Contemplating buying a home in New Orleans? AlexCate Realty, LLC - Cathy Cashman can help.

Buying a home is stressful for most people, but it's not very difficult with a little up-front planning. So they understand exactly what to expect, I'll supply buyers with an overview of the whole deal. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to address questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
Prior to beginning your home search, there are a lot of things you'll want to consider. When you start your search, you'll probably want to make a list of items you want to have, get a feel for what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or around 1/3 of your monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent in New Orleans
That's where I come in. We can plan a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, school districts in the New Orleans area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. I partner with some of the best mortgage professionals in New Orleans, so you'll be in great hands. They'll assist you with deciding which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking
Following our initial meeting, I'll begin searching for available houses on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the homes and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes at a time that's convenient for you.

When we tour homes, I'll point out good features, as well as negative ones. And I'll ask you what things you like and don't like. For the most part, buyers revise their list of must-haves as we tour houses and some features become more important than others. If that's the situation, I'll look through the listings again and trim it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Comprehend the market
Your agent's awareness of the New Orleans market is a fundamental factor in your house search. And I can assure you I'm familiar with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I will alert you to what districts are "hot" and call for prompt action and others that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

As we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be on guard and be sure to ask a lot of questions. Every real estate agent will tell you they truly understand the market. If it seems like they don't know everything, contact me at 504.488.4398 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. My market expertise will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
We'll find the house of your dreams in the New Orleans area, and when that happens, I'll meticulously create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including many contingencies, such as acquiring financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When submitting your offer, you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is usually put towards the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of deals don't close on the beginning offer. It's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this intimidate you. We'll talk about whether or not to accept the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

The state of the market will play a vital role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain financing
Upon completion of the contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, it won't take much time at all, but you'll want to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll manage all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will furnish you with a Loan Estimate (LE) of closing costs within three days of receiving your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your application. This estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy, and I'll go over the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then we'll close on your home. This will likely happen at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and easygoing affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just call me at 504.488.4398 or e-mail me at .