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The ultimate guide to seamless home buying in Tucson, AZ

Tucson, Arizona, USA Skyline

Tucson is blessed with gorgeous desert landscapes, vibrant culture, abundant outdoor amenities and attractions, high quality of life, and thriving arts scene. All these considered, it’s not surprising to learn that many people are starting to see the city not only as a holiday destination, but also as a place to live.
Planning to buy a home in the city? Continue reading as Signature Group lays out everything you need to know for a seamless home-buying experience in Tucson, AZ.

Table of Contents:

WHAT IS THE TUCSON REAL ESTATE MARKET LIKE?

The second-largest city in Arizona, Tucson has over 120 neighborhoods, each offering a wide range of properties that cover every taste and budget. At present, homes for sale in Tucson, AZ have a median price of $385,000, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 4.1% year-over-year. Meanwhile, the median home sold price is $363,000, with sold properties having a sale-to-list price ratio of 99.22%.

Single-family homes make up the biggest chunk of residential real estate in Tucson. These properties come in different styles and sizes, from modestly sized in La Cholla Hills to private luxury estates in neighborhoods like Pima Canyon Estates. Many homes in Tucson were built between the 1970s and late 1990s, but you can also find older properties (1940 to 1969) and newer construction (2000 or more recent) in the market. A small collection of historic homes that date back to the 1930s and earlier are available as well.

Popular architectural styles in Tucson

Tucson boasts a wonderfully diverse housing stock architecture-wise, with The New York Times once calling it “an unsung architectural oasis.” Here’s what you can expect to see as you explore homes to buy in the city.

  1. Spanish Colonial

    Commonly built between 1915 and 1945, this style draws influence from multiple sources, including Spanish Baroque, Moorish Revival, and Mexican architecture. Spanish Colonial homes typically have thick stucco walls, red-tiled roofs, exaggerated arches, and wrought iron balconies, all of which help give them a romantic and relaxed feel. You’ll find these homes in many parts of Tucson, but especially in historic neighborhoods such as Aldea Linda and the Blenman/Elm area.

  2. Sonoran

    First popularized in the 1840s, the Sonoran style is known for its use of exposed mud adobe blocks, the presence of high ceilings, stone foundations, canales or roof drainage pipes, vigas or round roof timbers, and zaguan or central hallways. Unique to the Southwest, Sonoran-style homes are frequently found in barrio neighborhoods such as Barrio Anita, Barrio Santa Rosa, and El Presidio.

  3. Mediterranean Revival

    Made popular between 1920 and 1930, the Mediterranean Revival architecture is easy to spot because of its distinct characteristics, which include irregular floor plans, stock walls with projecting bays, red-tiled roofs, and concrete columns.

    A great example of a Mediterranean Revival-style home is singer Linda Ronstadt’s Tucson residence. Originally built in 1928, the property is located in the historically designated Colonia Solana neighborhood in the heart of Tucson. It was designed by renowned Tucson architect Roy Place, who also famously designed the city’s domed courthouse and Benedictine Monastery.

  4. Modern Ranch

    Designed to encourage hospitality and family connection, the Modern Ranch style enjoyed popularity in Tucson from the 1930s until the 1970s. And like their West Coast counterparts, these homes have the signature Ranch features: U or L-shaped floor plans, low-pitched roofs, and exteriors made from wood, brick, or stucco. Large sliding glass doors are also common fixtures in these homes, as are large windows.

    While Modern Ranch-style homes can be found throughout Tucson, a good number of them can be found in the historic neighborhood of Winterhaven, which C.B Richards developed in the 1940s.

  5. Pueblo Revival

    Another distinct Southwest architectural style, Pueblo Revival designs drew inspiration from the Spanish missions as well as the pueblos of Mexico. These homes are traditionally constructed from adobe and stucco, although modern interpretations now use the likes of brick and concrete. Pueblo Revival homes also often feature earth-hued spaces, rounded corners, and massive wood components such as porch posts and ceiling beams.

    At present, old Pueblo Revival homes can be found mostly in historic neighborhoods like El Encanto Estates and El Montevideo Estates, whereas newer examples can be found in places such as Altura and Southeast Tucson.

  6. Barrio Viejo of Tucson, Arizona, Colorful Houses in Tucson

  7. Modern

    Developed in the first half of the 20th century, modern styles such as Art Deco, Streamline, and Mid-Century Modern all enjoy extreme popularity in Tucson. While these styles may have differences in terms of aesthetics—Art Deco’s maximalism and Mid-Century Modern’s elegant minimalism come to mind—they do share several similarities, such as the use of open living spaces and clean lines, as well as a predilection to materials like iron, glass, steel, and concrete.

    Homes built in these modern styles can mostly be seen in Tucson’s downtown area, as well as older neighborhoods like Sam Hughes, Park Modern, and Silverbell Commons.

HOW TO BUY A HOME IN TUCSON, AZ

Now that you have a glimpse of what Tucson’s real estate market has in store for you, here are some tips to help you buy homes in Tucson, AZ in a stress-free manner:

  1. Be financially prepared. Ensure that you have enough funds to cover all home-buying related expenses, from to closing costs. Moreover, you should also have some money set aside for relocation and emergencies.

