March 9, 1996 in Washington Voices

New Homes Catering To First-Time Buyers

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Real estate

Home builders in the Valley are starting to turn their attention to affordable digs.

A combination of low interest rates drawing new buyers and thriftiness taking hold of everyone else is causing developers to scale down a bit. It’s becoming more profitable to build homes aimed at first- and second-time buyers.

Tony Higley, owner of Certified Appraisal, said developers he works with are calling him to view more and more starter homes.

“I think it’s one of the most active areas in the Valley,” Higley said.

Rob Higgins, executive vice president of the Spokane Association of Realtors, said it’s like “Field of Dreams” in reverse - if they come, developers will build it. Developers don’t want risk. If people want entry-level homes, that’s what gets built.

The Gardens Ridge, a soon-to-be-constructed 81-home addition to MeadowWood, is an example. Previously, there wasn’t much there aimed at first-time home buyers.

Riverwalk, a new subdivision at Mission and Barker, also offers three home styles aimed at newer buyers. They go for around $109,000. Dave Nerren, a real estate agent with Windermere Real Estate, said those homes come in three flavors - four-level, rancher and split-level.

Higley said that although the more modest dwellings don’t go for as much, Realtors like to sell them anyway. For one thing, first-time buyers don’t require the sale of their old home.

“There’s a lot less paperwork,” Higley said.

Ridgemont III homes available

Four of the 90 homes planned for the Ridgemont III subdivision have now been built, and one is already occupied.

The homes are all in the $250,000 to $400,000 range. Steve Valkenaar of Windermere Real Estate said several types of multi-level and ranch-style designs are available.

Windermere is marketing the subdivision as a secluded spot with beautiful views of the Valley. It overlooks the Ridgemont Estates and Ridgemont II subdivisions east of Sullivan near 20th Avenue.

To get to Ridgemont III, go south on Sullivan, then head east on Saltese. Drive past Conklin, turn left on Chapman and follow it up to the development.

, DataTimes


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