Congratulations! You are all set to settle down and ready to buy your dream home in Jersey City or Hoboken. Every state has its own processes for buying a home and of course New Jersey has its own set of rules and regulations which you need to know. But don’t worry, that’s what we are here for, we will guide you through the entire process of buying until you move into your new home.
Whether you are buying a home for the first time, or you have been through this process before, these steps will serve you as basic guidelines on what to expect when you are out buying your home sweet home.
Most people already know where they want to live, but even cities have different neighborhoods, start by picking a neighborhood and drive around to see some active listings, or check online on Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com. If you are buying a condo or a house for the first time, you should also consider researching for a real estate agent. You can ask your friends/family or even better, reach out to one of our agents!
Once you have picked an agent you might want to work with, you’ll set up a Buyer’s Consultation with them. In the consultation, your agent will go over the details of the process. Your agent will help you sort through your needs, and what you can afford. You will learn what kind of services to expect from the Realtor, educate you on the process of buying and will also let you know about the latest Real Estate trends. At last, the agent will show you all the available options within your budget in your preferred area.
This is not mandatory, but it is a smart move to get pre-approved for a loan early in your home search. Pre-approval requires the lender to pull your credit information and assess your financial situation. If approved, the lender will give a letter stating that they are willing to lend you money. This letter will help you get better deals.
This is probably the most exciting part of this whole process! You get to see some of your dream homes in the neighborhood that you want to be in. At this point, you should’ve talked things over with your agent and the agent should be able to show you homes that fit your needs and your lifestyle. You can also look at listings online or ask your agent to find you more properties.
Make an offer
Once you have found your dream home, your agent will work with you to write an offer for the place. Remember, the listing price is just the starting. Your agent will educate you on current market trends and help you navigate the offer prices for your dream home. Usually there’s a form your realtor will use to make an offer which will have all information about the price, mortgage terms, deposit amounts, closing costs, inspections, closing date and much more.
A good agent is someone who knows how to negotiate well! Your agent’s job is to get you the home of your dreams for the best price possible but remember, in most cases the seller will be also represented by an agent. The agents will negotiate on behalf of the buyers and the sellers, most of the time the communication is done verbally. Once both parties settle for all the terms and conditions of the sale, a contract is made.
Once the contract is drawn, attorneys of both parties will go over the contract to make sure that the contract fulfills both parties needs and sometimes attorneys might have certain “contract negotiations.” In the state of New Jersey, the use of an attorney by buyers and sellers is highly recommended by the Attorney General of the state and attorney reviews are customary.
For financial purposes, home appraisals are required by your mortgage lender, the mortgage company and your agent will schedule the appointment for it. You don’t have to be present, your agent will take care of that for you.
Home inspections are highly recommended in the state of New Jersey. If you had stated home inspection in your offer, this is a big day! Your agent will help you find a good home inspector in the area and set up an appointment for the property that you want to buy to thoroughly inspect the house for any damages. You want to make sure that you get a professional home inspector.
First Walk Through
First walk through is usually done 7-10 days prior to your settlement date. This is mainly for your personal home inspection to make sure that you are getting everything that you agreed upon in the contract of sale. Your agent will also guide you to look for everything that you expect from the house.
At this point, you should start setting up a timeline of closing/settlements with your agent and attorneys. At least three days before closing, you should receive a closing disclosure and final settlement costs from your lender. This cost will include any miscellaneous costs. You should also consider starting saving for closing costs and down payments.
After everything is confirmed and set, your agent will schedule a final walkthrough with you to make sure everything is in its place and what you expected. In this final walkthrough, you should also make sure everything is there that was promised in the contract and it’s all in good condition. It is highly recommended to do the final walk-through the day of the closing.
Finally, the day has arrived! This day you will be signing a bunch of mortgage documents and disclosures. After everything is signed, you will receive the keys of your new home!
Cheers! You did it, you are a homeowner now. You can finally get a feeling of standing in your own home. Your contract will specify when you can move in. Sometimes it’s the same day as you sign the papers, sometimes they need time to empty the condo or house. You’ve finally finished the treacherous process of buying your home, but it is definitely worth it.