Buying a Home in Tuscaloosa for the First Time -
Must be Aware of These Things
Buying a home in a new town for the first time can be a tricky task for sure.
However, if you have decided to do this then congratulations because
not everyone gets the opportunity to purchase his or her own home in
this lifetime. Now, you should sit and consider a few things with your
family or spouse such as what is your budget and how much can you
afford to spend in order to buy a home. Once the amount is decided,
make sure you keep a bit extra on the side just in case if your
newly purchased home needs some fixing.
You can start finding a home by roaming around a few neighborhoods
where you would like to move in and see what the market value is, I
am sure that you would come over a couple of sign boards saying
house for sale. Also, you can look for ads in newspapers, internet,
or go check with your local real estate agents as well. Real estate
agents can be of big help letting you know about the homes you wish
to buy while staying in the budget at the same time as well. Just
for a little amount of commission these agents can save you a great
deal of both time and efforts.
You should keep in mind that mostly people would ask for more money
when selling homes so know how to negotiate or let your real estate
agent do that on your behalf. Mostly, you will hear prices higher
than the market value but do not panic, just talk and convince the
seller; make sure neither you nor them go in a loss. Secondly,
before finally approving any home, check each and every possible
thing you can to make sure there are no broken things that would
need repairing which might cost you a bit extra in the end; all such
things should be fixed by the seller. Kitchens and bathrooms should
be thoroughly checked for any leakages or other sewerage problems.
Neighborhood plays an important role where you look for a home.
Neighborhoods give the first impression to people about a particular
place. So, make sure the surrounding is nice and clear plus the
people are educated and friendly at same time as well. This would be
beneficial for your family since your kids can easily go out and
play and your wife can go out to shop safely. These little factors
contribute a lot in buying the right home, especially when it is
your first time. Do not make a wrong decision, search as much as
possible and put in more efforts in order to find a better deal for
For Selling Your House In Tuscaloosa
When it comes to selling your house, there are quite a lot of
important points that you need to bear in mind. These points
would make the deal both profitable and successful. When you sell
your house you need to check each and every aspect that increases
the chances of the house to be sold at a great price. For those who
are new to this arena of selling a house, the best option could be
consulting Tuscaloosa Real Estate agents. The very first area that
needs due concern is to check out that you carry out necessary
repairs if needed as the potential buyers would love to buy a house
that is in good shape. Some of the aesthetic works such as painting
and cleaning do not increase the value of your house but play a
vital in making your house look saleable. Tuscaloosa Real Estate
agents can suggest some of the vital points in depth for
improvements that most of the times go unnoticed. Do not get stuck
in between for taking any decisions related to spending money on the
house that you are going to sell because the good condition of the
house can undoubtedly fetch you more money.
Rules To Be Followed Before Putting Your House for Sale
Although you can get complete house selling advice from agents who
deal with Tuscaloosa Real Estate, but there are some basic rules
that are drafted by agents at Tuscaloosa Real Estate to make the
house selling process easy for you.
• First Impression Lasts Long: - When preparing of selling a house,
the first impression depends on the entrance of your house. The
front of the house needs some extra money as compared to the other
parts of the house. Tuscaloosa Real Estate consultants lay stress on
making the frontage of your house filled with new doormats,
repainted front door, beautiful flowers and a perfect entrance.
• Home Must Be Clean: - The cleanliness of the house gives a picture
to the potential buyers that a house has been well maintained and
will be a good investment.
• Fix Up Everything: - Before you place a placard outside your home
that states it is for sale, make sure that there are no leaking
taps, cracked tiles or any such thing that can send a wrong message
to the prospective buyers.
• Neutralize The Colors: - This is one of the most important rules
that are suggested by consultants of Tuscaloosa Real Estate, as when
any buyer enters, his focus goes towards the color schemes, both too
dark and too light color schemes would distract the buyers a bit if
• Define Each Area Properly: - Buyers would like to know how each
room looks like in regard to see that all their items would be
placed perfectly or not. Once you know how to sell a perfect
lifestyle, you can sell a house.
