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LGI's new JBLM-adjacent housing developments

Live close to base for under $1,300 a month

Whidbey home in Summerwood Park. Photo courtesy LGI Homes

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Looking for a first home can be a sizeable task. How do you know a good deal when you see one? Are you secretly being ripped off? This can be especially difficult when looking at newly built housing developments, where some homebuilders have methods of deceiving the buyer, so you never quite know what you're getting. Luckily, for new homebuyers in the South Sound, particularly those in the military, LGI Homes clears up the process.

LGI Homes is a homebuilding company that has constructed housing developments in many areas of the country, from Jacksonville, Florida, to Tuscon, Arizona. Recently, it has created three new neighborhoods in the South Sound: Evergreen Pointe in West Olympia, Summerwood Park in Puyallup and Ridgeview Estates in Spanaway, right next to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. What makes these houses even more enticing is their low prices: Both Evergreen Pointe and Ridgeview Estates cost less than $1,300 per month, and Summerwood Park is slightly more than $1,500 per month. Chris Kelly, president of LGI Homes, said that both the cost and location are intentional moves to try to court first-time homeowners who work on JBLM.

LGI offers nice options and upgrades for contemporary living. Photo courtesy LGI Homes

"We knew that (it) would be a great opportunity to attract folks that are involved with the military, obviously, and it's a great place for a first-time homebuyer, from an affordability standpoint," Kelly said. "In particular, the Evergreen community is definitely targeting a first-time homebuyer."

What exactly makes a specific home ideal for a family trying to purchase its first house? Kelly believes that there are two main factors. The first is pricing. According to LGI's website, some potential customers might qualify for the company's zero percent down program, which is exactly what it sounds like: Buyers don't need to put any money down to purchase a home (minus a $1,000 deposit). Kelly said those with Veteran's Affairs benefits particularly might have a lot to gain from this deal, thanks to the VA loan program.

The second critical issue when looking at new housing developments is to know exactly what you're paying for. Unlike in some other master-planned communities, LGI Homes won't deceive potential buyers, Kelly said.

"I think the difference maker with LGI is that we really look at what are the types of features and things that people want in a home, and let's just put those in and have them included in the price, versus a lot of our competitors," Kelly said. "What a lot of our competitors do is, they'll start with a very, we'll call it down-n-dirty, home that doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, and that's the price of the home, based on that very basic home. And anything else, you'll have to spend money on it. Where the confusion comes in, is when you go to a model home, and you see a model home that is just way loaded up with features, and it's confusing for a customer, because the customer is paying for a really basic version of that dressed-up home, and ultimately, the customer is paying more than they were planning when they walked in that day and made a purchase decision."

Kelly stressed that LGI's new residences are already completely filled with every feature a buyer would see in a model home. This would include many aspects that some new housing developments in a similar price range would ignore, such as landscaped yards, matching kitchen appliances, including a refrigerator, and covered back patios.

With these three new neighborhoods extremely close to JBLM, coupled with unique financing options, affordable value, and a simple buying method, LGI's houses might be a solid option if you're looking for a newly-built first home. After all, it probably beats the barracks.

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