- To protect your interests, ensure that you have the financial & physical means necessary to complete the purchase and have the desired move in, it is advised to conduct your real estate transaction utilizing licensed and professional inspectors. What will an inspector do?:
- Follow the standards of practice for the given inspection type. You cannot utilize a report from a family friend who is a contractor in negotiations for example. Hire a professional, licensed inspector!
- An inspector will not grant you a pass / fail. He/she will provide you the information you need to continue on.
- An inspector may recommend consulting repair specialists – perform your due diligence!
- Once your inspection is complete, you can then create a repair/request list. It can be specific items that you wish to have addressed or you can ask for a credit which typically you would want an estimate from a repair company to back it up. Offer the seller the opportunity to review and respond. Sellers can offer to fix items, offer a credit or do nothing.
- Keep your expectations in check. Sellers are not going to necessarily offer a credit for cosmetic items nor for items that you failed to notice during the initial process. For example, the price of the home may have already taken into account it needing a new roof. I always advise to look up, look down, look around prior to making an offer! The seller may have accepted a lower offer from you and if you then ask for an additional dollar amount back, they may not be financially able to do so. As in turn, you need to ensure you are financially able to carry on with the purchase.
- Every home will generate a report! There is
no perfect house. Utilize it as a to do list!
For most people, buying a home is generally the most expensive transaction they will make in their lifetime. And during this costly purchase, there are a lot of processes to go through. Hiring a real estate agent such as myself as your exclusive buyers agent to represent you in the purchase of your home will prove beneficial.
Buyers aren’t responsible for the commission payout for their agent. (With the exception of special, rare circumstances.) So without the cost of paying an agent out of pocket, you’ll receive the experience and guidance to help you through a process that could otherwise be emotionally exhausting if you are going it alone. You also get to have access to view more homes and have a clearer view on how the market is in your area as I have magic keys & localized data! Buyers agents such as myself, are trained negotiators and know the process! Need help aligning your other professionals? I can help!
Unfortunately, sites like Zillow, Trulia and REALTOR.COM can contain outdated listings, properties that are not available and misrepresent property values. I will be able to send you a list of active properties for sale, help you go out to view them and obtain exclusive information from the sellers and agents. I can help you find the perfect home BEFORE somebody else gets it under contract!
I will work hard to help you find your dream home and avoid the pitfalls of buying a home by doing it on your own. I am an agent who knows the area, the market and love to find dream homes! Contact me for all previews and questions so that I can guide you through the process and continue to
adapt to your needs.
Laws in NJ about agency can be found in the
Consumer Information Statement.
Here are some questions to help you establish your search parameters and allow your agent to assist you. This will help you set a realistic understanding of what the market offers in your price point while searching!
- Town(s)You’d Like To Buy In: ________________________________________________
- What is your primary reason for searching? 1st Time Buyer / Upsize / Downsize / Relocation / Secondary
- Current living situation? Rent / Own / with Family
- When Do You Want To Purchase By: ___________________________________________
- Do you have a Pre-approval? Yes / No
- Maximum Price that you are Pre-Approved for: __________________________________
- Has the mortgage pro reviewed documents ie tax returns, statements, pay stubs? Yes / No
- Are you currently working with an agent? Yes / No
- How long have you been actively home searching? Just started / 1 month / 3 months / 6 months /Longer
- Do you prefer a 1 Floor / 2 Floor home / Something different?
- Minimum Bedrooms: _______________ Minimum Bathrooms ______________
- Do you prefer a Tub / Stall Shower in the main bathroom?
- Preferred Square Footage?: ________________
- Basement? Yes Has to Have / Wouldn’t mind / No
- Garage? 1 car / 2 car / 3 car / Added Bonus if it has one/ Has to have (circle then car#)
- Your Most Desired Features: _________________________________________________
- What do you not want? ____________________________________________________
- How long do you anticipate owning the home? <5 years / 5-10 years / 10 years +
- Do you entertain a lot? Yes / No Where do you entertain most? ____________________
- Do you have any pets? Yes / No If so, how many pets? (HOA restrictions) ____________
- Do you need a Fenced Yard? Yes / No
- Do you want a Formal Living Room AND a family room? Yes / No
- Do you want a Dining Room? Yes / No
- Do you want a Kitchen Island? Yes / No
- Do you want a Kitchen Pantry? Yes / NO
- Do you want a Fireplace? Yes – woodburning/ Yes – Gas / No / Wouldn’t mind
- Do you need a Home Office? Yes / No Can it be on the 2nd floor? Yes / No
- Do you want a Pool? Inground / Above / Either / No
- Do you have a particular lot type in mind? ______________________________________
- Do you have to have Central air conditioning? Yes / No
- What kind of parking do you require? Driveway / On street / Garage
- What condition do you prefer? Move In / Average / Fix up
- Are you purchasing with: Cash / Conventional / FHA / VA / 203k or rehab / Alternate
- What kind of down payment? 0% / 3.5% (FHA) / 5% / 10% / 15% / 20% / Over 20%
- Do you have cash for closing costs? Yes / No / Will need seller credit
- Is owning a home right for you?
