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How do I get started if I’m interested in buying a home?

The first step we highly recommend doing is getting prequalified through a lender.  If you don’t know of one we have very good recommendations and would be happy to provide them.  A good lender will provide you the information needed so you understand your down payment, monthly payment, interest rate, taxes and insurance.  Getting prequalified provides you the knowledge of knowing you’re able to buy a home and how much home you can afford.  It also provides you leverage when making an offer.  A seller is far more likely to accept an offer with a pre-qualified buyer they know can purchase their home.

Once we get pre-qualified, what’s next?

Once you discussed your purchasing options and have your pre-qualification completed, it’s time for us to get together and find out your wants and needs in your next home.  We will create a customized home search and online portal, that only you can access, that will provide you every current and new listing that comes to market that meets all the criteria in your search, such as; type of home (single family, condo, patio home) price point, square footage, # bedrooms, # bathrooms, age of home, pool, etc.  Once we identify a few homes that your interested in then the excitement begins. When its convenient for you, we will set some time aside and schedule showings so you can see them in person.

Once we find a home, how long does it take to close escrow?

Once we identify a home that you’re interested in, we put pen to paper and make an offer.   We will run a market analysis on the community for homes that have recently sold so we know the home is priced correctly.  Once our offer is accepted, it will take approximately 30 days to close escrow with the title company. At times, if everyone is in agreement, we can lengthen or shorten that time frame if needed.

How does Earnest Money work?

Earnest money is the dollar amount you put into the contract to show the seller that you are serious about purchasing the home. There is no set amount for earnest money with resale homes however a typical amount is 1% of the offer price. New construction builders have their own rules and each builder will set their own deposits.  Your earnest money will be deposited within 72 hours of contract acceptance and will be held by the title company for the duration of the transaction.  Your earnest money is held in a common account to assure that both parties have a meeting of the minds and work towards the common goal of purchasing the home.  So long as no breach of the contract occurs, the money will then be used towards the purchase of your home and go toward your closing costs.

Is new construction better than an existing home?

New construction is a great way to go when considering a new home however I wouldn’t necessarily consider it to be better than an existing home.  There is no question that with a new build you’re the first owner and get to decorate it exactly how you want with the options and upgrades to your liking.   There are costs to those upgrades and with new homes those options come at a premium.    An existing home, much like a new car, the initial depreciation has already been realized.  Furthermore, with existing homes, you would most likely receive, window coverings, ceiling fans, landscaping and more.  All of these items now become market value rather than what the builder says it is. These are just some things to think about when making that decision.   In the end, what works best for you is exactly what you should do.

And should you decide on a new built home please make sure that your agent is with you on your first visit so they can represent you in your build process.  Having good representation on your behalf, and not the builders, is an important factor.

How do appraisals work?

When it comes to resale homes, your lender will require an appraisal.  This is a contingency that is built into the Arizona contract to protect the buyer from over paying.  The appraisal will be completed approximately 3 weeks into the purchase process.  If the appraisal comes in lower than the agreed purchase price the buyer has some options; they can request the seller come down to the appraised value, they can negotiate the difference and meet somewhere in the middle and if those are unsuccessful they can cancel the contract and get a full refund of their earnest money.

How are closing costs figured?

Your lender will provide you a GFE (Good Faith Estimate), which is a breakdown of the costs associated with your loan.  You will know these costs well before your closing appointment to sign your purchase documents.  There is one number that encompasses your total closing cost, however that number is broken up into 3 categories; lender costs, title costs and your down payment.  Your down payment is typically set by your lender and is based on the specific type of loan you qualify for.  Closing costs can also be negotiated with the seller.  Overall, your total closing costs, minus your down payment, should be between 1-2% of your purchase price.