Neighbor Gifts: A Hayden Homes Guide

It’s not a new phenomenon – neighbors have been giving and receiving holiday gifts for as long as neighborhoods have existed.

But as the trend of “neighbor gifts” continues to grow, new Hayden Homeowners will surely want to be prepared this holiday season.

Here, a quick guide from Hayden homes to help you plan your neighborly giving this year!


Get Creative

By definition, these gifts are more about the gesture than the product – they are generally thoughtful, decadent, or handcrafted, but rarely expensive.

Begin by exploring a theme, a tradition or a specialty that you may want to represent for the year. This is the time to let your imagination run wild as you think of creative ways to spread your holiday cheer. Whether you decide to make something special, share a tradition, or keep spirits light, your personal style will certainly shine through.

Set a Strategy

Next, create a list of neighbors and other recipients so that you have a count of the number of gifts you will create. It may help to also define a budget so that you know how much you have to spend per recipient, since this will also help determine where you do your shopping.

Then, begin procuring items you will need — buy in bulk where you can, make double batches as often as possible, and form an assembly line to more quickly create and package your gifts.

Plan Ahead

Be sure to deliver your gifts a few days before Christmas to avoid missing your recipients due to Holiday travel. A frozen gift left on a porch for two weeks is never ideal. A little advanced timing also allows for a quick trip to the store if your receiver feels the urge to reciprocate, without making it obvious that their gift was an afterthought.

Finally, be as gracious as possible when giving to those who may not have the means to reciprocate. Toning down your gift, attributing it to a gesture for which your gift is a Thank You, or dropping it off personally so as to communicate that no return gift is expected, are wonderful options.

Best of luck getting started! Feel free to visit our Pinterest board for even more ideas, or share yours in the comments below, and happy holidays from Hayden Homes.

Hayden Homes, First Story Donate $150,000 to Northwest Communities

Money gifted to local organizations through Community Giving Grant Program
Hayden Homes and its affiliated not-for-profit First Story will present checks around the region this week, capping $155,500 in giving for the year from First Story’s Community Giving Grant Program.

The Community Giving Grant Program is comprised of funds acquired through the Hayden Homes “charitable fee,” which collects 1/8 of 1% for every home sold and grants that money back to communty in which that home is located. Now in its 15th year of giving, grants for 2013 will reach 20 deserving organizations in 12 counties across three Northwest states.

These grants cap a banner year for the established Central Oregon company, which is poised to grow exponentially in the next half decade. With this expansion and the support of affiliated brands—including Cornerstone Lending Group, Simplicity Homes, an on-your-land homebuilder, WiseSize Homes, a kit home provider—Hayden Homes has secured its place as an industry leader for affordable housing in the Northwest.

About Hayden Homes:
Since 1989, Hayden Homes has been building award-winning homes in Northwest communities from its headquarters in Redmond, Oregon. Driven to provide the highest quality home for the lowest possible cost and thereby building wealth for all involved, Hayden Homes proudly delivers excellence in home building each and every day.

About First Story:
Since 1998, First Story, a public nonprofit, has been providing home ownership opportunities in Hayden Homes communities to deserving lower-income families. Homes are sold through a 30-year, no interest, no down payment loan. First Story has served over 10,000 families though home construction, homeownership opportunities and community giving. For more information visit:

Wine Water and Weather

The perfect blend of the above, that is the Tri-Cities. And one of those cities that sits on the north east bank where the Columbia and Yakima River meet is the city of Pasco. This growing town is conveniently located close to everything the Tri-Cities and Franklin County has to offer. Wine – over 200 vinards and wineries within an hour’s drive; Water – recreation from boating to jet skiing; and great Weather – with 300 sun filled days year round for golfing, hiking and so much more. The Sacagawea Heritage Trail, a recreational and educational trail along twenty-three miles of beautiful Columbia River shoreline, runs right through Pasco.

Hayden Homes is excited to announce the Grand Opening of our newest community in Pasco called Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill is conveniently situated near I-182 for quick access to the rest of the Tri-Cities area. Also close is a large outdoor sports complex with Gesa Stadium, home to a minor league baseball team. The Chapel Hill community is less than two miles from great public and private schools, shopping, a movie complex, and restaurants.

