With its hot desert climate, an annual average of 299 sunny days, and a treasured collection of national parks and monuments, the Grand Canyon State has plenty to love. But, if you’re considering buying a house in Arizona, you already knew that. Whether you’re a first time home buyer, or it’s just your first time buying a house in the sunny state of Arizona, there are a few things to look out for as you navigate this unique housing market.
Arizona: one of the nation’s hottest markets
Long viewed as a retirement destination and winter getaway for snowbirds, Arizona’s demographic has shifted in recent years. More millennials and young families are chasing good job opportunities and an affordable housing market. In fact, Phoenix topped the list of fastest-growing cities in 2020, again.
And it shouldn’t be surprising that Phoenix and the surrounding area consistently rank on trending real estate lists across the nation. After all, it’s got natural beauty, a thriving arts and culture scene, and a growing tech sector.
Predictions for the greater Phoenix area
As the “Valley of the Sun,” Phoenix has more 100 degree days than any other city in the United States. It’s known for long, hot summers and short, mild winters. And thanks to a recent influx of tech, healthcare, and finance jobs, it’s one of the fastest-growing regions in the country.
In fact, according to a market overview by Norada Real Estate Investments, the “Phoenix housing market 2020 started so strong that only something as drastic as the ongoing pandemic could have impeded the real estate sector.” And despite coronavirus, housing prices have held steady while other real estate markets get clobbered.
Location, location, location
Arizona down payment assistance programs
According to the NerdWallet 2019 Home Buyer Report, 62% of Americans think you need a 20% down payment to buy a home. But in today’s market, and facing today’s economic challenges, that might be an impossible figure. That’s why, if you’re thinking about buying a house in Arizona, your absolute first stop should be looking into assistance programs aimed at first time home buyers.
Many of these programs are specifically designed to help first time home buyers, often in partnership with the Arizona Department of Housing. Depending on your circumstances, you could qualify for a grant, an interest-free loan, or some other type of loan that’s intended to help you get your foot in the door.
Pro tip: a lot of these assistance programs will factor in your credit score. Not sure where yours stands? A credit monitoring tool like Credit Karma can help you check your report and achieve your long-term financial goals. You could also benefit from working with a financial advisor, who can take a holistic look at your income, debt, and Arizona real estate goals.
Unique challenges to buying a house in Arizona
If you’re from a colder climate, you probably aren’t used to scorpions in the air ducts or subterranean termite colonies. But those are just two of the most pressing pest concerns when buying a house in Arizona.
Luckily, you can learn about a property’s scorpion and pest history before you buy your home. When the seller first lists their home, they’re required to complete a Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS), which includes disclosures about pests and pest control treatments.
Another Arizona must-have: air conditioning. With summer temperatures averaging 105 degrees, a functional air conditioner isn’t just an amenity; it’s a necessity. In fact, The Arizona Legal Center even defines air conditioning as a basic necessity under Arizona law.
Because the A/C system is so important, we recommend having a trained HVAC professional complete an inspection. As ACE Home Services notes in their recent article, “many home inspectors lack the tools and expertise to properly inspect an HVAC system, and simply flip the switch to make sure the unit comes on before noting that the ‘HVAC system appears to be functional.’”
Partner with a trusted Arizona real estate agent
With year-round sunshine, growing healthcare and tech sectors, and plenty of entertainment options, it’s no wonder so many people are interested in buying a house in Arizona. If you’re one of them, congratulations! We’re here to help you take the next step. Get in touch to learn more about how our licensed agents can help you find your dream home.