Buying a Home in Metro New Orleans?

Estimate Your Mortgage Payments!

Whether you're an experienced or first-time buyer, you may have a few questions about financing your home purchase in New Orleans. We're here to help you do your research, crunch some numbers, and find the perfect loan to fit your needs.

Take a look at our mortgage calculator, or browse some of our resources below to get started. You can always give us a shout if you need more information—we'd love to chat!

Learn More About Mortgages

Here in New Orleans, buyers can choose between dozens of different mortgages. It may even be possible to combine a few different loans to create a financing plan that's tailored to your unique needs. If you're feeling a little overwhelmed, here are a few of the most common options you'll want to consider:

Common Mortgage Options in NOLA

Conventional loan

  • Usually lasts from 15 to 30 years
  • Can have a fixed or adjustable rate
  • Requires a good credit score and financial history
  • Most buyers need a 20% down payment to qualify

VA loan

  • Available for active, retired, or veteran members of the armed forces
  • Low down payment requirements with no mortgage insurance
  • Only available for move-in ready, primary residences
  • One-time funding fee may be necessary

FHA loan

  • Less strict income and credit requirements
  • Wide range of lower down payment options
  • Requires mortgage insurance
  • Can have higher interest rates

USDA loan

  • Used in "rural" areas (like Gretna, Belle Chasse, and Terrytown)
  • Low down payment requirements
  • Targeted towards buyers with a modest, steady income
  • Check the eligibility map before applying

Balloon Mortgage

  • Payments are based on a 30-year loan but are paid over 5 – 7 years
  • At the end of the term, the borrower must pay off the balance or refinance
  • Often has lower interest rates and credit requirements
  • More common with commercial real estate

Delta 100 Program

  • Offered by the Louisiana Housing Corporation
  • Available to first-time buyers with lower credit
  • Offers 100% financing for eligible buyers
  • Covers 3% of closing costs

Lender-specialty loans

  • Typically offered by lenders
  • Can have lower interest rates or down payment requirements
  • May be tailored to first-time or low-income buyers
  • Contact your lender for more information

Resilience Soft Second Loan

  • Offered by the Louisiana Housing Corporation
  • Designed to help buyers affected by recent flood damage
  • Funds 20% or $50k of a home's purchase price
  • All or part of the loan can be forgiven

Choosing the Right Loan

Consider rates

During 2020, mortgage rates reached historic lows—and most experts predict that they'll stay under 3% for the foreseeable future. If you want to secure the best possible rate, be sure to shop around and explore deals from local lenders. You'll also want to consider whether you want a fixed or adjustable-rate loan.

Calculate your down payment

Most buyers should have at least 20% of a home's purchase price saved up as a down payment. For example, if a home is listed for $200k, your down payment should be around $40,000 (or more, if possible). Some mortgages require less or even no money upfront, so be sure to discuss all of your options with your lender and agent.

Check for incentives

Many lenders offer incentives for certain buyers, such as first-timers, current or retired members of the military, or buyers with a lower income and credit score. It's worth taking a look at these programs to see if you qualify—they could end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars over the lifespan of your mortgage!  

Types of Lenders

Banks & mortgage bankers

  • The most common lenders
  • Earn money from investors and consumers
  • Offer other financial services
  • Can give special deals to existing customers

Credit unions

  • A type of bank owned by account holders
  • Acquire funds from their members
  • Offer other financial services to members
  • Often requires membership

Mortgage lenders

  • An institution that solely makes loans against real estate
  • Often sell their loans to banks or other servicing companies
  • Processing, underwriting, and closing completed in-house
  • Getting a loan from a mortgage lender can take less time

Mortgage brokers

  • A middleman between the buyer and lender
  • Shops around for the best possible deals
  • Can be helpful for niche buyers
  • Charges additional fees for their services

Federal government

State government

  • The LHC offers multiple programs for buyers 
  • Can be helpful for first-time or low-income buyers
  • Offers down payment assistance programs
  • Special programs for homeowners affected by natural disasters

Choosing the Right Lender

Shop around

Doing plenty of research is one of the most crucial parts of the home financing process. Because there are so many different options out there, it may take a while to find a lender who offers the right type of mortgage that fits your needs. Be sure to take note of interest rates and special programs, as well as terms and conditions for each lender, too.

Get recommendations

Your agent, mortgage broker, or even your loved ones may be able to recommend a great lender, so ask around! In fact, many agents have connections with local lenders, and some even offer discounts for referrals. Mortgage comparison sites—such as NerdWallet or BankRate—can also provide up-to-date information on the industry's leading lenders.

Contact lenders

If you have any questions for a particular lender, try picking up the phone or sending them an email. Most lenders will be more than happy to discuss your unique situation, as well as any programs that could apply to you. They may also have some tips to help you navigate the application process.  

Ready to Calculate Your Monthly Payments?

Use our mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly mortgage payments at various home price points, interest rates, down payments, insurance, and tax costs, and more. We'd be happy to help you find a loan that fits into your budget!

Have questions? Contact the Nugent-Freeland Team today to learn more about buying a home in the Big Easy. We look forward to helping you find your new niche!

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