10 Things That Every First Time Home Buyer in Arizona Needs to Know
Did you ever think that there would come a time when you want to escape the cramped quarters of the city? Well, it wasn’t always cramped, but now you need wider spaces and a new environment. Well, moving is an excellent decision, and Arizona is a great place for it!
With 250 days of sun every year, Arizona is one of the best states to buy a home. Still, you need to understand the ins and outs of buying a home before you start making decisions.
In this post, we have a comprehensive guide for first time home buyers in Arizona and some of the things you need to know before buying your first home.
1. Know What You Want
What type of house are you looking for?
House styles in Arizona vary on location, and you can expect to find mid-century homes, contemporary homes featuring neutral colors, Mediterranean style homes that feature red tile roofs, and Spanish Mission homes that have stucco. Most houses in Arizona don’t have basements, so consider how many rooms and bathrooms you want before you go shopping.
2. Research Different Locations
Most first time home buyers in Arizona only consider Phoenix and Tucson as the ideal living locations. However, you don’t need to follow their suit as there are many more cities and towns where you can buy your first home.
Consider your living preferences in terms of urban or small-town vibe and your commute to work. How about you consider looking for a home in Glendale, Chandler, Scottsdale, or Litchfield Park?
3. Your Credit Score Should Be Good
This applies to first time home buyers in Arizona and any other state for that matter. Your credit score plays a significant role in the mortgage loan you approve for, the interest rates, as well as the loan terms. So, before you start looking at a potential home, it’s advisable to ensure that you know how much you can afford right from the start.
If you have a low credit score, take the necessary steps to get your FICO score high as it’ll improve your chances of qualifying with good rates and reasonable terms too. Try not to open new lines of credit and dispute any errors you may find dragging down your score. Paying off your debts will also help.
4. Understand Your Finances
Before you buy a home in Arizona, you need to understand your finances and how much home you can actually afford without drowning yourself in debt. As a first time home buyer in Arizona, you don’t want to start off your first home with problems, right?
Getting pre-approval for a loan is a determinant on what kind of home you can buy, and this guide offers insight on first time home buyer loans. You also need to know that you’ll have to take care of other fees, including attorney fees, transfer taxes, appraisal fees, inspection fees, etcetera.
5. Start Saving For Your Down Payment Early
It’s common in Arizona to have to put 20% down payment, but for first time home buyers in Arizona, you may find programs allowing you to put down as little as 3%.
With low down payment, however, you might have to pay for a private mortgage, and depending on the house you choose, even 3% may be a substantial amount. This means that, since you’ve decided on the kind of home you would like, you should start saving early.
6. Find an Arizona Real Estate Agent
As a first time home buyer in Arizona, you may find that partnering with a professional Arizona real estate agent makes things easier. An agent will take you through the whole process as they have a better understanding of the local market.
They will do most of the legwork and find great listings for you as they have access to multiple listing services and vast networks and resources to get things done. Additionally, they will help with the negotiations, and recommend competent inspectors, contractors, and movers when you finally find the right home.
7. Avoid Bidding Wars If It Means Blowing Your Budget
As first time home buyers in Arizona, you’ll find multiple houses you love, some of which will have other potential buyers. It’s easy to get carried away, especially if you get emotionally attached to a home.
However, regardless of how good the house looks, and how much you feel it would be a great place to raise your kids, try not to blow your budget to avoid getting stuck in mortgage payments.
8. The Right Neighborhood Matters
Choosing a neighborhood is just as important as picking the right house.
Do your research on local safety and crime rates, and proximity to grocery stores, hospitals, schools, pharmacies, and other amenities you need. You may not have kids, but schools tend to determine the value of a house.
Once you find a house you like, drive through the neighborhood several times to check out the activity levels.
9. Open Houses Make Great Opportunities
Open houses are an excellent opportunity to check out the neighborhood and the neighbors as well. It’s an excellent time to check the condition of a house and ask as many questions as you can. Pay attention to the stains, smells, and any despair of the house before you think of making an offer.
10. Living in Arizona Has Cons as Well
Living in Arizona most certainly has its perks, but this does not mean there are no cons. If you are looking for lush green environments, this is not the place. You’re more likely to have palm trees and cacti instead of flowers because most of it is barren. You may avoid winter living here, but knowing how hot it could be, especially in summer, will prepare you for everything else.
First Time Home Buyers in Arizona: The Takeaways
Arizona has a fast-growing economy, a good housing market, and incredible weather, making it a great place for first time home buyers. As a first time home buyer in Arizona, consider all aspects before making a final decision and stay within your budget to avoid straining yourself financially.
If you’re set on living in Arizona, then check out our website for listings and see what the state has to offer.