Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. This purchase is likely to have an impact on your finances, family, and future for many years to come. It’s not something that should be taken lightly or done without considering all of the options available.
So before taking this major step, there are some important things to consider. The following guide outlines some of these considerations as well as what you need to know about buying a home in Arizona today.
Your credit score
This is one of the most important factors in getting approved for a loan and securing a good interest rate. If you don’t know your credit score, now is the time to find out. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once per year.
However, you should take a close look at your budget and determine how much you can realistically afford to spend on a monthly mortgage payment. Don’t forget to factor in other costs associated with owning a home such as property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. Investing in home insurance and home warranty has you covered for many of the big-ticket items, but you should still have an emergency fund set aside for unexpected repairs or maintenance. Consider using home warranties for at least the first year of ownership as well.
Down payment amount
For most loans, you will need to put down at least 3.5% of the purchase price as a down payment. This can be a significant amount of money, so you need to be sure you have it saved up before starting the home-buying process. The size of your down payment will also affect your interest rate and monthly mortgage payment. Larger down payments will generally result in a lower interest rate and smaller monthly payments.
If you don’t have the cash on hand, you may need to wait until you do or look into other financing options such as government-backed loans that offer low or no down payment options.
Length of commute
If you are buying a home in Arizona, chances are you will be commuting to work. This is something you need to take into account when looking at homes. How long is your commute? Is it an hour each way? Would you be able to tolerate that drive every day?
The length of your commute can have a big impact on your quality of life, so be sure to factor it into your decision. There is the question of cost as well. If you have a long commute, you will likely be spending more on gas each month.
Schools and the area
If you have children or plan to have children, the schools in the area are an important consideration. Look into the quality of the schools and whether they meet your family’s needs. Consider the location of the schools as well. Are they close to your home? Would your children be able to walk or ride their bikes to school?
On the other hand, when buying a home, you are not just buying the property itself but also the surrounding neighborhood. This is something you need to take into account when making your decision. Is the neighborhood safe? Are the homes well-maintained? Is it close to amenities like grocery stores, schools, and parks? These are all important factors to consider.
A home warranty is a service contract that covers repairs and replacements for certain items in your home. This can be a valuable protection against unexpected repairs. When buying a home, you should consider whether the seller is willing to provide a home warranty. If not, you may want to purchase one yourself.
However, not all home warranties are created equal. Be sure to read the fine print and understand what is and is not covered. Some home warranty companies will only cover items that break down due to normal wear and tear, while others will cover items that break down due to defects in materials or workmanship.
Another important consideration when buying a home is resale value. You may not be thinking about selling your home right now, but it’s something to keep in mind for the future. So, some of the questions you should consider, or ask your real estate agent include: are homes in the area selling quickly? Are they selling for more or less than the asking price? If you do plan to sell in the future, you want to be sure you will be able to get your money back out of the home.
The size, age, and condition of the home are all important factors to consider when thinking about resale value. Also, be sure to check out the surrounding neighborhood. If the area is desirable, it will be easier to sell your home in the future.
Consider real estate agent fees
Very likely, you will need to use the services of a real estate agent. Be sure to ask about their fees and commission before signing any contracts. In most cases, the seller will pay the real estate agent’s commission, but you may be responsible for certain other fees such as a buyers’ premium.
On the other hand, if you are working with a real estate agent, they may be able to help you negotiate for the seller to pay some or all of the closing costs. This can be a valuable saving, so be sure to ask about it.
Get a home inspection
And finally, before buying a home, it’s a good idea to get a professional home inspection. This will give you an idea of the condition of the property and any potential problems. It’s important to remember that a home inspection is not a guarantee that there are no problems with the property.
However, it can give you some peace of mind and help you avoid any major surprises down the road.
The most important areas and features to inspect during a home inspection include:
- The roof – check for leaks, missing or damaged shingles, and any other potential problems.
- The foundation – look for cracks or settlement issues.
- The plumbing – check for leaks, clogs, and other potential problems.
- The electrical system – make sure all the outlets are working and there are no exposed wires.
- The HVAC system – check for proper operation and any potential problems.
Now that you know a little more about what to consider before buying a home, you can start your search with confidence. Just remember to take your time, do your research, and consult with a professional if you have any questions. With careful planning and consideration, you’ll be sure to find the perfect home for you and your family.