Buying a home is an important decision. It’s a major step towards personal independence.
There are a lot of things to consider, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
What kind of house you want to buy and where you want to live can impact the rest of your natural life.
That’s why it’s important to take all the time and effort needed to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Mistakes made along the way can cost time and money.
It may seem overwhelming at first, but buying a home in Alabama isn’t as difficult as it may seem.
You just have to take things carefully and plan what you want to do. Taking some time for planning and being proactive are keys to your success.
Here are six steps for buying a home
- 🏠 Decide what kind of house you want to buy
- 💲 Getting price estimates can help you establish a budget.
- ☑️ Get pre-qualified for a mortgage
- 🙋♀️ Find a realtor
- 🔍 Make an offer and schedule an inspection
- 📝 Talk to your lender and get your paperwork in order
- 🏡 Complete the sale
- 💡 In Conclusion
- ☎️ Have Questions? Ask The Howell Group!
🏠 Decide what kind of house you want to buy
One of the first things to decide on is what kind of house you want to buy.
From there, do some research into the different types of houses that are available in the neighborhoods that you’d consider moving to.
💲 Getting price estimates can help you establish a budget.
You can also start to determine how much money to set aside for a down payment, homeowner’s insurance, closing costs, and other related fees, monthly mortgage and utility payments and any moving expenses that you may have.
☑️ Get pre-qualified for a mortgage
Before you establish a firm budget, you need to figure out what kind of a loan you will actually qualify for.
To get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan, you’ll have to supply some information to a lender.
They may ask for your income and any existing investments or savings that you may have.
The lender will use this information to determine how much they can lend to you.
This will help you determine if the homes you’re looking for are actually in your price range.
To get pre-approved for credit, the lender may ask for additional information, such as pay stubs or tax forms.
They will usually check your credit score and credit rating to see what kind of offers they can extend to you.
🙋♀️ Find a realtor
While you can shop for homes by yourself, most people turn to the knowledge and expertise of a professional real estate agent.
They know the market and they know the area. They can help you find the best property that meets your needs.
Take some time to review possible realtors. Visit their website, and look at their track record.
The realtor you select should have a proven success record and is someone who makes time for you. Schedule a meeting with them so that you can explain what you’re looking for.
The realtor will arrange several home showings for you to attend. This is a perfect time for you to review the interior and exterior condition of the home and ask any questions that you may have.
You can also take time to see what the neighborhood is like, and how close the home is to schools, churches, doctor’s offices, shopping centers, and other area amenities.
🔍 Make an offer and schedule an inspection
Once you’ve found the home that fits your needs, you can make an offer. There may be several others who are already interested in that particular home, so your offer should be competitive.
If your offer needs to be adjusted, make an effort to do so in a timely manner. This shows the seller that you’re interested and have your finances in order.
Most real estate deals are contingent on having the property thoroughly inspected, so be sure to schedule this as soon as possible. Most home inspections cost around $300 or so.
The inspector will examine the property and make notes of any conditions or issues that need to be addressed.
Feel free to ask questions or ask that the seller make any recommended repairs before the transaction is finalized.
📝 Talk to your lender and get your paperwork in order
The next step is to finalize the mortgage paperwork. By now, you should already how much money the lender is willing to let you borrow. Now it’s time to prepare the mortgage paperwork.
Choose a financing option that works with your budget. Keep in mind that you will also have to pay for closing costs, insurance, title fees, and other costs as well as the down payment.
There is a lot of paperwork that has to be done in this step. Most of it is done at the lender’s office and at the title company.
Once the mortgage paperwork is finalized and approved, the lender will send everything off to the title company.
The title company will review the paperwork, verify that everything is correct and that the seller actually has legal ownership of the property that you are about to buy.
🏡 Complete the sale
You will finish all remaining paperwork at the title company’s office and therefore complete the sale. You will be given your copies of the paperwork and your check will be delivered to the seller.
This entire process can take anywhere from a few days up to a week, depending on the timing and location of the seller.
Once the seller has received your payment, you’re all set to move into your new home!
Time to start bringing in your belongings, placing furniture where you want it to go and start to settle into your new environment.
Invite a few friends or family members to help you move in, and take some time to get to meet your new neighbors.
💡 In Conclusion
These are the key steps for buying your next home. The entire process can take months to complete, and you may not always be successful on your first attempt.
You can have everything all lined up, only to find out that the seller has sold to another party who made a better offer or made an offer at a higher price.
When this happens, don’t give up. Just because that opportunity is gone doesn’t mean that your dream home isn’t still out there.
Staying focused and driven will keep you on the right path. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy your new home in no time.
☎️ Have Questions? Ask The Howell Group!
Give The Howell Group a call today at 205-568-5435 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.