Home sales are down, credit is no longer easy and many home buyers are still on the sidelines with a “wait it out” attitude.
What does a builder or Realtor look for excitement in the market?
Try the record low cost of borrowing. Jim McWhirter said that's what has him and his fellow home builders excited about the upcoming 16th annual East Area Festival of Homes.
“Mortgage interest rates are at a 40-year historical low. This is an awesome time to buy,” said McWhirter, owner of Gemini Builders and Gemini Realtors in Choctaw.
Over two weekends, April 25-26 and May 2-3, home shoppers will be treated to open-house tours of 22 new homes in neighborhoods in Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Del City, Choctaw and Jones.
The homes, ranging in price from just under $200,000 to more than $600,000, will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. each day.
A new development in this year's Festival of Homes, Huntington, comprises 75 acres of rolling woodlands broken into 1-acre lots and featuring new homes from builder Jim Campbell, among others.
Campbell said his model home at 15335 SE 39 is an example of the design features and custom floor plans that have been most popular with buyers.
“The Dallas style, with its gabled entryways and stone facades, is always a hit out here,” he said.
Campbell's homes range in size from 1,500 to more than 3,000 square feet.
“The size that's really been selling is 1,800-2200 square feet,” said Campbell, a 32-year veteran Realtor OR BUILDER.
Campbell, 2009 chairman of the East Area Home Builders Association, said home shoppers in eastern Oklahoma County come from all age groups and backgrounds, but there is one “sweet spot” he's seen a lot lately: “Lots of buyers are in their early to mid thirties, couples who may have bought a 1,000-square foot starter house, but now they've had a kid or two and they want something bigger.