New or Pre-Owned. Get the Facts!
Buying New Construction
There are still newly constructed homes throughout the Valley of the Sun, and your Realtor can help you locate them and negotiate the best deal. If you are interested in purchasing a brand new home, your agent has access to information about where these homes are located, what floor plans will work for you, and whether the builder had any spec (speculative, or pre-built) homes available.
Your Realtor will accompany you to new home communities and is happy to show you the models or spec homes. He or she will also negotiate with the builder to get you the best price, the most options, and the best terms. Keep in mind that if you go to a new home community without your representative, the builder will not work with him/her later on, so you will be negotiating on your own (and the on-site salesperson represents the builder, not you).
If you choose to select a lot and have a new home built, keep in mind that it may take 6 to 12 months to complete. It is difficult to determine an exact time to complete your new home, so try to be flexible with your current living arrangements, and don’t count on moving on the exact date you are given when you sign a purchase contract.
Buying a Resale Home
Resale, or pre-owned, homes abound throughout the Valley. In today’s market, you’ll find three predominant types of processes:
The ‘Traditional’ sale, where buyer and seller agree on price and terms and close escrow
A ‘Short Sale’ wherein the seller owes more on their loan than the property is worth. In this case, the buyer and seller would agree to price and terms, but the seller then must gain approval from their lender to accept less than their loan amount.
A ‘REO’, or real-estate owned, sale is one in which the home has been foreclosed by the bank, and the bank is re-selling the property.
Traditional sales tend to be the most straightforward and can close escrow fairly quickly. Short sales will take additional time, since the bank must approve the contract terms and verify that the seller has a valid reason for ‘selling short’. A Short Sale can take from 30-180 days or more to gain bank approval and move toward close of escrow. REO, or lender-owned, home sales can be quick, since the bank already owns the property and has probably established the sale price in advance.
A fourth option is to purchase a home at a Trustee Sale. This is the point at which a bank is foreclosing on the property, but will sell it to the highest bidder who offers a price the bank feels they can accept. Trustee sales are very popular with investors, but do require that the buyer pay cash for the purchase within 24 hours of the sale.
Keep in mind that in the case of Short Sale and REO properties, the home is usually sold in ‘As Is’ condition, so no repairs will be done by the seller, and you will receive no warranties that major systems (like air conditioning or heating) will be in working order.
When purchasing a resale home, consider buying a Home Warranty plan. A Home Warranty will cover the cost of repair or replacement of most major systems within the home for a period of one year after you purchase. The cost generally runs $500.00 to $750.00 but can save you a significant amount if just one major system (like your air conditioner) malfunctions. There is a service charge for a repairperson to come investigate, but it is usually $55.oo to $75.00. The cost of he home warranty is negotiable, so you can request that the seller purchase the warranty for you.
Most builders in the area use their own purchase contracts, and the terms may be substantially different from the standard Arizona purchase contract, so make sure you and your Realtor understand the differences before you sign.
Vacation and Estate Homes
Throughout the Valley, there are wonderful areas if you are looking for a vacation home or a second home. We have many home-owners who enjoy our ideal weather during the winter months, and we’re happy to show you how you can be one of them!
Homes in Arizona can be low maintenance due to our desert environment, and ‘lock and leave’ is a favorite saying around here. You may prefer a gated community, where there is extra security when you’re not in residence. There are many condo and townhome communities, as well as single-family homes available to you.
Would you prefer a location in the center of town so you can walk to shopes and restaurants, or is a more rural environment, where you can watch the quail and hear the coyotes sing, more your style? No matter what you dream of when you think of owning a home in Arizona, we can help you find it!
Some areas of the Valley are known for their grand estate homes. Whether you’re looking for a close-in location with easy access to shopping, dining, and entertainment for a more pastoral setting where you can wander your land and enjoy the desert surroundings, our experienced agents can help you find it.