Due to the fact that our home sold immediately after putting it on market, we launched our hunt immediately. If you know us, then you know, we are always tracking Zillow. Whether it be a dreamy vacation home or homes that catch our eye here in the Valley, we are always “looking”. It’s not to say they we’re always in the market, but always dreaming for certain. This time, we happened to be urgently in the market.
We knew we had to hit the ground running as we had less than 30 days to create our game plan. For our future home we knew a few things to be true right from the start… Our focus was going to be threefold; budget, bones and location.
We decided budget was our top priority. We knew in our new home we wanted to position ourselves to have a life well beyond the walls of our home. With two daughters in college (almost) and one still in elementary school, we knew our priority was focusing our future expenses on our lifestyle outside of the home and not pouring our money into our home.
Secondarily, we wanted to focus on the bones of the home. The items that were musts: an office for the Mr., at least one guest bedroom, a dreamy kitchen and a three-car garage. As the home hunt progressed a few items were added to the list. We added: two-living spaces, a two-story home if possible, limited to no need for updates, added storage space and a backyard with immediate potential.
Finally, we focused on location. Our last home hunt was centered in two very specific parts of the valley. For this home hunt we opened up the hunt to the entire valley. There was no location off limits. This home hunt was focused on future potential within the neighborhood, ideal for families to rent or buy from us “someday”. Though we intend to hunker down here until the Doodle is off to college, we certainly understand the need to be able to move on when the time comes.
We have been working with an incredible real estate agent since the blending of our family, he knows our quirks and the way we house hunt. We tend to see many more houses than suggested on each hunt, we are very decisive and don’t linger very long when we catch the feeling. We have a way of mixing both of our desires and interests into each home we view. I usually start the hunt and then bring the Mr back to any locations worthy of a second look.
This home hunt we added a very unique twist. We added new construction to the list of viewable homes. At our budget we knew that we were in for adjustments to what we were used to in our home. Less bedrooms, different location, smaller home, etc. Adding “new construction” would allow for a unique experience. It would move us into “suburbia” if you will, but provide an opportunity to ensure the home we moved into felt like us immediately, with limited to no updates needed.
The hunt was spread over a four week period, seeing roughly 30 homes in that time. We found that some homes we walked into felt wrong instantly. They didn’t feel like home, they felt like a lot of work to create home in and in some cases so many updates were needed to make the homes livable that there was no value in purchasing. The locations that felt really good to explore, at our price point, felt like a serious let down once we were in the home. In some cases our desired location had no homes available at our price point. To say the housing market in Arizona is hot is an understatement.
There was one area, the Desert Ridge area, that we kept returning to. From a budget perspective, the homes already built fit into the high-end of our range. They were equal in size if not larger than our previous home, therefore allowing us to down-budget, but not down-size. There were many communities in the new construction phase also, providing options to evaluate. We also knew we generally liked the area and appreciate it’s accessibility to freeways and the valley, as well as having stellar schools. That is when our real estate agent introduced us to a newer community, Sky Crossing.
At first I was completely skeptical. It felt very suburbia to me (something we have avoided most of our marriage). It was at the very top of our initial budget. The timeline to move-in felt long (at ten months). And the community, where there were many amenities, was still very much under construction. However, a model home literally stole my heart.
I have a firm belief that when you know you know. Over the course of our marriage we have probably walked into hundreds of homes on our hunts and only put offers on 4, lived in 2, walked away from one after a bad dream and missed out on one due to timing. When I walked into this home I just knew. It felt more like home than any home we have lived in (other than our first joint rental home). It felt like the space and place where our memories will be made, where our adult children will come home for the holidays, where Doodle will get ready for dances and celebrate milestone moments. It felt like where we are meant to be next.
After seeing 30 homes; some stunningly beautiful and ready to move-in with a few updates and some well out of our desired look and feel, we realized we were not going to find anything more beautiful than the new construction we had fallen in love with at Sky Crossing… And so we are going to build a brand new home for the first time in our marriage… 10 months, two-stories, 4-bedrooms, two-living spaces, a den, a bonus room, three-car garage, our desired kitchen and a backyard with immediate potential (blank slate of dirt).
Want to join me on our journey? I’ll be posting weekly on decisions made, progress, room inspiration, tips and tricks on building a new home and our journey… Can’t wait to share more with you.
More on the Process of Buying and Building a New Construction Home:
Times, They Are a Changin’ …