Spokane Home Builders Association’s Fall Festival of Homes Returns for 18th Year

Spokane homebuilder Kyle Marsh loves to turn concepts of unique housing projects into reality.

One such project is the Marsh Family Home, a nearly 7,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, seven-bathroom property that blends modern farmhouse elements with traditional features on 10 acres in Colbert.

“I hand-drawn the floor plan of the house,” said Marsh, owner of Kyle Marsh Construction Inc. “When I started imagining it and putting it together, I thought, ‘This is going to be pretty cool.’ It’s very special for us because everything I thought I could offer my kids, I put into this thing.”

The home, valued at more than $1.8 million and built in 18 months, includes two indoor playhouses and a 1,900-square-foot garage with a radiant-heat floor system. Each room in the house has a different theme, yet seems to blend cohesively throughout the property, Marsh said.

“I’m a little excited to see people’s reaction because I think it turned out just as good, if not better, than I imagined,” Marsh said. “I’ve had a lot of help from my wife and a designer. It all came together nicely, I think.”

Marsh is one of 10 Spokane-area home builders who participate in the Spokane Home Builders Association’s annual Fall Festival of Homes.

In its 18th year, the festival will provide personal and virtual tours of 16 single-family homes this weekend and next – Friday through Sunday and September 30 – October. 2.

It is the first year that the festival has returned to a fully personal event with no pandemic restrictions, in effect in 2021. The event was virtual in 2020.

The house tours, available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., provide people with access to experts in the housing industry and a chance to see the latest trends in architecture, energy efficiency and interior design.

“We have a more modern look to this year’s show with more technology in the homes. There are some new designs that I hadn’t seen before,” said Joel White, executive officer of the Spokane Home Builders Association. “People will be amazed at some of the features and views that have been created on some of the lots.”

Participants are encouraged to start the tour at one of three host sites featuring homes from local Greenstone builders, Camden Homes Inc. and Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers, a luxury homebuilder entering the Spokane market in the spring.

From the host sites, visitors can use the SHBA Fall Festival of Homes printed guide or app for step-by-step directions to the newly built homes, some of which have been mapped using GPS coordinates as they are not yet on Google Maps.

This year, the homes will offer “something for everyone” with prairie, farmhouse, artisan and contemporary designs, White said.

The homes are spread across northern Spokane, the West Plains, South Hill, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, and Deer Park.

The properties on the tour for sale range in price from nearly $420,000 for a 1,400-square-foot home on the West Plains to nearly $1 million for a 1,970-square-foot home in Deer Park.

Prior to the pandemic, the festival drew several thousand people and builders saw about 400 to 500 guests at their homes on an average day, White said.

It has been a challenge for builders to prepare the homes this year as the construction industry faced a shortage of skilled workers, lack of buildable lots and supply chain issues. As a result, a number of homes are missing items, such as a mirror or appliance, that are on backorder, White said.

The association expects more than 3,000 attendees its opening weekend, said Jessie Madison, marketing, events and communications coordinator for the SHBA.

“It’s really a way for builders to grow their name,” she said of the festival. “They meet new people, potential clients and brokers. If they take out two or three potential customers, we see that as a success.”

Those unable to attend the festival in person will be able to watch 3D virtual tours of each home starting Friday. The virtual tours of the house include information about the builders, floor plans, smart-home technology trends and interior design.

Marsh is a newcomer to the festival this year, alongside Big Blue Homes, Grit & Timber Properties and Toll Brothers.

Marsh took part in the festival to potentially raise awareness for his business and continue a family tradition of home building, he said.

Marsh grew up in the construction industry as his father, Ken, has been an award-winning homebuilder since the early 1980s. At the age of 23, Marsh founded his construction company, which has been growing steadily for over 16 years.

“I’ve always looked up to him and the quality he’s managed to deliver, and that’s why I’m in this industry,” Marsh said of his father. “Hopefully I can take home a prize and follow in his footsteps.”

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