- Get to know the neighborhood before buying: Walk through the neighborhood to get a feel for noise, traffic, neighbors and any other characteristics you may not notice while driving in the car. While your house is obviously your priority, your neighborhood could make or break your decision.
- Tour several houses before making a decision: Don’t let the excitement of looking at a new home sway you to jump into the wrong decision. Look at a host of choices, and write down the pros and cons of each one. Then, rate each one on a scale of one to 10.
- Don’t skip the home inspection: Whether you are getting an older home or new construction, the home inspection is key to making sure the house is a good investment.
- Get a pre-approval letter early: Having this already in hand before you start shopping for a home will make sure you don’t risk losing houses you love along the way while waiting for your preapproval.
- Research builders to find quality new construction: With new construction happening rapidly, make sure your builder isn’t known for cutting corners or hiring untrained help. Consider hiring an independent inspector to oversee construction.
- Understand how to compete with multiple offers: In general, when you are going into a multiple offer situation, you want your terms to be as favorable as possible. This can apply to financing, a seller’s closing date and any extra conditions you have set forth.
- Don’t overspend: Even if you find yourself in a bidding war, spending too much for a home could hurt you when it comes time to resell.
- Know your closing costs as a buyer: The price of a home is not the only price you’ll end up paying. Consider the home inspection, property taxes, private mortgage insurance and homeowner’s association dues/insurance, among others.
Are you a first-time homebuyer? Check out the Alabama Association of REALTORS® guide!