If you’re considering building a home in Arizona, let us be the first to welcome you to one of the most beautiful states in the country. In Arizona, you can experience things no other state has to offer, from expansive green valleys covered in tall trees, to vast desert landscapes surrounded by picturesque mountains — this state has it all. You can choose to be in the heart of the state or you can get lost in nature without giving up either — these destinations are just a couple of hours apart!
That’s just the icing on the cake too. Arizona also has a variety of weather (it’s not just hot all the time), is number 5 in the nation for solar energy opportunities, and has a statewide property tax that is below the national average.
If you’re convinced, let us help you narrow down the area before we talk about pricing and building a home in Arizona.
The Best Places to Live in Arizona
Here is a list of our top three places to build a home in Arizona.
Located on the Colorado Plateau, the northern region of Arizona is known for its green landscapes, mountains, plateaus, and four seasons. Flagstaff is a charming city that gives off a small-town vibe. Its location high in the mountains (elevation of 6,909 feet) offers endless outdoor adventures while keeping the cost of living reasonable. It’s also just a couple of hours north of Phoenix, so you can still enjoy a day-trip into the city.
This city is perfect for those who love waking up to a view every morning and enjoying nature every day.
Just south of Flagstaff is Sedona. The famous Red Rocks of Sedona are among the most beautiful sights in all of the United States that residents and tourists alike love to behold. The stunning geography allows residents to enjoy many outdoor activities, including spiritual pursuits, hiking, and biking.
Though a relatively young town — incorporated in 1988 — the landscape is anything but young. Sedona’s canyon walls show nine layers of stone from different geological periods spanning hundreds of millions of years.
When it comes to the weather, Sedona is a high desert known for mild winters and hot summers. Average highs in the summer are around 110 degrees, while lows fall around 45 degrees.
If you can see yourself watching the sunset behind a seemingly never-ending stretch of mountains behind the twinkling glow of a young city, then Scottsdale is for you.
Otherwise known as one of the Happiest Cities in the County, Scottsdale lives up to its name. Located just a short drive from Phoenix, Scottsdale has everything Flagstaff and Sedona have, minus the snow. Considered the desert version of South Beach in Miami, the city of less than 300,000 has a resort-like atmosphere filled with golf courses, spas, high-end hotels, parks, shopping, and family activities. In North Scottsdale, many of the homes and resorts are nestled in the mountains and offer unbeatable views of the Valley.
The cost of living is higher than in other nearby areas of the Valley, but Scottsdale makes up for it with everything it offers. From an aquarium and indoor skydiving to golf courses and luxurious resorts, as well as some of the best safety ratings and schools in the state, Scottsdale really does have it all.
If you’re thinking about building a home or purchasing one, you’re going to want Scottsdale architects to help you grab the perfect home in one of the happiest cities in America.
Finding an Accurate Price for Building a Home In Arizona
Now that you have a location in mind, the next step is figuring out what a fair price is for your new home in that area. To find an accurate price, never look online.
Online real estate websites offer an estimate of the lot’s value, without taking other factors into consideration. They are often wildly inaccurate and are not good starting points, nor are they good references because land values are constantly fluctuating based on the market conditions, the time of the year, the inventory, and the cost of competing properties.
How To Find Competing Properties?
It is good to look at comparable neighborhoods in the neighborhood you are looking to build.
For building a home, this means asking experts for accurate building costs. Prices vary across the state, so finding a local expert is essential for finding accurate lot values. For instance, in the Phoenix Valley and Scottsdale areas, building costs can vary from $250 a square foot to $2,000 a square foot in exclusive neighborhoods. Aim to buy land when the cost per square foot is lower than the area’s average.
Another good gauge is to look at new-build production (also known as semi-custom) home costs close to the area you are looking to build, those costs will be lower than building a custom home.
When is the Best Time to Buy Land in Arizona?
In general, the best time to buy land is in the late summer or early fall. Around this time, there tends to be less competition than at the peak during the spring and summer. However, there is still a fair number of properties on the market.
If you’re building a home in the Valley, the best time to start construction is after monsoon season which is normally June-October.
How Does the Number of Lots Available Affected Pricing?
The number of properties for sale will directly affect the market value. This is called supply and demand — the more demand for land in the area and/or the less land for sale in that area will increase the market value. On the other side of it, too much land listed and low demand can lead to lower prices.
What Market Conditions Affect The Cost of Land?
Market conditions are the factors that influence the housing market. They can include things like demographics, cost of living, inventory, mortgage rates, how good the schools are, and more. The better the market conditions, the more expensive the land will be, and vice versa.
Remember, for accurate prices and building costs, go directly to the source! A local source for all questions about building a home in Arizona is Urban Design Associates. Urban Design Associates is an award-winning, full-service, architecture firm, and has specialized in bringing clients’ visions to life for 40 years. Based in Scottsdale, they serve all of Arizona, including Sedona, Flagstaff, Tucson, and the White Mountains.
Urban Design Associates also conducts feasibility studies that help put land above the competition while creating ease for buyers to envision lot possibilities. The studies help justify the asking price as well, so you know you’re getting a good price on land.