Is Buying NJ Real Estate Right For You?
Be sure you understand the costs, risks and benefits of homeownership before you decide to purchase NJ Real Estate
One of the most important decisions you will make is whether you are ready to buy a home. If you are thinking of buying a home, you are not alone. The current state of our nation's economy has forced home prices and mortgage interest rates down to the lowest in years. Incentives such as the Homebuyer Tax Credit make homeownership attractive and attainable with tax credits of up to $8,000 for qualified first-time home buyers and up to $6,500 for existing homeowners. The following list of steps is helpful for anyone thinking they are ready to buy NJ Real Estate:
1. Do not buy if you cannot commit
If you have no plans on remaining in one place for at least a few years, then owning is likely not for you at this time. In a rising market, you may wind up losing money in the end with the transaction costs associated with buying and selling NJ Real Estate. When prices are declining, this is an even worse proposition.
2. Start by repairing your credit
A few months prior to shopping for a home, obtain multiple copies of your credit report to make sure everything looks correct and fix any problems you might discover. Most likely you will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, so it is imperative that your credit history is as clean as possible.
3. Seek the professional help of a Realtor
A Realtor is a licensed NJ Real Estate professional with knowledge and experience in your local market. A Realtor can help you find the home that's right for you and can assist you with strategies during the bidding process of a NJ Real Estate transaction.
4. Figure out how much home you can really afford
The rule of thumb is that you can buy a home that is approximately two-and-one-half times your annual salary. Keep in mind that debts and additional expenses can affect what you can afford.
5. Get pre-approved prior to house hunting
A pre-approval is highly advised for anyone looking to purchase a home. This process is done by a lender who will check your credit, verify your income, and provide assurances that you will be able to get a loan up to a certain amount. Potential NJ Real Estate home buyers can then get a letter of pre-approval from the lender, and when shopping for a home can have an advantage over others because they can demonstrate to the seller that they are more qualified to buy the house. Keep in mind that a pre-approval letter from a lender is not a guarantee from the lender that a loan will be provided. In addition, a pre-approval can save the time and headache of looking at homes that are not within your range of affordability.
6. Figure out how much of a loan you qualify for
You may still qualify for a loan even if you are unable to put down the typical 20 percent. There are a variety of lenders, both public and private, offering low-interest mortgages requiring a down payment as small as 3 percent of the purchase price if you qualify.
7. Choose carefully between points and rate
When choosing a mortgage, you will typically have the option of paying additional points, a portion of the interest payable at the time of closing, in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you plan to stay in your home for at least 3 or more years, it is usually more beneficial to take the points as having a lower interest rate will save you more in the long run.
8. Buy in a good school district
Even if you do not have or plan to have children, buying a home in a strong school district will always boost NJ Real Estate property values when the time comes to sell as this is a top priority for many home buyers.
9. Research and bid carefully
Consider sales of comparable NJ Real Estate in the last 3 months prior to making your initial bid. If homes have sold at 5 percent less than asking price, your bid should be roughly 8 to 10 percent below what the seller is asking. Your initial bid should be based on the sales trend of similar homes in the neighborhood.
10. Hire a home inspector
A home inspector is beneficial to anyone looking to buy a home as their job is to ensure that your home is free from any defects or potential problems requiring costly repairs in the future. When searching for a qualified professional in this field, you should look for an engineer with experience in doing home surveys in the area where you are buying.