Oh, Canada! Fulton Homes Welcomes North-of-the Border Buyers

Arizona Homebuilder Offers Tremendous Values to Canadian Homebuyers

Canadians are currently buying more homes in the Valley of the Sun than homebuyers from California, according to the Information Market, a Phoenix real-estate data firm. Fulton Homes of Arizona sees a great match between Canada and the Phoenix Metro area.

Douglas Fulton, CEO of Fulton Homes, is adjusting marketing efforts, and creating opportunities to make the Phoenix Metro area more attractive to Canadians. “Phoenix is an amazing market for a second home with prices that are the lowest in twenty years,” he said. “There is no better cold weather escape than the Southwest with its expansive desert, great neighborhoods and amenities like resort style pools and community centers.”

He pointed out that some of his new three bedroom homes start at $116,000 or at about $504 per month. And Canadians are noticing.

Art Ferguson, Sales Associate at Ironwood Crossing in Queen Creek, AZ has witnessed an influx of Canadian buyers at the growing east valley community, many lured by the warm weather, as well as fantastic golf courses in the neighborhood. “We started seeing a lot of Canadian buyers starting last winter,” notes Ferguson. “Our homes offer a tremendous value and they give homeowners the flexibility of being able to play a lot of golf courses in nearby proximity, rather than being locked in to one golf course community. I’m finding that most of my Canadian buyers want inexpensive homes in a quality neighborhood where they can come and go as they please – a beautiful home base for travel, golf and site-seeing around the Southwest.”

Ironwood Crossing, located at Ironwood and Ocotillo Road in Queen Creek, AZ, is quickly becoming one of the east valley’s premier communities with their fully warranted, Energy Star qualified homes. The community also features a $2.4 million aquatic center, complete with splash pad, 6,800 square foot pool, shade screens and community clubhouse. There are also 20 parks – nearly one park for every 100 homes – to enhance the area along with playground equipment, basketball courts, ramadas, barbeques and shade structures.

Tom and Jill Rea from Calgary Alberta purchased a home in Ironwood Crossing – and they were soon joined by four other couples from Canada. “The community pool was the big attraction for us,” notes Jill Rea, an international real estate agent, licensed in Utah and Alberta. “Fulton Homes has created a beautifully landscaped, manicured community that’s close to amenities like shopping malls, theaters and restaurants. We visited Arizona about four times, and when we saw Ironwood, we knew it was it. Fulton has a great reputation as a builder, the sales people were friendly, and we found a great community that will maintain its quality and integrity for life.”

As a Realtor herself, Rea would advise other Canadians to not go anywhere near short sales, foreclosures or even condominiums, as the HOA and special assessment fees associated with those type of properties often make them tough to re-sell to locals should the need arise.

“They don’t do short sales in Canada and most people don’t have any idea how frustrating the time-consuming process can be,” relates Rea. “With a new home from a quality builder like Fulton Homes in a beautiful community such as Ironwood Crossing, you don’t have to worry,” adds Rea.

Rea even shares one of her secrets from the people of Calgary, noting that the flight from Great Falls Montana to Williams Gateway Airport in Mesa can be very inexpensive on carriers such as Allegiant Air. “It’s about a four and a half hour drive to Great Falls,” smiles Rea, “and that way, you don’t have to clear international customs.” If you do fly into Sky Harbor Airport, however, Phoenix’s main hub, Rea observes that it’s still only about a 35 minute drive out to Ironwood Crossing.

Most Canadian buyers are paying cash for their Arizona homes.

“They are putting down a large down payment in cash or getting lines of credit in Canada,” explains Phyllis A. Casillas, Branch Sales Manager for Fulton Homes Mortgage. Rea readily agrees: “Sometimes you can get financing on your Canadian credit through U.S. affiliates of Canadian Banks such as Harris Bank, Bank of Montreal and The Royal Bank of Canada, but for the most part, Canadian buyers obtain a line of credit on their Canadian home, and then use that as cash to buy their Arizona home.”

Fulton Homes was founded in 1975 and grew to be one of the top homebuilders and family owned businesses in Arizona. During the past year, in the face of one of the worst housing markets in US history, Fulton Homes soldiered on in a market devastated by foreclosures and short sales. Fulton Homes, which offers many homes in the $116,500- $140,000 range, was the first homebuilder to highlight the downside of foreclosures in an informational advertising campaign. The online tool ForeclosureCostCalculator.com can be customized to fit the parameters of any foreclosed property, and analyze such factors as exterior paint, cabinets, and termites.