• Adequate Lighting: - One must make sure that the lighting in each
and every corner of the house is perfect and you can make use of
subtle light mood as it represents your comfort.
All these above mentioned points are tried and tested by consultants
of Tuscaloosa Real Estate; all you need to do is follow them with a
Tips To Prepare Your Home for Selling
Several key decisions need to be taken once you decide to sell your
house and these tips could not only help you strike a profitable
deal but will also give you satisfaction.
• Make sure that every bedroom has a bed as underestimating the
importance of a bedroom could take a deal out of your hand.
• Tuscaloosa Real Estate consultants state that the storage area is
among the most looked out area, especially if you have a female
• The children’s rooms need to be clutter free and tidy as the
buyers are usually more demanding in the case of kid’s room.
• Do not retile some portion of your bathroom or kitchen as this
removes the entire symmetry. Try to get the entire tiles changed.
• Get rid of the old furniture as this makes the house look messy;
try to keep only those items that have usability as this creates an
impression on the buyers that the house is kept well.
• Know everything about your home as you must be able to solve each
and every query of the buyers; failing to do so shall make them feel
you have not serviced your house from the past many years.
• Place furniture that is neither too bulky nor too light because
your furniture tells a lot about your taste and lifestyle.
• Most of the houses have good or bad points for them, but if you
follow the advice of Tuscaloosa Real Estate then you must not show
the buyers, the bad points.
• Decide worth of your house as this would be the very first
question that would strike the mind of the potential buyer and at
this point of time the amount you say will be the one that you
receive once the deal strikes.
• Do not leave the spaces empty, if you have removed some items then
you must try to fill in the space with something else. An empty
place does not give positive vibes to the prospect buyers.
• Make full use of new bed sheets and curtains as agents and buyers
of Tuscaloosa Real Estate feel that although this will do no good
but will make the buyers feel that you are giving due concentration
to every point of the house.
Now that you are ready to sell your house you must consult
Tuscaloosa Real Estate as they would help you to make the most out
of the property that you are selling. Tuscaloosa Real Estate will
also tell you the different advertisement modes as these days you
need to reach the people to get a profitable deal. Get your home
valued with Tuscaloosa Real Estate to make sure that you do not land
up in any kind of loss. Give final touches to your house and make it
a perfect selling material. Good Luck!
Bank REO Properties
REO (Real Estate Owned) are properties that are owned by a previous
lender, typically a bank. They are no longer the lender, they now
own the property. In some cases the bank may have acquired ownership
via a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure from the previous owner, but
usually the bank foreclosed and no real estate investors showed up
at the courthouse steps to bid on the property. Now this may be
because there was no equity in the property, so the bank's opening
bid was more than the property was worth. However this is not always
the case - Foreclosure Auction Mistakes.
If this is an FHA or VA insured loan and there is no equity in the
property, the bank will generally deed the property over to HUD or
the VA (after the foreclosure and eviction) in exchange for
compensation via the mortgage insurance. In that case the properties
will not become typical REO's. They will usually be sold through the
HUD web-site ( HUD Foreclosures ) or VA's asset management /
Now for the ones that actually become a Bank REO property. The bank
frequently want to sell these properties fairly quickly for a
reasonable price, but sometimes (for various reasons) a bank will
sell an REO really cheap.
A story from previous observations may help you understand the
Since this was low value area. If you are in a high value area, you
may need to add a zero (0) to each figure to picture the story in
On one occasion, a broker (a friend of mine) was listing a house for
a regular homeowner. Their asking price was $140,000 because that is
what they owed on the first and second mortgage combine (120,000 +
The real estate broker explained to the homeowners that even though
they owed $140,000 on the property, similar houses in the area were
only selling for around $120,000. They received several offers in
the $120,000 range. But since the homeowners could not afford to pay
$20,000 at closing to sell their house, they ended up just “letting
it go back to the bank”.
The first mortgage holder foreclosed on the property with their
opening bid being close to $120,000. There were no other bidders, so
the bank now owned the property (a bank REO). The foreclosure sale
"cut-off" the second mortgage.
