Email me and I will send you and I will send you an outline on what takes placein a Real Estate transaction in NJ.
Orange Key Realty
There are a number of resources that will be helpful to you in your pursuit of your home: Mortgage pro, Real Estate agent, Attorney, and Inspector. In all cases, do your due diligence in selecting good resources - they WILL make a difference to your success. Ask friends, family, associates for references - also you can look right here as you've begun to do - there are some great agents here on Trulia.
First Step: You've gotten good advice so far - best starting point is to get your arms around what you can afford. There is nothing more frustrating than searching at a level that is beyond your scope. It wastes your time and creates a false set of expectations. Armed with the knowledge of what you can afford, you'll be ready to start looking and will be in the position to act quickly when you find a home of interest. A mortgage pro can advise you on specific programs available to first time buyers.
Second Step: Align yourself with a Real Estate Agent you feel comfortable with - both in manner, personality, knowledge and skill set. You want an agent that knows the area well, and is well versed in the inventory, pricing and market dynamics. It is customary in NJ for the seller to compensate both agents in the transaction, so you will not be paying your agent for her/his service - but the benefit she/he will bring to your effort can - and should - be huge. I strongly recommend that you work with a full time agent - this is no market for dabblers, and besides you simply deserve better. Most agents have website which will have a testimonial section - go there, read them - also ask for references and call them. As a first time buyer, I think it is especially important that you work with an agent who has experience and enjoys working with first time buyers - she/he will understand the process well and be able to explain it and help guide you through.
Attorney: Depending on the convention in your area, you may need/want an attorney to close the transaction. Here again, I'd suggest calling several - you can get suggestions from your agent, friends/family/associates - ask about cost, process, availability. Here again, ask if they provide additional support to first time buyers - for instance, I have one attorney I work with who has developed terrific support info regarding the process overall and each step along the way....very helpful.
Inspector: Here again, start with several referrals and then make the calls - here again, ask about fees, availability and how they work (how quickly are reports made available and in what form).
Your priority now is to answer the "what can I afford question" and find yourself a good agent. The attorney and inspector will be important a bit later after you've found "your home".
Good luck to you!
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
There are a couple of other houses in Haledon that might work for you in that price range so drop me a line and I will help you see them.
Before you do anything you need to get preapproved for a mortgage. i can recommend a good guy who just got a customer of mine approved for a mortgage on a house on Avenue B in Haledon.
This will get you the amounts you can afford to pay and how much of a down payment you will need. There are programs out there that will help you like the FHA program with a 3 1/2% down payment and the fact that if you are a first time buyer you will probably qualify for the $8,000 credit.
Armed with this information you can stpe out and look for a good home.
You have come to the right place for a little guidance. The first step is to set a budget for yourself. Determine what you can afford to pay each month for the mortgage. Don't forget to include the property taxes and homeowners insurance.
Once you determine what you can afford to spend, you need to contact a lender to see if you are pre-approved for a mortgage. This is where I come in. I can put some numbers together to see what you qualify and if thats fits within your monthly budget.
Once you're pre-approved, you start looking for places you want to live and if those places are within your budget. This is about the time you hire a realtor to help out with the search and to help negotiate a sales prices.
If you have any further questions, or need a more detailed explanation or want that pre-approval letter, feel free to contact me at any time. Good luck in the process.
222 Haddon Ave
Haddon Township NJ 08108
800-793-9633 ext 185