With any home purchase there are always specific items or features you may want to look for, however, this is especially true when it comes to purchasing a desert home. Desert homes are drastically different from homes you may find in the pacific northwest or lining the east coast. The three most important things that you want to look for are the home’s cooling capabilities, the landscaping, and the building materials.
The first and arguably the most important feature to look for when purchasing a desert home is the home's temperature control systems. While you always want to ensure that there is a good working AC unit within the home, you also want to look at the way the home was built as this could drastically affect the temperature. Desert homes should have high ceilings and plenty of ceiling fans to help keep air circulating throughout the home. This will also help generate a light breeze which can be a huge help on hot days. In addition, while having over sized windows and sliding doors may be aesthetically appealing, larger windows allow for more sunlight and thus more heat to enter through the thin glass. It’s also important to remember that the desert gets quite cold at night, using window or box fans, and opening up doors and windows at night is a cost effective way to cool down the house for the evening and capture some cool air for the next day.
If you are new to the desert you may notice that the landscaping is much different. Instead of lush green grassy lawns, you will be met with lava rocks and cacti. When purchasing a desert home be sure to look at the current landscaping and see if it will fit into your desires. If you want an area for kids to play try finding a home with a large concrete patio where you could lay out a piece of turf, if you have a green thumb try to find a large space where you can try your hand at decorating with different colors of rocks, cacti and succulents. Creating winding rock paths or cobblestone trails leading to other areas of the yard is a fun way to boost your curb appeal and highlight decorative designs. A good desert landscape is of high priority when it comes to the curb appeal and value of your home.
Related: How to Landscape Your Desert Home
While you may want wood siding and a cabin look, this is not the type of home you should find or purchase in the desert. Wood will get too hot and expand or sweat in the desert temperatures. Instead, be sure that you are purchasing a home that is made of Stucco as it is able to withstand the hot summers and cool evenings without showing damage from the elements. In addition you will want to be sure that your home is equipped with a tile roof. Tile roofing is the most recommended roofing material for a desert home, however, it is very costly to replace or repair so be sure that you have the roof inspected well during your home inspection to check for any damages or potential replacements that may be needed.
Now that you have an idea of what to look for, it’s time to start house shopping! As with all home purchases, you should have a trusted and seasoned real estate agent to help you with all of your purchase needs.