If there’s one thing as hot as an Arizona summer, it’s the Phoenix real estate market. As first-time home buyers enter the market and the area continues to attract new residents, local Realtor Dan Carroll, who hangs his license with Realty One Group, offers tips to help potential buyers find their dream home.
Carroll — who has specialized in residential real estate in the Central and Camelback corridors with a niche in historic homes, for the past 12 years — offers his top three tips for first-time home buyers:
1. Choose Need Over Want — It’s easy to get caught up in the cosmetic aspects of a home such as high-end appliances or new fixtures. However, when shopping for a home, it’s essential to make sure the “needs” checklist outweighs the “wants.” Remember that the wants, or non-negotiables — such as new appliances or a pool in the backyard — can be added down the line. While needs, such as a desired location (never underestimate location!), are much harder or even impossible to change upon buying the home.
2. Prequalify — Prequalification is vital for a number of reasons — one of which because it will give potential homebuyers a realistic guideline of what they can afford when it comes to the mortgage. “It’s a huge letdown to find the home of your dreams, only to discover its beyond your means,” says Carroll. Prequalification works on the flip side, too. Sellers may take a prequalified offer more seriously than another offer that comes from someone who is not prequalified.
3. Be Financially Disciplined — “In any market, don’t try anticipating the peaks and valleys,” he says. “Be financially wise, particularly if you’re selling and buying. In a strong market, you’ll earn a pretty penny and spend equivalently, while in a weak market, if you earn less in your sale, you’ll likely pay less for your purchase.”