Q&A | Builder and Realtor John Moffitt Jr. talks about the Spring Parade of HomesBy STACY DOWNS
The Kansas City Star
JOB DESCRIPTION: Homebuilder, Realtor and developer at Coldwell Banker John Moffitt & Associates, coldwellbankermoffitt.com
Q. Your father, John Moffitt Sr., was one of the original builders and developers who entered the tour in 1962. What do you remember about the first one?
A. I was 5 back then, so not a lot. But I grew up going through houses on the tour and looking at houses in the books. It was black-and-white televisions back then. One of the funny things is that air conditioning wasnt standard. It was an option. Until the early 1970s, houses came with hardwood and carpet was a luxury. Now people want houses with hardwood and its considered a luxury.
Q. What was the housing market like in 1962?
A. Then, the available houses were all or nothing. For example, a model at 71st Street and Mission Road in Prairie Village developed by Miller Nichols has two bedrooms, one bath and one-car garage. The next step up was having a dormer on the second floor with five bedrooms, two baths and a second garage. Now there are so many configurations and different lifestyles. We have more stuff than we used to.
Q. What do you think people want in a home now?
A. Energy efficiency, similar to the 1970s when gas became so expensive. Homes that contain universal design for aging in place.
Q. What are some big differences between then and now?
A. The average home price 50 years ago was $15,000. Now its $300,000. Permits were inexpensive back then, even $50. Now, to build a new house, permits cost between $10,000 and $25,000. Lot sizes are smaller now.
Q. Tell us about your home.
A. We built it 18 or 19 years ago in old Leawood. It has five bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths and a three-car garage. It has a finished basement. It has high-vaulted ceilings. Its a contemporary Prairie style.
Q. Do you collect anything?
A. I have a saltwater aquarium, a reef tank with living coral.
Q. How have you seen technology change home building in half a century?
A. Plasma televisions and home-entertainment systems are the norm. When it comes to construction, the components that go into a house are much better now than they were. Thats good for everyone.