If you’re looking to buy homes in Tucson, you’re going to need some help, and for good reason: yes, Tucson has a relatively low cost of living compared to other major cities in Arizona and the real estate market there has enjoyed a continuous upswing for the better part of a decade. (Image Credit: Pexels/Pixabay)
But here’s the inside scoop: real estate ownership in Tucson is slightly complex thanks to the varying prices in different neighborhoods and the maintenance costs of living in a semi-arid climate. Here are some hot tips to buying a home in Tucson:
Structure Your Budget Wisely
In some areas of Tucson, like Old Pueblo, housing costs have risen steadily over the past 10 years, with prices hitting above national average on the regular. Expect to pay around a little under a thousand dollars a month on mortgage and around $700 a month for rent.
If you’re moving from California, the average house price of $226,000 seems like a dream (heck, you could rent out Disneyland for the day at that price), but if you’re coming from, say, the Midwest, this might leave a bitter taste in the mouth. If you’re moving to Tucson, structure your budget wisely and expect higher-than-expected costs when factoring in building costs and maintenance.
Sweeten Your Deal
Despite being a major metropolitan center, Tucson retains a lot of its small-town charm which includes being good neighbors and honesty in making deals. Real estate experts suggest offering ‘good faith money’ or higher-than-average earnest money deposits when making an offer on a house. This helps buyers build a good relationship with sellers, not to mention shows your dedication to purchasing property.
One thing you shouldn’t do? Give a low-ball offer. The Tucson real estate market is a tight-knit community, and if people catch wind of you making lower-than-average offers, you might find yourself hard-pressed to find another property owner willing to sell. As a general rule, make your first offer the best one you can make and negotiate from there.
Inspect the Properly Carefully
Tucson enjoys hot weather all year round, and while that’s great for people looking to escape the winter winds, it’s a major consideration when inspecting homes. Desert conditions like sand and direct sunlight take a huge toll on exteriors, which is why it’s doubly-important for potential home buyers to carefully inspect every nook and cranny of their potential purchase. Be especially careful with south-facing homes, as they’re the ones that take the full brunt of the Arizona sun.
The Arizona desert makes for a very picturesque landscape, but bear in mind that the desert is home to other critters, particularly termites and scorpions. Make sure to inspect your home for infestations, as this can be common for older houses made of wood. It’s also a good idea to ask potential neighbors about the presence of coyotes and bobcats.
Buy at the Right Time
Because of its balmy weather, Tucson is a prime destination for ‘snow birds’, i.e. people from colder climates flying down to more temperate climes during the winter months. This means that real estate prices almost always go up during the summer months, as this is usually the time that people go to canvass and inspect houses. By and large, the best time to buy houses in Tucson is January and February, mostly because, by then, the snow birds have concluded their purchases and the real estate market is on its yearly downswing in preparation for summer.