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