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Centex Introduces New Line Of Homes To Help Renters Become Owners

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Independence Series from Centex, one of the nation's largest homebuilders, is an innovative series of new homes completely designed to respond to the increasing demand for affordable homes by Generation Y, the largest U.S. demographic. Initially rolled out in the Greater Chicago, St. Louis and San Antonio markets, the Independence Series will be introduced in a number of the Company's other U.S. markets over the next 12 months.

"After absorbing multiple years of significant increases in rental rates, the scale has tipped for many apartment dwellers in favor of purchasing a home," said Deborah Meyer, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for PulteGroup, Inc., the parent company of Centex. "Based on today's lower home prices, coupled with mortgage rates on 30-year, fixed-rate loans that are at or near record low levels, home attainability has never been better. There is strong demand for the Independence Series: not only are renters extremely motivated to purchase a new home at a tremendous value, but they also see the financial benefit to owning a home as a long-term investment."

The Independence Series has been designed and priced to allow potential buyers the opportunity to pursue homeownership at a price comparable to renting. For instance, in San Antonio, new home prices start in the $105,000 range, suggesting an all-in monthly payment of approximately $775*, and in Greater Chicago new home prices start in the $129,000 range, suggesting an all-in monthly payment of approximately $999*.

With five floor plans, the buyer has the flexibility to select specific architectural options within their monthly mortgage payment. The one- and two-story plans range from 1,100 to 2,300 square feet with two to four bedrooms. Optional features may include: mudrooms, flex rooms, basements, and lofts.

"Our Centex brand was reaching only a small percentage of renters who could potentially buy a home today. We believe the new Independence Series will allow us to more effectively serve this first-time buyer group," said Meyer.

When designing these homes, the Company focused on delivering a high-value base home while offering consumers the options they value most. The key is giving the consumer the flexibility to make trade-offs to choose the architectural options desired within their monthly payment, such as bedroom count vs. bath count vs. garage car count.

"We invested considerable time and resources to fully understand consumer desires and sentiment of this demographic," Meyer said. "This new product isn't a modification of an older floor plan, it represents a completely new design. The plans meet a need in the marketplace for homes that compete with rent, and were developed after asking consumers what they wanted in those homes. The resulting homes meet those consumers' needs at a price they can afford."

To further assist renters on the path to homeownership, Centex's affiliate, Pulte Mortgage, recently introduced the Mortgage Financing Advisor. Each prospective homebuyer has access to a trained advisor whose purpose is to answer questions about the mortgage process, explain mortgage financing options, and assist the buyer in understanding the entire financing process. For more information about Centex's Independence Series and the Pulte Mortgage Financing Advisor, visit www.centex.com.

* Purchase prices are for homes with the lowest base purchase price offered in the community and do not include any additional costs for options, upgrades or lot premiums. Estimated monthly payments are for FHA 30-year fixed rate mortgages, for principal, interest, taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance, and do not include any applicable community association fees or other assessments.

The $775 monthly payment example is base purchase price of $105,990 and a loan amount of $104,070 including upfront mortgage insurance of 1.75% and 3.50% down payment. Note rate 3.75% / 4.87% Annual Percentage Rate as of 6/25/2012.

The $999 monthly payment example is based on a purchase price of $129,990 and a loan amount of $127,636 with upfront mortgage insurance of 1.75% and a 3.50% down payment. Note rate 3.75% / 4.83% Annual Percentage Rate as of 6/25/2012.

Financing available through Pulte Mortgage LLC. All loans subject to underwriting and loan qualification. Pulte Mortgage is an Equal Opportunity Lender. NMLS Entity Identifier #1791. For licensing information for Pulte Mortgage access https://secure.pultemortgage.com/ContactUs.aspx

About Centex

Reliably built, smartly designed and affordable, Centex homes bring the pride of homeownership to value-conscious buyers in 20 states. As the leading brand for first-time and value-conscious homebuyers looking for just the right home, Centex balances affordability with unique form and function leading to better living. Buyers put themselves in a better place by choosing Centex. For more information about Centex, visit www.centex.com.

SOURCE Centex

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