Purchasing a house in a beautiful community like Hidden Valley Ranch can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. There’s so much in the area that you and your family will love, but diving into the local real estate market without the right knowledge can make the experience difficult.
To help you navigate your home buying journey, here’s what you need to know about homes for sale in Hidden Valley Ranch.
About Hidden Valley Ranch
Hidden Valley Ranch is a charming residential community located in the southern part of Prescott, AZ. Nestled among towering pines beside the Prescott National Forest, this community provides residents with scenic views of the city lights and the surrounding mountains. Residents have easy access to both numerous hiking trails and the Courthouse Square in downtown Prescott.
Homebuyers will find a variety of housing types, ranging from custom-built single-family homes to economical patio homes and condominiums. Buyers will have the advantage of the homeowner-run Homeowner’s Association (HOA), which maintains great amenities such as:
- A recently remodeled Activity Center with two racquetball courts, a game room, and several meeting and function rooms
- Four tennis and basketball courts
- Ramadas and shaded picnic areas
- A state-of-the-art swimming pool
- Several pocket parks and hundreds of walking trails
Life in Hidden Valley Ranch, Prescott, AZ
Buying a home in Hidden Valley Ranch is more than just choosing a property – it’s about choosing a well-rounded lifestyle. Known as “Everybody’s Hometown,” Prescott is a picturesque city with great weather, breathtaking landscapes, and a plethora of recreational activities.
So, when you buy a Hidden Valley Ranch home, you also get to have:
- A healthy, active lifestyle. Prescott is surrounded by a myriad of parks, mountains, and lakes where you can go hiking, rock climbing, fishing, and enjoy other outdoor activities. Recreational areas like the Prescott National Forest, Goldwater Lake, and Thumb Butte are just a short drive or hike away. Award-winning golf courses like Antelope Hills, StoneRidge, and Capital Canyon Club can also be found within the city.
- A rich culture and history. The culture and history of the Old West is alive and thriving in Prescott. You can go horseback riding along the same trails that cowboys like Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp traveled through, have a drink at one of the Old West saloons along historic Whiskey Row, or learn more about Pioneer, Western, and Native American history at Sharlot Hall, Phippen Museum, and the Museum of Indigenous People.
- A vibrant and artistic community. Prescott is a haven for artists and art enthusiasts. The city offers a variety of theater productions, concerts, and art exhibits, such as those hosted in the Sam Hill Warehouse Visual Arts Center at Prescott College, Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, and Findlay Toyota Center. Intimate co-op art spaces like the Raven Café help foster and promote local talents as well.
Homes for sale in Hidden Valley Ranch
Apart from the great lifestyle, other factors should be considered when you’re looking at homes for sale in Hidden Valley Ranch and other neighborhoods in Prescott. From specific home features and amenities to local market conditions and national economic trends, it’s important to know the trends that can affect your homebuying process.
Overview of the real estate market
- Booming luxury market. The Covid-19 pandemic has made many homeowners reevaluate what it means to have a great property and a high quality of life. For many luxury homebuyers, it’s about being close to nature and having bigger living spaces. According to Realtor.com, the city is one of the hottest luxury real estate markets in the country because of its gorgeous properties, warm climate, numerous golf courses, and mountain views.
- High property values. Living in Hidden Valley Ranch may come at a price, but it is certainly a worthwhile investment. For the last ten years, the typical home value for Prescott properties rose from $233,000 to $595,000 (based on March 2022 data), which amounts to an appreciation rate of 60.84%. Between 2021 to 2022 alone, the median sales price rose by 32.3%. Buying a home in Hidden Ranch Valley will not only add diversity to your financial portfolio, but it can also give you a great return on investment should you decide to sell it in the future.
- Positive trends for buyers. According to the market monthly statistics from the Prescott Association of Realtors (PAAR), housing inventory has greatly improved compared to 2021. As of March 2022, new listings were up by 12.8% and active inventory rose by 38. 4%. Additionally, real estate research firm CoreLogic notes the possibility of the Prescott housing market having a price correction later this year. These are all great news for homebuyers, especially those who are weary from the tight competition and skyrocketing prices.
Finding your dream home in Hidden Valley Ranch
Single-family homes and luxury properties are some of the most common property types you’ll find in Hidden Valley Ranch, but you’ll also see a few townhomes, patio homes, and condominium developments on the market.
