First things first, since you mention that you are looking for information of possible first time homebuyer credits and such, that is telling me that you have not spoken to a mortgage representative as of yet.
For me to tell you to meet me.. and lets get the ball rolling without this, just reads that I want t just pull you in as a buyer. I want you to be prepared.
I work with a great mortgage person at PNC Bank, Alfonso Esposito. Alfonso will speak with you gather some numbers and discuss with you what you would be able to comfortably afford. HE will also discuss any programs that are currently available to you given your financial situation; explain different loans FHA/ Conventional and so on. You should do this first.
Mortgage Loan Officer
Once we come to a conclusion on the financing, we will then discuss where you want to be. What town, what area, what type of Townhouse you are looking for.. then we will look at what is available to you.
When buying your first home you need to do you due diligence, get all of your ducks in line and find that house. If you take the proper steps.. This will be an *easy* (easy as it can be) process and you will be in your new home in the spring!
Call or email and we can discuss further!
Broker / Manager
Orange Key Realty
Mary has provided some great links for you to begin answering some of the basic questions. If you can identify target locations, then you can enlist the support of a local agent. Trulia is a great place to find one - just go to the "find a pro" section.
What an exciting time for you. Think about general location, find a great agent to help you, and then trust your instincts as you move along. You'll know when its right!
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
Agreed you need to know where you want to live, but first and foremost you need to speak to a qualified mortgage representative to find out what your comfort level is for purchasing a home so you know where to look and where not to look based on prices of homes.
Consider your commute. Do you mind driving if there is no train nearby or would a commuter bus be acceptable. You can lok at http://www.njtransit.com for areas where busses or trains server the area;
Consider the schools if you have kids or plan on them. Do you want to be near lots of entertainment/restaurants/ access to NYC or would you rather be in a more rural area and travel to those things. You can check out http://www.bestplaces.net for info on any place in NJ (by town name or zip code) and find out other info like average income, population, etc.
Also check out
http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc10/index.html for school information.
AND NJ Monthy does their top high schools every year. High schools can sometimes tell you how the entire educational system in the area is performing
Since you are in Plainsboro, there a several really nice condo/town home developments in the South Brunswick area. I would be happy to discuss your needs with you in more detail and help guide you. Just drop me an email or call me direct at 908-675-0167.
Not sure what areas of NJ you are interested in being in but if you decide you would like to look in Northern NJ I would love to meet you and your wife. I am a full time agent, an Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) and am very familiar with most areas in North Jersey. What I would recommend to you is that you look in areas that are close to your areas of work so that you can easily commute. I happen to live in a townhome myself and am very familiar with the process. Please feel free to call me I will do my best to help you. I can be reached at 201-259-5205
Century 21 Crest Real Estate