PNW Mike Check Episode #7 Josh Lysen - Merit Homes

March 16, 2021

On this episode of PNW Mike Check, Mike Connolly interviews Josh Lysen, President of Merit Homes. For 20 years, Josh has been building luxury homes in Kirkland and understands the landscape of where housing is headed on the Eastside. We were excited to sit down with Josh to pick his brain on what is going on with the future of housing here in Kirkland and beyond. 

Josh got his start in the early 2000’s when him and his wife, Anne, bought their first rambler in Rose Hill. He befriended Greg, former owner of Merit Homes as his interest in real estate began to take off. Greg helped mentor him and taught him about building homes in the PNW and what the process entailed. Josh was young and aggressive and loved the process and started working more and more with Greg when he was offered to buy into the company. So Josh decided to take the leap, quit his day job and focus on Merit Homes full time, at the same time as becoming a father to twins! 

At this point Merit Homes was building 2-3 homes per year. Throughout the next few years the number of homes they were developing increased. Fast forward to today and the company and footprint of Merit Homes has greatly expanded. 

When asked how Josh and his team stay ahead of trends he joked, “Pinterest!”. All jokes aside, Josh explains that “it is a labor of love”. His team truly loves what they do, they take chances, and they keep striving to learn and grow. He also adds that the different types of materials that are readily available are vastly different than when he joined the business in the early 2000s. 

Given the past year, Josh explains that the way they are thinking through their home layouts is evolving. With more people working from home, entertaining from home, and overall being home more often, are all things they are taking into account. 

Looking ahead 5-10 years, Josh predicts more modular homes will be popping up in the PNW. Given the pricing, he also predicts more smaller and dense living has to happen to accommodate our local housing demands. As prices of homes and land increases Josh explains that the permitting process has to be faster to get the inventory created quicker to keep things flowing. One hopeful ordinance in Kirkland is a new cottage and ADU ordinance, to help mitigate the increasing demand and lack of supply locally. This type of ordinance has also been seen popping up in places like Seattle, Oregon, and all over the country. He is hopeful that this will help the process and ultimately help the supply, and be more affordable for those looking to get into home ownership. 

To learn more about Josh’s journey and his predictions, watch the latest podcast below! Or listen on on Apple, Spotify!

Our goal at Windermere Kirkland is to be a resource for the community. Aside from helping you buy or sell your home, our team is dedicated to adding value to our city. Every other Tuesday we will be posting a blog post highlighting different people, businesses, communities, and more throughout Kirkland. Stay tuned!