Buying a home for many is the biggest investment in an asset in their lifetime.

When buying a home you are bound to have many questions. For example,

  • In what area can I find a home that suits my needs?
  •  How much money will I need to afford the monthly payments, and what is included in those payments?
  • How much will I need for closing costs?
  • How long will the home buying process take?

Join us at our First Time Home Buyers Seminar on Thursday, June 8th at our Avon Offices at 216 Main Street, Avon by the Sea, NJ from 6-8PM. Visit our Facebook page for more information.

Advice for Home Buyers

Pre-Qualification for Buying a Home:

  • Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
  • Once you have an idea of how much house you can afford, the next step is to narrow the home search area.
  • Choose your local Real Estate Professional: Local knowledge is key!
    • Set up a buyers consultation with a local real estate professional.
  •  List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists.
    • The first should include items the must haves (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.).
    • The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary.
    • Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
  • Your Real Estate agent will set up a search for you and send you alerts when a home fitting your criteria hits the market. The real estate agent’s local knowledge and market expertise will prove to be a great asset in your home search and the home buying process.
    • Make an appointment with your Real Estate agent to view the homes. Many times they look much different in person than they do online.
      • Visit open houses
      • Search the web
      • Drive around your search area
    • Your real estate agent will help you with your home selection, provide comparable sales in helping you determine the price you are offering as well as give you local market trend data.

  The Home Buying Time Line:

The Real Estate Contract is put together by your real estate agent and includes the terms of your offer. This contract gets negotiated between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. From offer acceptance to closing day are typically 60 – 90 Days.

  • Offer acceptance: Day One
  • The Attorney Review period lasts anywhere from a day to a week or more, but usually lasts around 3 days. The contract is not binding until the attorneys conclude attorney review. So the seller is open to accepting another offer and cancelling your contract during the attorney review period. You as the buyer are also free to cancel the contract during attorney review.
  • Critical Dates: Once attorney review is concluded , the contract and attorney review letters will set the timeline for critical dates: Your Real Estate Agent and attorney will guide you through the entire process.
    • When the Second deposit is due
    • When the home inspection and requested items for repair must be completed by.
    • The appraisal
    • The Mortgage commitment
    • The attorney will order the Survey
    • The attorney will order the Title Search
    • Prior to closing the buyer will arrange for home owner’s insurance and utility transfer.
    • For the day of closing we have the Final walk thru of the home, and then its off to Closing for documents, transfer of title and delivery of the keys to your new home!

How to Negotiate with Sellers when Buying a Home

Buying a home is one of the most important purchases most people will make. In order to make the right decision the first time, potential buyers need to be prepared. Consider the following before starting negotiations:

  • Be prepared. Research the housing market in the target area. Once you have information about the general area, focus on the particular property and seller. Look for answers to questions such as:
    1. Why is the homeowner selling?
    2. How long has the home been on the market? (If it has been on the market for a long time, perhaps there are negative facts about the property that you need to know.)
    3. How much did the seller pay for the home compared to the current asking price? (If the seller paid more, find out why. Was it a general real estate trend, or did property values in that particular neighborhood go down?
    4. What is the seller’s time frame for selling and moving? Does it fit within your needs?

Also, do not let the seller see how much you want the property. If you appear desperate or overly enthusiastic, the seller then has the stronger bargaining position. When meeting with the seller or listing agent, keep your emotions in check.
Establish a Timeline. Find out if the seller needs to have the sale closed sooner rather than later. If the seller is feeling pressured to sell, use that to your advantage in negotiating. Even if you, the buyer, are the one with the deadline for purchasing a home, don’t let yourself be rushed into making concessions or a purchase you may regret later.

Types of Mortgages

Fortunately for buyers, there are a variety of mortgages to choose from. It is in your best interest to investigate each of them to determine which is the best for your situation. You probably won’t qualify for all of them. In fact, you may only qualify for one. But if you do qualify for more than one, you may save yourself money (and worry) in the long run if you do your homework before signing on the dotted line.

  • Fixed Rate Mortgages
  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgages
  • The Convertible ARM
  • FHA and VA Loan


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