I am first time home buyer, I need a lot of help. What type of home should I buy. What year, What are chances that I can resell?

Asked by Brooklyner6, South Orange, NJ Tue Sep 6, 2011

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Tom Waddell, Agent, Maplewood, NJ
Wed Oct 19, 2011
Hello, the most important thing for first-time home-buyers is not to be intimidated, and not to get so caught up in the excitement of home-shopping that you neglect to do your homework. Your first stop might be with a mortgage broker who can help pre-qualify you and give you a handle on how much home you can afford. Most people start their home search on-line, and there are great sites with active inventory, photos, video tours, town tours, etc. Once you are ready to head out and see some properties on the market, be sure to familiarize yourself with the forms and disclosures a prospective agent should share with you at the very start. Ask any agent about your relationship options, and ask him or her to review them with you before you start shopping. I make it a practice to read over all contract language with my clients before we move on to the fun stuff. It only takes a few minutes, and an informed consumer will always make better, more confident decisions. Good luck!JP
1 vote
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Tue Sep 6, 2011
Hi Brooklyn,

I see you have a lot of questions, that is good, continuing your due diligence is the key to a successful transaction.

When I did my move from Brooklyn I did the same thing.. ask a lot of questions, see where you want to be in the world, the commute related to where you need to be, the area, the houses, the style, more of a "city" setting, suburban setting, backyard, the size of the lot.. From 50 x 100 - 200x200.. Figure what you want.

Then , find a Realtor to speak with in the area you want to be in or around, get some house prices.. and ask for a referral of a good mortgagee representative. Most Realtors should have 3 referrals of working reps that can help you get see exactly what you can afford. Do not go to an online.. "we can get you the best rate" mortgage company.. I have not had good experiences with these at all..

As far as can you resell.. Ha! If you make a good investment, like anything else i the market, real estate fluctuates.. it will come back at some point.. but this is on a universal level as well as a case by case level, so a smart purchase is what you are looking for.

Discuss with your Realtor your wants and needs and you will be on your way!
1 vote
Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Fri Oct 25, 2013
This question was asked in SEPTEMBER 2011 ...
0 votes
Edith Miller…, Agent, Summit, NJ
Thu Oct 24, 2013
I specialize in first time buyers and have been a realtor since 1981, have seen all the ups AND all the downs. If you are working in NYC, I do specialize in NYC commuters as well. I do a lot of rentals and my renters come back to me when they are ready to buy. Give me a call. I have learned to be part shrink, part non judgmental mother and I stop and we buy ice cream. My info is here:
0 votes
Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Mon Feb 6, 2012
Just FYI...this question was asked in September.

Hopefully Brooklyner6 either got on track and started saving and/or got himself/herself a realtor to help out and is on the way to homeownership !!.

@Brooklyner6....if you read this, let us know what the outcome was considering all the answers you got.
0 votes
Cataldo Cal…, Agent, Maplewood, NJ
Mon Feb 6, 2012
Your on the right track right out of the gate, "your asking questions"....keep asking....... first of all, ask the right people those same questions Yourself, What type? What are you compfortable in, old, modern, dated, what are the "most important things you absolutely cannot live with out". For instance do you "want' or "need" a fireplace, is it a deal breaker if you don't buy a house with one? The year of a home is irrevelant if it suits your "needs" and it is is good condition, all systems work and has been well maintained. The chances of resell are always best when all 3 conditions are met, "Locaton, condition and price"
Keep asking questions and enjoy the process, most importantly get a local real estate professional you feel confident in. One that knows the area and meets your needs. Happy house hunting!
0 votes
Christine Lee…, Agent, Short Hills, NJ
Wed Jan 18, 2012
Just wondering how you are doing with your home search. Have you put your home on the market?
I feel that you have so many questions that need to be addressed and would like the opportunity to speak with you. I m a local realtor as well as a resident in Short Hills. Our local market is off to a great start this new year!
I'm here to consult you and listen to your needs not "sell" you a house!
Hope to hear from you soon,
Christine Johansson
609 802 3074 cell #
Coldwell Banker, Short Hills Office
0 votes
George Walsh, Agent, Summit, NJ
Tue Sep 6, 2011
Well you have a lot of great advice already here. Mary's advice to save, save, save is certainly a primary factor.

If you are not under any time pressure to buy you can take time to learn as much as possible.

Then, when you are ready to buy in a 12-24 month period, talk to a couple of reliable lenders about the total cost of a home purchase. You will need to consider the purchase price plus the taxes and any carrying fees such as community association fees for maintenance and common use areas. You need to consider your other living expenses and the lender can talk to you about what percentage of your income is a comfortable and safe level for you. Budgeting for some property maintenance is a wise idea.

Type of home is more a personal choice than anything else, Brooklyner6. However as alluded to above, condo communities normally have maintenance fees for common areas and clubhouse/pool/tennis, etc. therefore selecting a condo/townhome community will impact your price range. Ownership costs are often referred to as PITI – principal, interest, taxes and insurance but with condos you have to account for fees which may be monthly, quarterly or annually. That may be the lifestyle you desire though.

Depending on what area of the country in which you are buying you may encounter more properties that are co-operatives, co-op for short. This type ownership has its own unique considerations which you should research before buying. Manhattan has a lot of co-op's.

Perhaps you are like many buyers who choose to buy a single family home. Then you have a wide variety of styles to consider. Colonial, split-level and Cape-Cod are very common in most areas of the country.

You may want to start going to open houses to check properties and areas to gather knowledge about your tastes and preferences in type of home.

