Looking to get your own piece of the Garden State? It’s there for the taking … but you need to know how to go about it. That’s why I’ve gathered five major tips for first-time homebuyers in the state of New Jersey. Keep in mind that I’m more than happy to help, so get in touch if you have any questions!
Tip Number One: Clean up Your Financial House
Can you afford to buy a house right now? You’re not going to know for certain until you get your own financial house in order, which includes checking your credit score, correcting any errors, improving everything you can improve, and bulking up your points to the degree where you feel comfortable applying for a competitive mortgage loan. Remember, the better your financial picture, the less you’re going to be spending in fees. That’s a win-win right there.
Tip Number Two: Do Your Homework
You’re not going to get what you want if you’re not sure what that is. Doing your research can help you figure out not only what you’re seeking, but whether or not it’s available in the areas of most interest to you and your family. A few things to know: how long do you plan to stay in your home? When you leave, will you try to re-sell or rent your property? What are your future plans in general? The more you know, the better off you will be.
Tip Number Three: Get a Real Estate Agent
You want an expert who has local understanding, industry savvy, and the ability to clearly communicate with you. After all, that’s our job! A few questions to ask a potential real estate representative: how long have you been working in the local area? Do you have references that you can share with me/us? How do you work with your clients? Make sure to interview several agents until you find the perfect one for your needs.
Tip Number Four: Get it Together
Pull together the paperwork you’re going to need to apply for a loan. This includes all personal files and documentation that is relevant to this purchase – and even paperwork you may not initially realize you might need, such as pay stubs or bank statements. Your real estate agent will be able to fill you in on what you’re going to have to provide, but you’re going to want it close at hand to make the process go more smoothly.
Tip Number Five: Be Realistic
If you’ve got a steak budget, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to afford filet mignon. Similarly, if your financial picture lands you in the market for a mid-range home, don’t get carried away with plans for a luxury palace. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do that someday – but that day may not be today. A good agent will help you keep those expectations in check – and get you the home that’s right for you.