A good rule of thumb is using the 40%/50% rule. You shouldn’t spend more than 40% of your gross monthly income on your house payment and 50 on total debts including your house payment, credit cards, auto loans and other debts like student loans.
Down payments will vary depending on the type of financing. USDA and VA loans have 100% financing available, FHA loans require a minimum of 3.5% down payment and there are 3% down payment conventional loans available as long as you meet certain guidelines. There are multiple down payment assistance programs available to help out with the down payment as well. (Certain restrictions apply)
The first thing you need to know is what part of the valley do you want to live in. Phoenix is a huge area. Things to consider are. Where do your friends and family live? How far is it to your work? Are there parts of your lifestyle that you want to accommodate like outdoors or maybe nightlife?
This is very important. You need to find out what you can afford. Most home buyers base their search with price as the number one criteria. It is critical to meet with a lender and find out how much you qualify for. It is also key to have a pre qualification letter. If you find a home that you love and you don’t have one you will have to wait to write an offer. This could result in missing out on a home that you really want.
When you start looking you should have a set of two lists. One for your needs and one for your wants. Things to consider are, how many people will be living in the home? Do you want one story or two? If Two do you need a bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? What size yard would you like? Do you want a pool? Do you need to store an RV or boat?
One thing often overlooked is when you are ready to move again. You should look for negative things such as busy streets, nearby train tracks, proximity to an airport, power lines, abandoned properties, and anything else that might turn off another potential buyer. These things not only affect you as the buyer but also as a potential seller.
Ask lots of questions. There are so many moving parts to a real estate transaction. If you are unsure about anything just ask. There will be inspections, HOA, impound fee’s all kinds of things that you may or may not know about. That is another reason to work with a professional that you trust.
|Arizona Dept of Real Estate||http://www.azre.gov/|
|Arizona Dept of Financial Institutions||http://www.azdfi.gov/|
|County Assessor – Search property, get aerial maps, zoning, flood maps||http://mcassessor.maricopa.gov/|
|County Recorder – Document retriever||http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata|
|County Treasurer – Look up tax information and history||http://treasurer.maricopa.gov/|
|Maricopa County Website||http://www.maricopa.gov/Default.aspx|
|Arizona Department of Real Estate||https://www.azre.gov/|
|Pinal county assessors office||http://pinalcountyaz.gov/assessor/Pages/home.aspx|
|Pinal county recorders office||http://pinalcountyaz.gov/Recorder/Pages/home.aspx|
|Pinal county planning and zoning, Flood data||http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/PublicWorks/FloodControl/Pages/FloodplainPermit.aspx|