We have been continuously scouring the market for the perfect home. Here’s what we’ve learned along the way:
*We won’t find the “perfect” house. If we want our dream home, we will probably have to build it ourselves. In most cases you are going to have to sacrifice something from your wishlist: be it location, size or amenities.
*Most mortgage companies don’t offer financing under $50,000; so buying a dirt-cheap foreclosure and fixing it up is not in our future.
*Housing in the Pell City area is just as expensive as it was three years ago, while prices in other areas have dropped relatively lower. I guess the Pell City folks didn’t get the memo.
*It is extremely hard to get a mortgage on a manufactured home. Manufactured homes are higher risk for investors. So, the possibility of buying a manufactured home on property, that we could later build a house on, is no longer an option.
*Its cheaper to buy a house than to rent an apartment, in some cases.
*To build a house, you get a construction loan. After the house is built you apply for a mortgage.
*Its all about location.
*It can be very stressful and exciting at the same time.
Here are some resources I have used while researching the housing market.
Bank of America Home Buying Tools
You can look up property records to see parcel information and view Tax Assessment Records. (These are helpful for finding the square footage of a house, along with its estimated lot size/acreage and estimated value.)
St. Clair County GIS
Shelby County GIS
Jefferson County GIS