In January my fiance and I would like to start looking at house. What do we need to do before then?

Asked by Meg, 07054 Thu Aug 23, 2007

It will be a first home for both of us. We are currently renting in parsippany and would like to move out by the summer into a home. What do we need to do to meet this goal?

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23
Justin Kilis…, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Fri Aug 31, 2007
For advice for buyers – I would advise them to talk with an agent and to get pre-approved by high integrity mortgage professional. While there are a lot of great deals out there, credit requirements are tougher, and transactions are taking longer. In a changing market, Buyers really benefit when they plan ahead.
the riskier sub-prime loan market is gone for the time being, but there will always be a way to finance properties.

First, Government-backed loans are going to make a comeback! FHA & VA loan programs offer a lot of value in the marketplace – and they can be just the ticket for buyers with little down. These are great programs because they offer buyers a way to get more without turning to Option ARMs! President Bush is calling for reform in this area to make these programs even more accessible than before – this will be a great option for many buyers!

Second, many low end lenders are no longer in business – and this very good for market stability. The most solid institutions remain to offer their services and counsel, with less opportunity for mortgage fraud and that’s a good sign for buyers.

And third, Credit reports are going to become much more important in the months ahead. This is a wake-up call for everyone out there to start getting your credit in order, even if you’re not planning to buy right away. A good credit history will play a big role in your ability get the lowest rates available.

If you need a mortgage calculator please click the link below.
1 vote
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Tue Mar 22, 2011
Hi Meg, The very first step is to get yourself pre approved for a mortgage from a reputable lender or broker. The loan officer will take some basic info, social security #, income, etc and use this information to determine how much the bank will lend you. Once you get pre approved you can now start deciding how much you want to spend and exactly what you are looking for. I am an Accredited Buyer representative and I always recommend to my buyers to make a list of absolute must haves and a list of things you are willing to compromise on. Once you get a feel for what you are looking for and areas you may have interest, you can contact a few agents to meet with. Choosing an agent is always about who has sold the most homes but who will do the right job for you. Look at it as a relationship, you will be working with this person so you want to make sure you like them and respect their work. I also conduct a no strings attached buyer counseling session where we discuss the entire process and help you narrow down your search. This is a greta time to get to know eachother and help you get focused.

If you need a referral for a top noth agent I will gladly provide you with a few. I am part of a national network of Buyers Agents.

