11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series-Home Search

The Phoenix home buying search process is an exciting experience!

Phoenix home search
It’s a very exciting time to be shopping for your first home of even your second or third if that is the case. The main thing to remember is there is a method behind the madness so to speak and a systematic approach to the home buying process is the best way to stay focused, save time and reduce stress. If you have read the previous posts to this 11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series that are listed at the top of this page you already know that addressing credit issues, selecting a mortgage specialist, getting pre-qualified and selecting a Realtor preceding the home search phase of the Phoenix home buying process.

Be realistic with your Phoenix home buying wish list

It is important to determine from the start how much Phoenix home you can afford and where you can afford it. Since you already analyzed your monthly budget you know what a comfortable mortgage payment would be and when you are pre-qualified, depending on the fluctuation of rates, you should know approx. how much you can spend on a Phoenix home and stay within your monthly budget. This is the top of your price range. Locations and neighborhoods are going to have different price ranges to buy into a specific area.

Also, certain amenities you may desire such as a basement, no HOA, upgraded lot sizes, horse privileges, golf course communities, proximity to schools or work, etc will help determine which areas of the Valley you can consider and still stay within your price range.  If your desired amenities do not meet your acceptable price range you will have to modify your wish list accordingly. Your Realtor should be able to tell you exactly what areas of the Valley fall within your budget and meet your other Phoenix home wish list requirements and also which amenities you may have to compromise in order to be within a certain area. Once you find the right balance you can narrow your search to specific neighborhoods, communities and/or geographical boundaries.

Foreclosures are great first time Phoenix home buying options and offer a great value

The current real estate market is distressed and as a result there are foreclosure homes throughout the entire Phoenix-Metro area and neighboring Valley cities. Many times these home are move-in ready (despite what some new home builder advertisements like to depict), and foreclosure homes also may qualify for free home warranties, closing cost incentives and down payment assistance programs.  Overall a Phoenix home purchase that is a foreclosure (bank owned) property overs first-time home buyers and second home buyers or investors a great value.

Click here to search foreclosures in all Phoenix-Metro Valley cities to find your Phoenix home.

11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series-Budget and DTI

The Phoenix home buying planning process means time to budget

Phoenix home buying seriesIt is time to finally track your spending and put pen to paper an itemized list of where you spend money each month and how much. The goal here is to see how much Phoenix home you can afford within your budget.  The good thing is right now in Phoenix-Metro area you can own for less per month that what you can rent in many areas so your living expenses might actually go down once you buy!

Accurate figures are important to the Phoenix home buying planning process

Start with making a list of all your expenses such as utilities and living expenses such as electricity and groceries, then all monthly expenses such as credit card bills, car insurance and yes add your entertainment, clothes, etc. as well. If you spend $40/week on movies and you want to continue to spend $40/week on movies than include it, otherwise remove or lower it to something you feel is reasonable and then follow that. You may be surprised to find out how much money you spend on certain things that with a few minor changes here and there you can drastically reduce your overall monthly expenditures. After you total everything and subtract it from your income you will have a figure. From that figure take a certain percentage off the top to add to your savings accounts and/or retirement plan, etc and the final figure leftover (assuming you already accounted for miscellaneous disposable income in your list) is what you can afford as a mortgage payment with/without any lifestyle changes while growing your savings.

Lenders consider Debt-to-income (DTI) ratios during the Phoenix home buying pre-qualification process

The above budget is mainly for your purposes so you can determine during the Phoenix home buying process your comfort level with the money in and money out every month and also help identify spending habits that can be modified to help strengthen your overall financials. Lenders will take your debt such as current mortgage/rent, credit cards, car payments and compare it to your income (aka DTI or debt-to-income ratio). The qualifying ratio will vary by loan program and FICO score but for our example we will use FHA which is 41%.

Lets consider a quick scenario in determining DTI for a Phoenix home buying loan applicant;

Your Monthly payment on mortgage/rent = 1200
Minimum Monthly Credit Card Payments = 300
Monthly Car Loan Payments = 450
Other Loan payment = 300

Thus, your total monthly debt payment = $2250

Now, let’s consider your Gross Annual Salary = $75000
So, gross monthly salary = $6250
Other monthly income = $1000
Thus, your gross monthly income = $7250

So, mortgage debt to income ratio = (monthly debt payment)/(gross monthly income)
= ($2250/$7250)  = .310 or 31% which is well within the standard DTI ratio.

Hopefully now you have a good idea of how much you can comfortable afford every month, what changes to you budget need to be made if any and if your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is in-line with qualifying. If not you may have to pay off some debt to get your ratio where it needs to be as part of the Phoenix home buying process.

Phoenix-Metro Rated in Top 5 Sunny Cities To Watch in 2011

Phoenix-Metro Real Estate Recently Rated #2 in 5 Sunniest Cities To Watch in 2011 in Investopedia–a Forbes digital publication.

