Home designer finds success despite pandemic-related challenges

NIXA, Mo.- The local housing market remains red hot, but the construction industry has only become more uncertain for builders and developers as COVID-19 continues to rattle the U.S. economy.

OzarksFirst has followed designer Maria Cass for the last year. She was laid off from her corporate job in March of 2020 and shortly after decided to build her own business at the peak of the pandemic.

“I went in in a really hard time, and I got through it. I think I did a really good job. “says Maria Cass, Owner of Intrinsic Homes.

Cass left the hospitality industry behind at the height of COVID-19, documenting her journey as she navigates through a sea of supply chain woes and an ever-fluctuating real estate market.

“Electrical supplies, light fixtures are again, not complete. They were supposed to be last week, the 7th. I reached out, and they’re pushed to December 10th.”

Cass broke ground on a lot in Nixa in December 2020, with a Scandinavian-modern home design in mind and a completion date of May 2021.

“Honestly, everything takes a little bit longer at this point in time.”

One year later, the house isn’t quite finished, still needing supplies that have been on backorder. Still, a couple from Washington state has secured their offer, and is making a big move in order to retire in the Ozarks.

“We decided it was time to be closer to her family, plus our retirement dollars will go a little further, says Darrel Nahinu.

The Nahinu’s say they’ve had their fair share of issues while trying to get their belongings moved across the country during a labor shortage.

It’s been sitting on in a warehouse for three weeks, just waiting for it to be loaded onto a truck,” says Patsy Nahinu. “I got the call today that it’s finally on it’s way.”

As for Maria Cass, a dream of reconnecting with the local builders and artisans has now become a reality.

“It’s been really fun because I felt very disconnected previously. This is my passion. This is what I’m made to do, so I can’t say anything except it was amazing. And we close on another lot tomorrow. So, I’m going to do it again!”

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