Use This Guide to Find the Home of Your Dreams
You'll love living in the Metro New Orleans area! With easy access to all of the amenities that the city of New Orleans offers, plenty of communities to choose from, and a variety of real estate options available, you'll be sure to find the home of your dreams near your favorite attractions and activities. New to the home buying process, or just want to refresh your memory? Follow our step-by-step home buying guide.
For Your New Home
Before you start browsing the MLS for homes in your favorite neighborhoods, it's a good idea to figure out just how much you can afford for your home.
Budget for Mortgage Payments:
Determine what you'll be able to afford in mortgage payments each month, as well as what you can invest initially as a down payment. This handy mortgage calculator can help you estimate your monthly payments.
Keep in mind additional costs like closing costs, fees, homeowners insurance, and taxes will all add to the overall costs. Be sure to check your credit score, and remember that just because you don't have a traditional 20% down payment doesn't mean you can't buy a home!
Shop for a Loan and Get Preapproved:
Finding a trustworthy lender and determining what type of loan you'll qualify for will help you figure out how much home you can actually afford. Get recommendations, check with the Better Business Bureau, and be sure to talk to at least three or four lenders before making a decision.
Need options for lenders in the Metro New Orleans area? Just ask us!
Determine What Areas You Can Afford:
If you have a preferred location or neighborhood, find out the actual selling price of homes in that area—not just their listing price—to confirm whether you can actually afford that location. Have a particular neighborhood you'd like to check? Request your neighborhood sold report here!
Find a Reputable Real Estate Agent:
You don’t have to work with an agent—but it is extremely recommended unless you are a highly experienced buyer or lawyer. Your agent should be someone you know you can trust, an expert on real estate in your area and neighborhood, and very proficient in working with buyers of your experience.
Looking for an agent in the Metro New Orleans area? Find out more about our experience and how we can help you find and buy your new home!
In Metro New Orleans
Now that you've figured out your financing and adjusted your budget, it's time for the fun part—searching for homes! Here's how you can quickly and easily find the right property.
Make a Wants & Needs List:
Right before you start browsing available listings, make a quick list of features you must have (needs) and features you could live without (wants). This list will help you narrow your results and keep your dream home from passing you by.
Need some assistance while creating your wants and needs list? We'd be happy to help! Just give us a call.
Search by Price or Location:
Our easy-to-use home search tool lets you choose a price range, city or neighborhood, features such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and much more! Don't forget to sign up for email updates; just put in your search criteria and your email address, and you'll receive listings right to your inbox.
Take Lots of Notes:
As you're visiting open houses, touring homes, or simply exploring neighborhoods, make sure you keep detailed records of the homes you visit. Take notes about the things you liked, didn't like, pros and cons, etc. Taking pictures can also keep your memory fresh.
On Your New Home
You've found your perfect home! Now it's time to make an offer, negotiate with the seller, and proceed to closing. Work with your real estate agent to navigate the final steps of the buying process, and you'll soon have the keys to your new home in your hand!
Make an Offer:
When you find your favorite home, work with your agent to determine a competitive but reasonable offering price. You'll want to choose a number that is comfortably within your price range but competitive enough that it won't cause the seller to immediately reject your offer.
Get an Inspection:
Nothing's finalized yet, so make sure you're getting your money's worth! Ask your real estate agent to recommend a trusted home inspector to walk through the house and check for any potential defects or problems. Your purchase agreement will have a time frame for you to make inspections and will explain the process.
Review Your Contract:
Before you sign any paperwork, it's important that you carefully read over the contract with your agent or lawyer to ensure there are contingencies—that is, if something falls through with your mortgage, you aren't still obligated to buy the home.
Sign, Pay, and Finalize!
Work with your chosen lender to submit your mortgage application, review predicted closing costs, and have your home appraised. Common closing costs include attorney fees, title insurance, appraisal fees, home inspection fees, courier fees, government recording fees, and taxes. Be sure to get estimates on both homeowner's and flood insurance.
When it's time to close, meet with your agent, lender, and the seller to finalize the paperwork, sign your contracts, and pay your down payment and closing costs. Finally—the keys to your new home!
Ready to Find Your Next Home?
When you're ready to start searching for your dream home in the Metro New Orleans area, contact us. We're local real estate experts, and we'd be happy to offer insider information to help you quickly and easily find the right home.
Still in the information-gathering phase of your home search? No problem! We have plenty of resources available on our website to help you learn more about buying a home in Metro New Orleans.