May 1, 2013 06:00

It's a buyer's market

1 Crazy low rates

Per experts like Van Eaton & Romero CEO Bill Bacque, the current interest rates can mean huge savings. For example, even one percentage point can mean a $20,000 difference in the home you can buy. But they won't last forever. Wait a year and you could get a lot less home for your buck.

2 Supply and demand

The amount of supply is beginning to diminish, according to Bacque, which equals a rise in prices. If you're looking for something specific, the time to buy is now before the selection declines.

3 Prices are good for now

The combination of low rates and decreasing supply adds up to one sure-fire thing - higher prices. According to Coldwell Banker COO Steven Hebert, in the first quarter of 2013 the parish's average has moved up by 8 percent. While he notes other factors could be at work and a low sample size, the market is primed for prices to start moving up.

4 Feature wars

In an attempt to snag buyers, new homebuilders are increasingly including lux features at more moderate price points. Think granite counters and sumptuous bathrooms in the $200,000 range.

5 Location, location, location

Whether you're looking for a quiet respite in south Lafayette Parish or the thriving beat of downtown, the powers that be are working to make it all a bit better. From Mayor Charlie Langlinais down in Broussard pushing for the kind of businesses that mean total convenience for residents to DDA's Nathan Norris and a vivid vision for an improved downtown and the efforts of Upper Lafayette for planned growth, the people with influence around the parish are in their own kind of feature war. It means whether you want urban living or suburban bliss, someone's working to make sure you want to be there and stay there.

6 Timing is everything

Spring and summer are the peak selling seasons for real estate. Chances are more likely for that dream home to get snatched up between now and the end of summer. The average home (based on first quarter reports) is staying on the market 93 days this year compared to 110 last year.

7 Lafayette rocks

If you're a current homeowner, read on. But for the renters out there - there's no place like Lafayette and you're going to want to stick around a while. While Lafayette "rocking" is pretty ambiguous, there's an intangible but clear value that can be placed on the influx of tech business, rich cultural offerings and truly unique culinary choices. The community at large is a thriving one full of cool people doing cool stuff. So, put a ring or a deed on Lafayette already.  (More than 300,000 Festival-goers can't be wrong.)

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