In the end the location will be key. Determine what towns in which you want to live that have offerings in your price range. Visit the town or towns often to determine what neighborhoods and streets you most like and want. Then you can get a mortgage pre-approval, select a Realtor® who is knowledgeable in the area, and be ready to buy a desirable home.

Your other question about resale depends a lot on where you buy and what happens after that. No one can predict what market conditions will be in the future. Buying a desirable neighborhood in stable town with good resources is a part of trying to ensure a resale in the future. Maintaining the property is also a key to resale. Completing upgrades on the property over time will tend to enhance the value and support a favorable resale.

I suggest you hit the library or bookstores and go to the real estate section in the business area and find some books to read to develop your understanding of the many facets of real estate ownership.

Best of luck.
0 votes
Marsha Bowen…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Tue Sep 6, 2011
Hi Brooklyner6,

You received some helpful information from several agents on what you need to do to get started. Being a past resident of Brooklyn and Queens when I live in NYC, the one thing I did before I moved to NJ was to consider my current lifestyle to determine how far I wanted to be from New York city. City night life was important to me so I didn't want to run the risk of not having public transportation that ran late close by.
Do you have a car? Depending on where you live in NJ, a car becomes necessary.
I also thought about whether a condo or a house would make sense because of my lifestyle. Do I have time to clean snow, mow the lawn, etc. Up keep was not an option at the time since I like traveling.
These are just some things to think about. If I can be of further assistance, let me know.

Best of luck to you,
0 votes
Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Tue Sep 6, 2011

Hi from a former Brooklyner !!

As a first time buyer your first goal should be accumulating enough money for a decent down payment if you don't already have it saved, so start to SAVE SAVE SAVE !!

Your second area of concentration should be to speak to a reliable mortgage broker/bank NOW and get an idea, based on your income/debt, what you could qualify for and what at purchase price. This will help you determine how much you need to save and give you a better idea of how long it will take to save the money and therefore what year you can buy. There are several mortgage programs out there (like FHA where, if you qualify for one of them, right now you only need a minimum of 3.5% down payment,) so knowing upfront what you need to have in the bank (plus a cushion for emergencies), is always a good thing.

Third, the mortgage person can also tell you where your credit may need to be fixed when they run a credit check. This is vitally important right now since lenders have much higher standards then in previous years.

Fourth, type of house is such a personal choice, a more important concern should be WHERE to buy (location location location). Personal needs like a short commute or a good school system are very important to consider. Some working people prefer a condo/town home because all the outside maintenance (snow removal/lawn care etc) is taken care of for them, while others only want their own yard.

As far as reselling, if you plan on staying in your first home for the average length of time for a firsttimer (7-10 years), the house will most likely appreciate in value, but there are several factors that come into play. One is making a good down payment which automatically gives you equity in the house. Sure a 3.5% downpayment through FHA looks good BUT if home prices drop again, your equity in the home is no where near what it would be if you put 20% down payment. Two is the location of the house. Location (near a commuter transit hub, or in a good school district) makes the house more attractive to people than being out in a rural area. Obviously condition and maintanance of the house also play a factor. Upgrades to the home (like new kitchens/baths/AC/furnaces etc) while you don't always get back what you put in, make your house more attractive then the neighbors house who have old kitchens and bathrooms, and does add to the sales price.
According to the National Association of Realtors nationally compiled home sale statictics, median home sales prices since 2008 were as follows for the Northeast region:
end of second quarter 2011 .....$245,600
Hope this all helps and good luck with your home search and achieving part of the American dream !!
If you have any other questions please feel free to give me a call at 908-675-0167 or email me at PruMaryNJ@aol.com
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Tue Sep 6, 2011
You've got some the best offering out advice here. Work with an agent that caters to first time buyer...how do you know, just ask! Generally I find that agents that enjoy working with first time buyers have the patience and dedication to educating newcomers to the market. Good luck to you!

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
Gene Tedesco, Agent, Randolph, NJ
Tue Sep 6, 2011
As a first time buyer the first thing you will want to do is speak to a mortgage representative and determine what your buying power is.

After you determine what your comfortable price range is you need to decide what you are looking for a house or a condo or a multi-family and what areas are good for you in relation to distance from work, family, friends.

We can't tell you where to live. Once you know these things you will want to contact a realtor and hire them as your agent to help you through the process.

If you would like to receive a no obligation buyers presentation which I provide feel free to contact me and we can set up an appointment at your convenience.

Thank you
Gene Tedesco
Re/Max Home Connection
973-575-6005 Office
201-341-0307 Cell
Web Reference:  http://www.genetedesco.com
0 votes
Jonathan Cit…, Agent, Maplewood, NJ
Tue Sep 6, 2011
Slow down, Brooklyn! Type of home equals whatever one strikes your fancy and can afford. What year equals what type you are attracted to and its condition per a home inspection (which is part of the process of purchase. Can you resell the home? Of course! How long do you intend to live in it? All good quetions. Good luck.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Tue Sep 6, 2011
As a Home Buyer, you should be looking for what you want, not what others advise:
You are first and foremost looking for a HOME, not an investment!
The fact that Real Estate has always gone up in value over the lang haul, is the icing on the cake.
Whether you Buy or Rent, you have to pay a certain amount each month to put a roof over your head.
When the prices of houses are going down, it may be a better idea to rent.
But when prices are level or going up, the advantages of Buying are greater: Pride of Ownership, Stability, Safety, Taxes, Location, etc are all reasons to Buy.
This is a personal decision.
Another personal decision is WHAT and WHERE you buy; a Realtor cannot answer these questions for you.

If you are thinking in the SHORT TERM, then Real Estate is not for you.
In the LONG TERM, your house will appreciate and you should have not problem selling.
The ultimate goal is to accumulate ASSETS.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes
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