New Construction

Local builder posts 4th quarter loss

Local home builder K. Hovnanian reported its 4th quarter income, which showed a smaller loss than 1 year ago, but came in lower than analysts expected.

K Hovnanians new home in Verrado, Buckeye, elev A

“K. Hov” is still building homes across the Valley. In the far West Valley K.Hov homes in the community of Verrado start at $149,900. They’re building substantially the same homes in Glendale, at the Loop 101 freeway and Bethany Home Road, starting at $164,900.

K Hovnanians new home in Chandler, elev A

K.Hov is also building in the East Valley: in Gold Canyon starting at $119,900 ; in the south Gilbert area starting at $199,999 ; and in the south Chandler area starting at $314,900.

Interested in seeing what K. Hovnanian’s new build home floor plans look like? Drop me a line and I’ll send you regular new listings from this or any other home builder.

You can also visit the K. Hovnanian website, but note that builder’s salespeople do not work for you, the buyer. They work for the buidler and their job is to craft a deal that’s best for the builder.

Sources consulted for this post:

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Disclaimer: Blog owners/author did not receive any compensation or consideration of any kind from K. Hovnanian, Market News Video, Forbes.com, Bloomberg or any other entity in exchange for writing & publishing the post.

Should I have my New Construction Home inspected?

ABSOLUTELY! And probably more than once!

One of the nice things about buying a new home is that the builders will give you a one-year home warranty, where they'll come out & fix anything that isn't working properly. Most builders will even take care of you after the one-year mark has passed, in my experience.

But isn't it better to not have a problem in the first place? What if the root cause of a problem is hidden behind the walls? The only way to know about it would be to tear down your wall; otherwise you'll be treating the symptoms caused by this hidden problem the whole time you own your home.

I always recommend having your New Construction Home inspected. And I generally find it's money well spent to have it inspected multiple times during construction. After all, it's a lot easier & less expensive to fix a problem found during framing than it is to wait until the home starts to show symptoms from this problem later on.

Kelley Koehler wrote about this very same topic (Seventeen reasons to have new construction homes inspected), and posted some astonishing pictures along with it. This is a must read for anyone thinking about building a new home.

Your trust first then follow-up Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

[tags] new construction, home inspections [/tags]

DR Horton homes at Camino A Lago

I've been watching DR Horton clear the desert and prepare the site (west of 95th Ave and north of Lake Pleasant Pkwy in Peoria), but today I noticed they've put 3 spec homes into the MLS (with no pictures or descriptions, just a note to see their sales office.) So it looks like they're actually ready to break ground and start building homes.

I'll have to stop by the new home sales center one of these days – look for pictures and more information soon.

Your watching the neighborhood grow Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

[tags] DR Horton, Camino A Lago, new homes, development, Fletcher Heights [/tags]

Solar powered homes selling quickly

Need proof that there's more public support than ever for environmentally friendly homes? Clarum Homes is building a community of 47 zero-energy homes in Menlo Park, California. They began selling these homes this summer, and have already sold 44 of the 47!

As a community, Menlo Park's real estate market is trending downward, but is still considered fairly good, especially when compared with many other parts of the country. So 44 out of 47 isn't quite the astonishing feat it would be in today's Phoenix market; it's still impressive nonetheless. Kudos to Clarum Homes, and Kudos to those who bought the homes.

Hat tip to RenewableEnergyAccess.com for finding this story.

Your thinking green Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

[tags] Clarum Homes, renewable energy, zero energy homes, solar energy, Fletcher Heights [/tags]

Glendale Hotels On the Clock as Big Games Approach

In a post I wrote a few months back, I commented on the lack of hotels/entertainment the West Valley has in order to support the upcoming Superbowl XLII & Fiesta Bowl attendees.  Now it's nearly May, and it looks like Glendale finally might have some places for the visitors to lay their head at night.  According to a recent article, Steve Ellman  announced on Monday, April 23rd, that a 9 acre parcel in Westgate has been sold to the developers of the Hampton Inn and Suites.  Although the 9 acre parcel will eventually be home to a total of 2 or 3 hotels, only 1 (a 149 room hotel) will be ready in time for the big game.  Also in planning and construction stages are 3 other hotels near Westgate including a John Q. Hammond Renaissance Hotel (expected to open early fall 2007), a Springhill Suites as well as a Residence Inn (both expected to open sometime between July & September 2007) in the Zanjero developement near Cabelas.  Obviously many visitors will have to find other hotels in the area in which to stay, but hopefully the four mentioned in this post will be up and running smoothly prior to the arrival of our guests.  Who knows... maybe the Cardinals will surprise us this year, and make it to the big game!  Maybe that would help ease the burden on the hotels. 

