Houses Seen: 11
Closets I Coveted: 2
Golf Cart Rides I Wasn’t Convinced I Would Walk Away From: 3
Farm Animals That Made My Clients Reconsider Their Decision To Purchase: 1
It’s kind of been a year of new builds for me. My husband and I, of course, build a new house out in North East Mesa almost exactly a year ago, four of my clients have actually purchased a new build property in the last year, and almost all of the buyers I worked with considered building at some point in the buying process.
The builders have had to drop prices like Oprah dropping weight on a juice fast to stay in business with all of the short sale and foreclosure prices dragging the market down the last few years. This push for competitive pricing has really made buying new attractive to a lot of people; especially those who are willing to live closer to the outskirts of town where new houses are still being constructed.
Checking out new build communities is always a fun experience, but it’s amazing how time consuming and informationally overwhelming the process can be. First you have to hear the builder speil about why their home construction saves baby seals and causes redwood forests to grow back, will give you money back on utilities instead of you having to pay for them, and grows rainbows in your master bathroom. Then there’s the tour through the model homes. If you really want to have fun, bring the builder’s agent with as you walk through, point out everything you LOVE and think is amazing about the house, ask, ‘is this standard or an upgrade?’ and watch him squirm as it becomes increasingly apparent the model was build with $100K in upgrades. And finally, you tour the spec homes that have already been constructed and are ready for purchase. This is where it all really starts to makes sense. “Oh, now I get it! The solid gold bidet in the master bath is EXTRA.” One decent new build community will time-suck an entire afternoon and you’ll often leave more confused that when you got there.
About a month ago, I spent a weekend with a couple of old friends who are moving back to Arizona after almost four years in California. We started with resale homes but eventually moved on to a Fulton Homes community in South Gilbert called Freeman Farms. Apparently Fulton is working hard at making the process of home buying out in the farmland of Gilbert a more authentic experience because this is who greeted us when we pulled up:
That little guy may not look like a big deal, but I have to tell you, he was a bit of an impediment to the process. In general, I am pro-animal. I’m not a vegetarian or anything, but I feel pretty strongly that people should be nice to other living creatures and if there’s a kitty within reach, I will happily pet him (with a couple of exceptions… there was once a cat in a house I was holding open who would not let me enter the room he was in without hissing violently. I also think he may have had acid for saliva. Additionally, my sister has a cat that is bigger than most medium-sized dogs. He freaks me out a little bit.). However, any kind of jumpy, loud animals sort of make me a bit hysterical. Barking dogs? Make me twitch and sometimes pee my pants a little. Flapping birds with sharp beaks and claws? I’m just going to climb into the trunk of my own car and hide for a little bit, ok?
Unfortunately, my client felt this way also, only more strongly and apparently chickens can sense fear (you know, like dogs). So this chicken jumped on top of the golf cart we were riding in and flapped at our faces as we toured the spec homes.
The builder agent kept assuring us that if ignored him, the bird would go away. Apparently he was drawn to our hysterical screams and frantic giggles.