Homebuying Tips

How can I find information about the neighborhood that I want to live in?

Your real estate agent, or websites like Zillow or Trulia, can provide valuable information about areas where you may be interested in living. While price and home amenities often drive the primary decision to purchase, proximity to work, school, and shopping can make a big difference in the overall quality of life. Check out House Hunting guidelines for things to consider in your search for a home.

Home Warranty Policies

Sometimes you will see a home listed that comes with a home warranty, which can provide added assurance that you will not have to pay for a major appliance or other repairs within the first year of purchase. These policies vary in what is covered, the out-of-pocket deductible, and terms, so be sure to review them carefully. In addition, you can continue the home warranty after the first year by simply paying for it out of pocket. If a home warranty doesn’t come with a home then you can still purchase a home warranty yourself.

Home Inspections

A home inspection provides you with information about the state of the home you intend to purchase. An inspector will look at the structural and functional aspects of the home, property, and its amenities. If the inspector finds something that is out of the ordinary, he/she will note it in the report. While it isn’t a guaranty, this will give you some assurance that there should be limited surprises once you move in. It’s important to review the report carefully so you can determine if there are any serious concerns with a home that may influence your decision to buy it. Sometimes buyers use the outcome of the report to renegotiate the purchase price of a home if the findings indicate there are costly repairs or issues that should be addressed, or they request that the seller have the issue resolved prior to completing the purchase.


How long does it take to purchase a home once I’ve found one?

A typical closing period is 30-45 days, some can close quicker when paying cash, or some longer when there are difficulties or problems with an aspect of property clearance or financing. Being prepared is a good way to help ensure a smoother and faster transaction, and our Mortgage Application Document Checklist can help.

Do I have to make a 20% downpayment?

No. We’ve seen the headlines too that say you have to make a 20% downpayment to buy a home, but it’s simply not true. While it will depend on your credit profile, there are loan options available with as little as a 3% downpayment.


Many buyers don’t realize that in addition to your downpayment, you will need to have money to also cover closing costs, which typically range from 1% to 8% of the sale price of a home, depending on where you live.

Closing costs include services that are provided on your behalf during the transaction (i.e. title insurance, closing services, loan fees, etc.), and can also include prepaid items like interest, and hazard insurance. Your lender will provide you with a detailed estimate of these costs so you are prepared for the total amount required to close your purchase shortly after you apply for your mortgage.

Why I Need Title Insurance

Purchasing an owner’s title insurance policy is a matter of being safe rather than sorry. Different from other insurance policies that protect against possible future events, the owner’s title insurance policy protects you against events that occurred in the past. Errors that could impact or threaten your ownership rights are numerous and could include: recording and survey errors, unknown creditors, and fraud. These defects usually present themselves years after the property is purchased and could result in, at the very least, legal fees. In a worst-case scenario, it could lead to the loss of your property, the equity you established, and your down payment.

The content on this page is provided by our resource partner AchieveTheDream.com

How To Get Started

The first step in the home buying process is to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our mortgage specialist partners with Geneva Financial, LLC. Contact us today at (504) 356-9100 or fill out the form below and one of our mortgage partners will contact you.

Fill out the form and we’ll chat with you soon.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.