Lagniappe Living in Lake Charles, Louisiana: January 2012

5 Questions for Home Buyers to Consider Before Writing a Contract

The Lake Charles Real Estate Market is showing an increase in activity since the last quarter of 2011.  With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, SEC Football and  Saints Football all behind us,  buyers are refocused.  With historic low mortgage rates  combined with consumer tax refunds, many buyers begin to re-think home ownership and consider the advantages of buying a home. The lower mortgage rates make it affordable for renters to become buyers.    The Lake Charles Current Inventory of  real estate is beginning to experience frequent home showings and the days on the market are  becoming shorter as homes go under contract.

 If you are considering a home purchase in Southwest Louisiana, the following  questions below will ease your mind and provide you with a positive, happy, long-term, property ownership experience.

 1. Can I afford it?

 If you are currently renting how much is your rent and how much can you be  pre-approved for?  If the amounts are close, in comparison, chances are you can afford to purchase provided your mortgage lender approves you for a  home loan.  Review your budget and take into consideration your other expenses, lifestyles and habits to make sure you can comfortably afford that house note and still pay your other bills and have some savings.  Factor in your employment also . Do you expect to stay in your current position or is it risky with company cutbacks or no work available.

2. Do I love the home I want to buy?

 Can you see yourself inside the home you choose? Real estate should be held for the long term, and loving a property should nourish  many happy years of your home ownership  Take your time when viewing properties.  Don’t buy a house  if you don’t love it or at least really like or want that particular property.  Real estate is about matching the right home fit with the right buyer, not every home you view is going to meet your criteria.  Don’t buy just “to buy” or because of low rates alone or advice from others who tell you it is a good idea. Buy what you want, when you are ready, You want to  buy a Lake Charles home that you will be proud of to host  your friends and family over the years.

 3. How well do you know the area or neighborhood?

Many times a home buyer can be from out of town.  Lake Charles has a high percentage of relocation real estate.  If you don’t know the area, take the time to learn about the neighborhoods and the community.  By educating yourself and doing some homework, viewing  several properties in various neighborhoods you will be informed before you make any offer.

 4. Is the home in good shape?

 Lake Charles Foreclosures and short sales may sound like a bargain.   Fixer-uppers rarely sell at a large enough discount to compensate for all the work that needs to be done. The cost of construction and remodeling can be higher than expected.  Are you ready to take on a project?   Unless you are a contractor, it almost undoubtedly will cost much more than you anticipate.  Sometimes those great deals are too good to be true.  Leave the “needs TLC” or “fixer-upper” properties  to the contractors. You want to buy something in  good shape that is ready to move into.  

 5. Will I own it for at least five years?

 Plan on staying in your home for at least five years.  Many times a homeowner will contact me to sell their house because they have outgrown the home or they want to build a new home.  If you have only been in your house for two to three years, you may not have accrued enough equity to turn a profit on your home sale.  Real estate is a long term investment.  Five years is about the breaking even point if sellers choose to sell at that time.   Unless you are an investor who is going to “flip” properties for a profit, buying and selling quickly will usually leave you  in a position with very little negotiation room and you could incur  a loss.

I look forward to assisting you with your Lake Charles Home Search and answering any questions you may have!




For more information on Lake Charles Real Estate, visit my website.  You can search homes for sale in Lake Charles, Louisiana,  and view up to date information on Lake Charles Subdivisions, Neighborhoods

Find Lake Charles Realtor Marilyn Boudreaux Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s on Google+

If you are planning a move to or from the Lake Charles, LA area, I can help!   I am a full time Realtor licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission and am affiliated with:

Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s

4410 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA, 70605 USA

337-478-1578 or 337-499-9592

CENTURY 21® is a registered trademark owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal housing Opportunity. Each office is independently owned and operated.  The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments are not warranted or implied representation of it's accuracy,  All information is copywritten and the property of the Author, Marilyn Boudreaux.  


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Comment balloon 5 commentsMarilyn Boudreaux • January 30 2012 12:20AM
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