com and 8090Mastern.com.

“Many of the homes currently under construction are build jobs,” Buschardt said. “We have a sophisticated customer; they definitely are not first-time buyers. Our buyers know what they want, have chosen to build a custom home and want to handpick the lot their home is going to be placed on. We are lucky because we still have many spectacular lots left.”

To address the needs of the buyer, the Highlands of Weatherby and the Reece & Nichols sales team members said they work closely with lenders so that buyers are aware of special programs that could potentially save them thousands of dollars in the home buying process.

“Everyone is watching the interest rates right now,” Silvy said. “We are working closely with Capital Federal to lock in a rate when we feel they have reached bottom for potential Highlands of Weatherby homebuyers that will be honored for the next 120 days. We are trying to offer the best value in a home using all the tools we have. If rates start to creep up, a qualified buyer will be able to receive this locked-in rate, which could save a buyer thousands over the life of the loan.”

“We are also working closely with the Highlands on our construction perm loans,” said Larry Fink, senior mortgage consultant with Capital Federal. “It’s basically an 18-month construction loan that reverts to a regular fixed rate mortgage at that same initial rate once construction is completed. This loan is taken out by the buyer and only interest is paid during the 18 months construction period. This can be a huge savings for the buyer in that the buyer only has to close once, the buyer is not passed on the construction fee that lenders charge the builder to initiate the loan and the buyer saves on not having second title and recording costs. The biggest savings comes in where a buyer can get the loan today for 6.125 percent. A builder taking out a construction loan today will be paying 8.25 percent. So the math is easy. If a buyer can afford to pay the interest payment during the construction period he could save $8,000 to $10,000 on construction costs.”

“We have a unique atmosphere here at the Highlands,” Silvy said. “With the state of the real estate market right now it is more important than ever to know who you are working with. My family has been in real estate development since 1911, our Highlands builders have a strong history in the Northland area and Capital Federal Savings is our hometown bank and your payment will never leave Cap Fed. We all work together to bring to buyers the full package: an exceptional custom home at the best rate in a strong and serenely beautiful neighborhood.”

While the sub-prime mortgage issue has caused chaos in other parts of the country, the Highlands of Weatherby seems to be benefiting from it, according to the marketing team.

“The Northland is a growth area and property values have held steady,” Fink said. “Investment-motivated buyers are seeing a fabulous opportunity in this market. Interest rates are still very, very low and could potentially go lower. The cost of building materials and land continue to increase, so waiting to build will only make a house cost more. The Northland is also a growth area so the continued rise in property values will help build equity faster.”

“This market that we are in is really an aberration,” said Alycia Alley, Reece & Nichols agent for the Highlands. “While it scares some people, the investment-savvy buyer is chomping at the bit. There are so many wonderful opportunities out there right now. We are seeing that a larger percentage of the people walking through our doors are interested in building custom as opposed to buying an already built spec home. I think this is because these buyers are people who really watch their money and investments and know that there’s not going to be a better time to build custom. Because the cost of building materials has increased, completed spec homes are also a huge value. You wouldn’t be able to build that spec home with all those amenities for that price again. The timing is right to get a great value on a long-term investment.”

The Highlands of Weatherby builders include J.D. Nelson Homes, Premier Custom Homes, Affinity Homes, Falcon Construction and Prairie Creek Builders. The builders make the most of the Highlands’ natural advantages emphasizing the character of the homes and the rolling, wooded setting, according to the marketing team.

“These homes can be customized to the tiniest detail,” said Pat Breen of Prairie Creek Builders. “The size of the lots gives a homebuyer a lot of extra options such as expanded decks and outdoor entertaining and cooking areas.”

Five spec homes are for sale at the Highlands. Lots range from $55,000 to $85,000. Homes range from $400,000 to $850,000.

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