Are you interested in settling in New Orleans or are you just looking around? Here’s a little guide to walk you through the home buying process should you wish to purchase a home in the Big Easy.
- Contact a real estate agent. Get in touch with a local real estate agent to help you through the whole process. Consider the following in hiring an agent: experience, knowledge, and expertise. A real estate agent with extensive knowledge about the local real estate market will significantly increase your chances of finding a good home in your chosen neighborhood. Don’t just rely on marketing; ask your friends and family for referrals. To make sure you’re in good hands, hire a seasoned Realtor from Elite Southern Realty.
- Examine your financial capabilities. It’s important to assess your current financial situation to determine if you can fund a home on your own or if you need to get a loan. Is your credit rating good or do you need to improve it? Do you earn enough? How much are your monthly expenditures? Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to budget accordingly and decide if you need to pull your credit score up or apply for a loan pre-approval.
- Look for a home. A list of “non-negotiables” or must-have features will allow you to narrow down your options. It’s also important to set a budget and to keep within your price range. If you’re having trouble determining the features you should and shouldn’t prioritize, think of your long-term needs and goals.
- Negotiate and inspect the home. Once you’ve zoned in on a home that fits your bill, it’s time to place an offer and deposit earnest money to show your interest. Sometimes the seller will accept your first proposition, but more often than not they’ll negotiate. Your Realtor should be able to represent your best interests at the negotiation table.
Having a professional inspect the home you’re interest in buying is one of the most important steps in the process. Not only does this allow you to find out whether there are features in the home that need repair, it also tips the scales in your favor when negotiating. Note that you’ll probably want to get more than just a general home inspection done – some features and defects will need to be looked at by specialists like a geotechnical engineer, an environmental contractor or a pest inspector. It’s also standard procedure to have the home’s title reviewed to ensure a smoother transaction. Communicate with your seller openly about your concerns so contingencies and other terms can be settled.
- Close the transaction. During the final stage of the home-buying process, it’s important to perform a final walkthrough of the home. Once both parties agree that everything is satisfactory, important documents will be signed and payments will be settled. On closing day, the seller will hand over the title and the keys to your new home and your lender will release the funds to them. Congratulations and enjoy your new home in New Orleans!