What is the overall Home Buying Process?  Of course there are lot of moving parts, but the entire process can be broken down into a few major points that you will need to understand and be prepared for as you start working with your agent and your Arizona mortgage lender.

Step 1 – Getting Pre-Approved before you begin shopping for a home

Of course you need to know how much you can afford, the down payment budget you have as well as what type of AZ mortgage loan program you’ll be involved in.  A personalized strategy session with a trusted mortgage lender should address all of your initial loan approval questions as well as uncovering and addressing any potential issues.

Step 2 – Assemble your Home Buying Team

There are many players involved in the home buying process including your agent, title company, insurance agent, lender and possibly an attorney…and they all play an important role.

Remember, no one buys a home on their own.  It’s a team process since there are so many tasks, so many documents, and so many minute details to know which all need special attention.  It’s imperative that you develop a team that you trust and that the individual players will have the ability to communicate well and execute things on time.

Step 3 – Submit your purchase offer

Assuming you’ve already got the mortgage approval, your agent will submit your purchase offer to a listing agent or seller.  Once your offer is accepted the “due diligence” period begins with a series of events including the final mortgage approval, appraisals, inspections and any other requirements that need to be met before signing on the dotted line.

Step 4 – Conditions and Paperwork

Lenders, processors, insurance agents, sellers, real estate agents…everyone will have their share of documents for you so keep yourself well organized and well informed.

Step 5 – Closing

This is when all of the team players come together at the same time with the same agenda…to make sure all of the documents and figures are good…so you can put pen to paper and buy your home!

Home Buying FAQ’s

Q:  I’ve heard the term “Buyer’s Market” and “Seller’s Market”.  What does that mean?
A:  Simply, it’s about economics.  When there are more buyers than sellers, it becomes a Seller’s Market…meaning the seller has the control.  If they don’t like your bid, there’s probably someone else out there ready to buy.  On the flip side, if there are more sellers than buyers, it becomes a Buyer’s Market because there probably isn’t someone else waiting to place a bid.

Q: Where does my “earnest” money go?
 A:  Earnest money, or a small down payment to “hold” the purchase, is credited back toward the buyer’s closing costs or down payment.

Q: Do I need a Home Inspection?
A: Some mortgage loan programs require a borrower to get an inspection.  However, even if it’s not required it is still important to complete to be sure the house is sound and there are no problems waiting in the wings.

Q: Does it matter if I buy a home that’s part of a Home Owner’s Association?
A: Yes, it does.  An HOA may have the power to determine the color of your home, the number of pets you have and even the type of grass and flowers you plant?  They may also have the power to assess penalties to you if the problems aren’t fixed.  It’s very important to understand the scope of any HOA and what the costs/premiums might be.