Chapel Hill offers signature quality homes at an exceptional value. With several well-appointed home plans available, you are certain to find one that is perfect for you. Come see for yourself during our Grand Opening Weekend – Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9, from 11am-6pm. at the model home at 6614 Aintree Drive, Pasco. There will be a BBQ lunch provided by our building partner Parr Lumber, and prizes, including the chance to win a local weekend getaway and an Apple iPad.

Directions from I-182 – exit Road 68, head South, turn West (left) on Chapel Hill Blvd, turn South (right) on Aintree Lane.

For more information contact Erin Robinson at 509-392-8876, or

Builder of the Year 2012

Real-Estate-head1Hayden Homes, founded in 1989 by Robert Watson, has been building homes and communities in Central Oregon and beyond for more than two decades. Watson’s original vision, “to provide the highest quality home at the lowest possible cost,” has since become part of the company’s mission statement — words that his son, Hayden Watson, current Hayden Homes CEO, continues to stand by.

Today, Hayden continues to take it a step further. In addition to growing Hayden Homes into the largest home builder by volume in Central Oregon, the company is also among the top 50 builders in the nation with communities in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Recently honored with the Central Oregon Builders Association’s (COBA) “Builder of the Year” award, Hayden Homes is one in a select group of honorees chosen by its peers. COBA, a nonprofit trade association with a membership that covers all of Crook, Deschutes, Harney and Jefferson counties, had twice as many nominations for the coveted award this year than in previous years.

According to COBA Executive Vice President Tim Knopp, it is not easy to win the award. A selection committee reviews all of the nominations and chooses the recipient based on a clearly defined set of criteria that includes association and membership activities, industry accomplishments and civic activities.

“It is a sought-after award, but difficult to win,” said Knopp. “You can’t win without putting in a lot of time and energy into the community and into the association. And I don’t think you are going to find a builder more involved in the community and more focused on their mission than Hayden Homes.

“They’ve been in business in Central Oregon for 20 years, and they have founded a nonprofit organization First Story) to help people get on the path to home- ownership. They live out their mission even on the nonprofit basis.”

It is this commitment to giving back to the community that Watson is most passionate about.

“… I was raised to give back to the people around me.
It was as simple as helping your neighbor.”

“My parents, Bob and Virginia Watson, were believers in people,” said Watson. “They believed that if you had the opportunity to help someone, that you should. By example, I was raised to give back to the people around me. It was as simple as helping your neighbor. First Story represents that giving spirit that my parents left for myself and Hayden Homes to continue.”


First Story, a nonprofit organization founded by Watson in 1998 and originally known as the Hayden Giving Fund, was created to provide a way for the company and its employees to give back to the community. The organization has grown to include a housing grant program that has served 41 families, 125 children and more than 100 at-risk young adults to date.

Additionally, the organization’s Community Giving Grant Program has awarded nearly a half-million dollars to support organizations dedicated to creating opportunities for low- income families, youths and persons in need in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

While First Story is governed by an independent board of directors, it is Hayden Homes, its employees, trade partners and suppliers that are the backbone of the program — raising the majority of the funds and seeing that the homes are built. Hayden Homes employees contribute generously to the organization, and the company matches 100 percent of those donations.

First Story utilizes a sustainable funding model based on corporate partnerships, principal- only payments from homeowners, an endowment, and charitable fees attached to each home that Hayden Homes builds.

“For each home we build, we rely on and engage builders like Hayden Homes, dozens of trades and suppliers, and local leaders and community members,” said Watson. “We could not do what we do without the tremendous outpouring of support we receive from the communities we build in.”

Looking back on the legacy that his father began building more than 20 years ago, Watson believes that his parents would be proud of where the company is today.

“There is no doubt that my parents had high expectations, so anything less than success would be unacceptable,” said Watson. “I think through good times and bad, you are tested in your beliefs, and I think they would be proud that our organization has kept its focus through a difficult economic time and has given back where we could.”

Despite rough economic times across the nation, Watson remains more determined than ever to continue to build the mission of Hayden Homes — providing high-quality, affordable housing  and creating communities.

“I think the American dream is alive and well,” said Watson. “That being said, our country has been through a difficult time, and the illusion of homeownership as an investment has been tested. However, the testimonials of families referencing stability, confidence, safety, peace of mind, and their home becoming a home for their entire extended family and a place to celebrate birthdays and holidays is stronger than ever.”