Your Checklist for a Smoother Home Purchase in 2021

If you’re planning to buy a home in 2021, this could be your year.

It could also be a roller coaster, at least according to the latest housing market outlooks released for 2021.

While mortgage rates continue to remain at historic lows and are expected to remain low, housing inventories in many areas – including Greater New Orleans – are experiencing a serious shortage.

In fact, a November Business Insider report predicts that if homes keep selling at the rate they are, the U.S. could actually run out of new homes  in a matter of months. In Metro New Orleans, according to November 2020 market stats released by the Gulf South Real Estate Information Network, New Orleans has approximately 2 months of housing inventory, down 51.2% when compared to November 2019.

The low housing inventory is nudging home prices higher in many cities, according to the most recent S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index report.

But don’t panic. This news doesn’t mean you can’t buy a home. It does, however, mean that you have to be prepared this year more than ever.

There are a few things you should do first to make sure you’re ready to act when the right –house – comes along.

Get these 3 things done and you’ll have a smoother home purchase (and less time spent on the housing market roller coaster!) in the new year.

#1: Get Pre-Qualified

With so few homes hitting the market and prospective buyers seemingly emerging from the woodwork to take advantage of lower rates, there is a lot of competition out there. 2021 will be no exception.

What’s one thing you can do as a buyer to set yourself apart from the rest? Go ahead and get pre-qualified!

Getting pre-qualified – especially in today’s market – helps you cut through the curiosities of how much home you can really afford and it makes you a more attractive buyer to sellers in multiple offer situations.

You’ll also have determined the right loan program for your financial needs and be better prepared to stand out as a winning buyer in a low-inventory market.

#2: Find Your Realtor

Just as you choose and connect with a trusted loan officer, now is the time to find your trusted realtor. If you don’t have one, ask for recommendations from family or friends. Find a realtor who has first-hand knowledge of your local market and the neighborhoods you’re interested in – and someone who can help advise you on predicted trends and the ins and outs of the homebuying process.

Browse these helpful tips from for finding a realtor in your market.

#3: Determine What You’re Looking For

You know you want to delve into homeownership in the new year, perhaps leaving the renter lifestyle, but you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking for? Now is the time to determine your wants and needs if you’re serious about making a move in 2021.

Conduct your own “research” by visiting neighborhoods with current or recently sold listings you’re interested in. Consider the size of home, style of home, features, and upgrades you’re looking for. And keep in mind that with the shortage of homes available for sale, you might need to pare down your wish list a little and prioritize.

With a better idea of what you want in a new home –a pre-qualification and a realtor you’re working with – you’ll be ready to drop in an offer when the right house comes along. And you’ll have the best chance of acceptance and a smoother homebuying experience in the new year.

We Can Help You Achieve Your Homeownership Dreams in 2021!

From our large network of trusted loan officers throughout Greater New Orleans to our competitive loan programs, learning resources, and simplified pre-qualification process, we can help you achieve your homeownership dreams in the new year! Contact us or reach out to a loan officer in your area to get started.