In real estate we get asked a lot of questions and many of them are asked over and over again. So let me answer some of the questions that I am asked or should be asked when purchasing a condo in the New Orleans Market.
1. What do condo fees cover….They will differ to some degree in complex to complex but it will always cover Insurance on the building, Upkeep of the building and grounds and management fees. Water and garbage is covered in many condo fees. Always good to know what they cover so you can gage your expenses.
2. Have the condos ever flooded….The vast majority of condos that I sell or see have not flooded. Most just happen to be in old areas that are on higher ground. If the condo is in a flood zone the building is required to carry flood insurance and those are in the fees.
3. How much can I expect to get off the asking price….This depends on what the condo is worth and not what they are asking. The overall aver is 2-3% of the last asking price. When a condo sells quickly you know they got close to the asking price. Generally the ones asking too much will just not sell.
4. How much can I get off for a cash sale….About 2 % more unless the condos are having a hard time being financed which is the case with many new ones where the units have not yet been turned over to the condo association.
5. Are the condo I am purchasing going to go up in price…. We do not know the answer to this one. It it has location , condition, views, and things people want then the chances are better. The premium condos that have all the pluses will always do better.
6. Can we rent the condo out as a rental….The answer is to be found in the condo documents and it will always say no short term rentals or weekly rentals. Minimum of 60 days is the starting point. Many want 6 months rentals only. You will see condos advertised but it is illegal to rent weekly in the City of New Orleans.
7. Financing is always an issue and should be asked about….20% down for a second home. 10% down for a conventional loan if you live there. 3.5% for an FHA loan but these are very hard to find. I do know lenders for a lot of situations. Doctor Loans ect.
8. Who lives in the condos…. As an agent we can give you a general idea as to the ages and how many people actually live there full time. We will not know many more specifics. Best to just sit and watch people come and go. Most are friendly and you can and should ask questions to people already living or renting there. How safe is the area tends to go along with this question. Most agents doing this full time can give you their thoughts on this subject…..
9. You should ask about using a local lender that will match up with your needs…Dealing with out of town lenders can be a nightmare. They just do not understand the area or proctices in this market. Avoid the large out of state banks that have branches here, they too often fail to deliver on time. The listing agents know this and will frown on these offers when they can get one from a local. The locals have to do well or their business dries up.
10. Can we but the buy the furniture…… Always keep that deal separate and put it in a separate offer later. Sellers often think their furniture is worth what the paid for it. You do not want it effecting the value of your offer. The appliances, blinds and curtains generally stay with the condos in the New Orleans market.
The one that I did not answer is about square footage prices. So many variables, I will have to save that for a later blog…..