Decide To Buy.
Are you ready to buy a home? Ask yourself these questions:
- What are your personal reasons: growing family? want to move closer to work or school? want a different lifestyle? Or are you moving because of a job transfer and must purchase a home?
- How long do you plan to own this home?
- Do you have enough cash for a down payment, closing and moving costs?
- Can you afford to carry a monthly mortgage and still pay your bills?
- Do you need the tax break?
If area real estate is moving fast and you feel pressured to buy, this may not be the time. If you want to sell your current home and buy another, consider whether you can manage a dual sale/purchase. If you find a neighborhood you like but are not ready to commit, consider renting there for six months to learn more about it.
It pays to get organized. Put your finances in order, get pre-approved for a loan, and you will know what you can afford to buy.
- Credit data: Check your credit and correct any credit problems you may have before the lender gets your credit report.
- Loan documents: Gather financial information the lender will request: Copy of the purchase contract, last two tax returns, pay stubs for the last 30 days, etc.
- Get Pre-Approved: Gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow and puts you in a better position to buy.
Look at Homes
- Choose a REALTOR(R). While it may seem all you have to do is find a home online and then make an offer, buying real estate can be complicated. It is also true that no two properties are the same. A REALTOR(R) will assist you in evaluating the home's strengths and weaknesses, assist you in obtaining disclosures and inspections, and guide you through the offer and negotiation process.
- Real estate listings: Go to www.NJMLS.com or use Find A Home under the Buyers section to get information on homes for sale in Northern New Jersey
When ready to write up an offer to purchase, discuss with your REALTOR(R) contingencies, or conditions, in the contract that will allow you to cancel the sale and get your money back if something goes wrong.
- In New Jersey, consumers have the right to have any contract of sale or lease prepared by a real estate agent reviewed by an attorney within three days of execution of the contract or lease.
- A Financial Contingency: It cancels the sale if you are unable to get a loan after making a good-faith attempt to get one.
- An Inspection Contingency: It cancels the sale if an inspector uncovers serious problems or you can not reach an agreement with the seller to make needed repairs.
- A Title-Inspection Contingency: It puts the duty on the seller to provide clear title to the property in order for the sale to go through.
After the Sale
- Property Inspection: An examination of a homes exterior, foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical system, heating, kitchen, bathroom, roof and interior is essential. Be sure the inspector is licensed by the state fo New Jersey.
- Insurance Information: Apply for your homeowner's insurance policy early; Choose insurance wisely and cut your insurance costs.