This is part of an ongoing series about what “happily ever after” can look like. We’re giving you stories about previous New Orleans home buyers and sellers and some of the challenges they faced. If they made it through, so can you! All client names have been changed to protect the innocent and crazy.
Mary came to one of our first-time homebuyer classes. She soaked in all the information and took diligent notes. Within a year, she paid off most of her debt and was ready to buy her first home in New Orleans! (She did this by picking up an extra job and working her tail off.)
Mary got pre-approved.
We got Mary pre-approved and her budget was perfect for the areas she wanted to look in – Metairie & Kenner. However, it is also a highly competitive price range for these suburbs of New Orleans. Like, SUPER COMPETITIVE. Full-contact sport competitive.
If I sent Mary a listing and she liked it, we needed to go out that same day to look at and make a decision on putting in an offer. No second showing, just quick decisions. This can be extremely stressful for some people.
Mary and I constantly found ourselves in bidding wars. A bidding war is when you have to bring your very best offer the first time. There is typically no negotiating, just give them your bottom line.
Well, we won a couple of times. Mary would win a bidding war and then the next day when we got insurance quotes, it made the house too expensive for her budget. Sometimes it was due to the flood zone, sometimes the house had too many claims made on it.
Mary didn’t really feel like she was winning because we had to cancel a few contracts.
Mary’s out of town lender wasn’t as familiar with insurance numbers in our area and we had to readjust her budget. Due to the costs of taxes and insurances, we need to lower her price range a smidge. (This is why we encourage a local lender. It could have saved some heartache.)
After righting the ship, we went back on the hunt.
A house came on the market that was renovated, adorable, and fit in our budget! Mary and I rushed out to Metairie (a suburb of New Orleans) and knew this house was the one. There was no stopping us now!
We found ourselves in about to be in another bidding war. But, we made an offer they couldn’t refuse and got Mary under contract.
We had a moment that the flood insurance quote was so pricey, there was no way she could have afforded it. Mary decided to invest in an elevation certificate. (An elevation certificate can show the house sits higher than base flood elevation.)
By doing so, it lowered the price of her yearly flood insurance from over $3k a year to a reasonable $1k/year.
Happily Ever After
While Mary went a little further out of New Orleans than she originally intended – she doesn’t regret it. She got to purchase her first home – it was renovated, came with appliances, and was reeeeeeeal cute. It met all of her needs and it’s well within her budget.
Most importantly, Mary is happy. She got her adorable cottage and made her home buying dream a reality.
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