The first step is to speak with your bank or local mortgage lender to determine how much money you are qualified to borrow and you should know and be comfortable with how much you want to spend on housing each month - sometimes this numbers are not the same. Once you are issued a pre-approval you will know what price range to look in.
Second step is finding a real estate agent to work with. We all know with just the stroke of a few keys, you can find myriad resources on the Internet to help you in your search for a new home. Besides property listings, you can find out about specific communities, schools and mortgage options. A real estate agent's role is more than someone to drive you around from property to property. Agents know the local areas including home values, schools, taxes, etc. Agents also provide tremendous moral support :).
In choosing a town or towns, I recommend that you start with writing down a list of what is important to you in a town. What are you looking for in the community? What are your needs? Your family's needs? Maybe you're unsure of the answers which is common. Some things of importance when a town(s) may include: the school system, location, commute to New York, home values and property taxes, crime rate and impression. The same town and neighborhood you saw during the day can be a totally different at night.
What would make a home - your best home? Create a home shopping list. http://ginachiricorealestate.com/uploads/home_buying_shoppin
Determine your needs and your wants. Its common for home buyers to make the mistake of misinterpreting a WANT as a NEED and sometimes dismiss homes that perfectly fit their NEEDS in search for one that has their WANTS. This doesn't mean that you cannot have what you desire in your home but sometimes your WANTS will try to sneak their way into your NEEDS and you need to be able to tell the difference. Most of the time its your budget thats the determining factor. Keep in mind that the WANT items are things that you would like to have but are NOT essential, things you can live without or that you can change over time.
Once you find a property, making an offer, attorney review period, inspections, etc. would follow but the above are the beginning steps.
Below I've posted some resources that go into more detail and in support of what I posted above.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me. I cover Essex, Morris, Passaic and Union Counties.
Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
973-575-6353 ext 17 office