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Monday, July 26, 2021

We are so excited to announce phase 8 in the beautiful Patagonia subdivision will be opening THIS week!

There are lots available of all sizes to accommodate the homeowner who likes to spend a lot of quiet time tending to their yard, or the homeowner who prefers a yard that is lower maintenance.

In the summer you can cool off in one of the pools, take an evening stroll on the walking paths, watch the kids burn off some energy in our common areas, and even enjoy one of the many food trucks that visit Patagonia on most weekends during the summer!  

The Riverwood Team has been working hard drawing and designing some great floor plans with YOU in mind. Our homes are filled with amazing standard features that are sure to make you want to call Patagonia home.

If you are looking for a quiet, tight-knit community with great floor plans and family in mind, be sure to check out Patagonia in Kuna.           

Posted by riverwoodadmin at 7/27/2021 12:36:00 AM
Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Once you decide to buy a new home you get to make all kinds of fun decisions – Which neighborhood? One story or two? Quartz or granite counter tops? Painted or stained cabinets? Shiplap? The list goes on and on.

One decision that’s not as fun (and very unlikely to be inspired by HGTV binges) is who to select as a mortgage lender.

There are countless financial institutions who want to lend you money for your next home purchase, and it’s up to you to do your research. Check with friends, family, and existing bank relationships.

But as part of your research, you should also ask your home builder who their preferred lenders are.

A builder’s preferred lender is simply that – an institution that your builder prefers to work with. This is a lending team that your builder trusts to understand the intricacies of new home construction in your area. This is a group that already has a relationship with your builder, has financed other projects, and has already cleared the hurdles your loan is likely to face.

What this leads to is closing your home on time. This means you get the keys and can move in when you plan to!

For instance, if your appraisal is delayed your closing can get pushed back a week or more. A preferred lender will have experience with your builder; your city, county, and neighborhood; local appraisers; and will understand any unusual wrinkles you may face.

Also, a preferred lender often offers special incentives to home buyers. For instance, all Riverwood Homes preferred lenders offer a 1% credit to our buyers!

So do your homework, ask around, and collect quotes. But be sure you ask about a builder’s preferred lender as part of this research.

Riverwood Homes has two great lending partners we trust.

In Idaho, it’s Mark Onnen with Homebridge.

In Washington and Oregon, contact Keith Hobart with Peak Mortgage.

Posted by riverwoodadmin at 7/15/2021 4:08:00 AM

Steeplechase is a brand-new subdivision in West Kennewick. The neighborhood boasts beautiful, 1-acre lots that offer the room you have been looking for to build a shop or pool or to just have the extra space to park an RV or boat. Steeplechase offers a spacious area to live and yet is still close enough to town for shopping and employment. Steeplechase is in the Kennewick school district and elementary-aged kids attend Cottonwood Elementary, one of the highest rated elementary schools in the Tri Cities!

Posted by riverwoodadmin at 7/15/2021 1:09:00 AM
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

In Idaho, we are introducing several new standard features that will improve the efficiency of our houses. 

  1. Conditioned crawl spaces
  2. Conditioned furnace platform
  3. Tankless water heaters
  4. Efficient windows with U-factor of .27
  5. Zip System sheathing

In Washington, we are complying to a much stricter energy code, including the following new features:

  1. High efficiency electric heat pump heating system
  2. High efficiency electric heat pump water heater
  3. High efficiency windows with U-factor of 0.25
  4. Advanced air seal and drywall sealing to result in air leakage of 3.0 air changes per hour or less

These features will be included in all of our spec homes and are meant to add energy efficiency for our buyers at a reasonable cost. In certain cases, we can offset the incremental cost of these upgrades with rebate incentives. With these changes, we anticipate the HERS scores of our Idaho houses to be in the upper 50's to low 60's, while the HERS scores of our Washington houses will be in the low to mid 50's!

 

 

 

 

Posted by riverwoodadmin at 6/24/2021 3:35:00 AM
Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Welcome to our NEW SHOWROOM! 

We have gatherd all the latest trends in design, and organized them in one space. This room is a one-stop-shop for new home  selections! Our showroom offers HUNDREDS of choices and is such a great space to create your dream home. 

We can't wait for you to check it out!  

    

         

Posted by riverwoodadmin at 6/17/2021 2:39:00 AM
Friday, June 11, 2021

 

The Barcelona with Loft is our final home available in the Terra Vista Heights community of south Kennewick. In addition to our standard features, this home offers an expanded concrete back patio presenting amazing views of the city and surrounding countryside. With easy access to schools, retail, and healthcare, this home offers an ideal location in this newest part of Kennewick.  For more information, please contact us at info@riverwoodhomes.com

Posted by riverwoodadmin at 6/12/2021 5:05:00 AM
Thursday, June 10, 2021

On the May 19, 2021 New Home Insights Podcast presented by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, the host interviewed industry expert Barry Habib of MBS Highway.

