The kitchen in this home leads into the family room.

Springtime is a time when many home buyers come into the housing market. This spring, the housing market is still going strong with tons of competition. If a homebuyer finds a home they like, there is no time to think if you want to compete for an accepted offer. Here are two important things you should take action on before purchasing a home.

Bulk Up Your Credit Score

A homebuyer’s credit score can either hinder or boost your chances of purchasing a home. Credit scores determine whether a homebuyer can get approved for a loan. Before starting the home buying process, a homebuyer needs to make sure their credit score is 650 or higher.

Lower Your Debt-To-Income Ratio

A homeowner’s debt-to-income ratio is very important. It can not only affect getting a mortgage but can also affect the price of a home a homebuyer can purchase. A good debt-to-income ratio is less than 43% according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For example, if a homebuyer’s monthly income is $5,000 and monthly expenses are $1,000, then the debt-to-income-ration is 20%.

If you are considering purchasing a home, make sure to not only follow these two things but also contact a Realtor. A Realtor can help you with the process from start to finish. They will find the perfect home for the perfect price.

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This is a custom built home that was part of the Louisiana Northshore 2021 Parade of Homes and is for sale.

This is a nice open floor plan with nice and bright natural lighting.Monica Bourgeois and Neil Gernon, a New Orleans couple, decided to purchase Pontchartrain Vineyards last November after they visited the winery’s Jazz’n the Vines events featuring Charmaine Neville. The wine spot was put up for sale last summer.

“You could see every star, it was one of the most charming things I’ve ever seen,” Bourgeois said.

The couple will plan to reopen the vineyard under the new name Wild Bush Farms & Vineyards. They love the vineyard but want to put their own stamp on it. They have painted the tasting room walls and replaced the furniture. That will add a ping pon table, frisbee golf and a movie screening area. The couple will keep the traditional Jazz’n the Vines events every spring and fall.

“It’s going to be this really cool viticulture playground out here,” she said. “There are hardly any wineries in Louisiana and I don’t know anyone that’s trying to do what we are going to attempt to do out here. We’re going to do the style of wines we would enjoy drinking from around the world: thoughtful, honest, sustainable wines and that’s what we want to focus on, building an ecosystem, producing things of nutritional value that are beautiful.”

Monica and Neil are no strangers to the wine industry. Both worked in the wine distribution and retail industry on Magazine Street in New Orleans. In fact, in 2009 the couple, along with a vineyard owner in Napa, founded Vending Machine Wines. The results were nice red blends with California grapes and Louisiana flare.  There was a Double Shotgun, a Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot blend, and a Cabernet Sauvignon called Crooked Mayor, which she said “speaks for itself.”

“We’ll have a lot of different offerings for a lot of different people,” Bourgeois said.

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A nice kitchen island with a dishwasher and a nice sink. The sink is farmhouse in design.

December 2021 date shows that the construction of new homes climbed for the third consecutive month. Reports find that new construction homes are at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.7 million units. Close to 1.6 million housing units were started at a 15.6% increase over 2020.

Even with the rising interest rates, the housing market is still going strong. The average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose to the highest levels since March 2020 in January 2022. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says economists expect to see an increase in mortgage rates this year. This is due to the Federal Reserve slowing down on purchasing monthly bonds.

Applications for building permits rose 9.1% to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 1.87 million units. This is the strongest month for permits since the beginning of the year in January 2021. Applications for building permits can forecast future building activity. Housing starts in the Northeast and the Midwest rose the most at 20% and 36%.

The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo monthly survey, which gauges builder sentiment, reported that it still remained stable. This is good news since builder sentiment was down slightly to 83 at the beginning of 2022.

“Demand exceeds supply, and builders are working as hard as they can to catch up, a process that was always going to be measured in years, not months, after the massive shift in demand toward single-family homes sparked by the pandemic,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist for Amherst Pierpont.

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The exterior of this home features both brick and wood siding.

Selling a home and moving are some of life’s most stressful events. It is hard to schedule a closing for your new home and current home in order to move in one and out of the other. Flyhomes, a real estate brokerage, says to consider purchasing a home before you sell the one you are currently living in. Here are a couple of reasons to purchase a home before you sell your old one.

It gives you time to find the perfect home

Getting an offer on your current home is exciting but can be stressful because that means you have to find a new home to move into before your closing date. Rushing to purchase a new home will only make you more stressed with the process. A way to take off some of the pressure is to purchase a new home before selling your current one. You will be able to take your time and purchase the perfect home. This is another way to avoid extra expenses from moving and storage and temporary housing.

