Archive for the ‘Home building in the Valley’ Category

So why would anyone build a new home in Spokane to sell right now during these economic times especially considering how hard the residential construction segment of the marketplace has been hit? For Elaine and I, the principal answer is that building houses the way that we build them is our preferred way to make a living. We have done it for years (since the early 90’s except our 4 years at the Rock Inn), we are good at putting together new homes and most importantly we have always been able to sell them. While the turn around in real estate seems at least a year or two or five away from now, I am fairly confident our current home will sell soon at a reasonable price. I suppose it is obvious that I believed that or else I would not have built this home in the first place. The question is why.Here’s why:

Location,location,location– If these were really goods times to be building houses, I probably would not have been able to build this house in this new neighborhood. The location is too good. During building booms, the big builders tie up all the lots in the new subdivisions located in the prime areas of the Spokane Valley. The Terrace View Park area has been a nice neighborhood since they started building just east of Pines and south of 16th during the early 50’s.
Besides being just off Evergreen with its’ direct shot to 90 and the Mall, the 22nd Lane is a non-thru street and the lots are 100′ x 100′ (that’s unheard of these days).

Original Design with the Baby Boomer in Mind– This is our trump card. If someone told us that we could only build a home for sale in Spokane Valley that was geared for the typical family, I would have to pass. The Valley is packed with homes old and new that are geared for the typical family. New homes being built by builders for sale and existing homes for sale are in direct competition. In normal times, 15% of all homes sold are new homes. Right now only 5% of all sold are new homes. That’s because of all the foreclosures and hard times forcing desperately low prices in the existing house supply.
The Della Dean has almost no competition in the existing house for sale market. In times past, only custom-built homes had no-step entries and they were very few and far between. By the same token, almost no one thought to install 3′ doors even though they cost the same and are just as easy to design into a house and install. Beyond stairs and wider doors there are several other things that most of us Baby Boomers want in a home that are hard to find in older homes. An older home may have some but probably not all of these “wish list items” that the Della Dean has:

  • Oversized garage
    5-burner gas stove
    concrete covered back patio
    bonus room
    R.V. parking and clean out
    dining room
    soaker tub and walk-in shower
    office and guest room
    95% efficient furnace

    Hands on way of designing and building– This is probably not what will sell the Della Dean but it is a unique feature of the home and the main reason we are in this business. I work with my son, Eli; my old friend,Tim; and my wife,Elaine on the DeerHart Design homes from the drawing board where I dream it up and put it on paper
    to the foundation we build to the house we frame to the finishes like woodwork, tile and paint that we put into the house ourselves. I’ve seen some builders design and I’ve seen some builders do some of the work on their homes. But in all the 40 years or so that I’ve known builders, I don’t remember too many, if any, that really knew carpentry and design and how to general a house. That’s why it does not add a lot in the marketabillity of the Della Dean. There is nothing to compare this intangible to. Appraisers don’t add value if they have no comps. But I’ve always felt we put an energy into a new home that gives our home a warmth that can only be added by building the way we build. See if it comes through in Elaine’s tour.

    This new home is located at 13814 east. 22nd which is just off Evergreen Road. It is priced at $318,500.
    Call Elaine for an appoinment or more info. 868-4862
    To view past homes click here.

  •    Back before we got into the Rock Inn, we had built houses in Spokane for something like fourteen years. We did 90 % percent of it in Spokane County and so we were very familiar with the county’s building department. While we were at the Rock, the City of Spokane came into being and along with it a new building department. For years I have been hearing how tough it is to work with these guys and I’ve really been curious to see for myself if it is true or if some people in the industry are giving them a bad rap because they don’t like change or any number of reasons people give unwarranted bad wraps.

       In the last couple of years we have been general contractors on 3 custom homes but they were all in the County and everything went smoothly. Now we are getting ready to build a spec home at 13716 e. 22nd and that falls smack dab in the middle of the Valley and so I get to see what this fuss is all about.

         I draw my own plans and have never had one problem getting them approved for a permit. But it was a different story with the Valley this time. I get a call from a guy named Tom in the building department and he has a lot of questions and issues with my plans and he asks me to come in and talk to him. Well, I was quite busy and didn’t see why I should have to take the time when I never had to with the County but I knew I had better be cool and just go along, besides the guy really sounded nice on the phone.

       Turns out the guy was nice and quite knowledgable and helpful. He explained that the Valley just wants to be very thorough in the plan review process and make sure everything on the plan is up to code before they issue the permit. I thought they were going a little overboard but we got everything worked out in about half an hour and I got the permit the next day. Now that I know how they do business I don’t think I’ll have much problem in the future.  

       So far I would say that they are not difficult, just different. I am not one of these builders who thinks he knows everything and I learned a few things from Tom and I appreciate that. The one thing I never liked about the County was that I never had a number or a contact in the building department that I could call and ask questions. Maybe there is a way to get little questions answered at the County but I never found it. But already with the Valley I found a guy who gave me his number and actually answers his phone himself. Building a house is a long process and I will go through a lot of inspections but I would say we are off to an encouraging start.