SUNBURY, Ohio (WCMH) — The reasons vary across the board for building or buying a new home.

But moving during a pandemic is less than ideal.

But for Aaron and Jackie Veyhdt, moving from Canton to Sunbury was a necessity.

The couple has been married for 13 years and have two children, ages four and one. Aaron recently lost his job while Jackie was working part time as a nurse.

“We thought for sure this was the time we were going to move back home and be with family and live happily ever after,” said Aaron. “I got to be a stay at home dad for five months while she got to deal with the COVID patients.”

When the amount of people becoming ill with COVID-19 increased in March and April, her hours surged to full time. It was a blessing in disguise financially. During the same time, Aaron accepted an engineering position near Lexington, Ohio.

“Things are much better now,” Jackie said while laughing.

Commuting was not an option for the couple and they soon began their house search online. What they found was competition in the Columbus housing market.

“There just were not a lot of homes,” Aaron said. “We had no problem selling our home in Canton in four days . . . We knew what we wanted and if we found it, it was there and gone the next day.”

The pandemic had realtors and home builders visits scheduled to the minute. The Veydts found themselves waiting in their car to see a home while other potential buyers viewed the property.

“The real estate market right now is unreal,” Jackie said. “It was really surprising to us how quickly we sold the house and how many people are out there wanting to buy.”

After their visit, they drove by a model property for Fischer Homes and decided building would be their best option because they wouldn’t need an appointment, realtor and there would be zero competition.

“We felt like building would be the right thing to do,” said Jackie.

Home buying is heating up despite the pandemic, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 3. Seasonally adjusted purchase applications rose 5 percent to its highest level in nearly a month. The figure is up 33 percent from the same week a year earlier.

Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said that the average purchase loan size increased to $365,700 as borrowers deal with limited supply and higher home prices.

New home construction is up, according to CNBC. It reports newly built homes jumped 55 percent annually in June, and that this is the largest increase since the height of the housing boom in the early 2000s.

The builder the Veydt family went with is Fischer Homes. The company is based in Kentucky and builds in the Columbus area. Fischer’s June sales were up 138 percent compared to last June and sales for the company are up 38 percent for the year.

“We are seeing a shift of new construction taking a bigger piece of overall home sales,” said Tim McMahon, President and Chief Operating Officer for Fischer Homes. “Customers want more room and different living spaces, supply is limited, and our home designs and communities are resonating with what today’s buyers are looking for.”

The Veydts new home is being built in the North Star subdivision of Delaware County. They found that instead of needing to have money for replacement equipment for a water heater or a furnace, they could use that same reserve of cash to put into construction.

“We were going to be going into a home that was probably already 10 years old,” Jackie said. “We were going to have to keep some money in the budget to think about what happens if we need a new water heater.”

Instead, they are now getting an office space in case either of them has to work from home because of the pandemic.

“We will actually have an office in the home where I can shut the door,” said Jackie with an emphasis on shutting the door.

Ultimately, building means there are multiple benefits for their family: not having to quibble over price with an owner, worrying about painting, upgrades or what needs to be replaced, and creating the right house as opposed to picking one that happens to be available.

The hardest part of the transition, according to Jackie and Aaron, has been not visiting with family and becoming acquainted with new people.

“Our four-year-old daughter wants to make new friends,” said Jackie who then paused and looked at Aaron. “Where do you go to make new friends?”

“She doesn’t have school. She doesn’t have activities, but they are coming back,” said Aaron.

When it came to building their home, the Veydts think they got lucky.

“Where we were, there’s a lot of beautiful lots in North Star and I think they’re sold out now,” Aaron said with a chuckle.

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