Housing in the Branson Area I would consider as good. If your question might be "is it available, affordable, convenient and quality"? To this question I would say it is all except the quality. You are getting some information here you will not find anywhere else from this area so take note.
We bought a Spec. home (one the a builder constructed and then marketed
it) and I consider myself as a good builder as I have built all of my
buildings on the Ranch up North. My son in law is a building
contractor and my nieces husband is a journeyman carpenter and my son
is a heating/AC journeyman and we were all together here on that first
Christmas and we really looked this house over. I would consider it at
best poor construction. Now we all may be a little partial because we
come from the tundra.
The insulation was so poorly installed that the wind blows right through the house and every plug in and switch cover becomes a wind tunnel and we have had to reline the doors with weatherstrips and install a storm door to keep it from howling. The walls are so crooked that the doors open by themselves and when in the closed position they may be and inch from the floor but dragging before they are fully opened. The floors are so crooked my desk chair, I am now sitting in, turns around and faces the door every time I get off it. I don't think the contractor or his helpers had any experience and had never used a square or level.
Down here in our county (Stone) you don't have to have building permits for anything other that the septic system. I would think Taney county where Branson is may be a little more strict as there are always at least a thousand condo's, timeshares or homes being built at any one time. He even tried to skimp on the size of the septic tank but when the inspector saw he had 5 bedrooms he made him install a second tank. These folks can go to city hall and buy a contractor license over the counter for about $35 and they are in business. There are no building codes and even the inexperienced builder did his own electrical and I had trouble with that starting on the first day in a new house. My case is not an isolated case as I have talked to many other folks with the same stories. Obviously there are no Unions that see that things are done according to an exceptable code and these so called carpenters would not even make laborers in most states.
With that said I would say if you have a house built and you have it built to good specifications that would pass a code in any state that requires them, like Arkansas, and have a qualified inspector on site during construction you would have a great house. I talked to a contractor at the Branson Home Show the other day and he said he went to Arkansas to get a license because he wanted his customers to know he believed in doing quality work. I would not buy any building here unless I had at least two building inspectors check it over and have all no-no's repaired at the owners expense however I had this house inspected and the only thing he marked was the water heater pop off pipe was missing and the door latches didn't line up with the latch plates. Maybe you want to import one of those also, a good inspector I mean.
We came from a cold climate and we think these buildings are poorly insulated without vapor barriers and often without house wrap and the windows are not the best as we feel draft around these all the time when it is windy. Energy is very expensive nowadays and you want a building the is quality built to be as energy efficient as possible. Electricity is a bargain here however and if your house is efficient it will be inexpensive to maintain.
Housing here is very economical considering the quality. A million dollar home in California would cost about half here. A million dollar home in Minnesota would cost you about $600,000 here and the same house in Chicago about 1.5 million. New York who knows.
So far I have been up on my soap box talking about buying a home here. It is much easier to buy than rent as only small homes and mobile/modular homes are available here for rent. You may find someone that has had to vacate his for economical reasons and couldn't sell it so now they might consider renting it out until things get better. A realter stopped us the other day and asked if we knew if our neighbors 5 bedroom was for rent again but we had to tell her the owner was now living in it by himself. She said larger homes were tough to find as rentals. The older rental properties are very inefficient also. There are lots and lots of homes and condo's for sale and more being built every day. I think they could quit building and still have enough housing here to last for about 10 years. If you are thinking about coming to live in Branson I would not hesitate but rather get here now while there are a lot of sellers that have to move their homes and would listen to low ball offers. I know because my Bio doesn't reflect it but I sold real estate also for awhile.
I believe because homes on the east and west coast have risen to unreasonable high prices many folks especially older folks are moving into the Midwest and the Branson area to take advantage of the bargains here. Gas and food are about the same or a little lower and electricity being a bargain with all the water power here most folks can even find some kind of a job and save a lot of money compared to living on the east or west coast. I think with lots of job opportunities for seniors here and the home values this area is not slowing down as much as most areas and lots of folks are coming to Branson Missouri to enjoy the good bargains and great Entertainment and Recreation. I think if you don't want to worry about maintenance a condo would be good. Personally I am used to looking from hither to yan and seeing not another person or house and hearing anything but nature if you get my drift..
You can buy some pretty nice log homes or log cabins here some even on the golf course and they are at a good price and quite efficient. With the economic slowdown the entertainment business has felt the crunch and there are a lot of jobs lost here and many closed businesses. It will probably take years to build it back up again to where it was. Check the seasonable weather on our environment page but today Mar.10 it is actually hot and muggy and 84 degrees and we are expecting rain but that is better that at our Ranch in norther Minnesota as they started getting snow at noon and they are fore casted to get 12-14 inches. With this milder climate you spend more on A/C and less on heat so maybe it balances out.
I am going to shame myself by recommending my Realtor Mr. Rex Grady. He and his son Mr & Mrs. Shane Grady are natives here in Branson and one of the very few that are from Branson or the immediate area. Rex used to hunt wild turkeys where our house is when he was a youngster. He was here before Table Rock Lake was created. We see wild turkeys here in the yard quite often and a few deer. There are some venomous snakes and spiders but they are very few and if you are watchful they are no bother. I have seen one Copper Head snake about 3 feet long and they have a nasty bite. I was told by Rex that there are lots of Rattle Snakes in Missouri but not around here because of the cold lakes and that goes for Water Moccasins. We have lots of little spiders around but we have only see one or two Brown Recluse spiders. Most folks spray around there house perimeter a couple times a year to keep these dudes away. We don't have these dangerous creatures up north just Timber Wolves, Bears and Wild Cats and mosquitoes as big as humming birds.(just kidding) Back to Rex his company is called Branson Lakes Country Realty and they are very knowledgeable about real estate and the area and honest. In fact about 25% of all their revenue goes to a project they have in the Philippines. They have built a church a orphanage, home for the homeless and a school and Shane goes over to overlook the work a couple times each month. Rex would never have to work another day in his life because he is about 80 years old but he wants to keep giving to the needy and to Branson.
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