First Time Home Buyer Questions to Ask
Congratulations! Educating yourself to all the intricacies of buying your first Essex County home is a smart move. Here are a few things to consider about buying your first home here in the greater Essex County, NJ area. I am happy to guide you through every step of the process when you are ready to begin looking and buy your first home.
1. Is this the right time for me to buy my first Maplewood home? It depends. While mortgage qualification requirements can often change, generally speaking, the amount you may qualify to borrow is dependent upon several factors including:
- The opportunity to build equity in your property
- Tax deductibility of your mortgage interest
- The independence of owning your piece of the American dream
- Interest rates are at historic lows
- Homes for sale are at an all-time high which means more homes to choose from
This is not a decision to be made lightly, so consult with me to learn more about the local market conditions here in Essex County.
2. Do you have funds saved for a down payment and closing cost? You'll need at least 3 percent to 5 percent of the purchase price of a home for your down payment. Of course, the more you have the better. Ideally, the more you can pay down, the lower your interest rate will be. Plus, paying 20 percent or more down eliminates the cost of private mortgage insurance (PMI).
3. Do you have a stable job and income? If so, remember to consider the total cost of buying a home and not just meeting the monthly mortgage payment.
- What about the cost to relocate if you're moving from NYC or within the Garden State?
- Remember to consider the cost of maintaining your first home especially if it's a "fixer upper."
- Calculate the total cost of utilities, commuting costs and other monthly expenses.
4. What are the local real estate market conditions? Is it a buyer's or a seller's market? If homes for sale in Maplewood are sitting unsold and prices are flat, you're apt to be in a much better negotiating position than if our market is hot a market and homes are getting snapped up even before they're listed for sale in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).
5. How much home can I afford to buy? It is a good idea to speak with a mortgage representative when beginning your home buying process. This way you will be prepared to know your comfort level in terms of price range and won't go out to look and fall in love with something and find that it is not in line with what you want to spend. I would be happy to give you names of people who can help you get a sense of your financial ability to purchase.
Would you like to try my mortgage calculator?
Go to "My Home Buyer's Package".