Answers to Common Home Buying Questions in Huntsville, AL
Huntsville is Alabama’s fourth largest community and has a very large population of young math and science workers when compared to other places in the US. Many are employed in the missile defense and aerospace industries, which have a strong presence in the area. Huntsville has been listed among Money Magazine’s Best Places to Retire and among US News & World Report’s Top 10 Places to Grow Up. Clearly, it is a good place to live and an excellent one in which to purchase a home. If you are considering buying a home in Huntsville, here are some answers to common questions buyers have in the Huntsville area:
What Should I do Before Buying a Home?
It is important to note that prequalification is entirely different from pre-approval. Prequalifying means that your lender gives you an estimate of how much money you can borrow based on information that you provide. That figure could change if any of that information is incorrect or incomplete.
Do a Credit Check
The importance of this cannot be understated. Credit problems are one of the leading reasons that real estate transactions fail. Getting your credit score and correcting issues give you the best chance of securing a home.
It is essential to commit to serious research before making what is likely to be the largest investment of your lifetime. Factors to research include your preferred location and all the important considerations that go into choosing a particular neighborhood. You will want to keep taxes and school districts in mind along with the character of a neighborhood and its distance from your workplace. You should find out about the real estate market from a local real estate agent; ask how long the homes there usually stay on the market.
Build Your Savings
No matter how much you have saved up, you will probably need more money once you have purchased your home. Along with extra cash to cover closing costs and minor repairs, it is good to have extra cash on hand for unexpected expenses.
How Much Can I Afford?
You can use an online mortgage calculator to help you to figure out how much you can afford. However, you should not base the home’s affordability solely on the monthly payments you expect to make. Extra costs like maintenance, closing costs, down payments, and homeowners association fees should be factored in as well. Tie them in with your budget and make you can still live comfortably.
Why Should I Buy Instead of Rent?
The main advantage of renting is that you have no responsibilities for maintaining the property. On the other hand, ownership is an investment that builds into equity. Depending on the real estate market, you could potentially sell your home for a higher value when you decide to move out. If you were renting, you would not benefit from that situation. In addition, you also get benefits like tax breaks and the freedom to renovate and redecorate as you like.
How Do I Choose the Best Mortgage Loan?
Your mortgage is a claim on the home that secures your loan. There are numerous mortgage options. Questions that you should consider when making this decision include:
- Do you expect your finances to be stable for the next few years?
- Do you plan on living in the home for a long time?
- Are you comfortable changing the payment amount of your mortgage?
- Do you want it paid off by the time your children head off for college or when you retire?
From there you can decide which mortgage is right for you with your preferred mortgage lender.
What Should I Look for When Deciding on a Community?
You should select the community that best suits your daily life. For families, you might be more concerned about the quality of schools near your neighborhood or what features the subdivision has (like playgrounds, swimming pools, etc). For young professionals, you might want to find a home close to the workplace, so you don’t have a long commute. If you love being in the heart of entertainment, maybe you are looking for a place in downtown Huntsville.
How Do I Make the Right Offer on a Home?
The asking price for a home is not final. Most homes are priced with the expectation that the buyer will attempt to haggle. You can find out from your realtor how much similar homes in the same neighborhood sold for and use that to help determine how much you should pay. About five percent less than the asking price is a good place to start.
Buying a Home in Huntsville, AL
Due to the high median income in Huntsville, real estate is somewhat more expensive than in other Alabama communities. However, it is important to note that there are loans available that you can get with as little as 3.5 percent down. By consulting a real estate professional and with a little research, you too can own a home and live out the American dream.
Our agent (Whitney Stringer) was great! She was easy to work with and only showed us homes that we were interested in seeing. She even rearranged her weekend schedule to meet us when we came in from out of town to look at homes on short notice. She was professional, courteous, and a pleasure to work with. Because of here we would gladly work with Amanda Howard again in the future.
This wonderful company was extremely helpful with the purchase of our new home! We worked with Whitney, she is very professional and personable and now good friend. She always made time for us when we had questions or wanted to look at more houses. We would highly recommend her!
Amanda Howard Real Estate was recommended by my granddaughter, who knew Amanda through her work activity. Her recommendation certainly held true. Michele Daymond surely stood up for the company. The entire force at Amanda Howard is involved, and they sold my condo in a matter of days!
We used Whitney Stringer as our buying agent for purchasing our new home. Whitney, as well as the entire staff at Amanda Howard was very patient with all of our questions and kept us up to speed as we navigated this very complicated process. Overall, it was a relatively painless process, and we are very happy with our new home!
I’ve never felt more taken care of in the process of selling my house. Thanks Michelle. You are a rose among real estate thorns! I can’t express my gratitude with words to describe how you’ve helped me with closing a chapter in my life with the sale of my late fathers house. Thank you.
I have never been so impressed with a real estate firm as I have been with Amanda Howard! My listing agent, Michelle Daymond, was honest, efficient and totally knowledgeable about all facets of listing a house for sale. This firm is completely up-to-speed on a technical level I have never seen in real estate. This was as stress-free as selling a home can be. Thank you.
We were very pleased with the professionalism, friendliness, and great communication with Natalie. She was a pleasure to work with. The home buying process was made so easy and everything went smoothly.
Excellent experience all the way around and sold our house quicker than we ever imagined!
Great experience! Meg Eldridge made us feel like her only client, and I know we weren’t! She had our best interests at heart, and I feel like she was responsible for getting us the best deal possible. She even called to check on us after everything was done and make sure we were still happy (and we are!). Thanks Meg!
I just have one question…..”Do you know anyone in Huntsville, Alabama, that can sell a home within one week of listing it?” If so, use them. I used Amanda Howard, and my home had a contract on it within a week. Flawless performance and service.