Buying a home can be a daunting undertaking, especially for first-time buyers. The whole process from beginning to end, from deciding to buy to closing, comprises many steps, a bunch of tasks, and not a few legal intricacies. Buying your first home should be an exciting adventure, but the complexity and anxiety often suck all the fun out of it. So let’s see what we can do to make the process smoother and more easily navigable. To that end, here are the top 3 things you should do when buying your first home in New Jersey.
1. Keep Resale in Mind
The process of buying your first home in New Jersey should begin well before the transaction is set in motion – that is, at the early stage where you are selecting the home to purchase. Get it right here, and most things further down the line will work out better.
This means primarily keeping firmly in mind the future resale of potential homes. Of course, you’ll have in mind certain must-have features in a home. But you may ultimately be better off compromising on some of these for a home that promises an easier and higher-priced sale when that time comes. After all, most first-time buyers trade up at some point in the future.
So here’s what industry experts advise: “While you’re thinking of what you want and need in your home, you should consider what other individuals would want and need in a home. If you’ll be selling this house at any point in the future, you’ll want to take the resale value of any potential home into consideration.
“Make sure you think of all the possible factors that impact resale value, however. Sometimes, you might not pay attention to a factor because it doesn’t impact you directly. For example, if you don’t have children, you may not think about the school district in which a home is located. However, families who may move into your home will want to live in school boundaries that are highly ranked and rated. . . . It may be worth it to add factors like this to your want list now to improve your resale value later.”
If you’re not sure about what factors and features will impact resale potential and value, contact a New Jersey agent. To discover more, just call 855-966-DEALS.
2. Insist on a Home Inspection
Also, when buying your first home in New Jersey, you should always insist on having your own home inspection done. It will give you peace of mind and provide more negotiating leverage, as well as letting you know what future repairs you’ll be facing.
“A home inspection is an all-encompassing examination of the condition of a home,” typically “but not always performed at the time of the sale of the home. . . . A home inspection is an inexpensive way to discover the universal condition of a home. It is important to conduct a home inspection to avoid a costly mistake by purchasing a property in need of major repairs.”
An inspector is a trained professional and so will be able to help you understand exactly what you’re about to acquire. Although a home may appear to be in good condition and move-in ready, there still may be issues and problems. “An inspector will cover features of the house such as electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing, insulation, as well as structural features of the home and may unveil issues that are not noticeable to the buyer’s eye. Having a professional home inspector conduct a thorough inspection of the prospective property could be compared to taking out an insurance policy against all potential operating costs.”
In addition, having your own inspection done and not relying solely on the seller’s inspection when buying your first home in New Jersey can also give you negotiating leverage. “You may be able to negotiate a lower price if you know that the home needs major repairs.” Further, “the results of a home inspection can be grounds for pulling out of a deal without losing your earnest money.”
3. Plan on and Save for Closing Costs
Many first-time buyers often overlook or neglect to consider and take into account closing costs. So for buying your first home in New Jersey you need to plan for and save for these costs.
Typically, closing costs wind up being about 3% to 4% of the purchase price. The fees involved in the buyer’s closing costs most often go for the:
- Credit report
- Real estate attorney fees
- Homeowners insurance
If, for example, you’re purchasing a $225,000 home and closing costs are 4% of that price, you’ll have to pay $9,000 at closing. And that will be on top of the down payment, which may be as much as 20% or $45,000 in this case. First-time buyers, then, should keep these costs in mind and save for them. In fact, industry pros often recommend putting retirement savings on hold for a time as a strategy to save enough money to cover closing costs and the down payment.
And Be Sure to Work With a New Jersey Agent
Buying your first home means that you don’t have any experience in navigating this often chaotic process. But your local New Jersey agent can help you, especially under current market conditions where inventory is extremely low and you may wind up in a bidding war. From finding the right home to negotiating the best deal possible, an experienced agent can make all the difference for first-time buyers. So buying your first home in New Jersey is on the horizon, contact us today at 855-966-DEALS.