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Pool party!

by Susie Steckner on Apr 7, 2017

You are basking in the glow of your new home when reality starts to sink in. It’s time to tackle the next big project — planning your new pool.

Fortunately, some new-home buyers have a better option. That’s because a number of Valley homebuilders partner with pool builders so construction of the house and pool can overlap. “Who wouldn’t want to enjoy their pool the very first week or weekend they move in?” said Kevin Rosinski, Toll Brothers’ Arizona division senior vice president.

Traditionally, new-home buyers enter into a contract with builders for the home only. Once the buyers move in, they are often faced with planning their pools, landscaping and other desired outdoor amenities. The additional projects can stretch out for months, making for what can feel like a never-ending move-in process. 

But merging the projects can eliminate that wait time or at least significantly reduce it, depending on the builder. So if a new pool is on your wish list, here’s what you need to know:

Take your pick. Builders work with “preferred” pool vendors that they have approved. Buyers may be given one choice or multiple choices, depending on the builder. Toll Brothers, for instance, works with four pool and landscape companies around the Valley while Blandford Homes works with a single vendor. The approved vendors work with project managers to coordinate construction of the home and pool as much as possible. If a buyer wants to use a pool company not approved by the builder, the pool will have to wait to be built until after closing.

Planning and design. Just as a homebuyer visits a builder’s design center to choose features like kitchen cabinets, the buyer meets with the pool vendor to start planning the pool, said Eric Williams, a Realtor and project manager with Blandford Homes. The buyer may also make a site visit with the vendor to work out details such as placement of the pool. 

Financing the deal. The cost of the pool can generally be rolled into the new home loan which makes the process seamless for buyers and keeps the interest rate lower with a single loan, said Jay Starks, the Arizona district manager for Bell Mortgage. A buyer who takes out a separate pool loan might face a higher rate because that loan could be treated like a second mortgage. Buyers will want to make sure the appraisal supports the cost of the new pool; if not, they could have out-of-pocket costs or might need to scale back plans.

Ask your builder

New-home buyers have a range of options for outdoor amenities through a builder’s preferred vendors. It’s important to consider what will work best for your move-in timeline, budget, family and lifestyle. 

“Building the house and pool together is a much more streamlined process,” Williams said. “It can shave four to six weeks (off of construction time) after closing. This gives buyers more time to use the pool.”

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