Should we even be looking for a home?

Asked by Daniela, Effort, PA Mon Dec 31, 2007

My husband and I recently moved to the east coast and are living with his family. He works in NYC, so we would like to find something relatively close to public transportation. We would like his commute to be an hour or less by train. Our basic requirements are that the house (1,000 sf) have three or more bedrooms (10x10 ) since we have two children, off street parking and ready to move into. We don't want to live in an urban area. Unfortunately I am not working, so our loan preapproval is just above 200k. We've made numerous trips to different towns and so far our search has gone nowhere. We've done as much as we can think of and even contacted a Realtor in Plainfield with list of MLSs of homes we cruised by, but the Realtor doesn't seem very motivated in working with us. My husband is getting tired of using his weekends to drive all over the state 'for nothing'. I'd like an honest opinion if we should even keep trying since what we have to work with is pretty low.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Mon Dec 31, 2007
Hi Daniela,

Honestly, it's just a case of not enough money. If you are looking in the low 200's for a 3 bedroom house that you can actually live in, you are going to be looking in urban areas.

If you can stand it, I would stay where you are and save enough to make a larger down payment. If you can at least look in the upper 200's, you can then find a starter home in an area like Netcong or Mount Arlington, which are nice suburban areas right on the train line that you can enjoy, even in a small home.

If you can't stand it, you may be able to find something very small and just crowd in and make it a 2-step process. Move in, live there for 2-3 years and save for a larger place.

Good luck and if you have any other questions, contact me!
Web Reference:
1 vote
Avner Beno, Agent, North Caldwell, NJ
Sun Mar 9, 2008
Your writing is not complete to completely analyzing your specific situation.
To answer your question, yes, you can find a home for your specific needs.
You will have to compromise on location or distance.
Write me with your Tel to further discuss it.
0 votes
Katherine Pe…, Agent, Princeton, NJ
Sat Mar 8, 2008
Please don't give up! There are areas in Mercer and Middlesex Counties that are locse to the northeast corridor train line that would be an easy commute into NYC for your husband! My office also has Buyer's seminars each month that are quite informative about the local market and I encourage you to contact me for the next date. I'm an agent with 15 years experienc e in this area, and a consistent, professional top-producer. Please call me so that we can discuss this further-
Katherine Pease
Weichert Realtors, Princeton
609-921-1900 x115
0 votes
Rafi Footerm…, Agent, Edison, NJ
Tue Mar 4, 2008
There are a number of variables. How long of a commute is acceptable? How much do you have for a down payment? Does ready to move into mean updated, or just in good working order (i.e older but no major repairs needed)? Edison has a few homes under $250,000. It's a 40-50 minute train ride to Penn Station. If something like that would work, you should speak with a good Realtor to discuss those options. If not, Marc is right. Save up for a larger down payment.

Your husband is correct. You should not be spending your weekends driving all over. A good Realtor should be working smarter for you, not harder. You should only see viable homes. Much "leg work" can be done on the web and e-mail.

Feel free to contact me for more information. I don't make money for referrals, just my inspections.

Rafi Footerman
Mid Jersey Inspections
NJ Home Inspector Lic. #076900
0 votes
Matthew De F…, Agent, Nutley, NJ
Mon Mar 3, 2008
Have you thought of maybe a co-op or condo I know of several in the Nutley, Belleville Area some under 200k
Web Reference:
0 votes
Vita Strakhm…, , 07446
Wed Jan 2, 2008
Daniela, have you considered a condo? There are few in low 200's, and if your children are willing to share a room, you might have more choices available to you. Good luck!
Web Reference:
0 votes
Donald Hansen, Agent, Gillette, NJ
Wed Jan 2, 2008
You are in a tough price rnage to get what you want. Your choices will be limited at best. Did you see any homes yet? If you have and can't find anything you like , then start looking for a place to rent in an area where you think you might like to purchase. That way you'll get to know the town well and can make a better buying decision down the road.. If you haven't seen any houses(though it sounds like you have), then take the time and go inside a few so you know exactly what is out there. Also you should keep your eye on mortgage rates because a decrease in rates affords you more buying power.
My office is close to the Plainfield area so if you need assistance feel free to contact me.
0 votes
John Davis, Agent, Caldwell, NJ
Tue Jan 1, 2008
Waiting may be a good option but you may also be able to get into a Bank Owned or Foreclosed property in the areas that you are willing to search in.

As you may know banks today are getting more and more properties on their books which doesn't help their bottom line and with some diligence and some patience from the agent you choose to go with you may be able to find that perfect home.

A big misconception is that these bank owner/foreclosure homes are always run down and that simply true in all cases.

If I can be of assistance let me know!

John Davis, Realtor
RE/MAX Village Square
Direct: 973-944-5038
Office: 973-509-2222 x174

Get Your Customized Market Snapshot
Web Reference:
0 votes
Daniela, Home Buyer, Effort, PA
Mon Dec 31, 2007
Thanks for the advise. The property values in Jersey are alot higher than where we came from, so we weren't expecting the higher price tags and taxes on homes. Waiting a year or so may be the best thing in our case.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more