If you are buying a home for the first time or moving into a new area, you undoubtedly have some questions. As an experience realtor, I hear a lot of these questions – and I get asked many of the same questions over and over again. Below are some of the most common questions my clients ask me, along with their answers.

If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, please contact me at 602-760-3772. I would love to answer any questions you have about Arizona, the real estate market or the home buying process.

When is a good time to buy a home in Arizona?

The best time to buy a home in Arizona is right now. After some ups and downs in the market throughout recent years, some homes are currently at only about half of their peak value. The market is on the rise again now!

I’ve never bought a home before. Where should I start?

If you’ve never bought a home before, a good first step is finding a realtor you can trust. An experienced, dependable real estate agent can guide you through the process in a way that will make you comfortable in all of your home purchase decisions. I became one of the top realtors in Arizona because of the trust I build with my clients.

Why should I buy a luxury home in Arizona?

Most luxury homes in Arizona offer upgraded appliances, enhanced safety features and unique design elements. Many also have extravagant add-ons such as home theatres, wine cellars and resort style pools. It’s best to buy these kinds of homes in Arizona because they are much more affordable here than in other states. Many of them also offer spectacular views of the Arizona desert, mountains, sunrises and sunsets.

What are the safest cities in Arizona?

According to alarms.org, Arizona experiences much less crime than the national average, making it a very safe state overall. Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Mesa, and Phoenix all place in the top 50 safest cities in Arizona for 2017.

How do I decide which mortgage is best for me?

Selecting a mortgage depends a lot on your specific situation. The more you can learn about mortgages, the easier your decision will be. Most people use a fixed-rate mortgage because the payments are consistent. An Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) is tied to a financial index and can fluctuate, but will start lower than a fixed rate mortgage. Some buyers opt for an ARM because the low initial interest rate enables them to afford a more expensive home. I can help you find the kind of loan that fits your needs.

How do I write an offer to buy a home?

Offers are official legal documents, so they need to be written with great care. You should have a full understanding of terms like earnest money, down payment, and closing date before filling one out. Attention to detail is also crucial. I have written countless contracts, so I can make sure your offers are as perfect as possible.

What are the best Arizona down payment assistant programs?

The three most popular down payment assistant programs in Arizona are Home Plus, Home in Five, and Pima Tucson Homebuyer’s Solution. You can read more about them here or call me with questions.

How much earnest money should I put down?

Earnest money is a deposit that goes with your initial offer. It shows the seller that you’re serious, and if your offer is accepted it gets applied to the down payment or closing costs. The money is returned if the offer is declined. Five percent of the price of the house is standard in Arizona.

What if the seller doesn’t accept my offer?

A rejected offer isn’t necessarily the end of the conversation. In many cases, it’s just the beginning, so it’s nothing to be too worried about. If your offer is rejected, you may be able to enter negotiations with the seller.

What happens if it ends up I can’t borrow the money to buy the house?

If this is a concern, you should make sure to get a Loan Contingency in your offer. With a Loan Contingency, you can cancel the contract in the event that your loan doesn’t work out. All of your earnest money is returned to you.

How does the Arizona HOA addendum help me?

The HOA Addendum will make sure the seller gives you the cost of the HOA fees in writing, so you won’t be blindsided by unforeseen costs later.

What if I find problems during the Inspection Period?

Your contract is contingent on the home inspection. The inspection period gives you a chance to make sure your new home is as great as it appears. If you find problems, you can cancel the contract, ask the seller to fix any issues, or take the home as-is.

How much down payment should I make?

This depends on your lender, and your specific situation. Bigger down payments make offers more attractive, but smaller ones help you keep money on hand.

What will happen at closing?

You will be expected to sign some documents, and the escrow company will create a deed of ownership for you. The deed is recorded by the county, and you become the official owner!