For the second straight year, Mesa-based Farnsworth Homes ranked highest among Valley home builders in a recently released customer satisfaction survey by J.D. Power and Associates. Farnsworth was followed by Michigan-based Pulte Homes and Tempe-based T.W. Lewis.
The study, which measures customer satisfaction with new-home builders in 30 of the largest U.S. markets, is based on 10 factors that drive overall satisfaction. Farnsworth ranked highest in warranty and customer service, home readiness, sales staff, construction manager, quality of workmanship materials and physical design elements.
The overall average customer satisfaction index score in the Valley is 114 — outperforming the 30-market average of 112. But the index fell 5 points between 2004 and 2005, the most of any major market except Las Vegas and Fort Myers-Naples, Fla. The only publicly traded home builder based in the Valley, Meritage, ranked below the Phoenix market’s overall satisfaction score. Meritage’s score was 101.
The study found more than half, or 53 percent, of home buyers previously purchased a newly built home. To be included in the 2005 study, area builders must have closed 150 or more homes in the market in 2004. The new homes were located in Maricopa and Pinal counties.
The study is based on responses from 73,353 buyers of newly built single-family homes who provided feedback after living in their homes from four to 18 months, on average.
There were 8,380 respondents in the Phoenix market.
BLAME IT ON RIO
Atlanta-based Beazer Homes is the latest company to move into the Rio West Business Park in Tempe. The company will take 33,000 square feet in the fourth of five buildings in the complex on Rio Salado Parkway and Priest Drive. The space will be used to house Beazer’s Arizona division, mortgage operations and design studio. The company will move in May. Other tenants at Rio West include US Airways and Monster Worldwide.
Many of us knew this all along, but now there’s a study to back it up. Drinkers earn 10 percent to 14 percent more money at their jobs than nondrinkers, according to a study published by the Journal of Labor Research and Reason Foundation.
The study also found that men who drink earn 10 percent more than abstainers and women drinkers earn 14 percent more than nondrinkers.
However, unlike men, who get an additional 7 percent income boost from drinking in bars at least once month, women who frequent bars the same amount of time do not show higher earnings than women drinkers who do not visit bars.