BUYING A HOME IN PRESCOTT
As your Prescott real estate experts, we’d first like to welcome you to the neighborhood! With so much to see and explore, there are a hundred reasons to love Prescott, and even more reasons to buy a home here! Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned real estate investor, buying a home is exciting. After all, you’re not simply purchasing a property or a building; you’re finding a niche in a community where you will belong, a place that will truly feel like home. And when you team up with The Cahn Team, we’ll make finding the home of your dreams a dream come true.
FIND HOMES FOR SALE IN PRESCOTT
Finding a home with the right features in the right neighborhood that also fits into your budget can be challenging. With our advanced home search tools, you can search homes by price, city, and neighborhood, and even specify your desired features and amenities. Creating a Property Organizer allows you to save your favorite properties or receive alerts when new homes matching your criteria hit the market.
HOME BUYING TIPS AND RESOURCES
Looking for local information about Prescott or its many beautiful neighborhoods, home buying tips and tricks, or pricing and financing? We’ve got you covered! Whether this is your first time buying a home or your tenth, it’s important to make sure your facts are up to date!
Buying a Prescott, AZ home is both thrilling and a bit unnerving, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. Both experienced home buyers and first-time buyers alike will benefit from the frequently asked questions below. Before you begin your Prescott, AZ home search, it is recommended that you prepare yourself for the journey by educating yourself. This will ensure you are a knowledgeable home buyer prepared to make a confident home buying decision.
Q – I’ve never purchased a home before. Where should I begin?
A – Actually, you’ve already started the process. Fact-finding and reading articles is a great way to become a smart consumer. The highest priorities to focus on before you begin searching for specific areas, neighborhoods, or homes would be to:
- Familiarize yourself with your personal finances.
- Learn about the Prescott, AZ real estate market.
- Carefully review your budget and begin to eliminate as much debt as possible.
- Have a down payment and earnest money ready when the time comes to act and make your offer.
Your next step is to contact us. As your home buying specialists, we’ll protect your interest and manage the details of the real estate transaction on your behalf to your complete satisfaction. For more experienced buyers, a little brush up on the real estate process wouldn’t be a bad idea. Of course, you’ll need a really sharp Prescott, AZ real estate team to protect your interests too!
Q – With all the bad news about mortgage products and home foreclosures, how do I avoid making a big mistake when deciding which type of loan to select?
A – Once we meet and review your finances along with your home buying needs, you should select a lending consultant. We can recommend several trusted lending professionals or you can choose your own. Having upmost confidence in your lender is important. Be sure you feel completely at ease with them. They should speak to you in easy to understand terms. Ask lots of questions and never sign any document until you know what you are signing and feel completely at ease signing it. More and more lending professionals are recommending fixed interest rate loans and interest rates are still very attractive. Of course, the type of loan best for you depends on several factors. Here are just a few:
- How much money do you have for a down payment?
- How long do you plan to live in the home?
- Do you qualify for a FHA or VA loan?
Because more homes are on the market here in Prescott, AZ, your choices are plentiful and the time is right for you to buy!
Moving & Packing Tips
MAKING YOUR RELOCATION TO PRESCOTT, AZ EASIER!
Let’s face it, moving day is no picnic. Experience has taught us organization is the key to making your relocation to Prescott, AZ as smooth as possible. By using these helpful tips, your move will be much more organized and less stressful. If we can be of assistance, contact us, your Prescott, AZ real estate experts.
- Host a garage or yard sale to get rid of outgrown or unused items. If time prevents you from holding a yard sale, consider donating the items to a charitable organization like the Salvation Army or the Goodwill Foundation.
- Use sturdy, reinforced boxes, and if packing fragile items, pack them with care.
- Consider using bubble wrap or other packing material for extra cushion and security.
- If you secure free boxes at your neighborhood supermarket or liquor store, just remember they are not reinforced.
- Mark fragile boxes so movers can identify them quickly and easily. Be sure you point out to your mover those boxes that contain high-value items and secure extra insurance for those items.
- Pack dishes, bowls, plates and other glass objects vertically, rather than flat and stacked.
- Pack heavier items in smaller boxes.
Don’t forget to label your boxes, especially any box that contains items that are needed immediately such as sheets and towels. You’ll need those items first when you move in. Here are more great moving tips.
- Create an “OPEN ME FIRST” box containing personal essentials like toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, paper plates, paper cups, paper towels, snacks, instant coffee or tea bags, soap, flashlight, tools (screwdriver, pliers), and any other items your family can’t do without. Have this box available so it can be removed first from the moving van.
- Take your old phone book with you just in case you need to contact someone from your former home.
- Exchange your contact information with the mover’s foreman in case you need to contact each other.
- Read all moving documents before you sign anything. If you don’t understand something, ask for a clear explanation.
- Note your shipment’s registration number, and keep your Bill of Loading handy during the move.
- If you’re moving long distance, it’s possible your household goods and personal belongings could be on a truck with someone else’s goods too.
