Sunday, May 9, 2010

Simpler KB Home plans debut

by Craig Anderson The Arizona Republic May. 9, 2010 12:00 AM

Think you're a great salesperson?

Try selling a new home to first-time buyers the weekend after a big federal tax incentive goes away.

Regardless of one's confidence in the long-term value of Phoenix real estate, there's no getting around the fact that as of April 30, the de facto price of a first home increased by as much as $8,000.

But for homebuilders, life must go on.

They can still point to the fact that homes are more affordable than they've been in years. Of course, that's if you don't count the extra eight grand.

With that challenge in mind, KB Home is pleased that the rebate's expiration date happens to coincide with the release of a new product line aimed at first-time buyers.

The Los Angeles-based builder premiered its "Open Series" homes Saturday at two new subdivisions, in Gilbert and Maricopa. The newly designed homes, which have fewer walls separating common areas than in the company's more traditional designs, will start at about $90,000 in Maricopa and in the low $100,000s in Gilbert, company spokesman Craig LeMessurier said.

The Open Series launch, which follows a relatively recent homebuilder trend of constructing simpler, more utilitarian homes with low prices and high energy-efficiency, was timed to give KB Home something to attract buyer interest at a time when there might not otherwise be much to crow about.

There are two basic models, each with a number of floor plan variations that bring the total number of choices to six. The smaller model is about 1,250 square feet, while the larger is 1,970 square feet.

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Simpler KB Home plans debut

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