In the podcast, Barry presents a different way of considering home affordability. His thoughts are summarized by the Real Estate Consulting website:

  • You might see headlines like, “Home prices have increased 10% while incomes have increased by only 4%. Therefore, this market is becoming increasingly unaffordable.” This is a flawed interpretation.
  • A 10% increase in housing costs does not require a 10% increase in income to maintain the same level of affordability. A 10% increase in a housing payment of $1,000 is $100. Assuming an existing income level of $5,000, an extra $100 needed for the increase in payment is only a 2% increase in income.

So even though median home prices have increased 10%, since hourly incomes have risen 4% and weekly incomes have risen 7%, those homes are actually more affordable than they have been in the past.

Posted by riverwoodadmin at 6/11/2021 1:02:00 AM
Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Inflation rates have recently gotten a lot of attention. A 4.2% inflation rate reported in April will definitely generate some discussion. And those discussions have raised concerns about the health of our overall economy and home affordability, specifically.

What does that 4.2% number really mean, though? If we look at the table below provided by USInflationCalulator.com, we can see the inflation rate by calendar year back to 2000. In 2017, the twelve-month inflation rate was 2.1%. In 2018 it was 1.9%. 2019 was 2.3%. and 2020 was 1.4%.

So, a 4.2% number means that we, as consumers, paid about 4.2% more for certain goods in April 2021 than we did for those same goods in May of 2020. That 4.2% number includes Food (which went up 2.4% over the past 12 months), Energy (which increased 25.1%), and essentially everything else (which are services and commodities that went up 3.0%).

Did you notice that big increase in Energy? That’s what’s driving the reported inflation number. Since inflation is essentially driven by increased economic activity, that must mean that we’re buying more energy in April 2021 than we did in May 2020.

Energy primarily means gasoline, which is almost 50% higher over the past year. That number makes sense to all of us. We weren’t travelling in May of 2020, since we were all in the middle of pandemic lockdowns. OPEC slashed production and refineries shut down. Now, in April of 2021 we can travel again, many are commuting back to the office and visiting with families, OPEC hasn’t increased production to meet demand, Texas refineries slowed production due to an historically harsh winter, over a dozen US refineries were shuttered in 2020 due to the pandemic, and now many of us have stimulus checks in our pockets which we’re using to catch up on missed vacations.

Since this inflation measurement is compared to last year, we’re really looking at an artificially low base-line number. Yes, we’d still be dealing with that Texas winter and production problems will need to be resolved before prices fall. But we’re comparing current spending to last year when we were all sitting at home watching Tiger King.

It’ll take a few more months to work through these challenges, but the Federal Reserve still expects inflation for the year to be about 2.2%. That’s slightly above the 1.8% historic average but a far cry from April’s 4.2%.

What does this mean for housing?

Firstly, housing has intrinsic value. Whether we own our home, rent, or live in an Airstream we all need a place to live. Even in the aftermath of the Great Recession people were still buying and selling houses.

Secondly, unless sustained inflation drives up mortgage lending rates, we’ll still see strong demand for homes. However, we’re all familiar with price increases for lumber, drywall, siding, copper, and steel. If we also consider the chance that mortgage interest rates could rise in the next few years, it creates pressure to buy now. We can get more for our money now versus later.

As hot as housing is right now, we’re not seeing any signs that this market will cool off anytime soon. Interest rates are still historically low. Housing demand is strong across the nation. By our own internal metrics, the Boise metro area has 22 days of housing supply on the market. The Tri-Cities area has 12 days of supply. Which means prices will continue to increase as motivated buyers compete for limited inventory.

Construction materials costs are expected to rise through the end of 2021. Inflation could be a concern for the next few months. Mortgage rates are still low. Some industry experts don’t expect housing supply to meet demand until the end of the 2020’s. Unless you’re willing to sit out of the housing market and wait for several years, it’s probably better to buy sooner rather than later.

 

Posted by riverwoodadmin at 5/26/2021 10:15:00 PM
Monday, May 17, 2021

We are very proud and honored to announce that our Olympia home earned the 1st place award for Kitchen in the recent 2021 Boise Parade of Homes. Thank you to all of our trade partners who contributed not only to the kitchen but to the entire house! We received a lot of positive feedback about the vaulted ceilings, tall windows, and open layout. We plan to bring this floor plan back in the future as one of our primary floor plans. 

Posted by riverwoodadmin at 5/18/2021 2:53:00 AM
Thursday, November 12, 2020

Since the COVID 19 pandemic, we've heard a lot about how people want a dedicated home office or a space where their kids can do school work from home. The majority of our houses already have offices or tech spaces for this purpose (Arlington, Odessa, Casabella, Siena, Messina, Florence, Madison, Hudson, Columbia, Richmond, Olympia...). Additionaly, we wanted to point out that each of our communities offers high speed internet connections up to 1 GB per second! This is very fast service and will allow everyone to work, study, and stream together without slow speeds and buffering. 

Posted by riverwoodadmin at 11/13/2020 2:39:00 AM
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