At some point in our lives, pretty much everyone in the New Orleans area (myself included) has paid rent. Renting can be an ideal way to put a roof over your head for the short term. However, once you factor in the rising costs of rent and the low mortgage rates, buying a home in New Orleans is the more cost-effective solution for the long haul.
Renting can be great at certain points in your life. It’s a relatively short-term commitment that allows you to keep a roof over your head while you chart your life’s course.. I rented until I was 30 years old, and I don’t have any regrets. I moved to several different cities for jobs, and renting permitted me to freely go where I wanted to go and pack up easily without worrying about selling the house. When I decided to return to New Orleans to settle down, I was tired of renting tiny apartments for a lot of money. That’s when I started looking into buying a home in New Orleans.
Clients often think they know exactly where they want to live when buying a home in New Orleans. However, their wants and borrowing power sometimes don’t overlap. That’s when working with a realtor who knows you, and knows the region, is most important. Want access to the French Quarter with the peace and quiet of the burbs? You’ll want to check out Lakeview! But your budget may stretch a bit more in Mid City. Factor in Orleans Parish taxes vs Jefferson Parish, and you may find the home of your dreams in Old Metairie. My point is, open your mind, leverage your agent’s experience, and view a wide range of homes.
Over the course of a year, I saw around 15 homes. An acquaintance of mine knew an older gentleman who wanted to sell his home at some point, so I made an offer and he accepted. It had no central A/C, the entire inside (carpet and walls) was a dusty pink, and it needed an overhaul. Eight years, a small addition, and a husband and kid later, I made almost $150k in equity on it when I sold it. I wasn’t even in real estate when I bought it. My thought is: if I can buy a home, so can you.
To buy a home, you need certain things, which I believe many people have but are too scared to know for sure because renting is so much “easier.” I want to dive into these things with you and put the fear of buying a home at bay. Here we go:
You have to make some money.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to be “rich” to buy a home. You have to be disciplined to an extent, but to buy a house, you don’t have to make six figures. Using those calculators online to figure out if you qualify are exhausting, so I refer people to a lender to get the actual numbers to start the process to buy a home. This way, there is no guessing. I’m a fact person, and although some people don’t want to face the facts, you have to in order to buy a home. Learn more about NOLA lender Tommy Manzella
You don’t need 20% down payment.
Is it ideal to have 20% down payment? Yes. Is it necessary? No. There are so many options that you have, including the FHA loan that requires only 3.5% down. In addition, if I am the one helping you to buy a home, I am going to ask the sellers to help with that down payment so you may not have to bring very much to the closing table. Can we pause and say that again? Closing table. To your very own piece of property. That makes me get goosebumps. Lenders want to lend you money, so they are going to help you get what you need. Sometimes they put you on the path to the purchase by helping you understand how to get there. This is a team effort, folks. We all want the same thing.
Do you really need to buy a home that will max out your finances?
Go into this process knowing that this first home may not be exactly what you want. In fact, a multi-family home might be the best option for you. Many single people find that a single family residence just won’t work based on their income, so having that rent flowing each month helps them afford to buy a home. There are also condos. Many young professionals like the idea of living in an urban setting, walking everywhere, and not having lawn care. Wow, that sounds good.
The bottom line is that in order to buy a home, you do need to meet certain criteria. The good news is that you probably already do. Your rent may even surpass what your future mortgage will be. Heck, you might be saving money by buying a home. Reach out to me to get started on the process to buy a home for you. The information you gather will put your mind at ease and let you know for sure if this is the right next step for you.