Each week, Century 21 Price Right in Lewiston has a meeting in which its real estate agents talk about any clients who are having trouble finding the type of home they need.
Every single time they gather, at least one couple is seeking a modest-sized home they could live in even if they could no longer walk without help, said Loris Profitt, a real estate agent at Century 21 Price Right.
Sometimes it’s because the husband, the wife or another family member has already experienced a medical setback. Other times, it’s healthy older couples who are downsizing from the home where they raised their children.
They hope to maintain their independence, save money and delay entering a nursing home by living somewhere without stairs, where the doors are wide enough for wheelchairs.
“Somebody is looking for something like (that) every single week,” Profitt said. “I can tell you, if they’re priced right, (residences in) that development of condos near North 40 (Outfitters in Lewiston) will sell in hours, not days. They’re usually presold before they hit the market. Someone has spoken for them; they’re that in demand.”
That need was the inspiration behind Lindsay Creek Estates, a development she and her husband, Shann Profitt, are constructing in the Lewiston Orchards.
The 45 townhouses each will have two residences and be constructed on a single level, meeting accessibility requirements for the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Profitts have persisted in their plans despite opposition from some neighbors, including a petition for judicial review filed last week in 2nd District Court seeking mediation.
The development is their latest joint project in careers that have spanned more than 30 years. They were married shortly after she turned 18 years old and joke that they raised each other. Part of their success as professionals and as a couple, they said, is their commitment to each other, their willingness to work hard and to learn from their mistakes.
Business Profile talked with them about their housing development, the housing market, previous ventures and his part-time job at First Church of God in Clarkston.
Business Profile: What more can you share about what you plan in the Lewiston Orchards?
Shann Profitt: (The townhouses) will be 1,500 square feet or bigger and start at about $250,000, with the price varying depending on what finishes people choose for countertops, floors and other surfaces. They will be insulated component structures, which are really energy efficient.
They will have two-car garages with two parking spaces in the driveway. Recreational vehicle parking will be offsite.
People will own the property and the house. It will have a homeowners association, so people won’t have to do yard work.
We will have a 2,500-square-foot community center, a gathering place so people can have parties or family gatherings or just get together and play cards or music.
BP: Will there be any requirements for purchasers?
Loris Profitt: At the time of purchase, one person in the household must be 55 years or older or have a disability.
BP: How different is this from what Shann normally does?
SP: I specialize in larger custom homes on bigger lots.
BP: The average price of a Lewiston home has risen from $202,727 two years ago, to $225,688 now. Loris, what can you share about why that is happening and how that is affecting buyers and sellers?
LP: We have such limited inventory of existing homes in the (Lewiston-Clarkston) Valley buyers are pushing up prices by being willing to pay more than they have in the past. Most buyers finance their homes. Because that requires an appraisal and appraisers look (backward) at values, the price increase has happened more slowly than in markets where more buyers have cash, which would not require an appraisal. We often see more than one offer that may bring a bidding war, but not the tens of thousands of dollars over that we hear about in bigger markets. Our prices are still much below those on the Palouse. We see a few buyers (from the Palouse) willing to move to the valley. Our prices (in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley) are still relatively affordable. Existing homes here cost well below what it costs to build new.
BP: You opened and operated Big City Bagels in Lewiston from 1997 to 2000. What did you learn from that?
SP: We opened right when the protein diet came out. Bagel franchises all throughout the nation all went broke. Our pastor gave us a bag of deer meat (because we didn’t have a lot of money). We had nine rental units almost all paid (before we started the business when) we were in our 30s. We sold them all and paid our debt. We started over.
What do you do with a spoiled kid who walks on his toys and breaks them up? You swat him on the hind end, take them away and say, “When you can appreciate them, I’ll give a few back.” It’s the very best lesson that happened to us.
BP: Both of you own your own businesses. How do you handle health insurance?
LP: We watched our self-purchased health insurance double in a year and then double again. We switched from traditional insurance to Medi-Share. It’s a Christian sharing company that meets the federal guidelines for insurance coverage. Fortunately we’ve been healthy and don’t take medications. We have a really high deductible.
BP: When you are not working, you spend a lot of time at First Church of God in Clarkston where Shann is the pastor. How is that going?
SP: They pay me $1,000 a month as a housing allowance, even though I would do it for free. It’s on 910 Sycamore St. — what’s known as Church Row in Clarkston. I found out there was a stage stop there, so there were a lot of prostitutes and alcohol. The city gave all of those churches land to try and clean up the neighborhood. That’s why there’s a (lot) of them in one spot. When we got (to First Church of God), they were going to close it down. There were like 18 people. Now we have 60, and there are new people. God’s doing the work, and I’m thankful for it.
Williams may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 848-2261.