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
914.406.9023
Web Reference:  http://raveis.com/chrispagli
0 votes
Ding Hsin Fa…, , Parsippany, NJ
Tue Mar 22, 2011
Hi Meg: First, you need to do - find agent whom you will trust, this you should be able to find from your friends who had experience or bought house or are looking the house now.
Let agent give you buyer consultation. This may help you to know the procedure at purchasing of real estate.
Second, you need to get pre-approval or pre-qualify letter . This will help you to know what your capability and finance status....
Good luck. If you need further assistance, contact me at email or cell (Weichert Realtors - Parsippany / Montville office)
C: 973-670-4370 E: dinghsin@optonline.net Web: http://www.soldbyding.com
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Dec 13, 2009
So Meg - you asked this question well over 2 years ago.....if you're stil here on trulial reading this - where did you wind up buying??
0 votes
Mary Vocaturo…, , Upper Montclair, NJ
Sun Dec 13, 2009
Hello Meg, First off, don't make any major purchases right now as far as cars, running up credit card debt with the holiday shopping etc... In Jan you should be pre approved by a Mortgage rep, one that is referred to you by someone you trust. Don't shop around blind for one, they can promise the world. You also need to find a Realtor with whom you connect with, remember you will be working with this person most likely for 3-6 months depending on how quickly you find your home. Please feel free to visit my website, http://www.MaryDigori.com and view some of my testimonials. I would out of a Nutley office, but I live in Cedar Grove so I have sold as far as Montville down to Saddle Brook. I'd love to guide you through your experience.
0 votes
Marvin Crane, Agent, Mountain Lakes NJ, NJ
Sun Dec 13, 2009
Get a Mortage pre approval before anything else. That will give you a comfort zone for monthly payments.
0 votes
Ruthanne Bla…, Agent, North port, FL
Sun Apr 27, 2008
You will want to speak with a loan representative in the area. It is best to know what you are qualified for and understand the loan process before you look at homes. By having a pre-approval in hand, you save time and energy by looking for homes that fit your budget. There are alot of great deals out there now. Banks have many properties taht are ready to sell. You will need the preapproval to submit with any offer to bank owned properties. If you have any questions, please give me a call. I would love to help.
Web Reference:  http://www.comehometofla.com
0 votes
Susan Zanzon…, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Sun Apr 27, 2008
Have you met with a loan officer yet to get pre-approved? This will help you so you can determine what monthly payments you'd be comfortable with. There is alot of inventory right now and the rates are low, so you have a good selection. The typical closing timeframe is 45-60 days. but it can be done sooner depending on situations. I live and work in the area and would be happy to discuss your options in detail. Please feel free to give me a call on 973-214-5872, email: szanzonico@optonline.net. Visit my website: http://www.HouseBeautifulNJ.com. Best, Susan Zanzonico
0 votes
NA, , Morristown, NJ
Wed Apr 23, 2008
I went to a RE/MAX seminar where a top person in the field spoke. Anyway, he said the prices would be declining until the Fall of 2008. I guess no one really knows what the economy will do, but my advice is to see how many days a home is on the market for, and if it was listed beforehand. No one will know someone's motivation to sell until you present a written offer. If you need help, I would suggest hiring a qualified buyer's agent and working with them.
Web Reference:  http://Morrisnjhomes.com
0 votes
Drew, Home Buyer, Parsippany, NJ
Wed Apr 23, 2008
I think the fall would be a better time to aim for buying. Homes are bing reduced as we speak. Sellers are getting ready for the summer selling season. They will do anything to attract buyers. You will have better chances of negotiating in August than in June.
0 votes
NA, , Morristown, NJ
Tue Apr 22, 2008
Did you buy a house yet? Most people starting in January are still on the market.
Web Reference:  http://Morrisnjhomes.com
0 votes
Drew, Home Buyer, Parsippany, NJ
Wed Apr 16, 2008
Wait and be patient. Parsippany home prices are coming down, quickly. I'm in the same boat. I'm renting in Parsippany. My wife and I have rented here for 8 months and have seen significant price reduction on homes. I know for a fact that the medium priced homes will come down at least another 7 - 10%. Its sad but most of these homes in Parsippany are not worth the price. Its not so great to pay 450k for a house that will require another 50 - 70K in upgrades. My wife and I are looking for a home we can stay in for the next 20 years and raise kids. So wait for the sellers to get desprate. It will happen. The higher they go the harder they fall.
0 votes
Gina Chirico, Agent, Fairfield, NJ
Tue Jan 22, 2008
I suggest you speak to a realtor who will refer you to a reputable loan officer to obtain a pre-approval. Also when obtaining a pre-approval always remember that it's not about what you can afford - it's about what you are comfortable paying each month. I work with a lot of first time buyers and have seen a situation where a lender qualified for them for the maximum of what they could afford however my clients were not comfortable making that huge monthly payment each month with little or no money left over afterwards. I then had them speak to a loan officer in my office who explained the difference to them in what you can afford and what you want to pay and we found them a reasonably priced home that fit within their budget. With all that being said, once you know the amount you can spend on a home..then have your realtor compile a list of homes in the areas you desire that fit within your budget and your criteria. You should also by this point be saving your money for a down payment and/or closing costs. Your loan officer will explain that all to you in more detail but initial down payment is usually $1000 and your second downpayment usually ranges somewhere between another 10-20% down (none of those figures included your closing costs, inspection fees, appraiser fee's, etc.) Especially with the crackdown on mortgages I have seen more money coming out of the buyer's pockets than before. Also keep in mind when your lease renews on the place you are living because you should try to coordinate that with your closing date on your new home!

