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While here at American Dream Realty we mainly specialize in both residential and commercial real estate in the counties of Salem, first time buyer blogCumberland, and Gloucester in New Jersey, we also want to be known as an expert guide across a host of topics and market discussions within the real estate landscape as a whole.

Today, we’re taking a few moments to discuss some important checklist items for first-time homebuyers.

So, you have saved and saved and saved some more and think you, and/or your husband/wife/partner/significant other/family member (you get the picture) are ready to own a home, but before you even begin scouring through our myriad of listings on www.americandreamealityofsj.com, please take consideration of these very important steps first:

  • Make sure you have paid down your debt as much as humanly possible
  • Check on your credit score so they’re are no surprises to you or other parties involved in the purchase as you get further into the process

Okay, here we go:

Step 1: Contact American Dream Realty of South Jersey. Get in touch with one of their expert agents keen on the specific areas in which you’re searching.

Step 2: Budget for ALL of your home expenses, not just a mortgage. While we recognize the mortgage will encompass the majority of your home budget, you must also account of these additional expenses in your total budget figure:

  • Any insurances (home/hazard/flood)
  • Property taxes
  • Lawn, pool (if applicable) and any additional property maintenance costs
  • Any association fees (especially if you’ll be searching in condo and town home developments)

Step 3: Be focused on the exact type of property you’ll want to search for. Each type carries with it its own set of benefits as well as costs. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Single-family dwellings
  • Condos/Townhomes
  • Fixer-upper
  • Multi-family unit with income potential

Step 3.5: Before we move on to Step 3, we would be remiss if we didn’t ask you to consider and have a focused location (town, neighborhood, block) in which you want to contain your search. Aside from assessed property value, location will play a huge role in what you can afford, depending on your wish list.

Step 4: Make an offer:┬áSo, you’ve found your dream home in your dream location. But, before you make an offer at full-ask, take into consideration these important details first:

  • Does the property need excessive repairs
  • How long has it been on the market
  • How active is the market in the area where you’re searching
  • Does the property truly check off many boxes on you’re wish list

Step 5: Apply for a mortgage. Your application for a mortgage can take many routes, but here are a few places to start:

  • Mortgage companies
  • Savings and loan
  • Federal Credit Unions

Step 6: Closing. So, after an accepted offer, a clean inspection and (perhaps) a few sleepless nights, you have finally made it to closing day. Congrats! On the day of closing, before you are turned over the keys, you will need to check off these cost boxes first:

  • Any funds for a down payments you’ll be making
  • Funds for a title search
  • Attorney fees
  • Title insurance
  • Appraisal
  • Credit Report
  • Prepaid interest due on the mortgage for the month in which you are closing

Step 7: Breathe, celebrate and keep ADROSJ in mind for your next real estate venture!

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