My wife and I just took a spin thru the Clark County Parade of Homes for the first time ever. Thru the years, we’ve stuck to the Portland side of the river, doing the tour thru the Street of Dreams…..but as time moves on, and as you see more and more, eventually, you really need to see less and less. Or said another way, what can builders really do now days that hasn’t already been seen and done?
So while the novelty of it all wears off, I still wanted to just go take a look, see what my brothers and sisters up north were up too.
This tour of homes is simple, it’s 5 houses, certainly not to the scale/size of the Street of Dreams (there was one house over 4,000 feet though). It’s subdivision style building, modest in scale of land/lot size too…………… but despite the smaller scaling of it all, what I found are the houses seem very well built, landscaping very well done in general, very appealing interior designs too. The finish materials were in the hunt of what I’ve seen in the past Street of Dreams and perhaps even better in some ways too.
One of my ways to test build quality is cabinet drawers, I open them up and look at them and believe it or not, more than once thru the years, I’ve seen pin nailed drawer faces at the S of D……….at this years P of H, all the drawers were cam style or dove tailed (my favorite approach to cabinetry), so a nice build quality overall in the places I put my eyes to the test.
As we toured the homes, the one thing that continued to “bother” me though is why would anyone pay a good hunk of money for a house, when all around this very area (this is a problem with Clark County in general), there is oodles of open land, and oodles of $350k houses being built? It’s just a recipe of making a “huge” house purchase, only to have the ‘hood pull back your future value.
Then the real problem hit me straight on……..on the covered cool back patio of my favorite house of the five……as I’m walking back there looking right thru the trees……I see a double wide mobile home. All I can think is ugh…..now I’m not saying people who own double wides are bad, but I am saying a $700k house that can see a double wide, is not a $700k house no matter how good you build it.
So I decided to test this one step further, which is to take a cold hard factual look at the data. So back at my office, I do a search for what homes sell for around the 2015 P of H…..and it’s WAY less than what the builders are asking for on the 5 houses we toured. Now I realize that the economy is up and moving again, and the build quality of these houses are superior, but I’m just saying the gap is hard to rationalize, if rationalize is what people do when they are buying a home to nest in.
Call me fickle, but I don’t like to lose money at anything, let alone anything to do with what my actual craft is…….which is real estate. And I certainly don’t like to see the end user take a risk, that could lead to a loss of equity if it can be helped. While I am appreciative of the build quality of these homes in general, and I enjoyed seeing them, touring them, despite the rain, it was fun. But I am clearly saying this…….buyers need to go into these homes with eyes wide open.