Housing Starts Up In East Texas And Nation - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

08/19/03 - Tyler

Housing Starts Up In East Texas And Nation

The number of new houses under construction in the United States reached a 17 year high in July. That's according to the Commerce Department. Here in East Texas, builders are just as happy.

Ted and Charlotte Mapes are looking over plans, getting ideas for their new home. Ted says they hope to begin construction by the end of the month. "For us the time is right just because of our age and just wanting to downsize and have a new home."

The Mapes hired Mike Brattlof to build their dream home. They're lucky they got him. He's had to turn away other clients this year because he's been so busy. "As long as people can borrow money, versus what they could borrow it for six or seven years ago, the smartest thing to do is they can have a bigger home for less money."

That's just what people have been doing. You don't have to go far to see the signs of progress. In the Ashmore Estates neighborhood in south Tyler, more than a dozen houses are in various stages of construction. Across town near Highway 110 and Shilo, several entire neighborhoods are being cleared and constructed. According to the City of Tyler, 232 new homes have been started this year. That's up over 2002 by 4 percent.

The Mapes are now part of that statistic. "You could have a thousand dollars more house per month," explains Ted. And for more and more people, that's reason enough.

Stephen Parr, reporting.

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