Before you start scrolling through listings or driving by houses, what’s the first thing you should do when you want to buy a house in NJ? Buying a house is a big financial decision and it’s important to understand the buying process before you get started.
In this post, our team at Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Nancy Kowalik Group will discuss the first few steps you should take once you’ve decided to start the home-buying process.
- From the down payment and home inspection fees to the earnest money deposit and closing costs, buyers face many expenses when buying a home.
- Realtors will also be able to streamline the house-hunting process. They have access to exclusive realtor-only databases with listings that aren’t available online.
- Once your finances are in order, you’ll need to start researching the top mortgage lenders in the area so you can apply for pre-approval.
What is the First Thing You Should Do When You Want to Buy a House?
Get Your Finances in Order
First, you’ll need to start saving up some money as soon as you know you’re planning to buy a home. From the down payment and home inspection fees to the earnest money deposit and closing costs, buyers face many expenses when buying a home.
It’s also important to factor in the ongoing costs you’ll have to pay while owning a home, such as property taxes and maintenance fees. Trim your budget, reduce debts, and find ways to increase your income.
Keep in mind that the more you save, the better mortgage terms and rates you can qualify for. The more money you can spend on the down payment, the lower your monthly payments will be. It also means you’ll be able to avoid paying for private mortgage insurance.
Hire a Realtor
Hiring a realtor early on can simplify the entire home-buying process. An experienced realtor can assist you with all aspects of buying a home, from finding lenders and submitting offers to negotiating and handling paperwork.
Realtors will also be able to streamline the house-hunting process. They have access to exclusive realtor-only databases with listings that aren’t available online. Agents can also leverage their connections with other realtors to find out about new listings.
Find Mortgage Lenders
Once your finances are in order, you’ll need to start researching the top mortgage lenders in the area so you can apply for pre-approval.
Not all mortgage lenders are equal. Take the time to thoroughly research both local banks and national mortgage companies when choosing where to apply for pre-approval. Compare interest rates, fees, and customer service scores. Get personalized quotes from multiple lenders before determining the best fit for your financial situation.
Your South Jersey real estate agent can refer you to lenders they work with regularly who offer pre-approvals quickly.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Some home buyers make the mistake of not getting mortgage pre-approval before they start looking at homes. But getting pre-approval first is important.
In today’s competitive South Jersey housing market, sellers want confidence that buyers can afford their asking price and have serious intentions about purchasing the home. Submitting a pre-approval letter with your purchase offer gives you a major advantage over other potential buyers.
Getting pre-approved early also helps you realistically understand your price range. And you can potentially lock in lower interest rates ahead of time while you look for the perfect property.
When you apply for pre-approval, a lender will assess your finances and credit to determine the loan amount and interest rate you qualify for. Come prepared with the following documents when applying for South Jersey home loan pre-approval:
- Pay stubs covering the last 30 days
- W-2s for the past 2 years
- Federal tax returns for the past 2 years
- Bank and investment statements
- Credit report
- Debt information like credit card statements and car loans
Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Nancy Kowalik Group Can Help You Buy Your Dream Home in South Jersey
Once you have mortgage pre-approval, you’ll be ready to start looking at homes. This is where your realtor’s knowledge of the housing market will really help you. At Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Nancy Kowalik Group, Nancy Kowalik and our team have years of experience working with home buyers in South Jersey.
We make it easy to find homes with our extensive databases, which are continually updated with the latest listings in South Jersey, including off-market homes. In addition, we commit to delivering high-quality customer service and provide several unique buyer guarantees, like our Buy it Back Guarantee.