Rhonda Dossey isn't just another Realtor; she's a Realtor with a passion for building houses.
"I love the entire process, walking the slab, the fresh smell of lumber — every stage of the process is exciting to me," she said. "I just build one at a time and pour as much energy and quality into the house as if I were moving in myself."
Dossey's latest project is a Gulf Power certified EarthCents home at 4737 Amhurst Circle in Destin, which is listed at $409,000.
Boasting energy efficient features, this gem of a home isn't your typical spec house. When choosing an EarthCents home, buyers are not just getting a home that looks beautiful on the outside, they are investing in a home that offers more than quality construction, as the home actually pays the owner back with energy efficient dividends, such as lower utility bills.
This 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath home features high-efficiency equipment and construction standards, including cooling, heating and ventilation systems; a water heating system; the appliances and lighting; air-barrier and insulation system and windows.
"I believe buyers are looking for quality, energy efficient homes which will save on average 25-40 percent on their energy bills," Dossey said. "Plus, it's the right thing to do for the environment."
While she enjoys building homes, Dossey told The Log she couldn't do it without some key people. It just so happens that Dossey and designer Stephen Shoeppler, of Authentic Designs, share the same household.
"He doesn't have much choice, he is on the clock 24/7 with me," she said with a laugh.
According to Stephen, a good floor plan, utilizing every inch of space is crucial, and he prides himself on not "wasting space."
A good contractor is probably the single-most important person when working through a construction project, Dossey added. On this project, she worked with Joe Garrett, a long-time, licensed contractor.
"Joe Garrett, a 30-year veteran as a contractor, and owner of Southern Custom Homes, built my last three homes," she said. "If you are willing to use a builder the second time, I think that speaks volumes."
Throughout the construction process, Gulf Power's Pam Martin was on site and offered her expertise when it comes to building an EarthCents home.
"Gulf Power conducts regular inspections throughout the building process," Dossey said. "If it says EarthCents, you know you have a quality home, and will most likely see a higher resale value down the road."
Dossey stays busy, producing nearly $10 million in sales volume and building this spec home in 2013. She's been selling real estate since 2004 and has witnessed both the pinnacle and the plummet in the local real estate market.
Dossey said she is "encouraged" as the market continues to show signs of improvement.
"We are low on inventory right now, therefore, new construction is filling the gap," she said.
Recent statistics from the Florida Realtors Association for Okaloosa County show year over year October 2013 closed sales are up 26.7 percent, the average days on the market dropped from 62 to 46, equating to a -25.7 percent. For Dossey, the key statistic, figured in months, is the current supply of inventory.
"In October 2012 we had 7.3 months of supply on the market and in October 2013, we had 6.1," she said. "In my opinion, we are in a neutral market, but once the supply dips below 6 months we could see a sellers market."
For more information on the Gulf Power EarthCents home at 4737 Amhurst Circle, Dossey, a full-time Realtor at Coldwell Banker United, can be reached at 850-685-2936. Visit the Kelly Plantation location at 4393 Commons Drive East.
"I enjoy the business of real estate, working with buyers and sellers alike," she said. "When you love your work, it just doesn't seem like work."