From an empty lot to an entire home, built sometimes in just a few months, thousands of new homes are being built across Arizona.

Who is behind the construction? Are homebuyers being left with problems after construction?

According to RL Brown Housing Reports, 22,222 new home permits were approved in the Phoenix Metro in all of 2022. In 2021, more than 31,000 permits were approved, and nearly 29,000 permits in 2020.

That means more than 82,000 new homes were approved and built in the Phoenix Metro in the last three years.

Lennar Homes, D R Horton, Meritage Homes, Pulte Homes, and Taylor Morrison are the busiest builders. According to the report, these builders applied for the most permits in 2022.

The Let Joe Know team asked the Arizona Registrar of Contractors about the number of complaints involving each builder last year. We specifically asked for complaints against the company’s General Residential Contractor Licenses.

Pulte Homes received the most complaints with 40, followed by Meritage Homes with 36, Lennar Arizona with 29, Taylor Morrison with 22, and DR Horton with 17. For all five builders, a majority of the complaints were for poor workmanship. Many of the complaints were closed as the issues were addressed.

Before you buy a new home make sure to protect yourself.

-Look deep to find potential problems.

A new construction home has fresh paint and shiny veneer, so issues may be tough to spot at first.

-Remember the guinea pig factor.

No one has ever lived in the home before. While that’s likely appealing to be the first, it also means the water, plumbing, air conditioning, and heat have never truly been tested.

-Builders are incentivized to rush.

Time is money and many builders work to erect and sell a house as quickly as possible.

-Never waive the final inspection.

New home construction requires inspections throughout the building process. Typically, the builder is in charge of this but for peace of mind you can hire a third party to ensure nothing is overlooked.

In 2022, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled buyers of new homes are entitled to sue builders for hidden defects for up to eight years — even if the buyers signed contracts waiving that right.