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Business steady for homebuilders despite distance restrictions

Shannon McNaught * Delaware
shannon.marvel@doverpost.com
Dover Post

Construction crews are adapting to social distancing rules to keep up with the demand for new homes in Delaware.

Homebuilders like Insight Homes are seeing steady sales in the middle of the pandemic restrictions. The builder has about 20 communities throughout Sussex County and one Kent. In the midst of the pandemic, they’re in the process of building over 30 homes.

“We’ve had people signing contracts virtually and making deposits on lots. Our salespeople Facetime walking through the home and answer any questions that way,” said Insight Homes market manager Debbi Brunner. “The customers seem to be rolling with it.”

Only a limited number of tradesmen are able to work on homes at once on due to social distancing requirements, but Insight has so many homes in progress it hasn’t been an issue.

The only aspect of building in which Insight has encountered a bit of a back-up is in the permitting process, which is the responsibility of the county.

“It’s taking a little longer now,” Brunner said.

Patricia Anderson, CEO of the Sussex County Association of Realtors, said she's optimistic about the future of Delaware home sales.

“The feeling is that people who have sheltered in place in urban areas are looking to move out,” Anderson said. “They want space. They want to breathe. So we may be seeing a shift to more rural, suburban areas.”

Like builders, real estate agents are adapting to all the changes.

“Everybody has done an amazing job at re-gearing and becoming comfortable in the virtual world,” Anderson said.