- If this is the case, your mover may have to warehouse your furniture and belongings for several days.
- Ask your mover if your goods will remain on the truck until delivered. If they have to be stored, ask if you may inspect the warehouse for security, organization and cleanliness.
- Lastly – take all your personal documentation (medical records, school records, financial records) and medications with you for your security and for your convenience.
TAKING CARE OF THOSE YOU LOVE!
There are other moving tips to remember when relocating with your kids and pets. Be sure to contact us to request these special tips to make your move with kids and pets safe and sound.
10 Steps to Buying a Home
STEP 1: FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD
- Determine what you’ll be able to afford in mortgage payments each month, as well as what you can invest initially as a down payment. Keep in mind additional costs like closing costs, fees, homeowners insurance, and taxes will all add to the overall costs. Be sure to check your credit score, and remember that just because you don’t have a traditional 20% down payment doesn’t mean you can’t buy a home!
STEP 2: SHOP FOR A LOAN AND GET PREAPPROVED
- Finding a trustworthy lender and determining what type of loan you’ll qualify for will help you figure out how much home you can actually afford. Get recommendations, check with the Better Business Bureau, and be sure to talk to at least three or four lenders before making a decision. Need recommendations for lenders in Prescott? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
STEP 3: DETERMINE THE SELLING PRICE OF HOMES IN YOUR LOCATION
- If you have a preferred location or neighborhood, find out the actual selling price of homes in that area – not just their listing price to confirm whether you can actually afford that location. Have a particular neighborhood in Prescott you’d like to check? Request your neighborhood sold report here!
STEP 4: FIND AN AGENT
- Your agent should be someone you know you can trust, an expert on real estate in your area and neighborhood, and very proficient in working with buyers of your experience. Looking for an agent in Prescott? Find out more about our experience and how we can help you buy a home!
STEP 5: FIND YOUR HOME
- This is the fun part, where you get to visit open houses, tour homes, make notes, and really hone in on your perfect dream home! Make sure you keep detailed records of the homes you visit, noting things you liked, didn’t like, pros and cons, etc. Taking pictures can also keep your memory fresh. Buying a home in Prescott? Start searching for your dream home today!
STEP 6: MAKE AN OFFER
- When you find your favorite home, work with your agent to determine a competitive but reasonable offering price. You’ll want to choose a number that is comfortably within your price range but competitive enough that it won’t cause the seller to immediately reject your offer.
STEP 7: GET AN INSPECTION
- Nothing’s finalized yet, so make sure you’re getting your money’s worth! Ask your real estate agent to recommend a trusted home inspector to walk through the house and check for any potential defects or problems. If necessary, you can request that the seller repair any issues you find.
STEP 8: REVIEW YOUR CONTRACT
- Before you sign any paperwork, it’s important that you carefully read over the contract with your agent or lawyer to ensure there are contingencies – that is, if something falls through with your mortgage, you aren’t still obligated to buy the home.
STEP 9: FINALIZE YOUR MORTGAGE APPROVAL
- Work with your chosen lender to submit your mortgage application, review predicted closing costs, and have your home appraised. Common closing costs include attorney fees, title insurance, appraisal fees, home inspection fees, courier fees, government recording fees, and taxes.
STEP 10: CLOSE AND PAY
- It’s time to close! Meet with your agent, lender, and the seller to finalize the paperwork, sign your contracts, and pay your down payment and closing costs. Finally – the keys to your new home!
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS OR READY TO GET STARTED?
If you’re thinking of buying a home in Prescott, then it’s time to contact The Cahn Team. We’re your local real estate experts. Not only can we answer all your buying questions, we can help connect you with the resources you need to make an informed decision so you’re sure to find your dream home at just the right price. Take a look at some of the home buying resources we have to offer.
Don’t be daunted by the leap into unknown waters! Buying a home for the first time may seem like an overwhelming process, especially when you have no idea where to start, but that’s why we’re here for you. Learn more about the process of obtaining a mortgage, finding the perfect home, and making an offer, and you’ll be on your way to owning your very own home in Prescott!
UNDERSTANDING YOUR MORTGAGE
First and foremost, let’s talk about mortgages. Most buyers need one, and there are a lot of options that vary greatly from lender to lender and from buyer to buyer. This means it’s important to understand what you’re looking for and talk to a lot of different lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.
TYPES OF MORTGAGES
There are four basic types of mortgages used by the majority of home buyers.
- Conventional Mortgage: This is the standard loan used by buyers with good to excellent credit who make down payments of at least 10%. However, there are programs that offer options for lower down payments based on buyer credit and location.
- FHA Mortgage: These loans often apply to buyers with lower credit scores, as they offer a down payment as low as 3.5% and lower interest rates. However, FHA mortgages do also require mortgage insurance premiums, which can result in higher overall costs.
- VA Mortgage: All veterans and active military members qualify for VA loans. These offer up to 100% financing, simplified loan approvals, and lower interest rates. They can be much lower than conventional loans.
