GAH! You just saw a house on Zillow or Realtor.com that you adore. You haven’t spoken with a lender and you’re wondering can you afford that monthly payment. Websites, where you can search for property, tend to offer you estimated monthly payments. They may even have a handy dandy calculator for you figure it out. As your New Orleans real estate agent, let me offer you some advice on these calculators…
Please stop using them.
These calculators are not able to properly factor in property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, what your interest rate is, etc.
Yes, you can adjust the interest rate and see how the payment changes. But, without truly knowing what interest rate you will get (because it’s based on your credit score) – it just won’t be that accurate.
Homeowner’s insurance is also based on your credit score. Depending on that and what type of coverage you want, these calculators are already wildly off.
We don’t want you thinking the estimated payment is accurate for you and your finances!
Flood insurance isn’t even something they factor in.
Living in Louisiana, no matter what flood zone, you need to have flood insurance. That could range from $450/year to well over $3000/year. This is a huge game-changer in your monthly note.
These property search websites also try to tell you estimated property taxes. Let me be the first to tell you, they are wrong. All the time.
Depending on what areas you buy in, you may have additional taxes you weren’t aware of – for instance Kenner and Old Gretna have extra property taxes.
How do I get an accurate payment amount?
Thank God you finally asked this. You need to chat with a local lender. The lender, that your top New Orleans real estate agent loves using, will provide you with an insurance quote and pull all property tax info ahead of time. This way we have a more realistic monthly number.
They are going to pull your credit, but it won’t hurt your score!
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