Now just to be clear the previous homeowner still owed the second
lienholder $20,000, it was just no longer attached to the property
since a senior lienholder had foreclosed.
Right after the foreclosure sale the real estate broker received
another offer on the property for $109,000. Since brokers usually
have to present all offers, he called the homeowner to let them know
about the offer. They informed him that the bank had foreclosed and
they were moving out. So he got in touch with the bank to let them
know he had an offer on the property.
Before he told them how much the buyer was offering, they firmly
informed him they could not take a dime under $62,000. Obviously he
had found a deal for the buyer.
On a side note (because this is really the opposite of the theme of
our story), this same broker also had a bank that wanted to list an
REO property with him at $730,000 because that is what they had
loaned on the property via an appraisal.
The broker had to explain to them that the fair market value of the
property was only about $300,000. After ordering a few new
appraisals they listed the property with him for around $300,000. It
is our understanding that their attorney is trying to track down the
If you as a Real Estate Investor can find a broker/agent that works
a lot of Bank REO Properties you should be able to get some really
How do rent to own homes work for the buyer?
Basically the seller will either contract to sell you the house on a
lease purchase, in which case you are obligated to purchase the
house before the expiration of the rent to own agreement, or rent
the house to you with an option to purchase.
The following are some of the items you should consider before
entering into an agreement on a rent to own home.
How much of the monthly rent, if any, will count toward the purchase
price. Look for a clause in the rent to own agreement that looks
something like this:
RENT CREDIT: For each monthly rental payment that is made in full
before the due date, a $__________________ rent credit/purchase
credit will be applied toward the purchase price. At closing, the
buyer may choose to apply the rent credit/purchase credit to reduce
the purchase price or toward the buyer’s down payment if allowed by
the buyer’s lender.
If you are unable to qualify for a bank loan before the expiration
of the rent to own agreement, will you be allowed an extension? You
may want to insist on a clause similar to the following in the rent
to own agreement.
EXTENSION: The seller is relying upon the buyer's ability to close
with cash or a loan on or before the closing date stated in the
purchase & sale agreement. However, the buyer may extend the closing
date for __________________ months, provided that the buyer has
complied with the terms of the attached rental/lease agreement and
any other agreements and provided that, no later than 45 days before
the closing date stated in the purchase & sale agreement, the buyer
notifies the seller in writing and pays an additional,
non-refundable earnest money/purchase deposit, which shall apply
toward buyer’s down payment, in the amount of
$_____________________. No further rent credit/purchase credit will
accumulate during the extension.
If you, as the buyer, default you will probably forfeit your
purchase deposit. It is usually stated something like this:
DEFAULT: If the buyer vacates the property for any reason or
defaults under the terms of this lease purchase agreement, the
attached purchase & sale agreement, rental/lease agreement, or any
other agreement, the seller shall have the right immediately to
cancel/terminate all agreements. In such case, the seller shall
retain all earnest monies/purchase deposits, credits, and all
improvements to the Property as liquidated damages and not as a
In most cases until you close on the property, you do not own it and
are only a tenant.
LEASEHOLD ESTATE ONLY: Until closing, the buyer shall have a
leasehold estate only. This is not an installment land contract,
bond for title agreement, or any other type of owner financing.
Three percent (3%) of the purchase price is suggested as the minimum
earnest money/purchase deposit, which shall apply toward the buyer’s
down payment; but is non-refundable in the event the buyer defaults
as stated in the rent to own home agreement.
The term is negotiable but a common length is 12 months with a 12
month extension, if needed. NOTE: The seller will be “locked into”
the agreed extension, if the buyer performs as stated in the rent to
own home agreement.
Since security deposits are refundable, the buyer can apply this
money toward the down payment at closing, along with the
non-refundable earnest money/purchase deposit.
The amount of the rent credit is negotiable and accumulates during
the rent to own home agreement. Mortgage lenders will not typically
apply rent credits toward the down payment. Accordingly, over a 12
month contract, a rent credit of $100 per month would be a $1,200
reduction in the purchase price.