Great deal for homebuyers – $2,000 – $10,000 incentive to get your dream home
By ED FINKELSTEIN
For the ninth year, St. Louis construction unions are stepping up to make the American dream of homeownership come true for new and upgrading buyers with the renewal of the “Neighborhoods Built by Your Neighbors” program that will provide $2,000 to $10,000 in cash incentives for first-time and upgrading homebuyers.
Eight area construction unions and four area home builders are participating in the unique, nationally-recognized, jointly-organized program, pooling $1,080,000 to fund incentives for Missouri homebuyers to use at closing to add upgrades, reduce their home loan interest rates or cover closing costs.
The incentive for upgrades can be used to add a finished basement, brick front, custom flooring or anything the homebuyer wants. The specific incentive amount is based on the home’s final cost.
This unique program, originally launched in 2011, runs through February 28 and features:
• Cash incentives ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 to be used at closing for anything from closing costs, loan interest rate reduction or personal selections of premium flooring, lighting, cabinetry countertops or other upgrades.
• 100 percent union-built homes, no exceptions.
• Availability in only the Missouri communities of the four participating homebuilders.
• First come, first served until the funds are exhausted.
• A commitment by participating homebuilders that they will ensure all work on all their homes is 100 percent union for a full year. In the past a participating builder, on rare occasion, had used a non-union subcontractor after the incentive program had ended.
Participating unions include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 in conjunction with the Electrical Connection, SMART Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562, Cement Masons Local 527, the Eastern Missouri Laborers District Council, Painters District Council 58, Operating Engineers Local 513 and the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council.
The homebuilders participating in the program are Fischer & Frichtel, McBride & Son Homes, McKelvey Homes and Payne Family Homes. The homebuilders have committed an additional $108,000 to market the program, over and above their normal marketing dollars.
‘EXTRA VALUE’ FOR HOMEOWNERS
“This program has always been about the homeowners. It gives them a guaranteed union workforce which brings excellence and professionalism to every home built. By our members funding the program, they are making sure our communities are built with higher standards. This program has been just what our neighborhoods needed,” said John O’Mara, business manager of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562.
“This is a great opportunity for consumers thinking about purchasing their first home or for existing homeowners looking to upgrade,” said Ray Reasons, president/business manager of Sheet Metal Workers (SMART) Local 36. “This program provides substantial extra value for their purchasing dollar. We’re excited to be a part of this unified union effort.”
‘UNION-BUILT, QUALITY BUILT HOMES’
Frank Jacobs, business manager of IBEW Local 1, said the program is a win-win for union members, union contractors and consumers.
“It’s part of our union’s ongoing efforts, in conjunction with our great contractors working through our Electrical Connection, to not only create work for our members but also support excellent union employers, while providing a solid deal for consumers,” Jacobs said. “No one else in the U.S. does this.”
“Union-built homes are quality built homes,” said Brandon Flinn, business manager Eastern Missouri Laborers District Council and Laborers Local 42, “so the homebuyers are getting a solid product for what is one of their largest life-time purchases. That’s important to the consumers we serve.”
“This is important to all union tradespeople because it creates more jobs and that means ongoing paychecks for the family,” said Al Bond, executive secretary treasurer of the St. Louis- Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council.
Bond noted: “Based on an average incentive of $5,000, estimates are that the program will build 220 additional homes, which will provide 329,000 manhours of work for all trades. That’s the equivalent of 175 full-time union jobs for a full year.”
Gregg Smith, business manager of Painters District Council 58 business manager, said since the program’s inception eight years ago, it has created an estimated 3.6 million man-hours of work for union members. Adding this year’s potential, total man-hours could top nearly four million.
“This is a classic example of how our unions’ work together to not only benefit our members, our prime responsibility, but the greater community and our region’s overall economy,” added Kurt Dierkes, business manager, Cement Masons Local 527. “It’s a ‘win-win’ for everyone.”
“This is one of the most unique construction programs in the country, if not the only one of its kind,” said Tim Sappington, president-business manager of Operating Engineers Local 513. “It’s a tribute to the attitude and cooperative spirit between our unions and our contractors.”
TESTAMENT TO HOMEBUILDERS, UNIONS
John F. Eilermann Jr., chairman and CEO, McBride Homes, said “This program is a testament to the relationship between St. Louis’ leading home builders and its union partners.
“And most importantly,” Eilermann added, “It shows that working together is the best way to stimulate our local economy and get experienced, talented trades men and women back to work doing what they do best, building quality homes and fulfilling our program’s theme: ‘Working Together to Keep St. Louis Working.’”
CASH INCENTIVE IN ADDITION TO BUILDERS’ BEST DEAL
“This is real cash for use at closing and it’s in addition to St. Louis Union Homebuilding Partnership builder’s best deal,” stated Jim Brennan, president, McKelvey Homes. “It’s really an amazing deal for buyers.”
“Our local unions are truly putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to keeping people working,” said Ken Kruse, president, Payne Family Homes. “They have committed over $1 million for use at closing to home buyers. That really says a lot.”
John Fischer, Fischer & Frichtel Homes concluded, “This program is about neighbors coming together to make a difference. That fact is when Union trades people are working, they are buying other goods and services and the economy grows.”
FIND OUT MORE
Go to stlunionhomebuilders.com.