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Though Valley sees construction boom, experts say they're cautious

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GOODYEAR, AZ (CBS5) -

If you take a drive around town, chances are you'll notice a lot of new construction projects, or old, unfinished ones starting to take off again. A list of upcoming projects from Construct-a-Lead includes 250 new homes and a boutique hotel in Scottsdale, a new apartment complex in Chandler and a resort overhaul in Paradise Valley. While this sounds like great news, could it be too much too soon?

An apartment complex here, an entertainment center there - construction is booming in the Valley.

"We kind of thought OK, now's the time," said Beverly Shankland. She said she and her husband wanted to build a home in the Robson Retirement Community in Goodyear a few years ago, but they had to wait to sell.

"What they told us our house was worth, we were actually shocked, we thought it was worth a lot more, but that was because the economy was so repressed," Shankland said.

But they say their home value has increased rapidly since then, so they decided to go for it.

"I've seen an awful lot of building going on, so that's encouraging," Shankland said.

"The buyer is back," said Steve Soriano with Robson Communities. He said compared to a few years ago, they're selling lots like hotcakes.

"There's not a lot of pre-existing homes available for sale so a lot of people are looking to new build," Soriano said.

So if people are feeling more confident about their buying habits and construction projects are popping up all over the Valley, is history just repeating itself? Some experts said we may have learned a thing or two after the slump.

"Financing is still really difficult," said Mike Rock with the commercial building and land development company Bernards Brothers Inc. He said while they're seeing four times the amount of new projects this year, many people don't have the money for a down payment - and that might not be a bad thing.

"Not everyone will be able to qualify for a new home as interest rates go up and that'll level it out as far as the pace is concerned," Rock said.

The Shanklands said they're excited to take the plunge and are optimistic it won't leave them underwater.

"I do think people have learned the hard way that speed isn't always the right answer," Shankland said.

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