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Ready - set - move!

by Debra Gelbart on Aug 7, 2015

If you’ve received a job transfer or you’re an empty-nester and would love to buy a brand-new home but don’t want to wait up to six months for it to be built, a move-in-ready home may be perfect for you.

A move-in-ready or quick-move-in home (also called an inventory or ‘spec’/speculative home) typically is ready for occupancy less than 90 days after purchase and has many advantages, homebuilders’ representatives point out. Depending on the phase of construction an inventory home is in at the time of purchase, a buyer may be able to move in as soon as 30 to 45 days after purchase.

Good timing

“There are so many great months of the year to move,” said Rebecca Lundberg, vice president of sales for PulteGroup’s Arizona division. In PulteGroup’s 16 communities in the Phoenix area, about 20 percent of the total home sales are inventory homes. Pulte soon will open two more communities — an all-ages community in Northeast Mesa called Mountain View Manor that will offer optional RV garages, and an age-restricted community in Chandler called Lone Tree.

“September is good timing,” Lundberg said, “because you can move and be settled well in advance of Thanksgiving and other key holidays where you might be hosting family and friends.”

“September is nice weather and folks who have no pressure to move prior to the beginning of a school year will find that this is a great time to purchase or move in to a new home,” added Karen Murray, vice president of marketing for AV Homes. AV Homes has 10 communities in the Valley with an average of four to six move-in-ready homes in each community, Murray said. About 40 percent of the company’s home sales are move-in-ready residences.

Interest rates are low, Murray said, and if a home purchase begins in August on a quick-move-in home, it may close in September, “which gives the homeowner plenty of time to get settled in before the holiday season,” she said. “Most homeowners want to entertain during the holidays and this timing allows for completion of landscaping projects, pool construction, indoor painting and decorating before the busy holidays.”

Whether you buy a move-in-ready home or a new build, said Elise Goodell, marketing manager for Maracay Homes, “the common denominators to both of these options are modern offerings and energy-efficiency.” Maracay has 16 communities in the Phoenix area and about 20 percent of its home sales are inventory homes.

Meeting your needs

“There are many ways consumers can determine the best home for them,” Lundberg said. “Once a consumer has determined which community or communities may best fit their needs and wants, we recommend that they visit our community and meet with one of our sales consultants. The sales consultant will ask questions to understand what the customer is looking for and will then demonstrate what we have in the community that will fulfill their desires for their new home.”

The sales consultants can share information on available inventory, Lundberg, of PulteGroup, said, which the customer likely already saw online. The customer can make the best decision for them after seeing the homes and community in person, she emphasized, and after having all of their questions answered by a sales professional.

Easy process

The process is easy, Murray, of AV Homes, said. “Tour the homes with a sales associate and make the decision to purchase,” she said. “The contract process takes a couple of hours. The homebuyer submits a loan application (unless paying in cash) and then the home typically closes 30 to 45 days later.”

“Whether a customer chooses a quick-move-in or a new-build home,” said Andy Pedersen, group vice president of marketing and merchandising for K. Hovnanian Homes in Arizona, California and Texas, “we guide them through the entire process. We let them tour a quick-move-in home, asking them to wear a hard-hat if the home is still under construction. We will introduce them to the building team including the superintendent.” K. Hovnanian has 16 communities in Greater Phoenix with about 25 percent of its home sales being what the builder calls quick-move-in homes.

The perfect solution

Move-in-ready homes are the perfect solution for some buyers, including those who initially think they want only to choose a home-site and have their home built just for them.

“Some buyers think they are going to build a new home but then fall in love with one of our inventory homes and elect to purchase that instead,” Lundberg said. “In select instances, buyers will purchase a new-build contingent upon the sale of their current home. If their current home sells faster than they originally anticipated, they may elect to purchase one of our available inventory homes instead so that they don’t have to move twice or go into temporary housing.”

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