Like the rest of Prescott, Hidden Valley Ranch has a distinct and highly varied architectural profile, where no two homes are alike. Home designs range from Revival styles like Tudor, Mediterranean, and Spanish Mission to more localized ones like Territorial and Tuscan Styles. Other common architectural styles include Contemporary, Ranch, and Mid-Century Modern.
Whether you’re looking for a low-maintenance townhouse or a custom-built single-family home, here are 4 features you may want to look out for when purchasing a Hidden Valley Ranch property:
- An open concept layout. Staying inside our homes for most of the pandemic has made us realize the importance of sun-filled, open spaces, especially when it comes to our health and mental well-being. Take advantage of Prescott’s sunny climate by finding a home with a flowing open floor concept. Not only will this give you a bright and airy living space, but it will also allow better interaction between guests and loved ones while entertaining.
- Indoor-to-outdoor living spaces. Hidden Valley Ranch is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, so why not bring that into your home? Amenities such as ramadas, outdoor kitchens and dining spaces, fireplace gathering spots, gardens, and rooftop sitting areas are must-have features in Prescott. Floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors, floors that extend from indoors to the exterior, internal courtyards, and patio lounge areas can also help bring the outside into your home.
- Energy efficiency. Having energy efficient homes is helpful to both the environment and to your electricity and utility bills. When living in a semi-arid state like Arizona, it’s wise to check the insulation and the building materials used in the home you’re planning to buy. Keep an eye out for features like thermal tinted windows, solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and earth-toned exterior colors, all of which can help regulate the temperature of your home.
- Smart home features. What do we mean when we talk about having a “smart home”? Smart home technology refers to an array of home devices and appliances that works and can be controlled under one network or system. For example, a smart home system can control the thermostat, lights, TVs, and security cameras and locks all from a single smartphone app. Having this feature is convenient, efficient, and offers improved home security and appliance functionality.
Your homebuying checklist
Ready to start looking at homes for sale in Hidden Valley Ranch? Here’s a comprehensive list that can help you cover all the bases in buying the right home:
Understand the homebuying process
Here’s a run-down of the most important things you need to do to make the most out of your purchase:
- Have a well-grounded budget. Buying a home is one of the biggest financial transactions in a person’s life, so setting a reasonable budget is the first step. Aside from the purchase price of a home, you must also consider other homebuying expenses such as property taxes, inspection and appraisal costs, insurance programs, HOA fees, and closing costs.
- Get a mortgage pre-approval letter. In this competitive real estate market, obtaining a mortgage pre-approval letter is crucial in making your homebuying process as smooth as possible. Not only will this let you know how much you can borrow for your purchase, but it will also let the seller know you are a serious buyer. Moreover, getting a pre-approval letter will help streamline the actual loan application process
- Work with the right real estate agent. When you work with a licensed Arizona Realtor, you get to have their hyperlocal expertise and professional skills working for you. Having a highly skilled Realtor on your side will give you a competitive edge in the market, especially when putting down offers and negotiating. Similarly, they can also help you avoid wasting time and money on bad properties and risky contracts.
- Make a competitive purchase offer. Once you’ve found your perfect Hidden Valley home, it’s time to make a strong purchase offer. Your real estate agent will assist you in assessing comparable sales prices, as well as adding the contingencies necessary to protect your interests, such as a loan contingency and an appraisal contingency. Your agent will also represent you during negotiations if the seller decides to make a counteroffer.
- Going through escrow and closing. When you and the seller finally agree on the purchase offer, you will both be under contract to satisfy all the contingencies agreed upon before your close of escrow date. In Arizona, this process takes around 30 to 60 days, and usually involves performing a title search and providing a preliminary title report, conducting standard home inspections, securing a mortgage loan, and applying for homeowner’s insurance. Once all conditions in the contract are met, both parties get to sign the necessary closing documents. Afterwards, funds are transferred to the seller, and the deed to your new home is handed over to you!
