Getting started on your New Orleans Condo search…

      Lets get you started in a search for your New Orleans Condo.  Where do you start and when should you start?  Getting your questions answers from your agent is just as important as him trying to give you the best possible matches for your needs. Each property is going to have pros and cons as it is not all about price.

1.    Know what you can afford and what it will cost you to purchase a condo.  This means you should talk to a lender about the loan process.  They will tell you what you can afford and the various loan programs that are available.  It may be a conventional loan with 10% down, a second home with 20% down, it may be an FHA loan with 3.5% down, it could be a doctors loan with zero down. It could even be a VA loan with nothing down.  Not all complexes can be financed the same way so the agent has to know the type of loan.

2.   Paying cash for a condo is great but there are still questions about other cost associated with the purchase.  Ask about the property taxes, content insurance and condo fees that come with owning a condo.  A cash offer to the seller is much like getting a cash discount of 2%.  You can still get an appraisal if it makes you feel better.

3.   Know the area that you want to start looking in.  Begin to review the condos on the market in that particular area.  Its always good to get a back up plan and at least get ideas from other areas.   Many people will get started in one area and change their mind in the process.  This is not unusual.

4.   Have an idea of what “feel” you are looking for in a condo.  How many  Bedrooms?  Baths? Have Pets? Need Parking?  Common areas?  Do you want a pool or gym ? What kind of feel do you want in your condo?  How far a commute is one of the more important factors in the decision.  Remember New Orleans is not that large….

5.   Know the style of condo that you want ?  Is it a true Warehouse feel with large windows, high ceilings, wood floors, exposed beams and exposed bricks that meets your needs.  Is it part of an old home turned into condos that give you a neighborhood feel while retaining the historic feel of the home.  Is it a condo on St. Charles Ave?  Is it a French Quarter balcony that is important.

6.   Your reason for buying the condo is important as this will let your agent some insight into your needs.  He can then  give you the properties that will best meet those needs.  Your needs will more likely match a past client  needs.  Best to talk about these ideas as you begin your shopping trip.  

7.    On line shopping is where most people start l0oking to get ideas.  This is a great place to start looking.  However an agent familiar with the areas can quickly help you with the search with his or her knowledge of the neighborhoods.  Its not that hard to narrow your initial search to single digitchoices.  Some clients want to see everything but many just want to see the best of the bunch.  Once we get a dialogue going it really helps in getting the right property.

8.    When do you start?  Start several months outto get ideas and view some properties.  Sit down with your agent to go over all the choices and the process of purchasing.  This is valuable meeting as I give you plenty of useful information on your search.  You can give me your needs on what you are looking for and the reasons you would like this or that one.  This gives you time to see properties come and go. Once you are 8 weeks out that is time to really get serious.

Condo Purchase in New Orleans, Getting started

Condo search in New Orleans, getting the loan

     Getting the loan process started is crucial to the overall experience.  Its never as easy as it once was.  The best results that my clients have had is in working with a local lender who know the market and will stay on top of the process.  The more the process is done locally then the better.  There are some exceptions where it is best to go with someone who can do the loan such as a doctor’s loan as there are no local companies currently offering this.

   The lender landscape is constantly changing due to new rules and regulations.  It is best to give the lender 4-6 weeks to get to closing depending on the type of loan.

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Eric Bouler Realtor
Gardner Realtors
Metairie - New Orleans, La. USA