Home Buying in New Jersey>Question Details

Jessica C., Renter in Bronx, NY

What are the do's and dont's for first time buyers? And how can i make this a smooth process, as smooth as possible?

Asked by Jessica C., Bronx, NY Wed Jun 19, 2013

3 adults 2 toddlers, looking for a 2 family house with yard, low maintenance, no work needed, nice neighborhood. we have about 25-35k for down payment and excellent credit.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Jessica,
There are so many steps in the home buying process and unfortunately it's not always moving in one direction. Sometimes it's a step forward and a step back again .... Be patient!

Get the pre-approval. Doing it first will save you time and frustration down the road!
Read this blog please: http://www.trulia.com/blog/armin/2013/04/how_to_keep_your_mo…

Find a Real Estate agent you can trust and enjoy working with (this is not a short term relationship!)
Have a home buyer consultation.

Establish your top 5 has to haves (garage, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, basement etc..), but do keep in mind that you will almost never get it all, so think what you could possible give-up on.

Ask your agent to set you up with an auto emails, this way you will not miss any new property on the market.

When ready to make an offer ask your agent to run a quick CMA for that property and get the sale history. (just to make sure the price is right)

Besides the down payment you will need to have some money for the closing (lawyer, inspection, appraisal etc..)

Right after your offer gets accepted you must have an attorney. Your agent will have a list of lawyers she/he has worked with before. Make sure to use a Real Estate attorney ONLY!

Home Inspection and post inspection negotiations. Do realize that the seller will not fix it all, pick your battles wisely!

Stay on top of the mortgage process, talk to your loan rep, know your commitment dates.

...what else?..., I am sure there are a few things I missed, but no worries you got your agent to handle it all ;) .
Good Luck!

E-mail: alusinyants@gmail.com
Cell: 917-626-9420
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 19, 2013
Hello Jessica,

congrats on deciding to buy a home of your own.
To make the process as smooth as possible:

1. Get pre approved for a loan. An actual preapproval is best
2. be patient
3. be realistic
4, get a great buyer's agent
5. Make sure you are CLEAR on the funds you will need to close

Best of luck to you,
Kawain Payne, Realtor
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 19, 2013
my number one rule is do not fall in love with a home until you own it. (other wise you will pay too much for it ) Multi family homes are great. I own 2. The tax advantages are terrific. The old rule about location being the most important thing holds true. Even if you must get a home needing some work you are better off in a good area. Fortunately for you many people will not consider multi family homes. Being a landlord can be a challenge. I suggest you get your self a seasoned agent who has experience and knowledge working with both investors as well as first time buyers. If they have some basic knowledge about construction so much the better. I caution you about the no work needed as these are often not the case and if they seem to be too good to be true, they are!
If considering central NJ I may be able to assist if you havent an agent. (I own 2 multi family homes and have been a landlord nearly 30 years)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 20, 2013
Really good info provided by our fellow trulia users. I would like to give you some additional help too from a mortgage banker's perspective. If you click on my picture it will take you to my trulia home page. If you go to my blogs you will find two first time homebuyer entries that I think you might get some good info from. I work for JPMorgan Chase as a mortgage banker in Manhattan and we could schedule some time to sit down and discuss the process in detail if you'd like. I'm at the branch at Madison and 72nd.

Email or call me if you would like to set something up or have a discussion.

Ryan McPartland
Mortgage Banker
JPM Chase
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 20, 2013
Every borrower wants their mortgage closing to be simple and stress free. While it may not always feel like it (between loan processors' requests for your 2011 Schedule E and page 6 of March's bank statement), lenders want the same thing. Here are some timely "do's and (mostly hypothetical) don'ts" for borrowers to consider during the loan application process. While no single list can completely cover all loans, following these "do's and don'ts" during your mortgage application process will help you close your loan faster, sleep better at night, avoid premature gray hair, and help your loan officer give you the best service possible. Look for more helpful hints soon, and happy mortgage hunting!

DO: Ask your loan officer questions and listen to his/her answers.

DON'T: Solicit mortgage advice from your cousin's hairdresser who had a real estate license in 1995 and almost sold 3 houses.

DO: Promptly provide all documents requested by your loan officer and processor to speed up your closing.

DON'T: Leave out pertinent details on your loan application, such as that pesky pending lawsuit, the layoff notice you just got at work, your unpaid child support, or the fact you haven't actually filed a tax return since 2009.

DO: Check your email frequently during the loan process for questions and updates from your lender and respond to any requests they have.

DON'T: Start a loan the day before you go on a two week camping trip with no cell phone or email access.

DO: Make sure you and your loan officer discuss your rate lock, agree on when to lock, and have a plan for closing by lock expiration date.

DON'T: Instruct your loan officer to lock the rate, then ask him a week later if he can improve it because you heard a radio ad stating rates dropped and are now "THE LOWEST EVER FOR THE 19TH CONSECUTIVE WEEK!!"

DO: Be comfortable with and confident in your loan officer and loan before you submit a formal loan application.

DON'T: Start the loan, then "check around" with 6 other lenders "just to see what they have" the week before your closing.

DO: Make sure your employment, asset, and personal information are correct on your loan application.

DON'T: Become gravely concerned because the credit card balances on your credit report aren't identical to the current balances.

DO: Ask about how your new escrow account is determined if you are unsure.

DON'T: Change your homeowners' insurance the day before closing.

DO: Ask for a written loan estimate before you start the loan, and discuss it thoroughly with your loan officer.

DON'T: Rely on vague statements such as "I'll get you a great rate", "don't worry about the new loan size", or "this is an awesome deal."

DO: Feel free to ask your loan officer questions during the loan process.

DON'T: Leave 3 voice mails on his cell phone on Memorial Day, then wonder why he didn't get right back with you.

Lastly, most importantly:

DON'T: Rely on pop-up internet ads promising rates 2% lower than you've ever heard of for reliable mortgage information!

If I can be of assistance, I am at your service. Find out more about West Town Savings Bank, and please Google me also. We are a Federally Charted Bank licensed in all 50 States. Provide as smooth, seamless, and stress free as possible with a full team in house of processors and underwriters. Quick Turn Times, and personalized service from application through closing.

Feel free to visit my website and contact me directly with any questions. http://www.westtownsb.com/geraldsantoro
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 19, 2013

I work with a lot of first time buyers. Who you have working with you is a huge part of it. They should be able to assist you throughout the process. Should be able to answer any questions you may have during the whole deal. Just help you with anything.

Where are you looking to purchase? If you need any help please contact me I would love to help.

Thank you.
Melissa Silva
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 19, 2013
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