New Jersey Home Buyer Guide
For most people, buying a new home is one of the most amazing, enjoyable and gratifying events in their life. As your real estate agent, I can coach you and guide you every step of the way to your home purchase can be a trouble-free experience. Be aware that I can show you any home that is for sale. These include homes listed on the internet, in the newspaper, those with a “For Sale” sign on the lawn, and even homes listed in another real estate agency. So if you find an interesting home which you would like to learn more about, call me or e-mail me right away. I have the resources to give you the details of that home. Armed with this New Jersey home buyer guide, you will have a better idea if that home is worth further investigation.
New Jersey Home Buyer Guide: Tips for Buyers
1. What is Your Credit Report and Score?
Most people need to get a loan from a bank or lender before they buy a house. It is in your interest to check your credit report and fix any errors before asking for a loan. Each year, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report; you can get it from www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Once you have your credit report, check for errors and have them fixed. It is better to get these fixes done before you are ready to close a deal of the perfect home of your dreams. If your credit report has a few issues that cannot be easily erased, you should get expert advice from your lender, this is especially true you are a first-time home buyer.
2. How Much Can You Afford?
Everybody wants the most luxurious and biggest house in the block but the reality of the situation is that you can only buy a house which you can afford. You can find out how much you can afford with this online calculator here. Remember that in addition to your monthly payments, you will also need money for the initial down payment, closing costs, fees (for inspectors, appraisers, and attorneys etc.) and the costs of any furniture or remodeling projects.
3. Should You Get Pre-Approved, Pre-Qualified, or Qualified?
Sometimes a broker or lender will tell you that you are “pre-qualified” or “pre-approved” for a loan. However, this can be meaningless if you are “pre-approved” for a loan that is much larger than what you can realistically afford.
To get the full story of your financial situation, a lender will get credit information, verifying income, and evaluate your existing assets. Some lenders offer a Mortgage 1st program where you can be “fully approved” before you start looking for a home. Having a complete picture of your finances puts you in a better position to negotiate because the seller knows that your finances are in order and that your offer is solid. Being fully approved also saves time because it prevents you from shopping for homes that are beyond your price range.
4. Get Your Documentation in Order?
When it comes to getting a loan, things go much faster if you come prepared with the proper documents. These include:
- Pay stubs
- Bank statements
- Written verification documenting where the down payment will come from
Some people are self-employed or work on commission and do not have W2 or pay stubs. In this case, I will help you find a more flexible loan program which requires less documentation. There are a variety of options in loan applications.
5. Let’s Focus on Your Dream Home!
Before you shop for a new home, it is useful to ask yourself some questions. Keep in mind that you will probably not get everything on your list so it is important to define which qualities are most important to you:
- What is more important to you: the size of the home, its location, or its features?
- Are you looking for a single, detached family home or a multi-family house?
- How many bedrooms and baths do you want, and how many do you absolutely need?
- Do you want a move-in-ready home or are you willing to buy one which needs repairs, renovation, or expansion?
- How much do you want to spend?
- If you find your dream home, how much are you willing to offer for it? How much are you willing to go above your target price?
I can help with the last question by giving you the statistics of similar homes within the area. You need to consider the prices of comparable home sales, current market trends, other competing offers, and the amount you can realistically offer. Call for more New Jersey home buyer guide info: (973) 800-1700.