Are you ready to buy a home? Ask yourself these questions:
- What are my personal reasons: growing family, want to move closer to work or school?
- How long do I plan to own this home?
- Do I have enough cash for a down payment, closing and moving costs?
- Can I afford to carry a monthly mortgage and still pay my bills?
- Do I 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 aren't ready to commit, consider renting there for six months to learn more about it.Get Organized.
It pays to get organized. Put your finances in order, get pre-approved for a loan, and you'll 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.
- Real estate listings: Use Find A Home under the Buyers section to get New Jersey Real Estate Listing online.
- Inspection reports: An examination of a home's exterior, foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical system, heating, kitchen, bathroom, roof and interior.
- Insurance Information: Choose insurance wisely and cut your insurance costs.
- Get Pre-Approved: Gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow and puts you in a better position to buy.
When you are ready to write up an order of purchase, make sure you include a few contingencies, or conditions, in the contract that will allow you to cancel the sale and get your money back if something goes wrong.
- 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't 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.