Buying a house in the Phoenix metro area is an adventure! There are so many smaller surrounding cities and suburbs, all types of neighborhoods, beautiful older homes and brand new custom and tract homes. In Phoenix home loans are easily obtained because every price point and type of loan is offered, including loans with no down payment.
Because of the plethora of options, the first thing to do is sit down and write out all the features you want in your new home. You may know exactly what area you want to live in, but if you don’t then you need to research the suburban cities and towns as well as the areas within Phoenix proper. Here’s an outline that may help you make some decisions.
The City of Phoenix
If you want to live in Greater Phoenix itself, be aware of the different geographic areas. First of all, East Valley or West Valley? The “sides” are determined by which side of Central Avenue they are located on. People on both sides of town are very loyal to their area, and each has specific neighborhoods that are very popular locations for home buyers.
Suburban towns and cities located on the east side of Phoenix include…
- Apache Junction
- Queen Creek
The West Valley includes…
- El Mirage
- Litchfield Park
Scottsdale is a well-known location in its own right. It runs along the Phoenix border and is around 30 miles long. Sometimes Carefree, Cave Creek and Fountain Hills are included as part of the Scottsdale area. Paradise Valley is affiliated with both Scottsdale and Phoenix.
Choosing a Home
First, determine your budget and down payment so you have a good idea of the mortgage amount and which Phoenix home loans you will qualify for. It’s a good idea to go ahead and contact a mortgage lender to get prequalified before you even start to look. We can take you quickly through that process. Then when you do find the house you want to make an offer on, the seller will be more likely to consider your offer knowing that you are qualified for a loan.
You’ll need a realtor, and Phx Home Loans, as your mortgage lender, can steer you to the best real estate agents around. Some realtors cover the entire Valley, others specialize in certain areas and/or types of homes.
What to Look for When Shopping for a New Home
Make a checklist of what you want in a home…approximate square footage ,number of bedrooms and baths, size of the lot, pool, etc. If there’s a certain style you prefer, make a note of that. You may prefer an older home with character, or a brand new or newish home that is more modern.
Having a good idea of what you want will make it easier for your realtor to find the best homes to show you, and give you a better chance of finding the exactly right home!
Here’s a list to get you started. You’ll have other needs and wants to add to it.
- Is it close to important places like schools, parks and shopping?
- Does it have the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as a den, playroom, workshop or other type of area that you want in your home.
- Are the building and roof structurally sound?
- Does the house need painting inside or out?
- What are neighborhood noise levels like? (Check at various times of the day and evening)
- Is the house east/west or north/south facing? This will make a difference in heating/cooling costs as well as natural light.
- What is the electric company, who provides water and gas, trash and sewer?
- Are there any signs of termite activity? This will be checked out thoroughly in a required termite inspection, but it doesn’t hurt to take a good look before you fall in love with the house.
- Are there any planned developments nearby, or is the neighborhood built out?
- Is the yard big/small enough – does it have the type of landscaping you want – does it have a pool?
- Is the garage big enough for your vehicles? If your garage is used for storage, are there available parking spaces, and does the HOA allow street parking?
- Is the house in a flood zone?
- Will there be added costs, for example HOA dues.
- Will you need to do any renovations? For example, update the kitchen or bath, paint the interior or exterior, clean up the landscaping, or have a pool added.
- How is the traffic in and out of the area during rush hours? How long will your commute to work take as a result?
Got kids? Then the local schools are an important factor in your choice of a new home. Arizona has many charter schools, with quite a few that specialize in certain methods of teaching or interests that your child may have. Most schools offer bus service, but be sure to check that out and make sure that the school district you are looking at offers busing for your location.
Don’t Settle for the Wrong House
Buying a house is an important investment, and you’ll probably be living in it for years. Don’t rush, or settle for a house that doesn’t meet your needs or that you don’t really like all that much. You probably won’t learn to love it but instead regret your purchase.
In Phoenix, home loans are our specialty – so give us a call and let us help you get started on your new adventure. Our team looks forward to helping make your dream a reality.