- USDA Mortgage: These loans are available to buyers in rural or low-density areas and offer up to 100% financing and below-market interest rates. Their ideal buyers are of average means, have lower credit scores, and are buying modest homes. Additionally, because of the government’s loose definition of the term “rural,” some of the buyers in the smaller communities surrounding Prescott will qualify for this loan.
WHAT DO MORTGAGES INCLUDE?
There are four main components to a mortgage payment, often abbreviated as “PITI.”
- Principal: This is the repayment of the initial amount you borrowed from your lender (in other words, the price of your home).
- Interest: This is a payment to the lender for the money borrowed (and is then added on to the initial price of your home).
- Taxes: Your annual city and county taxes assessed on your property are divided by the number of mortgage payments you make in a year and added into your mortgage.
- Insurance: Your monthly homeowner’s insurance payment covers you against various hazards and is added to your mortgage payment.
GOING LOAN SHOPPING AND UNDERSTANDING YOUR OPTIONS
Before you decide on any particular loan or lender, it’s important to do your research. That means meeting with AT LEAST two different lenders to ensure that you’re getting the best rate possible. It’s also important to understand two different types of interest rates offered by mortgage lenders.
- Fixed-Rate Mortgage: The interest on an FRM will not change, so your monthly payments won’t change, making them very predictable.
- Adjustable-Rate Mortgage: The interest rate on an ARM will often be lower initially, but as interest rates do fluctuate with the market, they can be somewhat unpredictable or even result in higher payments.
CALCULATING YOUR MONTHLY BUDGET
Now that you know what loan options are available to you, what you can expect to pay as a down payment, and what your likely interest rates will be, it’s time to determine how much you can afford to pay every month, which will then be used to calculate the price range of your home.
Keep in mind that your mortgage costs will be based both on the price of the home and the CURRENT interest rates. A home’s affordability can vary from one day to the next based on the current rates.
FINDING A REAL ESTATE AGENT IN PRESCOTT
Your agent should be someone you know you can trust, an expert in real estate in your area and neighborhood, and very proficient in working with buyers of your experience.
SHOPPING HOMES FOR SALE IN PRESCOTT
Now it’s time for the fun part! You get to start shopping! This is where you get to decide exactly what you want and need in a home, from the type of house or townhouse to the location of the neighborhood to all the exciting interior and exterior amenities you just have to have! Make sure you keep detailed records of the homes you visit, noting things you liked, didn’t like, pros and cons, etc. Taking pictures can also help keep your memory fresh.
Tip: Before you start touring homes, determine the actual selling price of homes in your preferred neighborhoods – not just their listing price – to get a better idea of the actual affordability of the location.
MAKING AN OFFER
You found the perfect house, and now it’s time for your and your agent to sit down and discuss your offer. It’s important to work together to determine a price you can comfortably afford but will also be a realistic offer for the seller to accept and will not be dismissed against any competing offers the seller might receive.
WHAT WILL I PAY UPFRONT?
- Earnest money: Think of this as your security deposit. It’s paid when you submit your offer to show the seller that you are serious. When your offer is accepted, it is applied to your down payment or closing costs.
- Down Payment: This is determined by your loan, or possibly any government programs or assistance you have requested.
- Closing Costs: These are typically low for buyers and represent the fees associated with paperwork and lender charges.
REQUESTING A HOME INSPECTION
If the seller accepts your offer, it’s time for a home inspection. Before you close, you’ll want to have an experienced professional walk the house to ensure that there aren’t any lingering problems or maintenance issues that might not be visible at first glance. You don’t want to be hit with a serious maintenance or structural issue right after you move in. If necessary, you can request that the seller repair any issues you find.
If everything looks good, it’s time to sign the paperwork, make final negotiations and payments, and get your keys!
- Review Your Contract: Before you sign any paperwork, it’s important that you carefully read over the contract with your agent or lawyer to ensure there are contingencies – that is, if something falls through with your mortgage, you aren’t still obligated to buy the home.
- Finalize Your Mortgage: Work with your chosen lender to submit your mortgage application, have your home appraised, and review predicted closing costs. There are many costs commonly associated with closing, including attorney fees, title insurance, appraisal fees, home inspection fees, courier fees, government recording fees, and taxes.
- Pay, Close, and Get Keys: It’s time to close! Meet with your agent, lender, and the seller to finalize the paperwork, sign your contracts, and pay your down payment and closing costs. Finally – the keys to your new home!
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT BUYING YOUR FIRST HOME IN PRESCOTT?
We bet you do! Buying your first home is no simple process, and though we have tried to provide as many important details as possible, there’s still much to ask and learn. So don’t wait – contact us today and ask away! Want to do some more reading? We have plenty of resources to help you out. Learn more about buying a home today!
Let's Stay in Touch
Contact Us today!
Joni R. Cahn | (928) 899-0646
Debora Opitz | 928-925-5842