Choosing to buy a patio home can be a smart move, both financially and practically. Patio homes in Phoenix and in other major cities around the country tend to be easy to manage, financially affordable, unique in style, and connected to great communities.
Even so, you’ll have many variables to consider and many small decisions to make before deciding which patio home to buy – or how to buy it. With careful consideration and ample planning, you’ll be in a much better position to get the patio home of your dreams.
The Most Important Considerations When Buying a Patio Home
These are some of the most important variables and factors to consider when buying a patio home:
- Overall location. Where is this patio home located? You might already have a neighborhood in mind when you begin your search, or you may be open to the possibilities. Different neighborhoods offer different advantages and disadvantages, such as school district access, crime rates, property values, and more. There are many things you’ll be able to change about your patio home, but location isn’t one of them – so this is one of the most important factors you’ll need to consider.
- HOA presence. Most patio homes are members of a homeowner’s association (HOA). In case you aren’t familiar, HOAs are designed to maximize the value of homes in a particular area by dictating how the properties can be managed and setting rules for how residents are to act. They may also offer amenities to all homeowners in a given area, such as access to a pool or clubhouse. Different HOAs have different rules and charge different fees, so be discerning here.
- Amenities. Speaking of amenities, you’ll want to research and understand the amenities (or lack thereof) available to each patio home you visit. Will you have access to a walking path? A pool? A local gym? Special parking? You may want all or none of these things.
- Neighborhood trajectory. How has this neighborhood been developing in the recent past and where is it headed in the near future? It’s often hard to predict the future of real estate with any certainty, but there are good signs and bad signs. New employment opportunities, artistic prominence, and new restaurants and bars are usually great signs of neighborhood growth, ultimately serving to boost your property values well into the future.
- Accessibility. How easy is it to get around in this area? Is it convenient to park your vehicle? Do you have immediate access to a bus stop or another form of public transportation? Is there a highway nearby?
- The layout. What do you think of the layout of this house? This is another feature of a patio home that’s hard, if not impossible, to change. If you don’t like the fact that the bedroom is so close to the living room, or that the kitchen overlooks the road, you’re probably better off choosing a different patio home.
- The privacy. Patio homes have a lot of benefits for homeowners, but they also have a few downsides. While patio homes are great for socializing, they can also lead to some privacy concerns, especially if you’re sharing walls with a neighbor. Be sure to review the privacy afforded to you in a patio home before completing your purchase.
- The aesthetics. Aesthetics are subjective, but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter. It’s important to live in a place that you subjectively like. The architecture, color, and landscape can make a major impact on your overall living experience – and only some of these elements are easy to change.
- Your down payment. Most people who choose to buy patio homes finance them the same way they would a traditional home. They place a down payment and borrow money to cover the remaining costs. You can often afford to purchase a home with as little as 5 percent of the purchase price, or even 3 percent, but if you want to avoid PMI, you might want to save up 20 percent. It’s a big decision that can impact your finances for years to come.
- Your lender. You’ll also get to choose the mortgage lender for your purchase. Different lenders offer different rates, different closing costs, and different pros and cons. Shop around and find the best fit for your needs.
Making the Right Choice
With so many little choices to make and so many variables to consider, it’s easy even for experienced homebuyers to feel overwhelmed. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a seasoned real estate agent when making these types of decisions. Having an expert by your side can give you more confidence – and help you identify things you might not have considered on your own when buying a patio home.