Steps To Take When Buying A House

They say buying a house is part of the American dream. Buying a house is one of life’s biggest events. When you are ready to take the leap, here are some steps you need to take.

What to Consider Beforehand

Make sure you are ready to become a homeowner because it is not always the best decision for everyone, renting might be the best way to go for some. There are a ton of responsibilities that come along with owning a home such as regular maintenance, inspections, taxes, and more.

Another thing to consider is the timing factor. Look at the mortgage rates and home prices are they rising or staying the same? If the rates are starting to take a leap, then you might want to move quickly. Also, the time of the season can also determine the best time for you to start your search. Spring is typically when listings hit the market. This means that there will be more options for you to choose from. On the downside, it is the most competitive season for buyers.

The last and most important thing is are your finances in good shape. Only set out to purchase a home if you are financially stable. Remember you will need to set aside savings for a down payment and closing costs. If your credit score could be higher, pay off some of your debt to boost your score.

How to Plan Your Budget

Budgeting is essential when it comes to buying a home. Set a time frame of how long it will take you to build up a good down payment. Once you have this timeframe, research Realtors in your area and find the best fit for you. Keep in mind that it takes around a couple of days to a couple of months to find your ideal home, then around 30 – 60 days to complete the transaction from contract to close.

Along with finding a real estate agent, you will need to find a mortgage lender. The best bet is to shop around for the best rates and offers. This will also depend on your credit score. Having an established credit history and a high credit score can allow you to get a better rate on a mortgage.

To check your score, obtain a credit report from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These three credit bureaus allow a free report every 12 months. Lenders typically require a credit score of 620 or higher to be able to obtain a mortgage. If your score is a little iffy, raise it before you apply for a loan.

In order to raise your credit score you will need to pay your bills on time, pay off debt and keep a low balance on your credit cards, and check for any mistakes on your credit report. Lenders want to know they can depend on you to pay you mortgage payment on time.

If you are not able to raise your score or get it over 620, then there are other financing options available. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) only requires a score of 500 with a 10% down payment or 580 with a 3.5% down payment.

How Much House Can I Afford

When buying a home, you are not just paying the listing price, there are hidden costs. When budgeting, allow for a down payment, closing costs, moving and maintenance costs, as well as an emergency fund for any unplanned maintenance.

You will need to set aside at least 20% of the price of the home for a downpayment on a conventional mortgage. Closing costs are another thing you will need to pay out of pocket which can be between 2% and 5% of the home’s purchase price. Remember to always factor in closing costs to your budget! You will also need to pay to move and make any necessary repairs before moving in.

Along with your monthly mortgage payment, you will also have monthly expenses such as utilities, transportation, groceries, entertainment, childcare, credit card debt, savings, etc. A good rule of thumb is for your mortgage payment to be below 28% of your monthly income.

Shopping Around for the Right Everything

When purchasing a house, you not only have to shop around for the right home, but also for a Realtor and a mortgage lender. Doing your due diligence on both can save you time, money, and heartache.

There are many lenders out there who offer different rates and terms. Shop around for the best lender who offers better products. There are several different types of loans with different qualifications. A lender can help you choose the right one for you and also get you pre-approved.

A pre-approval letter can sometimes be the golden ticket for the seller. This tells the seller that you are a serious buyer and you have the finances to back it up. In order to get a pre-approval letter, your lender will need to verify your finances and check your credit score.

A Realtor is your saving grace through the entire process. When choosing a Realtor, it is always good to get referrals. You want to make sure the agent your are considering has a good reputation and experience. It is a good idea to interview several agents to see if they are a match and would work well with you.

Once you have a lender and a Realtor you need to find your home. An agent can help narrow your search by finding a home that fits most of your needs and wants. Your agent should have an extensive amount of knowledge about the neighborhoods you are interested in.

Reaching the Finish Line

Once you have found your home, it is time to make an offer. Your Realtor will advise you on the best approach and will negotiate your contract. Once everything is settled such as contingencies, a home inspection, and disclosures, you are ready to close. Remember your Realtor will help you along the way and make sure you get the best deal.

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MTV Wild N’ Out Live, June 17, 2022

Nick Cannon live in New Orleans.

MTV Wild N’ Out

Smoothie King Center
1501 Dave Dixon Dr
New Orleans, LA 701130

June 17, 2022

Tickets $25 – $145+

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Annual Jean Lafitte Seafood Festival, June 10 & 11, 2022

There will also be swamp tours at the festival in Jean (16)

June 10 & 11, 2022

Jean Lafitte Auditorium and Grounds
4953 City Park St
Jean Lafitte, LA 70067

Tickets: $15+

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The Housing Share of Gross Domestic Product Is Higher in 2022

For the first quarter of 2022 GDP declined at an annual rate of 1.4% causing the housing share to jump up. In fact, reports show an increase of 16.7%. The residential fixed investment (the more cyclical home building and remodeling component) rose to 4.8% of GDP.

Housing and all activities related to housing give to GDP in a couple of ways. The first is through RFI which stands for residential fixed investment. It is effectively the measure of the home building, multifamily development, and remodeling contributions to GDP. It includes construction of new single-family and multifamily structures, residential remodeling, production of manufactured homes and brokers’ fees.  The second is the measure of housing services including gross rents (including utilities) paid by renters, and owners’ imputed rent (an estimate of how much it would cost to rent owner-occupied units) and utility payments.

The first quarter of 2022 saw an RFI of 4.8% of the economy which came out to be a $1.18 trillion seasonally adjusted annual pace. The housing services made up 11.9% of the economy which was $2.9 trillion on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. That means the total housing’s share of GDP was 16.7% for the first quarter of 2022.

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Annual 2022 Essence Festival, July 2, 2022

Janet Jackson will perform Saturday at this event in New Orleans live!

Essence Festival 

Caesars Superdome
1500 Sugar Bowl Dr
New Orleans, LA 70112

July 2, 2022

$86 – $1,100+

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