‘You in or out?’ Be quick with a yes if it’s Hostettler

Friday, April 13, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 15

There are numerous avenues available to those seeking to build a nest egg for their golden years, with some bearing more risk than others.

Many choose to follow conventional models with monies being contributed to 401Ks, Roth IRAs, SEPs or other programs with the cash filtering into various funds that have mountains of historical and empirical data. These funds are regulated and are considered safe investments as they are protected by the infallible Securities and Exchange Commission, the less popular of the SECs.

Then there is this character Bill Hostettler, a third-generation real estate person who is the founder of HND Realty and Craighead Development. A straight shooter, no- nonsense developer and master deal maker, Hostettler speaks fast and furiously interspersing technical financial terms with down-home wisdom in a dizzying manner with many of his ramblings ending in “Am I right?”

He throws in few nods from time to time for good measure, seemingly inviting discourse.

The listener should not attempt to interfere with his soliloquy, less he be interrupted with a quick “huh?” as Hostettler explains in non-layman terms the upside and downside of the subject at hand.

As Pat Donlon, a lifelong friend and ultra-successful commercial developer once joked, “When Hostettler calls, he usually throws out a sentence or two and says, ‘You in or out?’” Donlon adds that if there is the slightest hesitation prior to responding, he hears a click, and Hostettler has moved on to the next call.

Few, if any, decline the invitation. Anyone who has experienced the good fortune to have participated in any of Craighead Development’s deals would have exactly that – a good fortune. Even those who are not included in the development investment should follow HND Realty and buy in the first round of each community.

The first round is moderately priced as Hostettler tests the market. He does this because he’s usually swimming in uncharted waters when he breaks ground and glides in cautiously. As the sales mount and momentum cascades, the avalanche occurs and prices rise in each phase. He has achieved the same results in countless neighborhoods across the community.

Normandy Place is an example of the Craighead success.

Hostettler began development in 2001 when Sylvan Heights was a term that the late Hal Wilson concocted to market properties on the wrong side of the tracks – those tracks being the railroad tracks that go over 37th Avenue off Murphy Road.

That single-lane bridge formed a line of demarcation between the emerging Sylvan Park and this area that some considered more “Charlotte” than Sylvan back when Charlotte was perceived as less attractive than Murphy Road or 46th Avenue.

So, Hal Wilson fixed all of that with a wave of a pen and a few strokes of a Multiple Listing Service keyboard. Sylvan Heights was born.

Enter Craighead development and Normandy Place with a design reminiscent of the neighborhood in “The Truman Show,” the HND – Hostettler, Neuhoff and Davis – Realty team went to work.

Initially, there was some pushback from the “old nattering nabobs of negativism,” a quotation from former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, perhaps the only sentence he ever uttered worthy of mention.

Eventually, the development exploded and continues to explode today as witnessed by the recent sale at 366 Normandy Circle that was listed and marketed by Madalyn Jannasch, one of real estate’s emerging stars.

Jannasch sold the home in nine days with no help necessary from a buyer’s agent as she handled both sides of the transaction. Jannasch, who juggles a wildly successful real estate career with motherhood, listed the home for $360,000 and sold it for $355,000, closing 27 days after the contract was executed, proving that a 30-day closing is possible.

This home speaks to the longevity of the mechanicals in a residence. The owners had recently installed a new HVAC system, as well as a new water heater. With the appliance manufacturers continuing to convince the public that the kitchens must change to comply with the newest trends – whether the appliances are functioning or not – the 366 Normandy kitchen has new stainless-steel appliances.

Not to be outdone, the flooring community has joined the fray, and this home had new “waterproof cork floors,” for who would want a non-waterproof floor.

HND Realty and Hostettler’s Craighead Development originally sold the home for $241,000 in 2002, and that owner sold for $241,000 in 2012. As mentioned, the current sale is $355,000.

Hostettler gives the gift that keeps on giving in real estate. More important, and he would admit to this if administered a truth serum, is his contribution to the lives around him. He is the ultimate philanthropists, founding and contributing enormous funds to the various charities and serving as mentor to many searching to find their ways.

Richard Courtney is a licensed real estate broker with the firm of Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.