Buyer Resources

How much home can I afford?

A good rule of thumb is using the 40%/50% rule. You shouldn’t spend more than 40% of your gross monthly income on your house payment and 50 on total debts including your house payment, credit cards, auto loans and other debts like student loans.

How much do I need for a down payment?

Down payments will vary depending on the type of financing. USDA and VA loans have 100% financing available, FHA loans require a minimum of 3.5% down payment and there are 3% down payment conventional loans available as long as you meet certain guidelines. There are multiple down payment assistance programs available to help out with the down payment as well. (Certain restrictions apply)

Location

The first thing you need to know is what part of the valley do you want to live in. Phoenix is a huge area. Things to consider are. Where do your friends and family live? How far is it to your work? Are there parts of your lifestyle that you want to accommodate like outdoors or maybe nightlife?

Pre-Approval

This is very important. You need to find out what you can afford. Most home buyers base their search with price as the number one criteria. It is critical to meet with a lender and find out how much you qualify for. It is also key to have a pre qualification letter. If you find a home that you love and you don’t have one you will have to wait to write an offer. This could result in missing out on a home that you really want.

List of Needs & Wants

When you start looking you should have a set of two lists. One for your needs and one for your wants. Things to consider are, how many people will be living in the home? Do you want one story or two? If Two do you need a bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? What size yard would you like? Do you want a pool? Do you need to store an RV or boat?

Resale

One thing often overlooked is when you are ready to move again. You should look for negative things such as busy streets, nearby train tracks, proximity to an airport, power lines, abandoned properties, and anything else that might turn off another potential buyer. These things not only affect you as the buyer but also as a potential seller.

Be Thorough

Ask lots of questions. There are so many moving parts to a real estate transaction. If you are unsure about anything just ask. There will be inspections, HOA, impound fee’s all kinds of things that you may or may not know about. That is another reason to work with a professional that you trust.

Helpful Links

HUDhttp://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD
Arizona Dept of Real Estatehttp://www.azre.gov/
Arizona Dept of Financial Institutionshttp://www.azdfi.gov/
County Assessor – Search property, get aerial maps, zoning, flood mapshttp://mcassessor.maricopa.gov/
County Recorder – Document retrieverhttp://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata
County Treasurer – Look up tax information and historyhttp://treasurer.maricopa.gov/
Maricopa County Websitehttp://www.maricopa.gov/Default.aspx
Arizona Department of Real Estatehttps://www.azre.gov/
Pinal county assessors officehttp://pinalcountyaz.gov/assessor/Pages/home.aspx
Pinal county recorders officehttp://pinalcountyaz.gov/Recorder/Pages/home.aspx
Pinal county planning and zoning, Flood datahttp://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/PublicWorks/FloodControl/Pages/FloodplainPermit.aspx

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