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13 homes you'll want to see

Organizers expect big returns from the 2018 Southern Oregon Tour of Homes.

The third-annual tour that continues Friday through Sunday is put together by the Builders Association of Southern Oregon and features 13 homes by 10 builders in Ashland, Central Point and Medford.

If you’re looking for a place to buy, you might have to get in line. The 2017 tour led to $12 million in new housing sales, and BASO Executive Officer Brad Bennington anticipates greater returns this fall.

“Those were units on the tour as well as other homes that sold as a result of contacts made during the tour,” Bennington said. “We had one builder who told us that he sold the home he was showing on the tour and had three other people who wanted to build similar homes and wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

Tour houses range in price from the mid-$300,000s to nearly $800,000. A 1,524-square-foot Lori Magel Homes residence on Hondeleau Lane in Heights of Hondeleau goes for $334,900, while a 2,772-square-foot Sam Sarich Construction Innsbruck Ridge property on Murryhill Terrace is priced at $779,000. That’s the same price as another Innsbruck Ridge stop, a 2,609-square-foot house on Fawnhills Circle by Buntin Construction.

If you don’t know your way around town, you might want to avoid depending on Google Maps.

New subdivisions tend to feature streets with new names that often aren’t on maps. In the case of a Mahar Homes’ Summerfield Cottages project in southeast Medford, Shamrock Drive has been around for a couple of decades, but the new extension east of North Phoenix Road can be hard to find — especially if one is relying on an app.

The printed version of the tour map paired with Google Maps placed 3865 and 3873 Shamrock in an inaccessible location. The online version at buildso.com, however, uses the MapQuest version and tracks much better.

Bennington said today’s home buyers benefit from the preparation and market analysis builders do in planning features, finishes and space utilization.

“Southern Oregon homebuyer tastes have changed dramatically over the past 20 years,” Bennington said. “What you’re seeing here today shows what’s important to them now: Low maintenance, high energy conservation, high-quality finishes, comfortable living, and not necessarily the larger homes we used to build years ago.”

The homes on Shamrock Drive seem destined for financially secure newcomers who have entered the empty nest stage.

“They want a piece of property that’s not large, so they don’t have a lot of expense taking care of it,” Bennington said. “If they want to do some traveling, they don’t have a lot of property to take care of.”

What was cutting-edge energy efficiency a few years ago is now baked into the system, Bennington said.

“Every single home we’re looking at is built with extremely aggressive energy conservation feature,” he said. “It takes just a fraction of what it would have cost to heat and cool a few years ago.”

Homes are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Maps are available at buildso.com and at the BASO office, 1006 E. Jackson St., Medford.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or gstiles@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GregMTBusiness or www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.

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