If You Build Them, They Will Come

By: Damon Dillman
By: Damon Dillman

Jim and Ritta Conley are building a new home in the fast-growing Cross Crest subdivision in Staunton. And they're not the only ones.

"I know they're getting ready to build one right next door to us," said Jim Conley, pointing to the grassy lot to the left of the foundation he and his wife were working on Tuesday afternoon.

"And then there's two lots down, the people are looking there," he continued. "They bought two lots together."

"When we opened the third section, which is here, most of them sold within the first year, fairly quickly," said contractor Shawn Sweeney. "A lot of other builders that I'm aware of, they have a lot of different subdivisions going on, real similar to this, and just seem to be booming at this time."

How big of a boom? Well in the last six months, the city has gotten proposals for roughly a thousand more new units, in about a dozen new subdivisions.

"We're surprised by the total, sheer numbers," said Staunton planning director Sharon Angle. "I think it's a reflection of the efforts we've made over the last ten years to improve the city."

Sweeney attributes to growth to several factors, from a good local economy and low interest rates, to the fact that consumers seem to prefer building new homes instead of moving into old ones.

The Conleys, who hope to be into their new home by Thanksgiving, say they look forward to the company.

"It'll look a little different. I expect to see about three more houses right there," said Jim Conley, pointing again to his left. "I think it's going to be a really nice neighborhood."

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