It can make your offer more competitive to sellers

Many times a buyer has a home they have to sell when making an offer on a new home. It is a competitive market and a buyer has to pull out all the stops. Having a contingency to sell a home on your offer puts limits on it. If you purchase a home without selling your current one, your offer will be much stronger.

Remember using a professional sales agent is a must. If you want to take this approach, choose a Realtor who can help you through the process.

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This custom French Provincial home was built by Ron Lee Homes located in Louisiana.

Homebuilder sentiment was strong at the end of 2021 according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is good news for the home building market despite the inflation scares and material shortages. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reported the builder sentiment in the market for newly-built single-family homes moved one point higher to 84 in December.

As for the regions, the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores rose in all of the four regions. Both the West and South saw an increase to 87, and the Northeast and Midwest both were are 74. The seasonally adjusted rates for the four regions were the highest in the South at 89, in the West 87, in the Northeast 79, and in the Midwest at 74.

“While demand remains strong, finding workers, predicting pricing and dealing with material delays remains a challenge,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. “Policymakers need to work on supply chain improvements and controlling costly inflation. Addressing lumber tariffs would be a good place to start.”

“The most pressing issue for the housing sector remains lack of inventory,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Building has increased but the industry faces constraints, namely cost/availability of materials, labor and lots. And while 2021 single-family starts are expected to end the year 24% higher than the pre-Covid 2019 level, we expect higher interest rates in 2022 will put a damper on housing affordability.”

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This welcoming front porch is a nice covered area and outdoor living space. There is a nice brick paver flooring on this porch.

This family room has custom built-ins that feature shelves and cabinets. The built-ins surround the fireplace on each side.The last months of 2021 saw a great gain in single-family permits in the housing industry. In the first ten months of the year, nationwide single-family permits totaled 948,321. Year-to-date (YTD) this shows a 17.3% increase from October 2020.

Each region had increases in single-family permits issued. The South reported the highest increase of 19.1%, next was the Northeast at 18.5%, the West at 15.6% and the Midwest came in with the smallest increase at 12.4%. Multifamily also saw an increase across all four regions. The West the most at 38.6%, Midwest 30.3%, the South at 23.8% and the Northeast at 15.5%.

At the local level, below are the top 10 metro areas that issued the highest number of single-family permits:

Metropolitan Statistical Area Single-family Permits: (Units #YTD, NSA)
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 44,342
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 43,012
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 30,013
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 27,283
Austin-Round Rock, TX 20,895
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 16,613
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 16,310
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 15,006
Jacksonville, FL 13,809
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN 13,766

 

For multifamily permits, below are the top 10 local areas that issued the highest number of permits:

Metropolitan Statistical Area Single-family Permits: (Units #YTD, NSA)
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 34,380
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 22,782
Austin-Round Rock, TX 21,925
 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellvue, WA 17,305
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anheim, CA 16,880
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 13,345
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 12,959
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 12,771
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 12,671
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 12,499

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This welcoming front porch is a nice covered area and outdoor living space. There is a nice brick paver flooring on this porch.

The housing market is booming and inventory is still low. Developers want to take advantage of this on some wetlands just west of Lewisburg Estates close to Mandeville. The wetlands are located at the mouth of the Chinchuba Bayou flood plan that is made up of marsh grasses and cypress trees.

The current landowners have applied for a coastal use permit through St. Tammany parish. This coast permit would allow them to fill in the wetland site and lake bottom. Their plan is to add a bulkhead and a private road. This would be the first step in developing the land for future homesites.

Many in the community are distraught about the thought of future development on the wetlands. Filling the lake in would lead to flooding and change the ecological landscape that could hurt the community.

According to John Lopez, a coastal scientist who reviewed the permit for the development for the Lewisburg Civic Association, says that it could cause flooding in the Mandeville area. He confirmed that the wetlands are healthy enough to allow cypress trees to grow but should not be developed.

He reported that if the wetland is developed, the filled land would slow down the water’s exit from the Bayou Chinchuba watershed into Lake Pontchartrain. A bulkhead could also exacerbate erosion in adjacent areas.

State environmental agencies also report a negative impact. The filled land would replace 2.5 acres of shallow intertidal habitat that is home to submerged aquatic vegetation and where Indian manatees also call home. The Indian manatee is a threatened species already.

The state Department of Natural Resources did a biological investigation report for the project. Their findings indicated that there are plenty of other lakefront properties that are available to develop in the same area.

