In 2000 the population of Pingree Grove was 124 – that's not a typo, the number was 124. By 2010 the Village had grown to house 4,532 people – a stunning 3,555% increase – and it was expected to reach 15,000 later this decade.
The bullish population projections didn't take into account the severity of the residential housing downturn in Pingree Grove and the other communities along Route 47 near the outer perimeter of Chicago's metro area. What were once envisioned as fields of dream homes are now simply fields of dreams – often very bad dreams. Drive Route 47 from Woodstock to Sugar Grove and you'll pass one giant incomplete subdivision after another.
Just over two years ago my son Jordan shot the above video on a drive through Cambridge Lakes, a sprawling development then planned for nearly 3,000 homes, condos and townhomes. The plan has apparently been scaled back to 2,146 homes.
More than 60 resale homes are currently being offered at Cambridge Lakes, in addition to the developer offerings. Nearly all of the resale offerings are short sales or foreclosures, and some of them are lingering on the market at prices 40%, 50%, 60% and more below the prices at which they were purchased just a few years ago.
Cambridge Homes, a division of D.R. Horton, is a veteran of the Chicago market and a quality builder. It has adjusted its pricing and product offerings to the current market. Resales, however, appear to provide stiff competition to the builder's offerings and definitely merit your consideration if you're looking in the Pingree Grove area.
If you're interested in the builder's offerings you'll need to thread your way back and forth on Cambridge's irritating website to the various "series" of homes that are available. There's more than immediately meets the eye.
Cambridge Lakes has a full complement of on-site amenities, including a 30,000 square foot clubhouse, 3 swimming pools and an on-site charter school. As an aside, the school ought to hire a grammarian, a proofreader and someone better versed in the English language to review its incoherent website.
Filed under: Real Estate