- Have you determined the desired location?
- What is your lifestyle? Condo / Single Family / 55+
- Are you financially prepared for the purchase?
- Have you considered the costs of home ownership
- Have you established credit & credit history?
- Have you planned on a down payment? 20% is a misconception! Beyond a down payment, you will need prepaid items & closing costs (seller concessions can help to offset the closing costs)
- What are your current & immediate future needs?
- What is your current situation- Renting / Own / Family
- Speak to a mortgage professional! They can let you know if your credit history / score is sufficient (and guide you if it isn’t)! They will calculate your affordability based on debt to income ratio (and guide you if you need to improve it to obtain a higher budget)! They will assist you…
- By reviewing documents & getting you Pre-Approved !
- Advise of down payment needed & cash for closing
- Provide estimated monthly mortgage payments
- Advise you of mortgage types that exist and what you qualify for
- Advise on the conditions of the loan that you will need to satisfy prior to closing
- Your closing time frame
- Remain in constant contact with you through your purchase!
- Advise you on what to do and NOT to do during the purchase – ie change jobs, make large purchases, open new credit accounts, etc.
- Be a KEY part in your purchase!
- Help you with all of your mortgage needs!
No matter where you are in the buying process- just researching, ready to look, ready to purchase, you are going to need to know what it is you are looking for. Searches many times evolve. But thinking about what you may want and knowing what you are initially starting with, helps significantly in the process and can reduce the amount of time you spend actively looking.
Initially, you begin looking online and driving by listings or through neighborhoods. That is a great first step. This however, is very different than physically walking through homes. Every home is different in design/structure and every person has different uses for the home.
Sit down and think about your use for the home and what it is you need for your life. Using the below sheet (there is a jpg and pdf printable), you may be able to identify some items to focus on.
I always tell my clients, you can change paint and flooring, you can do some remodeling with walls, however, you can’t change the location or the property lines. Adding rooms will require additions to be put on down the line as well.
As you are going through homes, you will begin to narrow it down. You will sometimes wish that you could take the kitchen from one home, the yard from a second home and the pool from a third home and then one day, it’ll click.
When agents are working for you searching for listings, we type in your parameters which gives us the results to share with you. The biggest ones are generally: Township(s), Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Garage, Basement, Budget. As I said, when you start going inside homes, you may realize that the 4 bedrooms your search started with, is too big or too small for your family. It’s a process. I try and keep it as stress free as possible 🙂
Whether you are buying a home in a town that you are familiar with, or a town that you will be new to, you still have to choose a home and a neighborhood.
How many times do you see a home online and think wow i love that home! Only to drive by it and see that the neighborhood isn’t what you are looking for. Every person has their own wish list. Ensure that you have an idea of what it is that you are looking for. You clearly don’t have a crystal ball, but think about, how long will I be in that home? Will I be having children next year? Will we fit? Will my children be moving out to college in a couple of years? This will not only decide possibly on the home you buy, but also the neighborhood in which you choose to live.
For example, if you have small children, you may wish to move to a neighborhood with a park in it or one where the children can ride their bikes to the park. For example, Barnegat Pines in Lacey, NJ has a great park over by the lake for kids to play in. Do you want for them to walk or ride their bike? Or will you drive them?
Perhaps you know that you will be retiring in 2 years and you love to fish. You may decide that now is the right time to move into a community such as Sunrise Beach or off Beach Blvd so that you can walk, drive or ride your bike down to the bay beach, sit and fish. Are you a boater or looking to buy a boat? You may wish to buy a home in Beach Blvd so that you have access to a dock as opposed to Cranberry Hill or Barnegat Pines where you are inland.
Everybody has their own needs, wants, wish list. Choosing a neighborhood isn’t all that easy, especially if you are not familiar with the area. So what do you do? Research! Talk to people. Drive around and walk around at different times of day and night. Not everything can be done online nowadays. You can’t ask Alexa what she thinks of Cranberry Hill for a boater. The best suggestion I can give is – do your research! This isn’t a shirt you bought online and want to return!
Expenses you’ll learn about while home shopping
Expenses you’ll encounter after you move in