Varley: Dreaming of home ownership? It’s within reach

By Diana Varley
Posted 8/24/20

While daily life has changed over the last few months, many prospective homebuyers in Phoenix still want to own a home. With new passions like fitness or exploring the outdoors growing, some Arizonians may be interested in a home with a backyard or an additional room for a fitness studio.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe.

For $5.99, less than 20 cents a day, subscribers will receive unlimited access to the website, including access to our Daily Independent e-edition, which features Arizona-specific journalism and items you can’t find in our community print products, such as weather reports, comics, crossword puzzles, advice columns and so much more six days a week.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Varley: Dreaming of home ownership? It’s within reach

Posted

While daily life has changed over the last few months, many prospective homebuyers in the Phoenix metro area still want to own a home. With new passions like fitness or exploring the outdoors growing, some Arizonians may be interested in a home with a backyard or an additional room for a fitness studio.

Deciding when to become a homeowner is a personal decision for everyone, but with mortgage rates at all-time lows, this may be a good time for prospective homebuyers to start preparing.

Realtor.com reported that buyer interest is growing, and the National Association of Realtors® identified Phoenix as having the highest concentration of prospective home buyers (10%). Although Phoenix home prices are currently increasing, the cost of living in Phoenix is 5% lower than the national average. Another NAR report found that over 77% of those who plan to sell believe they will do so following the end of stay-at-home orders, which means aspiring homeowners can start preparing.

Despite the changing housing industry in the Valley, it’s no secret that prospective homebuyers often struggle to come up with the upfront costs of homeownership. In fact, 69% say the biggest barrier is saving enough money for a down payment and closing costs, according to Bank of America’s homebuyer insights. However, many prospective homebuyers can afford a monthly mortgage payment.

Solutions exist to help prospective buyers come up with the upfront costs and get into their dream homes. Low down payment loans are available, along with grant programs through which, qualified borrowers may be eligible for up to $17,500 toward their dream home in Maricopa County. With a Bank of America lending officer helping you navigate the process and explaining the financial support available, homebuying doesn’t have to feel overwhelming.

How can you determine if sustainable homeownership is achievable for you?

Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Educate yourself: While you’re likely binge-watching TV right now, switch it up with some productive programming about financial readiness and the homebuying process from Bank of America. The more you educate yourself about the homebuying process beforehand, the less stressful it will be, and being educated on the topic means you’ll be armed with the right questions to get the house you want for a price you can afford.
  • Add to your savings: Saving money for a down payment is no small feat. There are many down payment assistance programs designed to help creditworthy borrowers become homeowners. By combining down payment assistance and closing cost help with a low down payment loan, you may find that a new home is within reach.
  • Understand what you can afford: A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “How much should I borrow?” Instead of, “How much could I borrow?” This approach focuses on the amount that comfortably fits your budget. Take your income before taxes and multiply that by 28% or use an online affordability calculator.
  • Maximize screen time: Use digital tools to browse for homes and get prequalified or preapproved for a mortgage from home. By entering information about your income, assets and other basics online or via the bank’s mobile app, Bank of America’s Digital Mortgage Experience can provide an estimate of the mortgage amount you’d qualify for.
  • Take advantage of discounts: Some new home builders offer discounts, free upgrades or cover closing costs to attract buyers. Check out new home communities in your desired neighborhoods and see if these incentives will help you save.

Most current homeowners believe that owning a home is worth the challenges it took to achieve, and with some patience, professional assistance and research, sustainable homeownership is within your reach.

Editor’s note: Ms. Varley is the Area Lending Manager for Bank of America Phoenix.

Comments