Home Buying in Norwood>Question Details

Goodeye, Home Buyer in Norwood, NJ

My fiance and I are looking to buy a single family home. How do we get started?

Asked by Goodeye, Norwood, NJ Thu Jun 4, 2009

Help the community by answering this question:


Harriet Lewis’ answer

The best way to get started is to get a pre-approval for a mortgage so that you see how much you may be comfortable with spending, what will be required of you on the loan, and how much you can afford. You can go to your personal bank for this or there are any number of banks or mortgage brokers who will assist you.

Once you have established the price range which you can afford, contacting an experienced real estate agent would be advised as they can go review with you your requirements and what you may be looking for in a home and have a detailed discussion about the process.

As I am a very experienced real estate agent who does local, state-wide, national and international relocation I am certain I can help you with this. I would bed happy to have an initial conversation with you regarding the pre-approval process as well.

Please contact me at any time. Thanks.

Harriet Lewis-(201)467-5738 and (201)707-5640(Cell)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 6, 2012
Looks like you have plenty of answers here. Happy hunting!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 23, 2015
Here is a blog I wrote for first time home buyers.

Are you a first time home buyer? Here are some helpful tips to get you started on the right path.

1. The first step before you do anything is to find out how much money you can borrow from a bank/mortgage company. Check with different lenders to see who can get you the best deal. Once you know what you can afford, then you can begin to plan.

2. Determine what you need in a home, not necessarily what you want in a home. Make a list of those needs to give to your Realtor. When you are searching for homes you will find that it is very rare to find a home that has absolutely everything you are looking for. If you stick to what you actually need, you will have better success in your search.

3. Research areas/communities that are of interest to you. Determine what things are important such as schools, proximity to shopping, restaurants, and local activities. Drive through the communities to get a feel for what they are like.

4. Learn as much as you can about the process of buying a home. Some local Realtors or lenders will offer first time home buying seminars. If you can find one in your local area it would be helpful to attend. If you cannot attend a seminar, look on the Internet for a home buyers guide such as the one at Bankrate.com – http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/BuyerGuide2004/…

5. Select a local Realtor to help you begin your search for a home. You can search Internet sites such as Realtor.com or Homes.com, but a Realtor has access to all of the homes in the local MLS. They can provide you with information on the home, the area and answer any questions you may have. A Realtor can show you properties of interest.

6. Learn about the contract and what is involved. Your Realtor can take you through step by step the process of a contract. After it is signed by buyer and seller, it is called an executed contract. Then you would want to get a home inspection. If everything is fine with the inspection, then you can go forward towards closing.

7. Know what happens at closing. Again, a Realtor can walk you through what to expect at closing. You will need to have money for closing costs such as title search, processing fees, taxes, and insurance.

Buying your first home is an exciting and overwhelming experience. So make sure you are prepared.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
first action is to decide where you and your family want to live, look at the school situation, transportation availability amongst other things, house of worship, local clubs, etc. you can always find a house but to find a home you must do your homework and obtain all necessary approvals, prior to buying, in order, that when the right one comes along and you will know it you have the first opportunity to own you single family dream home. There are many good towns in the Bergen County area and good taxes also!!! good luck in your quest!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
Yes, you need to get pre - approved first and then find an experienced Realtor in the area you are looking to buy. Realtor can then guide your thought the process step by step.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 4, 2012
wonder if the poster ever bought a home.......this question was askd 3 years ago !
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 3, 2012
Probably have started their family by now ;-). Geez....Hope you are well my friend, Happy 4th to you!
Flag Wed Jul 4, 2012
Hi Goodeye,
Though the best place to begin is speaking with a lender, be sure they are a reputable lending institution. Don't just pick one online. Be sure to start with the well know lenders. Once you have the financial information and the price point of homes which you are comfortable with go to the next step, where do you want to begin looking Begin by researching online communities, neighborhoods and schools. Speak with family/friends. If you still aren't sure, once you find an agent you can ask for some guidance
. Now that you have started the process, it is time full time real estate agent. Start by becoming familiar with their website. Then start the dialogue. When you find one you trust and feel comfortable with, you are on your way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 3, 2012
Hi Goodeye, agree that the best place to start is to talk to a mortgage pro so you know what you can afford. Then you are ready to begin. Find yourself a good agent - you will be spending a lot of time together so be sure you feel comfortable in their company and confident of their abilities. Ask friends, associates, and family for recommendations; look here on Trulia as well. Agree completely that you should be sure to work with a full time agent - this is no market for dabblers, and you deserve better, so full time for sure. Select an agent that works the way you do - has strong inventory and market knowledge and negotiating skills. Read testimonials on their website - no website, think twice.... ask for references, I am always happy to provide them and hope that prospective clients talk with them.

