Preparing to buy a home in Louisiana can be an exciting and stressful time. Figuring out the best way to buy a house at a low price is important. By buying at the right time, purchasing in the right area, and following a few more select tips, you can get the home of your dreams, for the best price.
Buying a house is a stressful and emotional process. You'll likely have to spend weeks touring properties, fill out hundreds of forms, and invest a large chunk of your savings to secure the right house.
One way to make buying a house easier is starting the process at the right time. In Louisiana, housing inventory, mortgage rates, and market trends vary from month to month.
For example, this year listing prices for homes in Louisiana were lowest in January. On average, homes were $26,580 less expensive. While in October — the month with the highest prices — the listing prices were $25,991 more than the annual average.
In truth, the best time to buy a house really depends on your priorities and situation. Read on to find out which time of year will give you the most options and the biggest savings when buying a house in Louisiana.
Best Month For
8.2% lower than average
17.2% more homes to choose from
2.87% interest for 30-year mortgage
Realtor.com data (October 2020)
Bankrate data (December 2020)
If you're interested in buying a home, the first step in the home buying journey is getting preapproved by a licensed lender. Even if you’re already pre-approved, shopping around for lower rates can pay dividends over the life of the loan.
You can fill out the form below to be instantly matched with a licensed lender who knows the area and can guide you through the process.
Best Time of Year to Buy in Louisiana
The local real estate market in Louisiana is warm right now. Over the past year, home prices in Louisiana have gone up 3.2%, increasing to an average of $147k. In 2019, the market is still going strong, with home prices predicted to go up another 2.3% by the end of the year. Mortgage rates are also predicted to continue rising, making it a bit more challenging for buyers to find the best prices on homes.
Typically late spring is when home selections around the country are at its highest, driving up buyer competition and home prices. As a result, early winter is often when home prices are at their lowest, but may be when mortgage rates are at their highest.
In Louisiana, home sale prices typically drop during late summer and early fall, in August and September. November is another good month for buyers to close on a home, though mortgage rates will typically be higher. Lastly, late winter months, like January, February, and March also see low home prices. Buyers should aim to start searching for homes approximately one month in advance, in order to close during the right time.
The Best Places to Buy a Home in Louisiana
Determining when to search for homes is only half the battle for finding the perfect house to buy in Louisiana. If you’re new to the Bayou State or simply looking for a new neighborhood to call home, check out these five top-rated places to live in Louisiana.
This small town is one of the best places to live in Louisiana and houses approximately 1,300 residents. Located in St. Charles Parish, this suburb is a great place to retire or raise a family. Prien has top-rated schools, many great attractions, and a low crime rate. Median home prices on average are affordable at $154k.
This Baton Rouge suburb has a large population of 30k residents. Located in Ascension Parish, this city is a great place to call home. With A+ public schools and access to restaurants, coffee shops, and attractions, this suburb is home to many young professionals and families. Expect to pay an average of $222k for a home in this area.
Paradis is a New Orleans suburb that’s home to approximately 1,600 residents. Located in St. Charles Parish, this rural town offers a safe haven from city life, with top-rated public schools and a low crime rate. Homes in this area are very affordable, averaging around $155k.
Another St. Charles Parish suburb in New Orleans is Ama, which houses 1,300 residents. This town has more of a suburban feel with top schools and good access to attractions and amenities. Ama is a great place for families and retirees to settle down, and average home values clock in at $154k.
If you’re looking for a New Orleans suburb that’s more active than a small town, but not as busy as a city, Destrehan might be the right neighborhood for you. This area has A+ schools and also has a bustling nightlife. Home values in this area are slightly higher than other neighborhoods in St. Charles Parish, averaging $226k.
4 Ways to Get a Great Deal On a Home in Louisiana
Now that you know the best places and time to buy a home in Louisiana, you’ll want to brush up on a few other helpful tips to help you make informed buying decisions. Here are four ways to improve your chances of getting a great deal on a Louisiana home.
Find a Great Louisiana Real Estate Agent
You won’t get far in the home buying process without teaming up with a great local real estate agent. Talented agents understand the local buying market in Louisiana well and can help you make the best buying decision possible. They can also offer recommendations on where to live, how to get financing, and when to negotiate.
Agents partner with buyers to help them find their ideal home for the best possible price. In addition, many real estate agents will even offer home buyer rebates that can save you money on your home at the time of closing.
Learn More: What Does a Real Estate Agent Do for a Buyer?
Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals
Every buyer is looking for something different in a home, from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to amenities like yards, pools, and finished basements. When you partner with a real estate agent they can help create a search to find homes that fit all of your criteria, within your target budget.
Real estate agents can also send you homes the second they’re listed before they hit popular search sites like Zillow and Redfin. This will give you an advantage over other buyers, allowing you to make an offer quickly.
Find a Lender and Secure Financing
Unless you plan to buy your home with cash, you'll need to apply for a mortgage. For most home buyers in Louisiana, interest rates are among the biggest factors when choosing a lender. Doing a little upfront research and comparing options to find the best rates could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
For example, in Louisiana a typical house is worth $178,000. Assuming a 20% down payment, if you took out a 30-year mortgage for 3.5%, your monthly payment would be $635. But if you shopped around and found a 3% mortgage, your monthly payment would drop to about $600.
Getting a mortgage is a big decision – and it pays to shop around! Keep shopping until you find a lender with competitive rates who also understands your goals. Don’t get pressured into taking on a bigger loan than you’re comfortable with – work with a lender who explains what you’re really signing up for.
» Get instantly matched with a lender who works in your area.
Negotiate for the Best Possible Price
Deciding on the right offer to make on your dream home is important. You want the seller to not only consider your offer, but accept it over any others. Work with your real estate agent to determine the right offer to make and allow them to act on your behalf to negotiate towards the best possible price.
In addition, your real estate agent will help you with any negotiations needed following the home inspection to ensure any necessary repairs are made or deducted from the overall price of your new home.
Once you’ve decided to start looking for your new home in Louisiana, you should reach out to a Clever Partner agent to get matched with an agent near you. To get started, fill out the online form and a Clever presentative will get in touch with you to schedule a no-obligation consultation.