1. Figure out how much house you can afford

  • Calculate your monthly income and debt.
  • Check your credit report and FICO score.
  • Figure out your down payment.

2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage

  • Choose a type of mortgage program that works best for you.

3. Find a realtor

  • If you are not currently working with a realtor, click on Find a Realtor to make your request and work with one of our real estate concierges in Florida or Alabama.

4. Determine what you want and need in a home

  • Choose a location (downtown, suburban, rural, etc.).
  • Choose a home type (single family, two-story, townhouse, condo, tiny home, or loft).
  • Choose your price range.
  • Choose a size for your property.
  • Determine your target neighborhoods.
  • What to consider when searching for a home.
  • Look online for information on schools, crime rate, traffic and zoning.
  • Determine your work commute.
  • Scout local amenities, such as parks, shops and restaurants.

5. Learn more about your desired neighborhood

  • Get referrals.
  • Browse listings online.
  • Ask your agent to set up tours of homes that fit your criteria.
  • Check local newspapers.
  • Pick up flyers and attend open houses.
  • Research each home you want to buy.

6. When you find that perfect home that you can afford, have your realtor put in an offer

  • Determine the purchase price.
  • Include contingencies, such as financial, inspection or purchase.
  • Spell out any special requests and repairs you want included in the sale.
  • Determine an earnest money amount.
  • Define a move-in date.
  • Once both parties agree to the terms, sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

7. Finalize the deal

  • Get the house appraised.
  • Get a professional home inspection.
  • Consider getting specific inspections for structural engineering, roof and termites.
  • Use the appraisal and inspection reports to re-negotiate if necessary.
  • Choose a home insurance company.
  • Complete the loan process with the lender.
  • Do a walk-through inspection prior to closing.
  • Set aside cash for the closing costs and down payment.

8. Close the deal and get ready to move in!


Note: You can either provide a cashier’s check or wire funds directly to the title company, for closing cost. Always contact your title company directly for instructions or for more details.