The Secrets to Success for Arizona Home Buyers

By: Nick McConnell

There are several steps to take when purchasing a home in Arizona. This check list, coming from an Executive Sales Associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Arizona, will help any person thinking about buying a home in the valley of the sun.

Your first step when purchasing a home in Arizona is to make sure to find a Real Estate Professional that is aggressive, knowledgeable, and educated. There is no requirements necessary when talking about education to become a Realtor. Anyone can become a Realtor as long as very basic guidelines are met. Would you rather have a high school drop out represent you, or a Realtor with a college degree? Ask your Realtor how much experience they have, ask to see diplomas, or even go as far as asking for letters of recommendation so that you can have physical proof that you are putting the biggest investment of your life into the right hands.

After you have chosen and trust your Realtor, your next step is to get pre-qualified for a loan. This is a very simple process. A lender of your choice or a lender that your Realtor recommends will ask you a series of questions which only takes about 10 minutes to make sure you are qualified to purchase a home. Lenders want to know your job history, your credit score, your income, and how much debt you have. As long as you have a good work history, a descent income, and your debt to income ratio's are in good standing, you should have no problem qualifying for a home loan. If you already know a lender that you want to use Realtors are not encouraged to try and steer you away from the lender you know and trust. It would be a good idea to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. To get the very best deal possible you must talk to more than one loan officer. Loan officers make more money if they give you a higher interest rate because the bank that is funding the loan will pay the loan officer more money. The higher the interest rate, the more money that bank makes, and the more money the loan officer makes. Many loan officers are willing to make less money by giving you a better interest rate. Some lenders will even make no money on the back end of the loan and only charge a one time up front fee which is usually one percent of the loan. Try to get a lender that will not charge you on the back end of the loan because it will cost you thousands of dollars more over a period of time.

Once you have chosen a Realtor that you trust, and have a lender you can trust, you next step is to find your home. Many different factors play into what type of home a person will choose. For many families, school districts are important. For others, location or type of home. Real Estate agents are not allowed to tell you what areas they think you should live in. You have to tell them what area you want to live in, or what school district, or what city, and they will help you find a home from this point forward. Tell your Realtor what is important to you such as a fireplace, a pool, an all tile roof, what year the home was built, how many bedrooms, bathrooms, or anything else that may be of importance to you.

After you have told your Realtor what you want, your Realtor will show you what is available in the areas you requested. At that point everyone hops in the car and goes to look at the homes you want to see. It is usually best to look at home on Saturday and Sunday because the traffic is light, and it makes it less hectic for the home owner.

Now, you have found the house you want to purchase after looking at thirty homes. You love this house and don't want to lose it. Depending on the market conditions will determine the aggressiveness of the contract. When writing a purchase contract for a home, it is important to know how many days the home has been on the market, how much the owner of the home is going to make on the sale, and how long the owner has lived in the home. If the home has been on the market for two years, it would probably be a good idea to offer a very low price. If the home has been on the market for one day, and there were 20 people in line to see the home the day it came on the market, you may want to consider offering over list price. The sticker price is rarely the purchase price.

Depending on the home buyers financial position will determine the terms of the contract. Right now in Arizona as of 2/27/2007, it is extremely common for people to get into homes with zero down because the seller will usually pay for all of the buyers closing costs. In the purchase contract just ask the seller to pay for all of the buyers closing costs. Depending on the price of the home and the type of loan the buyer is acquiring will determine the buyers closing costs. After the buyer and seller have agreed on all terms, price, and conditions we open escrow with the title company of your choice. If you do not know of any title companies your Realtor will probably suggest one. It is now time to move into the due diligence period.

Due diligence is a fancy work for an inspection period. It is very important to get an inspection done on the home so you know what is wrong with the house. Every single house usually has a list of very minor problems. Every once in a while you will run into a major problem that will affect your decision to buy the home. You may back out of the contract at any time if you find a major problem with the home during the inspection period. After the inspection period is over, it is harder to get out of the contract. Once the seller and buyer have agreed on the terms regarding what is to be fixed and what will not be fixed, it would be a good time to start thinking about home owners insurance.

Just like finding a good lender, you want to find a good home owners insurance agent. You want to talk with several, not just one, for the same reason you want to shop a lenders rates. Talk with several insurance agents to make sure you are getting the best rate with the best coverage. Cheaper does not always mean better, however, you may be able to get the same exact coverage for cheaper if you find out what is available. If you don't know many insurance agents, your Realtor should be able to recommend a few.

Now you have a good Realtor, a good lender, a good title company, a good home inspector / termite inspector, and a good insurance agent at this point. All you really have to do at this point is to make sure you get everything your lender needs to process your loan such as bank statements, tax records and pay stubs. Depending on the type of loan you are getting will determine the type of paperwork the lender will need from you, it seems to be always different for each buyer.

At the end of the buying process, the lender will deliver the funds to the title company, the buyer and seller need to sign all documents, and all the monies are dispersed to the appropriate parties from the lenders funds.

It is now time to move into your new home. Once the title company records the deed in your name, you can move in right away. Many people move into their home using a truck and their families help, and others hire help.

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