Monmouth County, New Jersey, sits on the northern part of the Jersey Shore. Middletown Township and Howell Township make up the most significant part of the county’s population. Buying a house in Monmouth County is perfect for singles, couples, and families and provides a fantastic year-round quality of life. Knowing which home is right for you is a matter of personal preference, and an experienced realtor can help you through the process.
Things to consider when buying a house
So, you are ready to purchase a house in Monmouth County, NJ. Purchasing a home, especially if it is your first home, can be exciting and maybe a little intimidating. However, buying a home is the largest purchase you will make, so go into the process fully armed with information and a great realtor.
Here are some things to know and consider when buying a house:
- The old saying, “Location, Location, Location,” is valid. You can change almost everything else but can’t change your home’s location. So when you go house hunting, consider proximity to your work, how the home is situated on the lot, ease of access, noise from neighbors, and traffic. Also, consider access to parks, shopping, schools, and public transportation. (The Spruce)
- Gather an accurate picture of your monthly expenses. Do you really know what you spend now, and can you anticipate some of your expenses after you purchase the home? Expenses go beyond mortgages, taxes, and insurance. For example, does the house need significant repairs such as a roof, new driveway, or other costs associated with beach living?
- What is Monmouth County like, and what does it have to offer? Are you and your family active and looking for bike trails, beach events, and parks? Take some time to research and see what the area has to offer. You will not be disappointed.
- How will you finance the mortgage? Interest rates are critical in the decision-making process. American Family Insurance explains: The impact of interest rates will depend on the type of mortgage you get. If you choose a floating-rate mortgage, for instance, the size of your mortgage payments could fluctuate alongside interest rates. However, with a fixed-rate mortgage, your rate is locked in, regardless of which direction interest rates move.
Small differences in the interest rate you can secure can quickly add up: For example, over five years, a 4.125% interest rate will save you more than $4,400 compared to a mortgage rate a half-point higher. It’s worth considering interest rates to ensure you choose an appropriate mortgage when you’re ready to buy. But don’t rush to buy a house you’re unsure of, lower interest rate or not.
This goes without saying: find a good realtor. Experience and knowledge about the area you are searching for are critical to your success.
What to do before buying a house
Your realtor will help you navigate the process before looking at houses, let alone purchasing a home. The more organized you are, the easier the process will be once you find that perfect home.
Factors to consider and what you need to know when buying a house are outlined below:
- Get pre-approved. The pre-approval process is about more than what you can afford; it helps the relator show you properties in that preapproval price range. You do not want to fall in love with a home outside of your price range and budget.
- Home inspection. A home inspection observes and reports on the condition of a real estate property, usually when it is on the market to be sold. A qualified home inspector assesses the property’s condition, including its heating and cooling systems, plumbing, electrical work, water, and sewage, as well as some fire and safety issues. In addition, the home inspector will look for evidence of insect, water, fire damage, or any other matter that may affect the property’s value.
- Negotiating with the seller. Now that you know what you’re getting (to a certain degree), what can you negotiate? Your realtor and attorney will advise you on the process, what can be negotiated, and what is a hard no.
- Homeowner’s insurance. Find an insurance company and agent. Ask your realtor, family, and friends whom they use. The agent will walk you through policies for your home, vacation home, or beach property. They will ensure you cover valuables and jewelry and maybe bundle the homeowner’s policy with your auto insurance.
- Hire a reputable real estate attorney. We know the temptation is great to save money and use Uncle Bob or Aunt June, but you need an experienced real estate attorney. Your real estate agent knows attorneys that specialize in closings and will make an introduction for you.
What not to do before buying a house
You are excited and picturing new furniture, appliances, and enhancements for your new house. However, there are quite a few ‘don’ts’ that you should bear in mind.
- Thinking of changing jobs? Don’t quit, become unemployed, or change the income you disclosed during the preapproval.
- Don’t make any significant financial changes before the closing.
- Buying a house and a car at the same time can affect your credit score
- Please do not buy anything significant such as a boat, car, or 2nd
- Do not open a new credit card. The temptation to open a credit card with a big box store to save on appliances and items may be great, but it can hurt you in the long run.
- Getting a personal loan during this process is not a good idea for the same reasons. It could alter your credit score and, of course, your cash flow.
- Don’t forget the closing costs! They can add up quickly, including property taxes, legal fees, title insurance, and your downpayment.
The role of your real estate agent in the buying process.
Working with a reputable real estate agent, attorney, and lender can make the dos and don’ts of buying a house in Monmouth County seamless. You will know which mortgage mistakes to avoid and how to enjoy the process.
Are you looking for help buying a home in Monmouth County, NJ? Contact me, and let’s schedule some time to discuss what you are looking for in Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Greg Papalcure is a Broker Associate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Manalapan, New Jersey. Greg’s pledge to you is a commitment to unparalleled service and support from beginning to end.