I work very closely with a Wells Fargo Mortgage and have just had a meeting with the rep. in this area. Since programs change I make it a point to know what ones are available and the basic qualifications for them. I was amazed at the programs they have available at this time. Many that she talked about seem as though they would benefit you greatly and put you in the home you want. I would be glad to put you in touch with her and work with the both of you to get the home of your dreams. I have been a realtor in this area for 12 years and am a resident of Barnegat.
I would see if you would qualify for any grants that are available in NJ. You may be able to qualify for up to 4% of the mortgage amount in a grant. This would cover the minimum required down payment for FHA loans of 3.5%. And you could have the seller pay your closing costs. Watch this short video to learn more and give me a call.
You need to discuss with Lori directly what programs, if any, you qualify for and, if approved for a mortgage, what price point you are able to afford and be pre-approved at. Once you determine that, you will then know what price range you can look for a home in.