Let me know if you need a reputable loan officer because I have a few that I directly deal with. Since I handle all of Morris Essex and Passaic Counties - feel free to contact me anytime. I pride myself in working with first time homebuyers.

Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
PNJP
(973) 228-1000 ext 132
GinaChirico@PruNewJersey.com
0 votes
Sherley Alti…, , New Jersey
Sun Nov 11, 2007
Hello Meg,

Meg the first thing you should do is spoke to a good mortgage officer do not do it over the phone try to set up a meeting with them (face to face) with your fiance so based on the information you provid them, they will be able to tell you what you guys can afford, what your interest rate is going to be "around", how much down payment, and what mortgage will be good for the two of you.

Once that information has been given to you, you are ready to go out and look for you FIRST home it is going to be a exciting journey be patient "patience brings virtue" some people find something that they like very quickly others it will take awhile before you find "the one" it took me 8 months to find my house, but at that time it had nothing to do with my realtor, I just did not find the right house (my realtor bless her heart was patient and had a great attitude) I am just picky.

Since we are both Jersians if you would like to speak to my mortgage officer or have any questions feel free to contact me and Check my blog I have additional info on there also.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
0 votes
Janice Morze, , 08108
Sun Nov 11, 2007
Well, first of all, congratulations. This a great and exciting time for you! I suggest getting prequalified with a reputable mortgage company in your area. They can give you a letter to show your good intentions to prospective sellers, so they are assured you r budget can fit their homes price. This is important for you too. You do not want to waste any time and energy looking out of your price range!
After that start looking in local free real estate guides. List all the requirements you would like your home to have. List areas you have looked around and figure out where to start looking. Take all that info when you are ready to start viewing homes to a I suggest starting with a Realtor so he/she can keep their eyes open and keep you informed of properties meeting your criteria. Look on the internet for open houses in the area(S) you desire to live. It is a fun thing to do and gives you an idea of what is out there! Best of luck.
Remember: your relationship with the Realtor you choose is VERY important. Look for someone who listens to your needs and is available for you !!
0 votes
Carolyn Gala…, Agent, Chatham, NJ
Wed Sep 12, 2007
You should formulate criteria for your home purchase: town, neighborhood, purchase price, condition.. You should also try to estimate how long--the duration-- you will stay in the house. On average, families move every 5 years. When you start to look for a house, ask the agent what types of houses stay on the market the longest, and steer clear of those!!!! If you buy a house that has been on the market a long time the one thing you can be sure of it will stay on the market a long time when you go to sell it. Also ask what are the most popular houses in the neighborhood. Is there a most popular section? Least popular section? Ask why--
Web Reference:  http://www.carolyngalant.com
0 votes
THE COPLAND…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Fri Aug 24, 2007
Keep an I out on the small lenders. Make sure their banks are strong and haven't backed out on pre-approvals. This has been happening recently. Wells Fargo is still strong. I would however also look into finding an agent. The agent can assist you in finding a local lender whom they trust. Once, approved you will know your price range. A good agent whom you trust is most important. I would ask friends and family if they have anyone they like and have used. This way you already have great reference that you trust. If you don't have anyone locally who can recommend someone I can recommend an affiliate to you. In the mean time you can start looking around and seeing homes to narrow down the things that you and your fiance are going to realize you want and don't want. It is a big and exciting step and I wish the two of you the best of luck.
0 votes
Kayte Malik, , Charlotte, NC
Fri Aug 24, 2007
1. Sit down with a mortgage broker as soon as possible - the market going through a lot of changes right now so it would be a good idea to understand fully the financing portion of buying a home.

2. Find a Realtor/Buyer's Agent you can trust and will work for you - **A buyer's agent does not cost you anything, their commission is paid by the seller.

With regards to both Mortgage people and Realtors - ask your friends, co-workers, peers, and family for recommendations and referrals. You need to find someone you trust and will work for you to get the job done.

