West-side story: A changing housing market


The Arizona Republic -- ... Another good sign: Custom-home builder Michael Ripson optioned 160 one-acre lots northwest of Surprise in 2003 with plans to build a high-end subdivision, but delays in getting the project under way caused him to miss the housing bubble.

Ripson, chief executive officer of Scottsdale-based Ripson Homes, said he believes the market is now ready for his project, known as Sonoran Acres.

Ripson is selling homes ranging from 2,200 square feet to 3,500 square feet, all on acre lots, for base prices from $265,000 to $364,000. He recently opened a model home for viewing and was planning a grand opening for this weekend.

Aside from the lots, which Ripson owns the rights to purchase one at a time at 2003 prices, his plan is to follow what's essentially a small custom builder's business model. He has virtually no overhead and only expects to sell one or two homes a month.

Still, Ripson said he sees positive signs in the West Valley market that did not exist a year ago.

"We could have done this a little bit sooner, but we decided that now's the time to do it," Ripson said.

The Arizona Republic
AZ Central.com
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Reported by: Justin Doom
Arizona Republic reporter J. Craig Anderson contributed to this article.
Last Update: Apr. 13, 2009 12:00 PM