Most people who buy a home in Arizona will also sell a home in Arizona so price doesn’t matter.
If the value of your current home has declined, that means the price of your next home will have declined too. It’s a wash. You didn’t lose anything.
Whether prices are going up, down or sideways doesn’t matter much when you are buying and selling similar priced homes in similar areas of town.
Here is the key. Get the most you can for your current home. Pay the least you can for your new home. It’s not rocket science.
Now there is one common problem; although it’s easy to see how much the new home will cost, home sellers have a huge tendency to overvalue their current homes. That miscalculation will seriously mess up your plans. The problem isn’t that the market fell. The problem is the miscalculation and the resulting emotions.
If you believed your home was worth $X, you will feel discouraged when you find out it is worth less. You will feel bad. The whole “move” idea can become filled with regret and remorse when you find out you were wrong about your home’s value. You may feel you somehow lost money and that you are somehow a loser for not making more money, even if you will still net hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale!
The problem isn’t the market. The market is what it is. The problem is your emotional reaction to the market.
If, however, you have a realistic idea of what your home is worth today, falling prices don’t hurt you when buying and selling at the same time.
If you honestly know where you should price your home to get it sold in 30 days and you’re fine with that price, then you are golden to upsize, downsize or change locations with minimum hassle. You are free.
Disclaimer: 1) If you are an investor or a first time home buyer, price does matter but prices are moving in your direction. 2) If you owe more on your home than it’s worth you’ve got a big problem. The vast, vast majority of homes in the Valley were purchased before 2005, however, so most will have plenty of equity.