“Each little slice of shoreline, marsh and productive waters taken away hurts the lake, the aquatic culture, and the birds and animals whose lives depend on this type of habitat,” David Lawton, a Lewisburg resident communicated.

This piece of wetland has been in discussion for decades. Many developers have wanted to develop the property but have not gone through the plans due to opposition from residents, environmental groups and local and state officials.

“Everybody wants a piece of paradise. There ain’t enough paradise to go around anymore so you got to create paradise out of the wetlands and the marsh,” Ted Ralph, a nearby resident and retired federal engineer, said as he pointed out the site of the proposed development from his fishing boat.

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This master bathroom is unique with custom wood ceiling beams and a large window that lets in the light over the stand alone soaking tub.

Last month St. Tammany Parish voters voted on four property tax renewals for their school district. The voters approved the tax renewals which total 42.72 mills. The St. Tammany Parish School District will gain around $102 million dollars annually.

This sounds like a huge chunk of change, and it is, however it is just part of the school district’s approximately $453 million budget. The money pulled from the four taxes will go to things such as general school operations, employee salaries and student educational programs.

St. Tammany schools Superintendent Frank Jabbia is thankful that the four taxes generating the $102 million won by the voters. He said it would have been “catastrophic” if the four taxes were not supported by the community. The four taxes will not go into effect until 2023 and will stay in effect for 10 years. Nineteen percent of the 186,000 St. Tammany Parish voters voted on the four taxes.

The first proposition at 4.42 mills (bringing in around $10.52 million annually won by 54%. The second proposition at 32.41 mills (bringing in around $77.1 million annually) won by 55% of the vote, proposition three at 3.14 mills (bringing in around $7.4 million annually) received 54% of the votes and the fourth proposition at 2.75 mills (bringing in around 6.5 million annually won by 53%.

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The kitchen boast a nice kitchen island with a nice ship lap accent. The kitchen island has an area for sitting.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released this October shows strong builder confidence. The main reason for this push in builder confidence is the strong consumer demand. According to the report builder’s opinion of the market for newly-built single-family homes rose 4 points to 80 this October. This is incredible news since there are still hurdles for builders when it comes to rising material prices and material shortages.

“Although demand and home sales remain strong, builders continue to grapple with ongoing supply chain disruptions and labor shortages that are delaying completion times and putting upward pressure on building material and home prices,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke.

“Builders are getting increasingly concerned about affordability hurdles ahead for most buyers,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Building material price increases and bottlenecks persist and interest rates are expected to rise in coming months as the Fed begins to taper its purchase of U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed debt. Policymakers must focus on fixing the broken supply chain. This will spur more construction and help ease upward pressure on home prices.”

The three major HMI categories all saw gains in October. Current sales conditions rose five points to 87, sales expectations in the next six months saw a three-point gain to 87, and traffic of prospective buyers rose a big four points to 65. The Midwest rose to 69, Northeast stayed at 72, the South stayed at 80 and the West unchanged at 83.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI is a monthly survey that measures builders’ opinions of the current single-family home sales and expectations for the next six months. A scale is used to rate their opinions as good, fair or poor. Along with this measurement, participating builders are also asked to rate the traffic of prospective buyers. This is scored as high to very high, average and low to very low.

Forecast shows that the end of 2021 will still have a strong housing market with strong buyer demand. If you are in the market to purchase or sell a home now is the time to contact a local sales professional.

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Covered front porch with real wood rustic columns welcomes you into this home.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the first 8 months of 2021 reported 775,772 single-family permits issued year-to-date. Compared on a year-over-year basis the end of summer 2021 saw a 25.8% increase over August 2020.

All four regions of the country reported increases. The highest in the Northeast was at 29.3% and the lowest was in the Midwest at 21.6%. The remaining regions were as follows the South at 26.4% and the West at 25.7%. Multifamily was also on the rise with 33.7% in the West, 27.2% in the Northeast, 24.9% in the Midwest and 24.6% in the South.

The same goes for all 50 states and the District of Columbia which reported increases across the country. The highest was in the District of Columbia with an increase of 208% from 87 to 268. The total of the 10 highest states was 62.3%

At the local level, below are the top 10 metro areas that issued the highest number of single-family permits.

Metropolitan Statistical Area Single-family Permits: Aug (Units #YTD, NSA)
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 36,359
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 35,572
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 25.209
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 22,768
Austin-Round Rock, TX 17,375
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 13,603
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 13,174
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 12,068
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN 11,482
Jacksonville, FL 11,400

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