ALCOA, Tenn. (WATE) — For most people, buying a house is a big decision. Factors like interest rates, location, and affordability influence the decision. Some East Tennessee builders are trying to keep the cost of a new home within reach of many individuals and families.
The median sale price of a home in Knox County and Knoxville was between $345,000 and $350,000 at the end of September, according to several housing services. One development trying to keep prices more affordable is Clover Ridge in Alcoa, where 136 new units are in various stages of construction.
Community Sales Manager Shawn Roderiques showed us one of Turner Homes’ more affordable new projects, the Clover Ridge. The two-story attached townhomes are priced at just over $300,000, which gives new buyers an affordable option.
“We’re trying to give the affordability for people to be able to buy something that is brand new. Doing it as an attached (home) allows us to save money by building them attached. And keeping that price down,” said Shawn Roderiques.
To keep prices within range for a young family or individual, the developer is working with 84 Lumber on this project.
“They are providing the material and the labor to get it to a certain point. And by doing that we are trying to keep the costs down,” said Roderiques.
He said most buyers of new homes want modern updated fixtures and amenities, as well as plenty of bedroom space for their young families. The limited housing supply has driven up prices all around East Tennessee.
“The land cost has become very expensive for us to find land. Developing costs like lumber and other materials, they do fluctuate but they don’t seem to come down. They all seem to go up,” said Roderiques. “The labor force with all the building going on in Knoxville and the surrounding area, we don’t have enough labor out there. So all of it has driven costs up.”
What Turner Homes and some other buildings are doing to entice new buyers is cooperating with lenders.
“We’re working with a lot of local lenders in trying to give incentives with buy-down interest rates and ways to get that payment down,” said Roderiques.
As hard as it is to believe, $300,000 has become the price of a new starter home in the greater Knoxville area. Phase two at Clover Ridge is scheduled to begin around the first of the year.
With interest rates about three times as expensive as just a few years ago, the overall cost of buying a new house remains high. However, Turner Homes and several other developers, aware of the challenges that many prospective homeowners face, are being creative to supply the demand that’s out there.