Small houses = big potential

Developer appeals to buyers who love the beauty and simplicity of rural living

Published on March 29, 2014

All it takes is a little imagination and a bit of determination when it comes to making a plan come together.
Those are two of the characteristics Shane Lomond has, and with experience and the right tools, he’s making big moves in the home building industry on the southwest coast. 

At the tender age of 12, Lomond started mowing lawns, and by 14 he was submitting business proposals to the town of Port aux Basques, offering lawn mowing services. His strong business sense hasn’t left him. 

The idea of starting a construction company was born in 1992, and during many years living out West, Lomond built everything from sheds to malls to bowling alleys,  with his wife taking care of the books and day-to-day office management.

“Jeanette is the behind-the-scenes person,” said Lomond. “She plays a crucial role in both the business and family affairs.”

They brought that experience back home to Newfoundland with them in 2009, raising their young family, with Lomond steadily gaining a reputation as a developer and builder on the southwest coast.

Their company, Jest Construction, employs four seasonal workers and focuses on developing land, hauling gravel and building homes.

Lomond was able to obtain land all over the southwest coast and has big ideas for those properties.

In McDougall’s, Lomond plans to install a travel-trailer park, with six or seven acres available.

Spots will be available to be rented by the year — hookups provided — offering seasonal recreational space.

One of Lomond’s main areas of activity is the Codroy Valley, which he describes as a lifestyle, and not just as a place to live.

What he sees are the endless possibilities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, hunting and ATV trails.

“The area is attractive to everyone,” said Lomond. “I have sold a property already to people from St. John’s looking to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city.”

Lomond owns three plots of land in Coal Brook, 100 by 300 feet, right on the Grand Codroy River, which is a salmon river, with water and power already provided to the property line.

He purchased 100 acres in Doyles in an area locals refer to as “The Pit.”

The area Lomond owns and is developing will be called something a little more attractive.

“I am thinking of renaming that area to Little River Estates,” he said.

He recently received a permit to begin Phase 1 of his proposal, and one new home and one mini-home are already in place and occupied. Two more lots have been sold and those houses will go up in the spring.

Lomond plans to start with 15 homes at first.

Finding workers to build the houses is one of the bigger challenges, he said, so to alleviate that he’s gone to a bigger scale.

Lomond recently became a retail sales agent for Kent Homes, a member of the J.D. Irving Ltd. Group of companies.

As the builder, he will develop the land, install water and sewer, do the landscaping and install the foundations, and Kent Homes will be doing the actual building of the homes, which are shipped to Newfoundland upon completion.

Lomond will do all the finishing touches once the home arrives.

Kent Homes has a huge selection of blueprints that customers can choose from on their website.

“One of the really nice things about purchasing one of these homes is the warranty and turn-key pricing,” said Lomond.

He’s also planning a mini-home park for Little River Estates, a market aimed at seniors and small families starting out.

The plots will have a monthly rental fee which covers lawn maintenance and snow removal. Lomond said he’d also offer home inspections in the event that owners go on vacations and such.

Besides those perks, he said there is no tax bill, and water is included in the monthly lot rental fees.

He’s also planning a subdivision, with lots available from three-quarters of an acre to three acres in size. Lomond said he would prefer to develop the land himself, but will also look at selling plots.

The subdivision will include property available on Little Codroy River.

Jest Construction has worked with two warranty programs, one here and one out West, and Lomond said the company has never had a claim.

He loves what he does, and said as a developer, every day brings something new.

“It is so nice to see a bare piece of land turned into a home that a family enjoys,” he said.

“It’s turning their dreams into reality.”