New Home

Discussion in 'Sun City Festival - Arizona' started by Rusco, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. Rusco

    Rusco New Member

    We're having a home built now in Festival (north end) and while some have complained about recent cool temperatures I note with amusement this morning's temperature in Festival was 41 degrees. At our home in the Twin Cities area of MN it was MINUS 14. That's over 50-DEGREES cooler than Festival. Think we're excited about our move in June? Heck Yeah!
     
  2. Rusco

    Rusco New Member

    Now time to deal with details. One of the motivating factors in deciding on a new home in Festival was it's location. Our home (under construction) is on a north/south facing lot on a corner. Our view to the front is over a wash and golf course and in the distance the White Tank Mountains. But our chore at hand is landscaping that lot. We've gotten three referrals for landscaping from the sales rep. They provide a list of residents referrals which totals 8 companies. We've had phone conversations with 2 of the 3. We're also open to any referrals readers here may have. Our final decision will come after checking references and seeing samples of their work.
     
  3. Rusco

    Rusco New Member

    How to save $5,000.

    We're planning our move from the Twin Cities area of MN in mid June. Decided this time I'd just hire the pros to come in, load and drive off. We'd fly out and be there when the semi arrived with our stuff. We don't have that much stuff having downsized 4 years ago from a 5 bedroom, 4 bath home into a Townhome with about half the square footage. So in comes the big named moving companies to offer bids. We got three bids and the total job came to around $8,300. Let's rethink this plan!

    I spent a couple of years driving trucks. Ran loads coast to coast and pulled tankers in the oil patch of North Dakota. Driving a straight truck is no big deal for me so I decided to call Uhaul. I also found a useful web site which makes available moving labor. I ended up hiring a crew to load here and a crew to unload in Festival. Total cost (including estimated fuel for truck and 3 nights in a hotel en route and labor at both ends) comes to about $3,600.

    How to save $5,000? Put together your own moving crews and drive a truck for 3 days!
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  4. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Good move R, seems like a no-brainer with those kinds of numbers. The real test will be in 3 years when you start to sell off or give away all that stuff you are hauling down that has sat idle for years. Was it worth bringing down?

    One of the things that gives me chills is when we are walking the dogs and a garage door is open but there is no room to park a car or golf cart. I've seen too many instances where people shipped a hundred boxes only to be left choking their garage with stuff they obviously didn't need. We hauled way more stuff than we should have, but the boxes were quickly emptied. Great when the wife is as organized as she is.
     
  5. Rusco

    Rusco New Member

    Alas, a completion and close date for our new home. We even had a member of this *forum and resident send us photos. Proof of a friendly community!

    Anyway, we close April 28th although we won't make the move until mid June. We're getting a bit cranked up over the changes. It's great!
     
  6. Rusco

    Rusco New Member

    The sales office in Festival provides a rather comprehensive list of resident referral home services. Of that list our sales rep gave us the three most favored landscapers used by residents (none is the provider used by the builder). The rep also gave these three in order of expense. We called all three for estimates. Speaking to the service provider who was considered the most expensive he said he would get back to me in 5 to 7 days with a general estimate. 6 weeks later I got that call. I advised him we had chosen someone else. Anyone who takes that long to respond would, in my mind, not be very dependable to get a job done.

    The most customer friendly person was considered the least expensive provider on that short list. He was very thorough on his responses for an estimate and he is the provider we have chosen. We have requested he wait until we have moved in to begin the work. We have 90 days from close to complete the project according to association guidelines.
     
  7. aggie

    aggie Member

    Not too much chatter from the Sun City Festival folks. It would be great if you could share what the annual assessment is for SC Festival. Is there a fee in addition to the approx $125 a month HOA fees? It appears that the County property taxes run around $2500-3000 for mid range homes because there are Buckeye taxes and also the homes are in the Wickenburg School District.



    The website for this development is rather vague as far as costs.
     
  8. Rusco

    Rusco New Member

    I will certainly do that. We're about 3 months from actually loving there so perhaps I will have more to offer at that point. I can tell you that the monthly fee is $135 which includes a fee for Cox basic cable. I can assure you I have zero interest in that service however it seems as though there's no choice. Apparently the powers that be have worked out a mandatory deal with the cable provider which insures they'll have customers in the community. I will use them for high speed internet but cable tv is a bust in my opinion. I've used DirecTV for over 2 decades because of it's (IMO) superior quality. Cable TV is SO yesterday.

    In estimating taxes we use 1%. Of course our first year will be considerably less because the house is just being constructed and this year's taxes are based on the value of the land only.*We found Festival to be more expensive in taxes and hoa than any of the other Sun Cities in the area but obviously we think it's still a great value.*

    I plan on continuing to use this forum and perhaps others from Festival will join to make it more informative for others interested in this developing community.
     
