The City of Guymon has experienced significant industry and economic growth over the past 20 years. Employers had plenty of jobs, but Guymon lacked places for workers to live. They commuted from communities in surrounding states.
“For a town to flourish and prosper, you’ve got to have people living in that town,” said Mayor Kim Peterson. “If they’re going to work here and make their paycheck in Guymon, we’d rather them stay here.”
Despite an estimated housing shortage of 400 houses and apartments, the city’s location in Oklahoma’s panhandle made attracting developers difficult and cost-prohibitive.
Enter Lance Windel of Ardmore-based Milestone Homes. Utilizing a $2.6 million Housing Trust Fund Loan – Oklahoma’s largest ever – 30 single family homes were constructed in a brand new neighborhood. Pioneer Plains serves as a welcome from the east into the City of Guymon, along Highway 412, one of the city’s main thoroughfares.
“That financing, coupled with some help the city gave us was the catalyst that made it financially feasible for us to come build these homes,” said Lance.
To ease the cost of construction, Lance came up with an innovative plan.
“Guymon was kind of a boom town and the problem with that is you can’t find tradesmen in town to build those homes. We had to bring our tradesmen up from Ardmore and Dallas,” said Lance.
He purchased oil field trailers in which those constructing the homes could live. He rotated the framers, masonry and other specialists as the development progressed, building all 30 homes at once.
Realty House in Guymon served as the exclusive seller of all of the neighborhood’s homes.
“We took off running with it. We knew because of the shortage of new homes in Guymon that it wouldn’t be a problem to sell the houses here,” said Andy Falls, Realtor.
For homeowners Josh and Jennifer Herald, finding a four-bedroom home with an office in Guymon had been difficult.
“The housing in Guymon is rather expensive. We looked at several homes and everything needed upgrades,” said Josh. “By the time you factor that in, there was no way to beat the price of buying a new home.”
Other cities could certainly replicate a similar subdivision. In fact, Lance has been approached to do something similar in other locations.
“I’ve had three other cities contact me and say ‘We want you to do here what you did in Guymon,'” said Lance.