Home-buying insight for life after, “I do.”

Deep in the heart of Mountain Brook, Griff and Miriam Israel and their three children welcome us into their home on a Sunday afternoon. After working with experienced vendors to plan their wedding, the Israels knew hiring the right people to start their new family home was the way to go. 

“Over the last twelve months, we renovated our home and welcomed our third child,” says Israel. “Having a team of professionals is so important during these life changes. We couldn’t have asked for a better team effort  from AG Designs, contractor Mike Benton, architect Adams-Gerndt, Will Casey of Cottage Supply Company, and TMD Landscape Design. We are grateful they all made it so easy for us.” 

Buying the Home

Getting married typically involves serious financial and logistical decisions.  The greatest of which involves buying the right home for your family.  As newlyweds, you want to ensure that your decision to buy and own a new home doesn’t negatively impact your long-term financial goals.  Mary Bell, owner of Sold By the Bell, and her outstanding team of real estate professionals are ready to help you with this critical decision. The first step is understanding several key terms you will hear throughout the process.

Home Inspection

In the process of closing a home sale, the buyer usually hires a home inspector to come to the house and perform a visual observation. In accordance with the state’s standards, the home inspector identifies health, safety or mechanical issues. A buyer’s inspection occurs after the buyer has made an offer on the home and before closing the sale. After the home inspection, the buyer may be able to renegotiate their offer or request repairs.


An addendum is an additional document that gets added to the purchase and sale agreement. The document will include any additional information or requests that the buyer did not put into the original purchase and sale agreement.

Closing Costs

Closing costs include the myriad fees for the services and expenses required to finalize a mortgage. You’ll have to pay closing costs whether you buy a home or refinance. Average closing costs for the buyer run between 2% to 5% of the loan amount. The most cost-effective way to cover your closing costs is to pay them out-of-pocket as a one-time expense. You may be able to finance them by including them with the loan, if the lender allows, but you will pay interest on those costs through the life of the mortgage. An experienced real-estate agent can help you negotiate closing costs with the seller.

Designing the Interior

Once you are officially homeowners, it’s time to begin thinking design. At AG Interior Designs, their motto is that your home should be a reflection of your style and not of your designer. With the use of antiques, new and existing furniture, along with personal touches, it’s their job to help guide clients to turn their new house into a home with a style of their own.

Designing the Interior

Along with an interior designer, you may want to seek those with an eye for specific details, such as countertops, tiled floors, etc. With more than fifteen years of experience in the tile and stone industry, Will Casey of Cottage Supply Company helps builders, designers and architects carry out their vision in residential and commercial projects. Will was honored to work with AG Designs to implement this amazing renovation, making careful selections that complement the interiors and work for the Israel family’s needs.

Buying a home for the first time may be a daunting experience, but working with the right team will help you every step of the way to make your new house a home.

Sold by the Bell: soldbythebell.com
AG Designs: ag-design.com
Cottage Supply Company & Synergy Stone: cottagesupplycompany.com
Photography: Alisha Crossley Photography
Floral: Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market
Silk Runner, Velvet Ribbon: Cocoon Silk Ribbon

See more wedding planning advice on the Alabama Weddings blog, Et Cetera.

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