April 12, 2006

House Hunt Update- it's over!

Well, the house hunt is over- except there's not a house yet!

After looking at resale houses in the east valley suburbs (too much $$ for what we wanted!), and looking at resale houses in Maricopa (too much $$ required to fix them up!), we made the decision to build a house. We are building in the town of Maricopa, about 15 miles south of Phoenix, just like tens of thousands of other people are doing, and will continue do over the course of the next 10 - 15 years, to reach a projected population of over 300,000.

The development is about 5 miles east of Maricopa "proper" although in a few years, it will all be built up, I'm sure. The entire development, which is called "Tortosa" (a town in Spain, so the internet tells me), will have over 3000 houses when it's complete; our subdivision is one of the first ones you come to when you enter the development... Our subdivision is "Milano" and our street is "El Greco" (a Spanish painter, I think). I just can't believe some of the names they come up with! The next street over is Bilbao (a Spanish explorer, maybe?), so I guess El Greco is okay by me... although it's still kind of funny, in my opinion!

The house we bought is a spec home- someone else ordered it, then backed out- the slab is already poured, some upgrades are included, and the exterior color has been picked, so we're ahead of the game in the whole timeline... and, the upgrades included are costing less than if we'd chosen them ourselves. (and who wouldn't want, among other things, a bay window in the living room, a bay window in the master BR, and a gas line to the range? I can't wait to cook with gas again! Electric is too touchy for me- I either burn things, or they take forever to cook.)

They haven't dropped off the lumber yet, but once they start framing, we've been told that it will be about 90 days till it's completed. So, we'll be moving in the heat of summer!! (ick- we'll just have to have plenty of water, beer, and pizza available, and hopefully we'll be able to recruit some help for the moving part of it!)

Building a home sure is different than buying a resale one, though- even more so because it's a spec home- like, the kitchen cabinets were already picked out, which we found out about at the last minute, but luckily we snuck a change to that in just under the wire... (apparently they custom build them instead of buying stock cabinets, and the order goes in when the framing is dropped off- who knew?) And, the exterior color scheme is dependent on the color of the roof tile, so we're stuck with a color scheme we don't exactly like, since the tile is already ordered... but, we live on the inside, right? I also got to pick between three landscaping plans (which basically means they plant 9 tiny plants and a stick of a tree in our front yard...) For $350 extra, we could have added a tiny patch of grass to the whole thing! (needless to say, we passed on that!)

Since it's a subdivision, there's a Homeowner's Association, which we will pay monthly dues to so they can tell us what to do and what not to do inside and out of our own home! (@*&!) Not that we'd park three cars in the yard, but it's the principle of the thing, darn it... the bylaws, or whatever you call them, are over a half-inch thick, I swear!

But, it will be ours- the rest of our stuff can come out of storage, Tom will get a music room, I will get a craft room, we will both enjoy the family room, the covered patio, the walk-in pantry, my piano can finally have a home, etc. etc. The process of getting there, however, I'm sure will at times leave a lot to be desired!

Sedona needs to go outside, so I've got to end this for now, but I promise, the next post will have pictures of the slab (and of the model, so you can get an idea of what it will look like- minus all the upgrades they add to suck in the buyers, of course!)

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