SHERIDAN — With expansions in companies like Vacutech and EMIT, and with new businesses coming in like Weatherby and possibly Ramaco, those involved in Sheridan’s housing market are poised and ready for transitions both inward and upward.
The potential of new people moving to Sheridan County and the opportunities for current residents to acquire higher-paying jobs, could mean the housing market will see shifts in sales and need.
Realtors predict individuals transitioning to higher-paying jobs will sell lower-end homes for the option of a newer, more expensive home or even building a home from the ground up.
“There’s already a demand for housing,” realtor Ryan Franklin said. “The absorption rate is pretty low; houses are coming on the market and they’re getting four or five offers in the first two, three days that they’re there. There’s just not enough inventory right now.”
Building a home from the ground up may seem daunting. Around one million people in the western region of the United States purchased existing homes monthly compared to around 150,000 people purchasing new homes monthly in 2017. Local contractors make the process of building a home from the ground up as accessible as possible.
Drew Homola, owner of First Choice Builders in Sheridan, ventured off on his own during the downturn of 2008. He started out with smaller remodel jobs and foreclosure fixes and eventually moved into building homes from scratch in 2013.
The most important element to building a home is communication, Homola said. The most successful jobs start with home owners willing to do whatever it takes to reach their goal. Difficult jobs occur when miscommunication causes glitches in the process.
Some contractors use software that allows the home owner to view the entirety of the project online. They may make decisions on building details like countertops or cupboards and simultaneously see the budget change with each decision.
The bidding process takes a toll on some clients. Homola has seen a pattern of the lowest bids ending up costing much more than the initial estimate, therefore causing unhappy customers.
“I’ve changed my bidding methods to include the nice things up front, and then if they don’t want them, take them off,” Homola said.
The process starts with the customer determining a budget for the project. Homola and his partner typically see housing budgets anywhere between $300,000 and $700,000 for the house alone. Land, building permits and utility hook-ups add to the cost. One lot within city limits comes with around $7,000 in gas, water and electrical hookups, and an average city lot costs around $50,000. County lots with more land may cost upward of $200,000. If home owners want more acreage, costs continue to grow.
After the home owner confirms a budget. Contractors design the home to the client’s specifications. Clients typically come in with a vague idea of what they want, but with the help of the internet, contractors can complete a design that works for both parties.
Following the design phase, contractors bid out the job. Homola said his company typically stays with the same subcontractors for each project to help establish solid relationships.
For homes built in a subdivision, design and details must be approved by homeowners associations. Upon final approval of the plans, what was once a home owner’s idea becomes reality.