A guide for homebuyers
There is so much more than dollars and cents when it comes to investing in a home. Your lives are likely to change, especially if you’re raising a family or transitioning into retirement.
It’s crucial for you to choose the right kind of home that will answer your needs and wants today and in the foreseeable future.
To help you along, we’ve listed a few things that you’ll need to look into to avoid frustrating missteps.
- Prepare your documents
First things first: build a “green file.” This includes all your important financial documents and records, such as:
- Bank accounts
- Financial statements
- Credit cards
- Tax returns from the previous two years
- Recent pay stubs
- Auto loans
- Copies of leases (investment properties)
- Life insurance and 401K plan statements
- Stocks, bonds, and mutual account information
Even though this step can take place later in the buying process, the earlier you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, the easier it is to make purchasing decisions. Knowing how much you can invest will enable you to create a shortlist, saving you time by eliminating options that don’t fall within your pre-approved terms.
While you can certainly get information on property listings on your own, you’ll fare much better with the guidance of a professional– one who works for you, the buyer, instead of for the seller.
Knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated real estate agents can help fast-track your home search by:
- Monitoring listings for property options that match your preferences
- Identifying and recommending the neighborhood that best fits your lifestyle
- Pre-screening property for you
- Connecting you with the best financing and legal support
- Guiding you through the tax implications of your purchase
- Helping you avoid homebuying hazards and mistakes
If you’re looking for luxury property in New Jersey, the fact that you’re reading this guide means you’re on the right track! My team and I are experienced, trusted, and tailor our services to your needs. We have the best knowledge of prime real estate in New Jersey and we can’t wait to help you find the perfect home.
Visit the neighborhood you’re keen on, whether based on your agent’s advice or your own research. Take the time to talk to residents and owners of local establishments, check out the neighborhood amenities, and simply get a real-world feel of the place. Internet listings and brochures can only say so much about a place, after all.
Review the best options on your shortlist. When it comes to property features, set your priorities. Is acreage more important to you than how far the home is set from the property entrance? Can you do without cathedral ceilings for an additional floor you can transform as you please? It pays to have an organized checklist of must-have, nice-to-have, and over-the-top luxury features to guide your decision-making.
Once you’ve decided on a home, work with your agent to create a strong offer letter – one that gives you the advantage over other interested buyers. Make sure you specify inspection and mortgage contingencies.
Be ready to receive counter-offers and even direct rejections, especially if you’re eyeing a popular or highly desired property. If this happens, we’ll help you with the next steps. We can either restructure your offer, submit a counter-offer, or if rejected, move on with other property options.
After a successful offer or negotiation, you and the seller will sign a contract agreeing to the terms of the sale. Secure an attorney’s review within three days of signing. The review takes up to three days on average, but could also take as long as a month. Good real estate lawyers are through by helping you identify potential points of contention, but they will also work to ensure that you and the seller can seal the deal as soon as possible.
Once you’ve agreed on the purchase price, you and the seller are ready to proceed with the escrow process. This means getting a third party – such as the brokerage, title company, or escrow service provider– hold your earnest money, until the deal is finalized.
You will then have to get the property appraised by the bank to make sure the selling price matches its market value. You’ll also need to secure funds, have the home inspected, make sure the title is free from encumbrances, and complete all paperwork – details your agent will help you with.
Once all requisites are met, the escrow process ends. Monies will be released to the seller, and you’ll get the title and the keys to your new home.