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Buying New Home Build in Phoenix

New homes offer innovative use of space and style, greater energy efficiency, a choice of options and upgrades, and of course everything is new and modern. Existing (resale) homes on average are less expensive, often tend to be in established neighborhoods with mature landscaping and have already settled in terms of creaks and cracks. As you can see, there are advantages to both. Most buyers consider both new and existing homes before they decide to purchase. Should you be thinking about buying a new build in the Phoenix area, here are 10 tips to save you time and money before you visit your first model home:

Get in Touch with Me
Before you visit your first model home in Phoenix, sit down with a realtor and do your homework. You’ll want to be prepared so that you can determine a comfortable price range for your new home. If you own a home, you’ll first need to know the net proceeds from its sale in order to determine how much cash you’ll have to work with. Don’t simply estimate this: carefully calculate all selling costs. You will also need to qualify your income if the sale proceeds are not enough to cover the price of your next home. Determine the size of your down payment, then let me put you in contact with a Phoenix lender to work out a monthly payment so you can determine the right home price range.

Seller’s Agents vs Buyer’s Agents
Here’s a good point to remember. The sales agent in the model home represents the builder, not you! They are known as seller’s agents. As a buyer you can work with a buyer’s agent (like me) at no cost. It’s my business to best represent your needs by being knowledgeable about the Phoenix home construction process, builder warranties, financing incentives, differences in pricing, quality and even lot selection so that you get the best value for your money.

A Builder For All Reasons
Like all tradesmen, builders vary in their fields of expertise. For example, there are builders who specialize in craftsmanship while some are known for their innovative use of space and others who offer below-market financing. Determine your own needs and preferences then shop around (or ask me) for a builder that will best address your requirements.

Get the Facts About Your Builder
Before making a final decision to build or buy in Phoenix, it is wise to check out the reputation of the builder. Get “spec sheets” on home features covering everything from floor plans to energy efficiency, including lot availability and expected delivery time of your home.

Check Out the Neighborhood
– Learn as much as you can about the community
– Discover what amenities it has to offer
– Find out from local land-use officials what else is planned or could be constructed in the area
– Review the rules for the homeowner’s association (HOA)
– Think of how you will commute to work

Choosing Options and Upgrades
The less expensive the base price of the house is, the more options and upgrades you can add without fear of overpricing it for the neighborhood. Options are items the builder installs during construction, such as adding more usable room space. These features can add the most to the resale value of your home. Upgrading means selecting a quality above “builder standard” such as carpeting, tile, kitchen fixtures and appliances. Be sure to take advantage of Phoenix builder incentives that offer free upgrades or credit off the sales price. Remember you can add items like landscaping later and sometimes for less money.

Often buyers don’t realize that there may be room for negotiating price, upgrades or options. For example, you have some scope for negotiating with the builder if they have a fully completed home but haven’t sold it yet. Also some “premium lots” are priced higher and are typically saved to be sold last. Keep in mind that usually all lots cost the builder the same, so be sure to inquire about lot pricing. Builders may offer discounts or special financing to help close a sale.

Be Sure the Contract Works in Your Favor
When spelling out the particulars of a purchase agreement with your home builder, ensure you protect yourself by having safeguards written into the contract, such as:
– placing your deposit in escrow
– detailing all your upgrades
– allowing you access to the construction site to check on progress
– 30-day advanced notice of the closing date
– explanation of what the fine print means in the warranties from the builder and manufacturer

Financing – What’s Best for You?
Some builders, especially in high-volume communities that place large numbers of loans, can offer special financing packages. However, because Phoenix home loan lending is highly competitive, you have many financing choices other than those being offered by the builder. Shop around for everything from interest rates to lender fees. Appraisals, inspections and closing fees can vary as well.

Just Because it’s New… Doesn’t Mean it’s Perfect
Yes it’s new and typically it’s built with modern materials that are durable, low maintenance, stronger, quieter and safer. But because nothing is perfect, even if it’s new, consider hiring a licensed home inspector. Then create a builder “punch list”, from what you’ve learned to address any problems before closing. Many Phoenix home buyers use a real estate agent to help them negotiate the best price and terms with the builder.

Here’s a fact that you may not be aware of. Some builders have newly-constructed homes available for immediate delivery. Usually these homes are ready to move into within 30 days. Immediate delivery homes may be more desirable because builders offer financing incentives or free options. This may be done in place of reducing prices to appeal to buyers purchasing later in the construction phase. A quick delivery home is an advantageous way to purchase a home if you need to move in soon.

Andrew Robb - RE/MAX Fine Properties, 21020 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85255