Column: There’s upside in the down turn

The Vancouver and Clark County residential real estate market has seen its share of down trending in the last few years. However, the upside of that would be – at least in terms of the development of raw land and new construction – that the prices of developable land and finished lots have reached a level where it is very attractive for a builder to procure land and build a home with some very nice features and amenities. This enables the homes to be priced at levels that can attract buyers and make the homes affordable to a wide-range of income levels.

Features such as hardwoods, tile and larger master bedrooms are available in homes that can start in the high $200K range and go up from there. Combine that with the overall trending of buyers wanting smaller homes with nicer amenities, and you have a new construction market that is seeing some positive activity. For those still looking for 3,000+ square-foot homes, there are a number of options out there in some very nice subdivisions.

In the last couple of years, Clark County’s real estate market has dominated by short sales and foreclosures – two elements that will be with us for a while longer. Resale homes (homes that have sold previously) may still offer some great value, but one of the advantages of new construction is the ability for buyers to tailor a home to their particular tastes and desires – if they start the process early in the construction stage.

With extremely attractive interest rates, and some very viable financing options, this is a wonderful time to buy a home. Adding to that equation the quality of features and incentives the builders are offering, and you have the makings of a stronger new construction and residential real estate market. We certainly aren’t out of the woods by any means, but with some stability in the job market and restored consumer and business confidence, we just might see some light at the end of this long tunnel.

Dennis Kelly is a designated broker with Hasson Company Realtors, working out of the company’s Vancouver office. You can reach him at 360-816-2626.

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