If you are planning a trip to/around Glendale, AZ for this game or any other reason, here are a few others (already completed) to check out:

Enjoy your visit and be sure to check out my series of posts on Arizona Sights & Wonders for a list of places to see while you're here!

Loop 303: Road Construction AHEAD!

Get ready folks!  Those of you who travel the 303 will have some bumpy roads & detours to manipulate in the near future.  The Maricopa County Department of Transportation will be installing traffic lights at the intersection of Waddell & Loop 303.  For those of us who travel this strip very often, this intersection can be deadly, especially for anyone trying to cross the 303.  Unfortunately, I see this as only a band-aid solution.  Something is definitely needed to increase the safety of all drivers, however, I wish short-term solutions would be coupled with something more long-term. 

The current improvement calls not only for traffic lights, but left turn lanes as well in all 4 directions.  These improvements will begin shortly and will call for the following closures:

  • Waddell Rd. will be closed from Cotton Lane to Sarival through May 4th... Loop 303 will remain open during this time

  • Loop 303 will be closed between Cactus Rd. & Greenway from May 7th - May 25th, but Waddell will be open


For more information on these closures, you can call the MCDOT hotline at 480-350-9288

Click here to see the article

Mesa Waterpark @ Riverview

Although Surprise was expecting to be the site for a revolutionary water park, in the end, Mesa has convinced the builder that their offer was a better fit. Currently, there are 3 water parks in the metropolitan Phoenix area (not including those which require a hotel-stay)... Waterworld Safari in North Phoenix, Big Surf in Tempe, and Golfland Sunsplash in Mesa. I don't know all of the details regarding the two cities' offers, however, I can look at a map and determine for myself that a water park somewhere in the far West Valley (Surprise, Waddell, Glendale, Litchfield Park, Goodyear, Buckeye) would have given many current West Valley residents a much closer alternative than the 3 listed above, not to mention the not-too-distant-future residents who will be looking for relief from the sun.

Honestly, if it was just me, lounging by my own pool would satisfy me on hot, summer days. But, I have children. 4 of them! And, occasionally they prefer something out of the ordinary. I remember being a kid and going to Big Surf for a special day with my family, or heading to Waterworld with my teenage friends. It would have been nice to have a water park a little more local than 45 minutes away. With the Cabela's store now open in Glendale, I would have figured that the water park would profit from those shoppers/visitors as well. The new water park sounds intriguing with its projected offering of snorkeling, white water rafting, and surfing, in addition to other sporting activities.

The $250 million dollar resort/water park is being built by Waveyard Development LLC, out of Scottsdale. When the entire project & surrounding development comes to fruition, it will likely be over $500 million.

A November referendum could have an impact on this park as the developers have asked for residents' input to make sure they are "on board with the deal," prior to any construction. Additionally, a deal with the city (likely to include incentives) must be satisfied to determine how to best convert a municipal golf course and softball fields into a private, world-class amusement park. At this point, I don't know what private means... whether a membership, reservations at the resort, or simply an admission ticket will be required.

We'll have to follow up with the referendum and the city deal to know whether or not this waterpark will, in fact, be constructed in Mesa, but that's how it looks at this time.

Click here to read the article

Prasada Part 2

Okay Surprise folks, as I said in my last posting on Prasada, we are beginning to hear which tenants will be moving in when Prasada begins catering to the community. Catholic Healthcare West, which owns St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Chandler Regional Hospital, and Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, will be building an outpatient facility (including urgent care, imaging, & physician services), with a hospital likely to follow. The facility will be occupying 45 acres within the Prasada project. The largest auto-mall is also supposed to have a place in Prasada with Ford, Sands Kia, Sands Chevrolet, Corwin Pontiac/GMC, and Performance Jeep/Dodge all signed on for a piece of the 180 acre site with hopes that all 38 nationally known auto-makers being included in the final project. The 303 Autoshow at Prasada will open by the end of 2008.

