112 Court Square South Talladega, AL 35160 Office (256) 368-9008 Fax (760) 462-2080

Buying a home can be an exciting, yet often overwhelming, experience. AlaHomes Realty can take a lot of the stress off of your shoulders, and these 10 tips will help you as well.

1. Clean up your credit

If you have poor credit, you are a more significant risk in the eyes of lenders. You’ll pay the price in the form of higher interest rates or outright rejection. Higher rates can reduce the amount of home you can afford or keep you out of the housing market altogether. Make a point of paying auto loans, credit card bills, and other payments on time and in full. If you want help developing a plan, you can contact a housing counseling agency, often at little or no cost.

2. Save

You may need money for your down payment, closing costs, moving and other expenses.

3. Get preapproved for your loan

A lender can tell you generally what you can afford and how much you can borrow and most sellers will not entertain an offer that is not pre-approved. This will give you an edge with sellers in a competitive market. Ask your AlaHomes Agent for a list of lenders near you who offer our first-time home buyer programs.

4. Be realistic

Your dream house could quickly turn into a nightmare if you spend more than you can afford. Work with your AlaHomes Agent to choose a home with a mortgage payment that will allow you to be comfortable in other aspects of your life.

5. Consult with an AlaHomes Realtor

Real estate agents are invaluable in providing information about homes and their neighborhoods AlaHomes Agents even more so because you will receive one-on-one personal attention. Additionally, your agent is paid from the seller’s proceeds at closing – THERE IS NO COST TO YOU.

6. Research the neighborhood.

Your AlaHomes Realtor can help you with this. Check out the ratings of the neighborhood schools. Even if you don’t have children, this could be important when you try to sell the house in the future. Also, make sure you know the proximity to anything that might be deemed undesirable, such as airports and major highways, and ask your real estate agent for zoning information on any areas surrounding the home and neighborhood.

7. Make an offer contingent on an inspection

Even if the house looks perfect to you, the chances are that it’s not. A professional inspection can help you understand the condition of the property and identify problems you may encounter in the future. To find a home inspector in your area, consult the American Society of Home Inspectors.

8. Ask the seller for utility bills or estimates

Costs for insurance, electricity, gas, and water can add up. Sellers should be able to provide copies of bills or estimates to give you an idea of what to expect.

9. Don’t change your financial status

From the time you decide to buy a home until you close on the loan is not the time to make significant changes in your finances. Don’t quit your job, don’t buy a new car or make any other large purchases, and don’t stop paying your bills. Changes like these can result in even a preapproved loan being denied before closing.

10. Call AlaHomes to speak with an agent

Phone (256) 368-9008 or E-mail Sales@AlaHomes.com