A good agent will add a great deal of value. Good luck to you!

The other resources that are mentioned are certainly needed - a good real estate attorney and inspector. You agent should be able to recommend several of each to consider if you need suggestions.

Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 5, 2009

The best place to begin is by reviewing your personal finances and updating your budget before visiting several finance specialists to get pre qualified for a loan.

This process will put you in line for being able to target the correct price range home and allow you to use your time meaningfully. Happy house hunting.

Best wishes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 5, 2009
The first place to start is by getting properly prepared before you go out to look at one home. You need to verify your budget, learn about agency relationships, learn about the lead paint disclosure, understand the purchase process, line up the professionals you'll need in addition to your mortgage banker (attorney, home inspector, real estate agent) and spend the time to thoroughly learn the towns and the market values in each town to have a successful transaction.

Unfortunately, most people don't do this and that's how they get into trouble. What usually happens is that you meet a real estate agent and start looking at homes which is not the right approach.

OK, let's start with your budget. Remember always that your purchase budget is what you want to spend not just automatically what you qualify to spend. In other words, if you qualify for $5,000 per month but you want to spend $4,000 per month, you work with what $4,000 per month will bring you.

As for bankers, NO mortgage brokers - use only licensed mortgage banks. There is a huge difference here and you need to learn about this. If you're working with a mortgage broker and not a direct lender, your costs will be higher and you can end up at the closing table with an interest rate that wasn't at all what you thought you were getting plus all sorts of hidden fees. The word mortgage broker is like the word Kleenex so you need to understand how to discern the differences. A good banker will also educate you on the buying process from the mortgaging viewpoint.

Find a good attorney to represent you. You can get a recommendation from your real estate agent or from other folks who have recently purchased a home. Make sure the attorney is locally based and does a large volume of residential sales. You also need to be be able to communicate well over the telephone as you often don't meet in person until the closing.

In choosing a real estate agent to represent you, make sure the person is a full time professional. No question about this - this is way too complex a business for anything but a full time committment to it. The person should also be an accomplished professional and someone with whom you can establish a good rapport.

You need to learn the exact purchasing process as well as the market values and the towns you will be considering within your price range. Your attorney will go over the purchase process with you as will your agent.

When you talk to your attorney and your agent, you can ask about the home inspection and get inspector recommendations which you can check out now so that you're ready when you find your new home.

OK, you're now well qualified by a licensed banker, you've lined up your agent and your attorney, you should have a pretty good idea of how to buy a house the right way so now it's a question of getting out there with your agent to find the community and home that's right for you.

If you wish, you can look at what I have on my site below for buyers as it goes into all of this thoroughly. The bottom line is to get prepared properly so you know what you're doing and you're in control. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 5, 2009
Like Mia and Gred said, the first step is to get pre-approved for a loan. Have you done this yet? once you are approved, you will need to start finding some properties you are intersted in. Once you find a property, make and offer, get the financing completed and go to settlement.

I work for a direct lender here is SJ. if you need help on getting approved or just want to compare offers, i'm more than happy to assist. Just give me a shout at dcastagna@emmloans.com.

Good Luck with everything!

Danny Castagna
Mortgage Specialist
EMM Loans
800-795-9633 x 185
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 4, 2009
You ned to know how much you can qualify and for that you should get a mortgage representative to qualify you! It is good to go with a reputable bank and ask them for rates, most banks are competitive, you can also check with your county if you qualify for some of the programs they offer like The American Dream in Bergen County, they also offer good help and advise to first time home buyers. Once you are qualified you need a Realtor whom is familiar with the area you are looking into. Some offices also offer one stop shopping, some realtors have their preferred mortgage person that they have previous deals with and feel comfortable with, you need to get someone whom will look for your best interest, then you start looking for houses in the price range you are comfortable with and as Gregory said Ask again for the other steps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 4, 2009
Go to your bank where you have your savings and checking account - ask to talk to a mortgage representative and get yourself pre-qualified. It should be about 1/3 of you gross income. Pick up some "free" home magazines and go on-line looking at homes in your price range in the towns you would like to live. That would be step one and two. Ask again later for steps 3 and 4.

Good Luck.

Never a charge for free advice.
Web Reference: http://Ask4Greg.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 4, 2009
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