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Buying a Home in North Alabama

Buy a New Home in Limestone, Madison, Morgan or Lauderdale County, Alabama


Dream Key Realtor, Meike Fisk, is especially knowledgeable of the North Alabama real estate market. She understands the market conditions at a local level. She can present an accurate valuation of a property through Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) and other methods. By choosing Meike as your North Alabama real estate agent, you are avoiding leaving money on the table. She is an experienced negotiator with a strong background in residential real estate sales. She represents clients at every level of real estate and loves helping families relocate to the area.

Known for her highly personal service, Meike is experienced, qualified and knowledgable agent who understands the opportunities and challenges of the local market. Meike's effective use of traditional MLS and other internet-based resources, as well as social media and personal marketing tools will be the difference when looking for a new home.

About Buying a Home in North Alabama - FAQs

While more buyers now use the Internet to gain access to listings, or available properties for sale, it is still a good idea to use an agent. The agent brings value to the entire process: he or she is available to analyze data, answer questions, share their professional expertise, and handle all the paperwork and legwork that is involved in the real estate transaction.
Make sure you are ready – psychologically and financially. A house needs constant care and attention. Also ask yourself if your budget will allow for unexpected repairs and upkeep. Your first step will be to talk to a mortgage lender to determine exactly how much you can borrow.
The general rule is that you can buy a home that costs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. A good real estate agent or lender can determine how much you can afford and estimate the maximum monthly payment based on the loan amount, taxes, insurance and other expenses. Your real estate agent can help you to figure out now how your income, debts, and expenses can affect what you can afford, and how much you may be able to borrow to purchase a home, and even prepare an estimated settlement sheet for homes you like.
There are many. Among the most appealing: you own it, which gives you, instead of a landlord, control of your living space. Other benefits stem from potential tax savings and the buildup of equity as your property likely appreciates in price over time. Equity can be used to help put children through college, purchase a second home, or make home improvements. The mortgage interest paid on a home loan is tax deductible, as is the local property tax. If you get a fixed-rate home mortgage loan, you also can invest more wisely knowing your monthly mortgage payment, unlike rent, will not change substantially.
Yes. A comparative market analysis and an appraisal are the two most common and reliable ways to determine a home's value.
I can provide a comparative market analysis, an informal estimate of value based on the recent selling price of similar neighborhood properties. Reviewing comparable homes that have sold within the past year along with the listing, or asking, price on current homes for sale should prevent you from overpaying.

A certified appraiser can provide an appraisal of a home. After visiting the home to check such things as the number of rooms, improvements, size and square footage, construction quality, and the condition of the neighborhood, the appraiser then reviews recent comparable sales to determine the estimated value of the home. Lenders normally require an appraisal – which runs between $200 to $300 – before they will approve a mortgage loan. This protects the lender by ensuring the home is worth the money you want to borrow.
Closing, or settlement, costs are expenses over and above the price of the property. Both the buyer and seller incur some of these expenses when transferring ownership of a property. Who actually pays, however, often depends on local custom and what the buyer or seller negotiates. Closing costs normally include title insurance, loan points, escrow or closing day charges, property taxes, and document fees. The lender provides an estimate of closing costs for prospective homebuyers.
By all means. Buying a home without getting expert advice is risky. Once a home inspector uncovers major plumbing and electrical problems, for example, you may decide you do not want to spend several thousand dollars on repairs. Always include an inspection clause in your written offer. This clause gives you an “out” from buying if serious problems are detected. It also gives you another chance to negotiate the purchase price if repairs are needed. The clause can even specify that the sellers fix any problem that is uncovered before you settle, or close, on the home. You also may want to consider hiring experts to inspect the home for a number of health-related risks like radon gas, asbestos, or possible problems with the water or waste disposal system.
It protects against disasters – whether natural, manmade or mechanical. A standard policy insures the home, as well as your possessions. Because this insurance is packaged, it covers liability for any harm, loss, and property damage that you or your family members cause others. And it includes additional living expenses in case you are temporarily displaced because of damage from a fire or other insured disaster.
While you are not legally required to purchase homeowners' insurance, mortgage lenders require you to do so." or "mortgage lenders stipulate that you must. If your mortgage is paid up - or you never had one - it is still a good idea to have homeowners’ insurance to protect your home and your belongings.
A few lenders will negotiate the mortgage rate and number of points on a loan. However, this is more the exception than the rule with established lenders. As always, shop around and know the market before you enter a lender’s office. Rates are often published in local newspapers and on websites. You may have more luck when dealing directly with a seller who has agreed to finance your loan. He is likely to be more open to negotiation, particularly when motivated to make a quick sale.
When you look to purchase a home, anticipate potential problems. But protect against them so that if something does go wrong, you can cancel the contract without penalty. This is what contingencies allow you to do. They should be included in any offer you present to buy a home. Most offers include two standard contingencies: a financing contingency, which makes the sale dependent on your ability to obtain a loan commitment from a lender, and an inspection contingency, which allows you to have a professional inspect the property. Without contingencies, a buyer could forfeit his deposit under certain circumstances if he backs out of a deal. The purchase contract also should include the seller's responsibilities, such as passing clear title, maintaining the property in its present condition until closing, and making any agreed-upon repairs.
Property taxes are assessed by city and county governments to generate the bulk of their operating revenues. The taxes help pay for such public services as schools, libraries, roads, and police protection. Re-valuations of the tax are often done periodically, although the time interval varies from state to state or, in some states, from town to town, and can range from annual reassessments to periods of ten years or more.
Yes. Like the mortgage interest paid on a home loan, property taxes are fully deductible from your income. You may deduct them every year on your primary residence, second home and other investment properties. However, escrow money held for property taxes cannot be deducted until the money is actually used to pay the property taxes.

What Clients Say...

Meike is a hustler, and available 24 hours a day, literally. She will do what she has to do, to get the job done and make sellers and buyers happy and satisfied. She's fair, honest and you feel as though you're talking to an old friend. We put Meike through the ringer and she stayed positive and upbeat the entire ride. I highly recommended Meike for your buying and seller needs. She will get you your dream keys!

Meike helped us so much with purchasing our home! She is honest, dependable, quick to respond & listens to what you want in a home...finds you the best deal! We didn't have a good experience with our lender and Meike really went above and beyond to help us with them and answering all of our questions. We can't recommend Meike enough, she won't steer you wrong!

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