Lela, Congratulations on finding a home!! This is one of the biggest investments of your life and although it is exciting, it can be a little scary. That's why the 1st thing you should do is to have a REALTOR who represents your best interest and can advise you
throughout the process.
Before, you make an offer, I think the least expensive thing you could do
is to meet with a LICENSED Contractor at the home. A good licensed contractor can give you a
good overview of necessary repairs and the cost. Most give free estimates.
Another option, if time is of the essence, and you don't want to loose
the home to another buyer, is to make an offer that contains a home inspection option. Once you have an accepted contract, you have a certain amount of time to get a home inspection done. The price is usually $300 & up. Based on size & age of home. The home inspector will be able to tell you all repairs that are needed, repairs that will be required for the loan and a general idea of the cost.
Before you make an offer, be sure to ask your lender if they can do FHA 203K loans. Not all lenders in Tuscaloosa can.
Your REALTOR can help you decide whether the amount of money you are investing in the home is wise or not.
Feel free to contact me should you need a REALTOR. I am very experienced with properties that require 203K loans in Tuscaloosa. Good luck with you decision!!