Buying An Arizona Home – Where To Start?

Buying an Arizona Home – Where To Start?

Nowadays – 2011 – most home buyers start their home search online. This is unlike how our parents and grandparents did it. Today, we have access to homes for sale on the Internet and we can get mortgage rates in just a few clicks with our mouse. In our parents day they had to contact a real estate agent to show them paper copies of homes for sale and they had to go down to the bank to physically speak with the local banker. With this said, here is a brief list of some of the steps you might consider taking if you are looking at buying a home.

  • Determine your financial position first
  • Determine a wish list for your home.
  • Pick a real estate agent

Determine your financial position first.

Believe it or not, buying a home doesn’t start with a real estate agent, it starts with conversations with mortgage lenders. You must determine what kind of loan program you can qualify for and what home price you can afford. Are you going to take advantage of low VA rates as a VET or use an 203K rehab loan from FHA? Are you going to pay points or how much downpayment will you need? How does your credit look?

Determine a wish list for your home.

It helps to determine what you want in a home before you start looking. You waste a lot of time looking at homes that don’t fit your needs – it can also be frustrating sorting through homes that are in your price range but don’t have what you want or need. Also, by putting together a list of things you want in your home you can help your real estate agent (once you pick one) get right to the types of homes best suited for you.

Pick a real estate agent.

There are a lot of steps to buying a home and real estate agents walk people through the home buyer process all the time. You don’t want to miss something as it may end up costing you a bunch of money and time. Once you get a sense of what, where, when etc. it’s time to hook up with a real estate agent. You’ll want to get an agent to represent you with submitting purchase offers and negotiating.

It’s Up To You

Do some snooping. With the Internet making home searches so easy, take some time to start looking around to see what’s out there. You need a real estate a lot less than you used to when it comes to looking homes for sale.

Hopefully this list will help you through the early stages of looking for a home.

Time Considerations After A Short Sale Before You Can Buy A Home Again

Time Considerations After A Short Sale Before You Can Buy A Home Again

With the number of short sales happening in the Phoenix AZ real estate market, many homeowners who have gone through the process (or are thinking about the process) wonder about what’s next after the short sale is complete. This post will not cover the legal battles you might have with your ex-lender but rather it is going to cover your options for living arrangements and home buying after your short sale is complete.

Two years?

One of the first things to get comfortable about when it comes to a short sale is that you will not likely be able to buy a new home for at least 2 years (all mortgage programs including VA loans, FHA loans and Conventional mortgages). The 2 year guideline stands as long you keep your credit record spotless from the time your short sale is complete until you try to get a new mortgage.

Which Types of Mortgages?

These guidelines and general rules apply to any type of mortgage. Later in the post, the time requirements for common mortgage types is explained in detail.

Time Requirements

With this in mind you’ll need to think about renting a home for a at least 2 years to give yourself time to meet the minimum time requirements that you’ll need to get any type of mortgage. Mortgage programs differ and there are different time requirements following a short sale that you’ll need to know about if you plan to purchase a home after your short sale. Below you’ll see a summary of some of the time requirements.

Time Requirements To Getting a New Mortgage After A Short Sale

Fannie Mae (Conventional and Freddie Mac):

      • 2 years with 20% down
      • 4 years with 10% down
      • 7 years with 3% down


      • 3 years from short sale completion date * Per FHA – you may be able to get a FHA mortgage under 3 years under special circumstances


      • The VA hasn’t specified wait time guidelines after a short sale but plan on nothing less than 2 years.

USDA Rural:

      • 3 years from the completion date


      • 7 years from completion date


Next Steps

Now that you have this list you may want to think it is set in stone. What you need to remember is that if you have a good reason for what caused the short sale you may be able to get an exception to any of the time frames listed above. Best thing you can do is talk to a few loan officers to get different opinions.

Tips for Buying a Short Sale Home in Phoenix, Arizona

Tips for Buying a Short Sale Home in Phoenix, Arizona

It is nearly impossible to sort through homes for sale in Phoenix Arizona and not come across some great deals that are only available for sale through short sale. Either the short sale offer is already approved by the lender, or the home seller knows they can only sell their home through a short sale but don’t have lender approval yet. In either case, if you are going to purchase this type of home you will need to know some of the following information to make your home purchase of a Phoenix short sale home much smoother.

  • Fees & Finanaces
  • Inspections & Legal Advice
  • Get An Experienced Real Estate Agent

Fees & Finances

Don’t pay them (Fees that is). You shouldn’t have to pay any upfront fees to a real estate agent or to the home seller to make an offer. If you are asked to pay an up front fee to a real estate agent to make an offer on a short sale home, then you should find yourself another agent to work with to represent you. If you are a VET for example and are planning on taking advantage of low VA rates, then you’ll want to let everyone know you are trying to use a VA loan, or whatever type of financing you are planning on using so everyone knows the scoop. Ahead of time, get your financial matters in order so you know exactly what you are approved for, and that you have fixed any issues that may come up in getting your loan.

Inspections & Legal Advice

While you won’t have to pay upfront fees, you may have to pay upfront for inspections if your offer gets accepted. You may even consider having an appraiser appraise the home to determine the fair market value of the home to help give you an idea of what you would want to offer on the home. It is also a good idea to have your home inspection. Talk to an experienced short sale agent about what you should do when buying a short sale home.If you are going to buy a short sale home, make sure you get in touch with an experienced real estate attorney who is familiar with Arizona real estate law. You will also want to speak with a CPA or other tax preparer about any obligations you may have when buying a short sale.Make sure you get property disclosures about the home from the home seller. They should disclose the history of the property since they have owned it.

Get An Experienced Real Estate Agent

This is important. You must work with someone who has dealt with short sales before, unless you want a headache. Ask for the number of short sale deals they have done, and some referrals. You need to do your homework. See if you can find them online and talking about themselves as someone who has experience in short sales.

Last, But Not Least

Give yourself time, be patient, and be aware that just because you are negotiating a short sale offer with the lender they may still sell the home through a trustee sale. You should find out from the real estate agent if they know of any trustee sale information. Has foreclosure been initiated etc.? Most of this information is public so they should be able to help you determine if there is a risk that home may be sold while you are trying to buy it.

This site is for informational purposes only. It is not sponsored or in any way affiliated with the government. If you are in need of a mortgage loan, consult with a licensed mortgage professional. All fair housing and equal housing opportunity laws apply when applying for a mortgage or buying a home. Copyright 2012.