How Far Will Your Home Buying Dollars Go?

East Valley Versus West Valley

East Valley Versus West Valley


Perhaps the best thing about two bouts of unemployment is that it’s given my husband and I time to truly access the local area. We’ve known during our many trips through new home build communities that we were unable to purchase but wanted to scout the area to see what we could buy somewhere down the road. While we have limited that search to the East Valley, which initially included Queen Creek and Chandler, our search quickly honed in on southeast Gilbert and southeast/northeast Mesa where new build communities have more space to develop. It is disheartening to see that home prices for these new communities are drastically inflated; initially, we thought about $190,000 in the Bella Via in southeast Mesa was overpriced, but Pulte Homes is still selling strong over there from $239,990 to $380,990.

And as we’ve accumulated new construction community paperwork left and right, we’ve found out just how expensive the East Valley is to live in:

-Blandford Homes “The Lofts” at Power Ranch-were $159,990 when we looked at them and are now selling in the $170,000’s to $180,000’s for roughly 1,400 sq. foot condos with a hefty $300 HOA

-Fulton Homes “Southern Pacific at Cooley Station”‘s Coastline floor plan (1,978 sq. ft-our favorite) was $241,900 late last year and only jumped modestly to $248,900. I do think the fact that these homes already come equipped with many upgrades has prevented the builder from drastically hiking up prices because it would deter buyers from this already small neighborhood.

-We were so underwhelmed/overwhelmed by Eastmark on its opening day and it not living up to the promise of being “urban style neighborhood” that we never picked up price sheets on the smaller homes we were interested in. Part of the problem was also the miserable heat the day Eastmark opened and the lack of efficient means to get to models by our own transportation. However, Mattamy Homes, which builds some smaller homes, has a 1,511 sq. ft home that sells for $225,990 currently.

And today, we decided to check out Desert Place at Morrison Ranch (the Mesa side of the development) and Elliot Groves at Morrison Ranch for fun as it’s too overpriced for what we’d spend on a home. Lennar Homes’ cheapest home in Desert Place is $214,990 for the 1,640 sq. ft home that wasn’t modeled at their development, but their prices rise up steeply with square footage.

Lennar Homes (Desert Place at Morrison Ranch) price sheets

Lennar Homes (Desert Place at Morrison Ranch) price sheets

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Thankfully, the trip was worth the decor inspiration; the rooms were tastefully decorated.

Lennar Homes bedrooms

Lennar Homes bedrooms

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And we always have fun checking out Pulte Homes so we stopped in to check out their model homes as well. Look at how beautifully these homes were decorated. I felt a little like I was walking through a Restoration Hardware showroom.IMG_3216

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Pulte puts out some great quality homes and you pay for them! Even without the beautiful decor, the prices are steep:

Pulte Homes Price Sheet

Pulte Homes Price Sheet

I must admit that the realization that the East Valley is dangerously overpriced (we were already leery of paying mid $200,000’s) came from a visit to a friend who lives in the Buckeye neighborhood of Verrado. We were invited to enjoy their Open House event not too long ago as my friend understands how much we love looking at model homes. Now, that being said, Buckeye is way too far out there for our family, but it was shocking how much cheaper homes are on that side of the valley. The Mattamy Concord floor plan that sells in Eastmark for $228,990 is $218,990 in Buckeye; the only difference is the location and the way that Verrado has been developing that neighborhood already has the stores and local businesses that Eastmark might have when it is developed further; I am waiting to see if they deliver on their promises. So far, that neighborhood hasn’t impressed me.

Our trip through Verrado was great (and I promise I’ll post photos later), but it was an eye opener that making a home purchase on the west side of the valley might be the thing to do to not be stuck with an overpriced house. No decisions have been made yet because we have some investigating to do and then sitting down with our real estate agent later this year to discuss the more minute details of what home buying means for our family, but I am now more critical of the home prices here in the Gilbert-Mesa area.

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