These website should help as well:
http://homebuying.about.com
http://homebuying.about.com/od/buyingahome/bb/shopping1sttime.htm
http://www.smartmoney.com/consumer/index.cfm?Story=20020531
0 votes
Jean Doyle, , Mt Arlington, NJ
Fri Aug 24, 2007
I agree with what Cindy has told you. Talk to a mortgage rep and have them run your credit. Most of the better reps will explain your credit report to you and give you information for improving or correcting your score. Even if you have good credit it could always improve a little and that will save you money in the long run. You will also want to start to get an idea of where you want to live and the type of home you are looking for. If you are considering buying in January it is reasonable to contact a real estate agent now that can provide you with more information.
0 votes
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Thu Aug 23, 2007
The first thing I recommend it to pul a copy of your credit reports to make sure that all infomration is being reported accurately. If not, you have time to correct it. Next, set down and take a look at your finances. How much a month can you afford to invest in your new home? Talk to friends, family, colleagues, etc and find a good, EXPERIENCED mortgage broker or lender. They'll pre-qualify you based on credit, income, etc and tell you how much the lenders may be willing to lend you. From there, you can determine the price range in which you should be looking. Don't let the national media scare you...it is a GREAT time to buy real estate. Find a good, experienced Realtor to help you in your search. It will most likely be a relationship that lasts a lifetime.
Web Reference:  http://www.cindihagley.com
0 votes
Jodi Strober-…, , Bucks County PA, Montgomery County PA
Thu Aug 23, 2007
Before you start looking at homes for sale, be sure you do some "homework." Here are some of the questions for which you'll need answers:

Check out interest rates - What are current local mortgage interest rates for 15-year and 30-year fixed rate mortgages, and for 1-, 3- and 5-year adjustable rate mortgages?

Shop for the best loan - Which type of loan is best for you? Will you be in the house several years and benefit most from a long-term fixed rate, or do you want a lower, short-term rate because you plan to move soon or expect your income to increase rapidly over the next few years?

Determine how much house you can afford -How much of a mortgage can you qualify for? The loan amount plus your down payment tells you how much house you can afford.

Investigate neighborhood prices - What neighborhoods feature homes in your price range?

Separate needs from wants - What are your priorities for your next home? How important are public transportation, community facilities, on-street parking, lot size, privacy? How many bedrooms and baths will you need? Will you need a space for a home office? How important are quality neighborhood schools?
There is a lot to do, but you are giving yourself plenty of time to do your homework - good for you and best of luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.cityservice.com
0 votes
Kristal Kraft, Agent, Greenwood Village, CO
Thu Aug 23, 2007
I suggest you ask your friends for recommendations of good Realtors to work with. Then call each and ask for an appointment to discuss your needs and to see if you and the Realtor are a good "fit."

Once you have determined who you would like to work with, get their input on financing. Parts of the mortgage industry is having trouble right now, but that is not all across the board. A professional Realtor who has their finger on the pulse of what is happening in the area you want to purchase AND in the mortgage industry will prove to be worth their weight in gold.

Good luck on getting into the home owner's club. You are going to be so happy you did it!
Web Reference:  http://thedenver.blogs.com
0 votes
Greg Holland, Agent, Bakersfield, CA
Thu Aug 23, 2007
The first thing you need to do is to find a very good Mortgage company that is not going to file Bankruptcy anytime soon. There has been alot of turmoil in the Home lending business lately due to the sub prime loan market blowing up and alot of companies have closed their doors. It also has created alot of opportunities for good values in the bank owned foreclosure market. That being said you need to get pre qualified to find out what you can afford and to make sure your credit is good enough to qualify for the different programs that are now available. If you are in a high priced area where your loan is over $417,000, you will have to get what is called a jumbo loan and right now you will pay a premium in interest rate as there are not alot of places that want to buy these loans in the secondary market. Contrary to what you read in the papers I would call Countrywide home loans or Wells Fargo to get pre approved. Then I would get some recomendations for real estate agents and interview 2-3 to see who you feel most comfortable with and who is knowledgable in the areas you want to purchase. Also drive the areas you want to live in and look for what is called FSBO'S forsalebyowner's. Sometimes you will find a good value and sometimes they are overpriced but I would not rule them out of your search when you get to that point. Good Luck.
0 votes
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