Buying a home in Alabama can be a daunting task for anyone - even the most experienced in the realm of real estate. Alabama’s real estate market has become aggressive, making the buying process increasingly competitive with more people moving into the area than out. The perfect home does not always come easy, but with the right information, we can make home buying exciting.
Home buying is a time-consuming process and starting your research early is the best way to prepare for what you want. Before you begin the homebuying process, consider the type of home you want and what you can afford. You should also look at these 5 home buying tips that will help you better navigate the housing market in Alabama. Taking the proper steps will ultimately help you get that much closer to finding your dream home.
1. Find a Realtor
When choosing the real estate company you want to work with, you have the ability to decide which agent is right for you based on their experience and communication skills. Finding the right agent is crucial to the home buying process because this person will help guide you through everything you need to know about purchasing a home. Because of their expertise and industry insight, agents can often be an unbiased source of help.
A real estate agent can provide fresh perspective into homes that you initially might not consider. By working with an agent, you have the opportunity to work with someone who understands the real estate market and the local area. This knowledge can help you make a confident choice when it comes to this type of larger purchase.
2. Evaluate your Cost of Living
Calculating the cost of living is an important initial step for planning how much you can spend on a home. Essentially, cost of living refers to the amount of money you need to cover housing, taxes, transportation, food, etc. in a certain city or area.
Alabama has a cheaper cost of living at 82.3 when compared to the US Average at 100. If you are looking to buy a home in a new location, Alabama is a less expensive location. This can open up opportunities for you to afford a better home. The state has numerous attractions to offer including multiple lakes, cities, and recreations.
3. Researching School Districts
Choosing the right neighborhood for your home is just as important as its price and features. If you are looking to buy a new home, looking into the community around you can help you learn more about what that location has to offer. Regardless of whether or not you have kids, researching schools in the area matters since the value of your home can increase or decrease based on the school’s performance in that district. Public school locations affect resale value because strong school districts attract buyers. Some top school districts in Alabama include: Madison City Schools, Homewood City Schools, and Auburn City Schools.
4. Learning about Alabama “Buyer Beware”
Alabama Law employs the “caveat emptor” rule, also known as “Buyer Beware”. It outlines that Alabama is one of the few states where the seller has no obligation to advise the buyer of potential issues with the physical condition of the home. Disclosure forms are common to help protect the seller from legal risk, but these forms are not always given. Understanding this rule can help push you to ask for an inspection contingency that helps look for any present issues during the inspection such as radon or termites.
Be sure to speak with your agent about the best way to handle the Buyer Beware rule and any documents you may need to fill out relating to it. Your agent can help you determine the best way to handle this responsibility and will make sure you are asking the right questions about any unforeseen issues.
5. Down Payment Programs
Alabama offers multiple programs and assistance that can help out first-time homebuyers or even the most experienced buyers. Down payment programs help homebuyers with low-interest loans or grants that can reduce the amount needed to pay on a down payment. With the help of some of these programs, you can go from Alabama’s average of 20% down to as little as 3% down as a first-time buyer.
Step Up Down Payment Assistance, Chenoa Down Payment Assistance, and Home Ready are just a few programs that offer down payment assistance and other helpful rates. Looking into these programs could be a good first step if financials are holding you back from finding your dream home.
How We Can Help
The Holland Homes Sales team wants to make buying a new home an exciting and stress-free experience. Our agents are professionals experienced in the housing industry and are ready to serve you. We aim to go above and beyond in our services so that we can exceed your expectations. Contact us today to find out how you can take the next step to find your dream home.