Phoenix-Metro real estate in sunny Arizona
One thing is for sure and that is Phoenix-Metro real estate has some of the best real estate deals in the US from both an investors standpoint and opportunities available to owner-occupied and/or first-time home buyers.

Phoenix-Metro Real Estate Offers a High Standard of Living

On average 293 people move to Arizona everyday for business opportunities, warm climate and low-cost housing. Golf courses and a plethora of dinning, shopping and entertainment venues native to upscale locations such as Scottsdale also keep Phoenix-Metro Arizona as a great place to visit or own an affordable vacation getaway.

Phoenix-Metro Real Estate is Popular Among Snowbirds

Phoenix-Metro is a popular destination for retirees and other Midwest, Northern and East Coast relocates as well as Canadians looking to get out of the harsh winter climates either seasonally (snowbirds as we like to call them) or as year-round residents.

In a recent Investopedia article, Ryan Fuhrman, sited Phoenix as one of 5 sunny cities to watch in 2011, stating;

Given that they were among the hardest hit, they could see quicker recoveries that also build steam in the next couple of years. They share some positive characteristics, including sunny locales that retirees find popular, and all were benefiting from a general population migration to warmer climates from colder ones in the northern parts of the country.

Whether your a snowbird, year-round resident, retiree, Midwest transplant, investor or an Arizona native the Phoenix-Metro real estate housing market has a lot of low-cost housing opportunities to take advantage of now and to come in 2011.

Click here for Phoenix-Metro real estate foreclosures by city

Alamosa Estates, Chandler Homes For Sale–Featured Community

Alamosa Estates, Chandler is an upscale community in South ChandlerAlamosa Estates, Chandler Foreclosure Homes For Sale.

Alamosa Estates, Chandler is located in 85249 zip code just East of S. McQueen Road, South of Ocotillo and North of Chandler Heights. Great location close to shopping, restaurants, entertainment venues, schools and the 202 & 101 freeways for easy access to/from the Phoenix-Metro area.

Alamosa Estates, Chandler offers basement homes with upgraded lot sizes in 85249.

Basement homes in Arizona are rare compared to other parts of the US. In Arizona you only have to dig about 18 inches to place pipes when building a home whereas in other parts of the Country you have to dig about 4-5 feet to place pipes below the freezing line. Therefore, the expense to build and finish a basement in other parts of the Country where the whether is colder is not great. In Arizona, adding a basement increase the cost by $20 – $25/sq.ft. according to Scott McDonald, founder of the Wall Company which means it is less expensive to build a second level than it is to build a basement home in Arizona.

Search below all homes for sale in Alamosa Estates, Chandler.

We're sorry, but there’s nothing to display here; MLS data service is not activated for this account.

The Fine Art of Negotiating Your Phoenix Foreclosure Real Estate Transaction

Negotiating your Phoenix Foreclosure Real Estate Transaction is something mastered by experienced Realtors.

Phoenix foreclosure real estate transactionLike with anything, experience builds confidence and confidence builds excellence. Negotiating a Phoenix foreclosure real estate transaction is no different.  Most Realtors in today’s Phoenix real estate market have negotiated some foreclosure transactions if they have done business the last three years or so. That is not to say they are excellent at it.

Proper representation is important in a Phoenix foreclosure real estate transaction.

Proper representation is important in a a regular or short sale real estate transaction as well. This is just to point out that ‘proper’ representation in a Phoenix foreclosure real estate transaction is more times than not with a Realtor that has extensive experience in negotiating Phoenix foreclosure transactions.  The main difference in negotiating with the Seller of a bank owned foreclosure property is that there is a chain of command that must approve and/or sign documents and each bank follows their own line of protocol and time frames. This translates overall to deadlines being strict, terms being firm and stakes being high.

Keep your emotions out of your Phoenix foreclosure real estate transaction.

Don’t take it personal that the bank wants to charge per diem fees if you don’t close on time or that they don’t want to replace the out-dated fixtures.  A Phoenix foreclosure real estate transaction will state the homes are sold ‘as-is’ and there are other certain characteristics of a Phoenix foreclosure real estate transaction that are pretty much universal, such as;

  • Earnest money needs to be in the form of a cashiers check
  • Sellers will not provide Seller Property Disclosure Statements (SPDS)
  • Sellers will not provide insurance claim history (aka CLUE)
  • Home is being sold in as-is condition
  • Per diem charges will apply if Buyer does not close on time through no fault of Sellers
  • Buyer is required to re-key the home after closing
  • There is no chance or pre-possession

Keep your eye on the prize and employ an experienced foreclosure Realtor to represent you and the process will go smoothly and stress free. Click here to contact us directly or complete the short form below if you are looking for Buyer representation in the Phoenix-Metro area. Our foreclosure team services Phoenix Valley Wide and has several experienced and knowledgeable Realtors dedicated to helping you with your Phoenix foreclosure real estate transaction.