The townhome or condo you want to move into might be available right now or in the near future instead of several months from now, said Kevin Rosinski, division vice president for Toll Brothers, a luxury homebuilder in Scottsdale that developed The Villages at Aviano, a gated condominium community in the Desert Ridge area. "A condo is different from a single-family home in that with a condo, the entire building needs to be complete prior to move-in," Rosinski said. "Move-in ready means that the building is ready for occupancy so you don't have to wait."
With a quick move-in condo, you get immediate occupancy in an amenity-rich community, “low hassle and a sense of community with neighbors,” said Shantelle Monongye of The Statesman Group of Companies, which developed The Cays at Downtown Ocotillo in Chandler. “Condominiums offer the opportunity to look at multiple floor plans and options all in one place before purchasing so you can find the best one to suit your lifestyle and needs.”
In addition, Paul Williamson of True Craft Residential, the developer and builder of Novella at Arcadia (a collection of luxury townhomes in Phoenix), said that if you purchase a move-in-ready condo or townhome, you don’t have to worry about the interest rate on a mortgage going up before you lock in a rate; you can "take advantage of today's extremely low mortgage rates. And you have no risk of construction delays," Williamson [of True Craft residential] said.
Incentives to buy
“We are currently offering a $15,000 credit to buyers and a four percent co-op commission to their agents,” Williamson said.
“Our preferred lender credits $2,000 toward closing costs, and the owner, The Statesman Group, will contribute $1,500,” said Monongye about The Cays. “As an owner at The Cays, you are a member of The Lakes at Ocotillo Association with access to boating, paddle-boarding, golf and tennis.”
Toll Brothers and K. Hovnanian® Homes offer varied incentives, depending on the home and/or community selected.
Questions to ask
Before signing on the dotted line, Williamson recommends asking what upgrades have been added to the movein-ready condo or townhome. Monongye advises buyers to ask builders:
• Who is your preferred lender?
• What is your deposit structure?
• What is the timeline for move-in?
• Can I customize my residence?
Rosinski [of Toll Brothers] recommends asking about what specifically the HOA fees cover. He also suggests asking who the property manager is. “When purchasing a townhome, it is important to understand what items your homeowners’ association manages within the neighborhood,” said Andy Pedersen of K. Hovnanian® Homes, which is selling townhomes at six different communities around the Valley. “Typically, the HOA will maintain amenities such as pools, landscaping and gathering areas, but the HOA for many townhome communities also manages the exterior of maitenance of the homes."
The buying process
The process of buying a quick move-in condo or townhome isn’t much different from buying a single-family home from the buyer’s viewpoint, Rosinski said.
Once a sales representative helps a buyer determine that a quick move-in townhome will meet their needs, Pedersen said that the customer is invited to tour a townhome that has just been completed or is under construction. “We give everyone a hard-hat and walk them through the home,” he said. “We explain the layout and present them with a list of options for the townhome.” What’s more, the customer also gets a virtual tour using an iPad, Pedersen said; the device shows them what their completed new townhome will look like.
“The first step is a consultation with one of our sales associates to discuss your needs and wants,” Monongye said, “so that they can provide you with the best recommendation to meet those needs.
We then take you through our model or existing quick move-ins to show you what is available.”
At The Villages at Aviano, where every home has an attached two-car garage, Rosinski said that the process of buying a quick move-in townhome is similar to that for buying a single-family home. Williamson agrees, stating that the buyer can close in as little as 30 days just like with a move-in-ready single-family home.
However, how soon you can actually move in to your new condo or townhome depends on how soon your mortgage is approved, builders point out. Often, Pedersen said, a 20 percent down-payment
is required, but some lender programs require as little as three percent down.