You’ve been searching high and low for your perfect New Orleans home. Your top New Orleans real estate agent has been showing you houses, you’re pre-approved, and you finally found the right house! It’s time to make an offer! When making an offer, what should you factor in?
We’ve already told you the items we can negotiate when we make an offer. (Quick reminder – price, closing date, appliances, deposit amount, etc.)
But we want to talk to you about the other stuff to consider when making your offer.
#1. Flood Insurance
If the house that you love has extremely high flood insurance and there is no elevation certificate, you might want to ask the seller for one. They cost anywhere from $200-$400. Acquiring an elevation certificate can help the flood insurance go down exponentially. However, be forewarned, in rare cases – it can make the prices go higher.
#2. Overall Condition
If the listing agent says this house is in excellent condition and it’s not (SURPRISE! This happens a lot) – you should base your offer on that. When the condition is worse than expected, but you still love the bones of the house, make an offer at a lower price. But, please know that when you do this – you can’t beat them up during inspections.
When you are looking at homes, look at the overall condition of the property. All offers should be based on what you can see is wrong. If you notice the roof shingles are falling off, factor that in now. The sellers may not want to make repairs if you already got them down on price.
Comps (aka comparables) are the houses that have sold in the last 180 days in your neighborhood. You and your New Orleans real estate agent should be factoring in what other houses have sold for. If everything around you is selling for over list price, you may have to up your offer. But if houses are selling for far less, then adjust accordingly.
#4. Special Assessments/HOA Dues
The house you want to buy is an area that has a homeowner’s association. That’s fine – we sell houses in those kinds of neighborhoods all the time. However, you need to know if the area is changing the HOA dues drastically or even recently voted for a special assessment. Or maybe it’s a condo that has extremely high monthly dues for little in return. No matter what, we need to think about these additional costs.
For example, Stonebridge subdivision on the Westbank voted in favor of buying their golf course. In return, they have a special assessment on every property in the area. Each house is now paying about $1300-$1500/year to fund this golf course and country club. New residents should be aware because this could approximately $125/month on your house note.
Working with seasoned real estate agents who keep up local assessments and prices across the city is imperative. It’s important to choose an agent who has your back. Start here with the buying process in New Orleans.
Want to hire us to help you find your home? Text us!