This will give you a general idea of the home purchasing process in New Jersey.
1- Pre-Approval - You will want to discuss your financing options with a mortgage broker to understand how much money you can borrow and how much house you can comfortably afford.
2- Finding A Home - Try to come to some general understanding as to what you want. Consider location, price, taxes, type of home, number of rooms, special amenities, etc. Then effectively communicate this information to your agent. Your agent will then make appointments and show you properties, which should be of interest to you. Don't be afraid to ask questions and always feel free to request a second showing.
3- Making an offer - Once you find the property you'd like to purchase, you will need to make an offer. The 3 key factors to consider is 1) identifying the price you are willing to pay, 2) the amount you want to put down, and 3) the date you wish to close. Once your offer is prepared, your agent will submit it for consideration along with a nominal good faith deposit from you, which will be held in escrow.
4- Negotiating - Your offer will either be accepted, rejected or countered. If it is countered, your agent will enter into a negotiating process to try and get you the best possible price.
5- Attorney Review - Once your offer is accepted and all parties sign the contract, the attorneys have 3 days to negotiate the contract and solidify the terms and conditions. Once completed, you will need to make your down payment. (While in attorney review, the seller can still entertain other offers)
6- Apply For Mortgage - After attorney review, you will now need to contact your financial institution and apply for your mortgage. This will most likely require you to provide them with all the appropriate documentation to support your financial position. The mortgage company will then order an appraisal.
7- Inspections - You have the right to order (and attend) a home inspection, to find out if everything is in good working order. This can include a physical inspection as well as termite, radon, tank, well and septic. Copies of the reports are then sent to the attorneys. (Payment is usually made on site)
8- Repairs - Any issues discovered in the inspections, will be addressed by the attorneys in an attempt to rectify the problem.
9- Survey / Title Search - The attorney will order a survey and a title search to ensure that the property changes hands properly, in accordance with New Jersey law.
10- Closing - Prior to the closing, you are entitled to do a final inspection of the property. Then, all parties will meet to sign off on the paperwork. You will most likely need to bring a certified check with you to cover any final down payments and / or closing costs.
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