Buying or selling a home in New Orleans?

Buying a home is stressful for many people. However, with a bit of planning ahead of time, it isn't very confusing. So they know exactly what to expect, I will provide buyers with a road map of the whole deal. Below are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions regarding this information or if you're prepared to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
Before you begin searching for a home, there are plenty of things you'll want to contemplate. You'll most likely want to make a list of features you need, get an idea of what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or around 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent in New Orleans
This is where AlexCate Realty, LLC - Cathy Cashman comes in. I'd like to set up a time to meet with you and speak with you regarding your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the New Orleans area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any other economic factors that may potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you begin the loan process. There are some great mortgage professionals in New Orleans, and I partner with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They will assist you in choosing which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a house
After we meet, I'll begin searching for homes on the market that are great for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the homes and remove the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to tour the homes when it's convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll point out positive features and bad ones. And I'll ask you to point out what things you like and dislike. Oftentimes, buyers update their must-have list as we tour houses and some items become more crucial than others. If that happens, I'll look through all the listings again and trim it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
My understanding of the New Orleans housing market is a necessary component in your home search. I am mindful of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll alert you to what districts are "hot" and demand prompt action and others that are "cold" and allow for more consideration.

When we tour homes, I'll be sure to tell you when the asking price has room for negotiation and when I trust the house is "priced to sell." Be careful and be sure to ask your agent lots of questions, as every REALTOR will claim to know the housing market. If it seems like they don't know everything, just call me at 504.488.4398 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My market knowledge will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
We'll find the home of your dreams in New Orleans, and when we do, I'll thoroughly create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including some contingencies. A few examples are getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When we turn in your offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the home seller to secure the offer to buy the property, and it's often applied to the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days after. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of deals aren't closed on the beginning offer – it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it discourage you. We'll consider whether or not to agree to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

Market conditions will play a part in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll formulate a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain a loan
Upon finishing the contract, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. It won't take much time at all if you're already pre-approved, but you should to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will furnish you with a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs within three days of receiving your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of getting your loan application. The estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a close range of accuracy, and I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and calm affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, be sure to contact me at 504.488.4398 or e-mail me at .