  9. aggie

    aggie Member

    Looks like March is quite a roller coaster month in MN. Sun, rain and then snow. I'm originally from the East Side of the Twin Cities and still have many relatives scattered all around back there.
    We try to time our visits between the cold and the mosquito seasons!

    I guess you're saying that there is no annual rec card fee for using the facilities rather it's included in the monthly $135 HOA assessments. Correct? Where we live in the original Sun City there is no mandatory monthly HOA fee but we pay the RCSC an annual assessment of $474 for our 2 rec cards to use all the facilities.

    We, too, have had DirecTV for many years beginning in 1995. I think we started at their $19.95 base rate which was nearly tripled over the years without adding any channels. They still seem to be the most reliable service out there.
    Hope all goes smoothly for you on your move.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  10. Rusco

    Rusco New Member

    Yes aggie the $135 covers all the facility use. *Also, we looked long and hard at the original SC and still think it's a great value. Thank you for joining in this discussion. This forum is a GREAT resource and *I'd like to see more people using it (from all the SCs). People here are most helpful for those of us interested in learning about the communities. Granted you folks in the original are the main providers but that in itself is a plus because of your experiences.

    I'll be back as this process of moving to, and becoming a resident of, Festival continues.
     
  11. Rusco

    Rusco New Member

    We are just over 3 weeks from closing on the new home in Festival. We remain in MN and are now getting bids from some landscapers. We've narrowed our choices to two although we reached out to 4.

    One of the landscapers ask that we send the plot diagram which we did. 6 weeks later he sent us a bid that only gave us a dollar amount. It did not indicate what we get for those dollars. Uh, goodbye #1. Another landscape company sent an email asking a series of questions. We replied with our phone number and said perhaps those questions would be better answered on the phone. That was over 2 weeks ago. No further response. *Uh, goodbye #2.


    *Our third landscaper was the most responsive and sent along detailed diagram and dollar estimate. He has since contacted us by email and phone to see if we needed further information. He was not pushy at all and is very friendly. We like what we see and like dealing with him.

    A fourth landscaper sent back what we believe to be the most creative design and came in about $1,500 above our other favored company.

    Decisions, decisions. We're arranging to meet both 3 and 4 when we are in the community later this month. They both have offered to drive us around to see the other work they've done in Festival. Currently i favor the more expensive and creative design from #4.

    *Here are the companies we've had contact with in the order mentioned above:

    1) Solis
    2) Kevens

    3) Pablo's

    4) Olympic


    We're happy to receive any comments on these or other Festival landscapers.

    *I have no idea why this system keeps inserting "*". Got tired of trying to edit and remove them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  12. pegmih

    pegmih Active Member

    I have also wondered about the "*"s.
    Also, I wonder where everyone is.
    Extremely slow on TOSC.
     
  13. Rusco

    Rusco New Member

    Hello Friends!

    :biggrin-new::biggrin-new::biggrin-new:We are officially homeowners in Festival now. Closed on the property last Friday. During our week long visit we stayed in one of the "vacation villas" provided by the sales department at Festival. Since we had no furniture in the new house we remained in the villa 3 nights after the closing. We made several trips to the house to meet with our landscaper and think about furniture placement. While there we met several of the neighbors. *My wife commented that in the few days we were there we met more people than we have in the four years we've lived in our current home in MN.

    One hears that some communities are friendly but my gosh. There was an outpouring of greetings and visits. What a VERY FRIENDLY place we have chosen.
     
  14. J_and_V

    J_and_V New Member

    Congratulations RusCo, we are having the time of our lives since our move to SC. *I hope your experience out at Festival is the same.
     
  15. Rusco

    Rusco New Member

    Moved in! *Left the Twin Cities on Monday with our Uhaul truck and towing our car on a trailer. Arrived home in Festival mid afternoon Wednesday. Truck unloaded on Thursday. Landscape crew from Pablo’s had already begun orchestrating our design. Friday we had water softener/RO systems installed and DirecT got our dish on the roof and wireless receivers throughout the house. Box by box we are settling in. Found a major problem with this community.

    I take our toy poodle out for a walk in the cool morning and after sunset. Can’t hardly get a 100 yards without running into another resident and there we are introducing ourselves in a conversation that can last half an hour. This is a really FRIENDLY community! *What a problem to have eh?

    In line with that as we were deep in our master bedroom closet unpacking boxes there was a knock on our back sliding glass doors. It was our neighbors from the back carrying plates filled with sandwiches, fresh fruit and cookies. They brought our lunch because everyone here knows how difficult it is to get anything done in a house while unpacking. Great people! *Thank you Bob and Randy!

    Life is good and getting better. I hope to reach out soon to residents here I’ve not met except on line. They too have been most helpful as we went through the community choosing process.
     
  16. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Congrats R, great to hear you are settling in. Nothing but the best of wishes from your neighbor to the east eh?
     
  17. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Glad to see it all worked out well for you. Best wishes to you and your wife in your new home.
     

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