  2. Decide on your budget. Once you have taken your finances into account, make it a point to decide on—and stick to—a budget. This is important, given how easy it can get to be swayed and coerced by sellers and their agents into getting properties that are priced much higher than your budget allows.

  3. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Shop around for a mortgage loan that fits your financial goals and capacity. Once you find a loan with agreeable terms, take the necessary steps to get pre-approved. This will give you a clearer understanding of your budget and, once you find a house you love, make sellers see you as a serious buyer.

  4. Work with a local and experienced real estate agent. A key step in the home-buying process is finding—and working with—a real estate agent or Realtor that meets your needs. They will provide you with guidance in every step of the home buying process.

    When looking for an agent, try to choose someone with an established local track record. If possible, ask for referrals from friends and family who have recently purchased their homes in Tucson.

  5. Decide on a neighborhood. When purchasing a property, one of the most important factors you should consider is location– it’s one of the attributes that will directly affect your day-to-day life. Homes in Tucson’s downtown area, for instance, provide direct access to the city’s amenities and attractions, while more suburban properties offer a bit more privacy and quiet.

  6. Understand the offer and negotiation process. Once you have found a home you like, it’s time for you to draft your offer. It is best that you have your Realtor or agent by your side during this time; they can help you draft a competitive offer and eventually negotiate on your behalf. Be firm with your conditions and contingencies, but exercise some flexibility when there’s room for it, especially if you find yourself in a multiple-offer situation.

  7. Exercise due diligence and have the home inspected. Even if you find a gorgeous property that manages to tick all of the boxes in your dream home checklist, it is important that you still have the house inspected thoroughly by a qualified home inspector. Doing this will help you spot any defects in the property before they worsen, such as damaged foundations, HVAC failures, pest and mold infestations, and issues with the plumbing and electricity.

  8. Take the time to read and review the contract. Before finalizing your deal with the seller, it’s recommended that you consult with legal and financial advisors as well as have them go over the contract. Doing this will help ensure that all aspects of the transaction are in order and that your interests are protected throughout.

Moving forward: Making your relocation smooth and stress-free

After you find– and purchase– your dream house in Tucson, it’s time to turn it into a home. Don’t forget to do the following tricks to make your moving experience as stress-free as possible:

  1. Make sure you have enough savings. Ensure you have at least six months’ worth of living expenses saved to take care of any expenses you might incur during and after your move. Doing so will help you avoid dipping into your personal savings and guarantee a seamless move, even despite emergencies.

  2. Try to learn as much about Tucson and your neighborhood. Ideally, you’ve already done a fair amount of research before you purchased the property, especially if you’re new to the area or the city. But days before and after your move, take the time to get your community better.

    Walk around the neighborhood to identify local retail and dining spots, service providers, parks, and other points of interest. Introduce yourself to residents and start making friends with your next-door neighbors, if you have any. It will also help to keep yourself updated with local news, including upcoming infrastructure projects and real estate developments in the city.

    Expand your exploration to the rest of the city to get a better grasp of the local lifestyle. What are the things to look forward to in Tucson? Where can you go to find the best pasta or sushi in the city? What are the public transit options available near you? Take your time to experience Tucson, not just as a visitor, but as a resident.

  3. Stick to a strict schedule. Creating a schedule before moving to a new neighborhood is critical for a smooth transition, as schedules allow you to better manage all of the aspects of moving. Furthermore, having and sticking to a schedule facilitates a smooth transition to your new home and neighborhood, as it can help you avoid last-minute rushes and unexpected hiccups.

    For a more stress-free move, stretch out the process to over a few weeks instead of just a couple of days– or a weekend! For example, five weeks before your move, cancel subscriptions and services addressed to your old home and have them rerouted to your new house. The following week, start changing your address in identification cards, banks, and other such things.

    Three weeks before your move, start sorting your belongings between what to keep and what to let go. You can also start transferring bigger furniture from your old home to your new home so by the time you move, essentials such as bed frames are already ready.

  4. Downtown Tucson, Arizona

  5. Be careful when it comes to packing. One of the most important tasks you must complete before moving is packing all of your belongings. However, don’t just pack your belongings randomly—carelessly stuffing them inside boxes is a surefire way to stress yourself out before, during, and after the move.

    To reduce your stress and ensure that nothing important is left behind, begin listing and organizing your belongings at least three weeks before your move. You can pack your items by room to make unpacking easier as well, just make sure to label all boxes clearly.

EXPLORE YOUR REAL ESTATE OPTIONS IN TUCSON WITH SIGNATURE GROUP

If you’re planning to buy homes in Tucson, AZ, you want to make sure you have Signature Group by your side.

Signature Group is composed of seasoned real estate professionals with in-depth knowledge of Tucson, AZ real estate. In just a span of a decade, the agency has served over 800 clients not just in the city, but in other parts of Southern Arizona.

Ready to start exploring your real estate options in Tucson, AZ? Give Signature Group a call today at 520.333.6864. You can also send an email to arrange for a private real estate consultation.



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