Washington home buyers caught in limbo because of stay-at-home order

SPOKANE, Wash. — Construction sites have been radio silent for weeks now. New siding and wood meant for new homes are all untouched, since the Governor Jay Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. This includes fixer upper homes, which means buyers who were expecting to move into their homes soon, those schedules are all pushed back.

Greg Hardan, a Spokane husband and soon-to-be dad, bought a fixer upper house in Spokane County weeks ago.

“Now, we are in a limbo spot where we have a leaky roof and can’t do anything to the house until this is all over,” Hardan said.

The house would have been complete by July, if everything went as planned. Now they’re paying two mortgages and he and his wife are expecting their first child in August.

“With the wife being pregnant, we’re concerned about a newborn being in a construction zone. That’s not going to go over very well with the newborn,” Hardan said.

Not having contractors is also hurting buyers having homes built that have seen no progress lately.

“They’ve literally packed up their furniture in a moving truck, they’re ready to move. And I can’t finish the house. That’s devastating for some of those families,” said Joel White, Spokane Builders Association.

Spokane County commissioner Al French stressed Wednesday morning, we need Spokane’s housing industry back.

“There’s too many people who sold their home in December and January with an expectation that they’d be able to move into a new home in summer,” French said.

An email signed by Governor Jay Inslee’s senior advisor sent to a homeowner is giving contractors a green light to start work again. It says that if a family were to be left without housing as a result of not finishing a home, then builders can be considered essential. The governor’s office tells 4 News Now, they are requiring homeowners to sign an affidavit if they go this route.

Hardan’s family is trying to work on some of the smaller projects inside the house in the meantime to make progress. They’re just hoping they can get people working on their house and have it all finished up by the time Baby Hardin arrives this summer.