It’s no secret, the housing market can be difficult to navigate in its current state. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 6.56%, and Phoenicians are experiencing a 12% inflation rate increase from last year. But as expenses have risen, inventory has gone up and homes are staying on the market longer.

To navigate this tricky market, keep in mind the below six tips for homebuyers today.

Consult with an agent to help you navigate the market

Working with a trustworthy agent is important. They are experts in the market and can provide advice throughout the buying process. Your agent is your advocate and is there to help you get the best home for the best price. Also, they know all the key steps to follow and documentation to complete. Thus, if you are a first-time buyer, an agent will be a huge help.

READ ALSOArizona No. 2 for largest house price appreciation

Create a list of needs and wants

Although there are more houses to choose from, it may not make finding the right home any easier. There are many variables in a home such as location, features, and most importantly, price. Before searching for homes, take time to create a checklist of your needs and wants. Also write down items that are negotiable and ones that are not. Homebuying can be an emotional process, but this list will allow you to make the best decisions to meet your budget reality.

Work with a lender to calculate your mortgage based on current interest rates

There are many online tools you can use when calculating home expenses but try to work with a mortgage broker to calculate your mortgage based on current rates. A lender will be able to help borrowers estimate their monthly mortgage payments depending on how much the purchase price of the house is and current interest rates. Mortgage brokers have a range of tools at their disposal and assist in finding a realistic deal that matches your budget. In the future, if interest rates decline, your broker can directly assist you with refinancing your home.

Get pre-approved

When you are pre-approved for a loan, you become a stronger option for the seller. Although bidding wars are cooling down, you still may be competing with multiple offers, and this will give you a competitive advantage. It will also give you a sense of what homes are within your budget.

Look at multiple homes to get a personal feel for what you are looking for

Time is your friend in this process. While house hunting, take plenty of time to look at multiple homes to get a feel for what is available in your price range. Be sure to bring your detailed checklist as well. At a home showing, ask questions about the property and look around the neighborhood. Note the pros and cons of each home and see if they can be addressed. For example, if you find a house with the perfect floor plan, but the paint color is not correct, how much would it cost to change? Similar items to look at would be floorings and appliances. Ultimately, picture your life at each home and make note of each experience.

Mentally prepare to bid on a home

Be prepared to bid on a home. Once you have viewed multiple homes and are narrowing your list down, mentally prepare to bid on a home. Although the frenzied bidding wars are in the past for now, the Phoenix market is still relatively competitive. Once you send in an offer, be patient. Offers will sometimes fall through, be outbid, or there is the rare possibility of a listing getting removed.

House hunting may sound easy on the surface, but there are many steps to deal with properly to ensure you will find your dream home. Be patient and know that the right home will come at the right time.

Author: Rich La Rue is a HomeSmart Phoenix Designated Broker. For more information, visit