To buy or rent, that is the question facing anyone looking at the Arizona real estate market. It’s no secret that the Phoenix metro area is one of the hottest in the country and that prices are rising. On the other hand, Arizona home rentals aren’t getting any less expensive, either. At our office, we speak with people every day who are wondering whether they can afford to buy a home or should continue to rent. There are many factors to consider, and the most important is affordability. In the long run, it is almost always best to buy. However, it is not a good idea to rush into a home purchase that you can’t comfortably afford. If you’re in that situation, look critically at your budget and find ways to save money each month. The other issue to consider is how long you are likely to stay in the house. If your job is stable and you want to put down roots, buying is probably the best choice. But if you’re only going to be in the area for a couple of years, and you don’t want to settle down, it can make more sense to rent and save for a down payment.
Many people assume they won’t be able to buy a home because of past short sales, foreclosures, or less than stellar credit. It is true that the banks have gotten more careful about mortgages, but there are also lots of programs to help people achieve homeownership. This includes down payment assistance programs and programs that can significantly decrease or eliminate closing costs. Don’t forget to check out the tax incentives for purchasing a home, especially for first-time buyers.
Another issue people have is trying to wait for the perfect time to enter the Arizona real estate market. For people who aren’t real estate investors, the timing of a home purchase matters less than finding a home that suits your needs and is affordable. Right now is actually a good time to consider a home purchase, as mortgage rates have stayed consistently low. In some situations, a mortgage will actually be several hundred dollars less than monthly rental costs.
Take a look at your budget, consider your short-term and long-term plans and crunch some numbers. You might be surprised at what you find.