It has never been a better time to buy a home.  You need to discuss your options with a Realtor or visit…
Southdowns Real Estate

My website discusses tips for buying a home and also educates buyers on such topics as:
BEGINNING YOUR HOME SEARCH:It is exciting searching for your new home and home sellers are anxious to work with buyers that have taken care of their homework before they shop. With that said, let’s get to business.

1 SHOP FOR A LOAN You will first need to get pre-qualified for a home loan. There several options you should consider based on your credit rating and debt to income ratio. Below are several loan options….

Fixed-Rate Loans: The fixed-rate mortgage is the most popular mortgage program in use today. Fixed-rate loans offer the borrower a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan, typically 15 to 30 years. Many require 20% down-payment. If you put less than 20% Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) may be required.

Adjustable Rate Loans: With an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), the interest rate changes periodically, and payments up or down accordingly. Rates are tied to an index that reflects the cost of money at any given point in time. Generally speaking, lenders charge a lower initial interest rate for the ARM than for the fixed rate mortgage. Adjustable rate loans are attractive for buyers who expect to be in the home for a short period of time.

FHA and VA Loans: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), offers loans for low-to-moderate-income home buyers. FHA loans have lower down payments, and have relatively easier requirements than conventional fixed-rate mortgages. FHA mortgages have no income restrictions and even those with lower credit scores may be considered. In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a zero-down mortgage program. To take advantage of this program, borrowers need to be among those listed as veterans and service personnel in the U.S. military.

Local Homebuying Program:There are often many state and local programs available referred to as Bond Loan. These programs offer down-payment assistance and programs for local home ownership. Learn more about these local programs, recommended lenders, and other finance options by contacting me today!

2 NEGOTIATING THE CONTRACT Louisiana’s Residential Agreement to Buy or Sell As your buyers agent, I work with you to get the house of your dreams at the most affordable price based recent sales and competition. Typically, the first phase of contracts negotiations deal with:
Sales Price, Financing Options, Closing Date, Closing Cost, Inspection Period, and Home Warranty and any necessary addendums that will be made part of the contract.

The second phase of negotiations will deal with: Repair negotiations after inspections.

Home inspections can make or break the purchase or sale of your home. Whether you’re buying or selling, the process will impact the outcome. Here are some things to include on your due diligence list. NOTE: A buyer can cancel the agreement during the inspection period if they are not satisfied with the property. It’s one of the many reasons why the home inspection process is so important.

Hire a Licensed Home Inspector– Whether you are buying new construction or an existing home, I recommend that every homebuyer have their home inspected by a licensed home inspector.

Look for Wood Destroying Insects During the Inspection Period– I also recommend that all homes be inspected for termites or other wood destroying insects. These pests are part of daily life in Louisiana and are a common occurrence. Depending on the lender and the type of loan, you may also be required to provide a Wood Destroying Insect Report indicating that the home either does not have an active infestation or that the home has been treated by a licensed pest control company.

Check the FEMA Flood MapsDuring the inspection period you should check to see if the home is in an area where lenders require flood insurance.

Other Surveys- Most homebuyers do not have a property survey conducted; it is not required by most lenders. However, there are times when a survey is good idea particularly if there are questions about the ownership of fences, shared driveways, or servitudes.

4 CLOSING ON YOUR HOME– Once the contract has been negotiated and the inspection repair requests has been satisfied, your next stop is the closing table. You will hire a Title company to draw up the legal document to close the sale. It is at the closing that you sign the lender documents, and title documents and your fees are explained on the HUD Settlement Statement. Closing only takes about an hour but the reward at the end is worth the time spent.

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