Buying Your New Home
Being relocated to Phoenix at this time can only be looked upon as an amazing opportunity to establish your new home and career in one of the most resilient economies in the United States. Phoenix ranked 26 in the NAI Rank for 2013, moving up 10 places from 36 in the previous year. Due to a rapidly improving employment situation and projected household growth, you are just one of a great number of people being welcomed to the Valley of the Sun.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the median price of a home in the Phoenix metro area was about $132,000 in December 2012, compared to $88,500 in 2011. This chapter will help you take full advantage of the recent leveling off of prices by helping you participate in the Phoenix real estate market by providing an overview of the homebuying process. Also in this chapter, the many benefits of enlisting the help of a REALTOR® will be presented to you.

BEFORE YOU START LOOKING AT HOUSES
Before you begin looking at houses in the Phoenix area, identify preferred and ideal locations based on your needs, social activities, job location and lifestyle preference. Since you are new to the area, get familiar by driving around some of the neighborhoods and suburbs at different times of the day. Once targeted locations are identified, it is important to define your living needs within the house and homes with the style you seek.

For example, how many bedrooms and bathrooms are needed? Are there special requests, such as ample kitchen counter space or an island in the kitchen for food preparation? Is it important to have a family room or backyard? Are there preferences for the kitchen, such as gourmet features with top-of-the-line equipment, or will a functional kitchen be acceptable? What architectural and aesthetic preferences are important—single-level or multilevel, traditional or contemporary, bold and modern or warm and rustic? What about a swimming pool, a scenic view or a big yard—are any of these items a priority? If so, your real estate agent will need to know. A discussion about location or proximity to certain facilities and amenities is also an important conversation because it will influence a family’s opinion of a property.

It’s also important to note what you don’t like and communicate that to your real estate agent. If traffic noise near your home is a problem, make note. Is there adequate shade around the property so utilities won’t be high in summer? Is the potential home light, bright and airy or in need of immediate modernization? Is the property located in your preferred school district? How about shopping? Is it necessary to drive far to buy groceries or access services? Are there adequate roadways in and out of your neighborhood, especially during rush hours? Let these ideas help you develop your own list that you can refer to during the home-shopping process. This can help you avoid making an emotional decision.

USING THE WEB AS A RESEARCH TOOL
In addition to searching for properties and real estate agents in the Phoenix area at the Phoenix Association of REALTORS®, there are national real estate websites that list homes for sale and provide information and tips but don’t handle transactions. These include Zillow.com, Yahoo Real Estate and MSN Real Estate. At these sites, you can learn about individual neighborhoods, school districts, local-area statistics, home values as well as have access to current real estate market reports.

SELECTING A REAL ESTATE AGENT
Before you relocate to the area, it is a good idea is to find a real estate agent who is a relocation specialist or a buyer’s agent. A relocation specialist focuses on helping people move to a new area, and many are available through nationwide real estate brokerages. If you’re unfamiliar with real estate companies in the Phoenix region, ask a real estate agent you know in your current city for a company recommendation or affiliation. You can go online and search for companies that meet your needs and geographic location. You also can contact the advertisers included in this relocation guide.

Selecting the right real estate agent is important as you will be working closely with that professional on one of the most important financial transactions in your life—the purchase of your home. When interviewing real estate agents, include these questions to ask:
  • Question 1: Is the real estate agent a certified REALTOR®?
  • Question 2: Does the real estate agent have any additional training or designations? Does the agent’s business card and website information reflect this?
  • Question 3: How long has the agent been in the business?
  • Question 4: How well does the agent know the Phoenix real estate market?
  • Question 5: How many transactions was the agent involved with last year?
  • Question 6: Does the agent work full-time or part-time?
  • Question 7: Is the agent a good communicator and does he present himself professionally? Which tools does the agent use to communicate? By phone and e-mail?
  • Question 8: How accessible is this person during the workweek and the weekend?
  • Question 9: Does the agent know the community you may be interested in?
  • Question 10: Is the real estate agent a buyer’s agent, a seller’s agent or a dual agent?
  • Question 11: Does he or she have recent client references?

After deciding on the right agent, it’s important to remember to keep communication lines open, sharing any thoughts, concerns or reservations at any point along the way to ensure the best home buying experience.

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Chapters
Being relocated to Phoenix at this time can ...
While house hunting in Phoenix, you and your ...
One of the highest priorities for relocating families ...
Although a newcomer to the Phoenix region, you ...
The Phoenix area is home to a handful ...
In this chapter, you’ll find information on different ...
It’s been a hectic week as you learned ...
Phoenix is the sixth most populous city in ...
More Than 4 Million People Call the Region ...
As the sixth largest city in the United ...
You’ve just received exciting news. Along with your ...
BUYING A HOUSE AND MAKING IT A HOME While ...
ALTERNATIVES TO BUYING A HOME If you’re relocating to ...
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After decades of growing out, Phoenix is finally ...