Lumber prices causes issues for some Arkansans looking to build or remodel

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EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) 5/4/21 — Lumber prices have skyrocketed during this pandemic and it’s put a strain on lumber companies and people looking to build a home.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen it do what it’s done. It’s the first time I’ve seen the increase move as fast they have and as wide as they have,” Manufacturing Manager at Calion Lumber Company, Jose Covas said.

“We had a big supply crunch a lot of the companies were shutting down a lot of uncertainty.”

The wood at Calion Lumber is no where near full capacity.

Covas says this is due to a number of factors which have caused the price of lumber to increase nationwide and making it difficult for builders and buyers locally that want to turn a vacant lot into a home.

Erin McMurrien, owner of Empact Realty Group in El Dorado, says there are more risks now than ever.

“For a lot of people that’s just not effective right now,” she said.

She says so many people are putting projects on hold in the middle of construction and some are even having issues with appraising their homes.

“I was talking to a lender and he was telling me he had a client to bring $40,000 additional to closing because the house didn’t appraise,” she said. “It cost so much more to build the property than it would have cost. There are no comparable homes and it didn’t appraise out so that’s a huge risk for buyers.”

For anyone looking to build, McMurrien suggests waiting it out if you can.

“I recommend waiting it out until prices level back out. If you’re going to build on your own land purchase the land and when prices go back down maybe consider building then,” she said.

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