Waverly Homes is a relatively new developer, but already making a big splash in Clark County. The family owned company was founded by Bob and Liza Rondeau in 2008, and since has dotted the county with fresh homes, new designs and an energy forward ethos.
Hidden Glen, a multi-phase subdivision in Hazel Dell, was completed last spring. In phase two of Hidden Glen, Waverly embraced new energy codes by plunging headlong into home building that prioritized performance. Each home built since has high energy ratings, said Leslie Simpson, the Rondeaus’ daughter and Waverly sales representative.
Homes by Waverly offer slab on grade foundations, which mitigate heat and cooling loss, and keep crawl space air out of the living areas. They also use triple-pane windows and open cell spray foam insulation, eliminating the need for attic venting.
“Our homes’ energy efficiency scores are awesome,” said Simpson. “We get a positive response from buyers.”
Waverly is currently developing Heritage Country Estates in La Center, featuring farmhouse-style homes with big front porches and a unique interior selection. Heritage Country Estates home plans range from 2,024 to 2,964 square feet and lot sizes averaging 6,000 square feet. Pricing starts in the $450,000s. According to Waverly Homes’ website, another community, Sunnyside Park, will be available late 2020 in central Vancouver, as well as two semi-custom communities, one in Washougal with 16 lots and one in Camas with 11 lots.
Magnolia Heights, a Waverly Homes site that has been in development for five years, was recently chosen to be this year’s NW Natural Parade of Homes site. The site broke ground in Washougal on Wednesday, Feb. 5, with confirmed Parade of Homes builders Affinity Homes, Doriot Construction, Waverly Homes and Marnella Homes. The site is a community featuring 35 homes within the gated loops, in addition to three oversized lots outside the loops. Home prices are projected to range from under a million to $1.3 million in price with square footages in the 2,500 to almost 4,000 range.
Simpson said Waverly wasn’t specifically looking to develop in East County, but that the opportunity was right. Her family is from Camas, and while the site is in Washougal, the school district is Camas, which is perennially important to buyers. In fact, Waverly Homes purchased the site from the Camas School District, according to Simpson, when they decided against building an elementary school on it.
Simpson’s husband Brett Simpson identified the project five years ago, she said. “His vision was for it to feel like an older neighborhood,” reminiscent of his childhood neighborhood in the Seattle area. The development will likely have about six homes on the Parade, which will showcase diverse styles and floor plans, as well as landscaping and interior designs.
Jim Beriault of RocketGlow Marketing works with the NW Natural Parade of Homes every year, and prior, he worked with NW Natural Street of Dreams in Portland. He said gone are the days that showcase homes for these developments can be built on spec. He said that before 2008, almost all of the Portland Street of Dreams homes were built on spec, and now none of them are.
“Post great recession, very few builders are willing to take that risk,” he said. “They have to have a client coming in.” But traffic and interest continues to be up at such events.
“Even in the internet age of Pinterest,” Beriault said viewers want to see outdoor living and interior design components for themselves. He said viewers come to the Parade of Homes, “to find a builder, to see what they can do with their own home. Remodeling is a huge reason, to get kitchen ideas and bath ideas.” He said local remodelers see a spike in interest during Parade of Homes season, even though new builds are featured. “There’s an enormous economic impact that comes out of the show,” he said.
Building Industry Association of Clark County Events Director Danielle Killian noted that, “It’s the first time we’ve been in Washougal in 14 years, it’s been a really long time. The growth is heading all east and north.”
While the BIA doesn’t look for any particular geographic region from year to year, she said, “We like to spread out.” And as for Washougal, “It sounds like they are excited to have us.”
This year’s NW Natural Parade of Homes presented by DeWils and HomeStreet Bank is the 43rd year of the event. It will be open Sept. 4-20, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. While the show is closed Monday and Tuesday, it will be open on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. Tickets are $12, kids 12 and under are free. Special events will be announced as the Parade nears.
NW Natural Parade of Homes Economic Impact
- Last year’s Parade was attended by 15,000 people, drawing from Kelso/Longview, down to Salem, east to Hillsboro, and west to Troutdale.
- Over 12,000 Clark County residents are employed within the building industry.
- There are about 40 subcontractors per house, with about 4-5 employees per sub working on the house, so about +/-200 jobs are created per home.
Each home that is built in Magnolia Heights in Washougal will pay the following fees:
- Park Impact Fees SFT: $1,880
- School Impact Fees – AVG: $5,600
- Traffic Impact Fees – AVG: $3,398
- Sewer SDC’s: $7,145
- Water SDC’s: $4,418
Total: $22,441 that supports parks, schools, traffic/road improvements, and infrastructure maintenance and improvements.
Statistics courtesy of the Building Industry Association