Ensure that you receive a disclosure report from the seller
A person selling a home in Arizona is required by state law to tell prospective buyers about all material information about the property, especially if it can negatively affect its value. The seller’s disclosure statement must include important facts such as:
- General and legal information such as location, ownership, easements or use restrictions, and occupancy
- Information on the structural integrity of the property, as well as any improvements done on the property
- Environmental information, including issues relating to soil settlement, erosion, noise, odors, lead-based paint, asbestos, or mold
- Access to community and recreation facilities
- Electricity, telephone, gas, water, and sewage disposal service providers
- HOA details
- Taxes and assessments
- The property’s drainage and flood risk
- Description of the adjacent land and its uses
- Local services and facilities such as schools, public transportation, fire protection, ambulance service, police protection, etc.
Check out Arizona homebuyer programs
First-time homebuyer programs and down payment assistance programs are designed to help you cut down on home buying expenses, whether it’s through grants that can cover down payment and certain closing costs, mortgage loans that have less requirements, or other financial benefits.
In Arizona, you can take advantage of the Home Plus mortgage program, which provides a wide range of assistance options to homebuyers. Designed as a three-year, no interest, no payment, soft second mortgage, this program has no first-time home buyer requirement, can potentially cover all your down payment and closing costs, and has a lien that is forgiven monthly over the first three years of home ownership.
The money received from this mortgage assistance program can be combined with conventional and government loan programs as well. This can help cover some private mortgage insurance payments or ease requirements needed to qualify for a loan.
Know your property taxes and tax exemptions
When drafting your budget plan, it’s important to consider your property taxes. Depending on where you live, it can take up a large portion of your monthly bills. Your property tax bill will depend on the assessed value of your home and the property tax rates for your city. Hidden Valley Ranch, located in Prescott, has a property tax rate of 0.2378 as of 2022.
To cut down on homeownership costs, you can apply for property tax exemptions. In Yavapai County, qualifying for a tax exemption can reduce your property’s assessed value by $3,894 at most, which reduces your overall property tax bill. To qualify, you need to:
- Be a resident of Arizona
- Have a total assessed valuation less than $26,458, which equates to a $264,580 property valuation
- Have a total household income that does not exceed $32,447. If children under 18 years old reside in the household, then the limit for total household income is at $38,926
Make the necessary home inspections
Having a home inspection is one of the most pivotal points in a homebuying process. It can make or break your decision to push through with the purchase, since it will reveal any underlying issues or necessary repairs in a home. During the home inspection, a licensed inspector will evaluate the condition of the property from the outside in, including the home’s interior, exterior, mechanical appliances and systems, and structural foundations.
Arizona has a dry and hot environment, so your home inspection may involve other tests that will check the home’s ability to withstand the weather and climate. Usual issues found in Arizona homes are cracked or broken tiles or mortar caps on the roof, leaking faucets, tubs, and sinks, as well as broken or poorly installed ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Your inspector will also check the home for any pest infestations, such as termites, tarantulas, and scorpions.
Study the local climate and its possible effects on your home
Prescott is nestled among the Bradshaw Mountains of central Arizona, giving it a Mediterranean climate. Unlike other places in the state with similar climate, Prescott has a distinct summer wet season brought about by the North American Monsoon.
So, when you shop for a homeowner’s insurance, make sure to check its coverage in the following areas:
- Dwelling. This helps pay for damages to the structure of your home, such as roof leaks, bursting pipes, or other monsoon-related damages.
- Other structures. This covers everything on your property other than the house itself, such as the driveway, fence, shed, and other buildings.
- Loss of use. If your home becomes uninhabitable because of covered damages, this coverage will help compensate for your temporary home and basic living expenses.
- Personal property. This coverage will account for all your belongings inside and outside of the house in case they are damaged or stolen.
- Liability protection. This helps you pay for legal fees and other payouts should a person get injured on your property and decide to press charges, or if someone on your policy causes damage to another person’s property or items.
- Medical protection. If someone gets injured on your property, your home insurance can help cover medical expenses if necessary.
Getting the right help
Owning a home in a highly desirable neighborhood like Hidden Valley Ranch is a dream, but the process of getting there can be made significantly smoother if you have the right skills, knowledge working on your behalf.
I’m Sarah Allen, a long-time resident of Prescott and a licensed Arizona Realtor. My goal is to give each of my clients a positive real estate experience through exceptional service, in-depth industry knowledge, and consistent communication.