This mammoth project can be expected to pump tax funds back into the Surprise economy, but how much and how soon? Currently, the city earns $26-$28 million per year in sales tax. By 2015, $32 million in additional tax revenue can be expected from Prasada-related business alone! But, we don't have to wait that long because another $39 million in construction taxes are expected. The Dysart Unified School District can also expect additional tax funds... $16 million in property taxes by 2015, growing to $26 million by 2025.

As far as the residential project, expect a neighborhood boasting trail systems, streetscapes, family-oriented communities, & open spaces.

Click here to read the full article

Builder Spec Inventories Down

I spent some time this week talking to someone who works for one of the larger Phoenix homebuilders, and I was very excited to hear what he had to say. I've written many times in recent months about how multiple economists and other "experts" all seem to have different views about what's in store for our local real estate market. The only thing they all seem to agree on is how much the excess inventories the builders are carrying are negatively impacting our market. And this makes a lot of sense to me.

If you take a neighborhood where one owner is willing to sell his home for noticeably less than his neighbors, it's very likely to think his home will sell before anyone else's in that neighborhood. But if this owner happens to own two homes in the neighborhood, the rest of the neighbors are in a bad spot.. First of all, they'll all have to wait while the two lower-priced homes sell, then they're going to have to deal with lower offers from potential buyers, because the last two sales were both at lower prices (looking at comps, even though they were from the same seller.) The neighbors might even have trouble getting their home to appraise as high as their contract price, which would bring up another potential round of negotiations and a chance for the buyers to reduce their asking price again.

Well, this is what's happening in neighborhoods where there is still plenty of new construction going on. Except the builder isn't an owner who owns two homes; they own hundreds or even thousands Valley-wide! This is having a major impact on pricing and Days on Market for the rest of the potential sellers. The general opinion of most economists is that when builders' spec inventories come down to reasonable levels, we'll begin moving back towards a more neutral market.

So how does all this tie in with the builder I spoke with? Well, I'm going to preface my answer by saying I haven't seen written reports to substantiate what was said, and I've already posted once before about not liking to take builder's words at face value.. That being said, this builder told me they had an inventory of close to 300 spec homes Valley-wide three or four months ago, and today they have just about 100 remaining. If that pace is accurate, and if it continues, they should run out of spec homes within the next couple of months! (This builder also told me his spec homes were an amazing value - discounted by up to $75k, but a quick look around the neighborhood told me it was more like $15k or $20k - still a great value, but not quite what he said it was..)

Once the builders run out of spec homes, they'll only be working on homes for which they have orders from buyers, and they will stop deep-discounting their prices. This means that sellers of existing homes will not have to compete with the builders' spec homes, sometimes right around the corner, at artificially reduced pricing. We should then see more buyers looking at existing homes, and offers to purchase should not only increase in volume, but should increase in price as well.

What does this all mean? If you're a buyer, now's the time to make your move! Prices may not be this soft again for a long, long time. If you're a seller, hang in there, keep your cool, and have patience - the playing field may begin to level off sooner rather than later.

-Chris

Old Rawhide.....New Development

For those of us who have lived in Phoenix for some time (not too many of us left!), Rawhide was one of those places that we remember going to every few years when we had visitors in from out of town and we wanted to show them what living in Phoenix was all about. You know, gun fighting in the streets outside the saloon, mining for gold, eating dinner in a big mess hall on rickety wooden tables, horse carriage rides, normal life for us living in the wild, wild west. Seriously though, I have great memories of my visits to Rawhide. And now, not that they are gone, but the old Rawhide in it's new location just doesn't seem like it could be the same.
And now, just like most everything else around the Phoenix area, the old Rawhide location that was purchased a couple of years ago is set to be developed into townhomes and condominuims. It sounds like they will be very upscale and amazing places to live, but I will always have the memories of driving out into the middle of nowhere (now not so middle of nowhere) and spending an evening experiencing the old days.

Read a PDF Version of the article here.

-Steve