Affordable Homes Face Slow Sales - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/15/04

Affordable Homes Face Slow Sales

D'Iberville home builder, Lonnie Fountain, is hopeful his development of a dozen new homes for "working class families" will soon take off.

You may recall the news coverage of a ribbon cutting that promoted the project in late August. Four of the houses are now finished near 20th Street and 38th Avenue.

Trouble is, so far, there are no buyers.

Workers leveled concrete driveways of the new houses just west of downtown Gulfport Monday morning

All the builder needs now is the first buyer willing to park their car there and move in.

"Hopefully people will start seeing that these are nice houses and a nice place to live," said Jordan Fountain of Fountain Homes.

The homes are nearly 1400 square feet, priced in the low 80's and aimed at working class families.

Curtis Pope is the realtor who's marketing the new homes.

"It's like having a piece of the American dream. And we're just excited about working with it. And looking forward to seeing young couples being able to get started with their own home," said Pope.

Trouble is, the first one hasn't been sold yet. And the biggest factor may be a buyer's concern that's somewhat cliché in real estate circles. Location.

WLOX News talked with two neighbors who have two very different opinions about this affordable housing development. One lady said the houses are simply too expensive for this neighborhood, an area with blighted houses and ongoing concerns about crime.

Another neighbor, who's lived in the area some 25 years, said she welcomes the positive change these new homes represent.

"Obviously, they are the nicest houses around here, as you can see when you look around. We're just trying to make the neighborhood better. Be a better place to live," Fountain explained.

"In any project of this nature there is a risk, but we feel that it's worth it. We feel this area is in transition. There's a number of new projects going in this area," said the realtor.

Potential buyers will decide if this is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

"They're ready to move into right now," Fountain said.

Both the developer and realtor also point out that the end of the year is traditionally a slow time for new homes sales. They expect the interest will increase after the first of the year.

By Steve Phillips

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