As a first time buyer, what do I need to know?

Real Estate Attorneys for First Time Buyers in Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ

Read on to learn some key legal considerations when you are buying a home for the first time.

Buying a home is a huge decision and one of the largest investments that many people will make throughout their lives. As could be expected, the process of purchasing a home from start to finish in New Jersey is a drawn-out and somewhat complex process. As such, having the support of a real estate attorney is essential to ensuring that all of your t’s are crossed and your i’s dotted so that you can be into your new home without conflict as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Getting Preapproved for a Mortgage

Before your process of finding your dream home can officially begin, you need to get preapproved for a mortgage. Having this mortgage preapproval makes it much more likely that the owner of the house you settle on will accept your offer, as they will know you have the financing to back up your bid.

The process of mortgage preapproval is, in its own right, quite straightforward. Upon running a credit check and receiving proof of a steady income, the lender will determine whether you are a reliable match for a loan and provide a certificate documenting that you qualify for a certain amount. It is important to note here that this is not the stage of the process in which you actually receive a loan, nor does it guarantee that you will receive a loan. It simply states that your ducks are in a row for the home seller, and you will very likely have access to the stated funds should they accept your offer.

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Making and Negotiating an Offer

Have you found the house of your dreams? Now it’s time to make an offer on it. To do this, now would be the time to hire a real estate lawyer to ensure that the home purchase offer, generally a standard form approved by the New Jersey county in which the house is located, is fully and legally completed.

Of course, the home purchase offer includes the amount of money you are offering to pay for the home. Whether you offer less than the house is on the market for or more depends on the housing market and the area in which you’re looking; a real estate attorney can also help you take such considerations before submitting the offer. The attorney will remind you that, for all intensive purposes, the county standard home purchase offer is a contract signed by one of the two parties, so it must be legally complete.

Real Estate Attorneys for First Time Buyers in Monmouth and Ocean County NJAt this point, the home seller has an opportunity to either accept your offer, reject it, or make a counteroffer. Any revisions to the proposed contract that come with a counter offer must be reviewed by your real estate attorney. Once you and the home seller have agreed to the conditions of the sale, you will each sign a purchase contract. The purchase contract includes such information as how much of a cash down payment, called earnest money, the buyer commits to pay to close the deal; contingencies that must be met for the purchase contract to be legally viable – these protect both the buyer and the seller; the date the sale will be closed, and the date the new owner may move in. Some final steps that you as the buyer will need to take to complete this purchase contract is to obtain the mortgage loan for which you were preapproved and get the house inspected to ensure that there are no hidden issues. Sometimes specific house repairs found as necessary during the house inspection are added to the contingencies.

Home Stretch: Title Insurance, Closing the Mortgage, and Filing with the County

Your mortgage company will require that you purchase title insurance for the property and search to ensure that the property title doesn’t have any outstanding mortgages or dues tied to it. This insurance protects you by ensuring that the property title you receive is free of any debts. Next, you’ll settle with your mortgage lender, closing on the home and receiving the actual funds to pay for the house. This is a process that absolutely must be accompanied by your real estate lawyer or real estate agent, as there are legal documents you will sign at the closing that need to be reviewed. Once you have closed on the house, you will receive the deed to your new home! The deed shows that you are the new legal owner of the property. The last step is to file the documents with the New Jersey county, setting you up to pay property taxes and the like.

Consult a West Long Branch Seasoned Real Estate Law Firm

At Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh, our real estate attorneys are committed to serving clients across Red Bank, Freehold, Long Branch, and Monmouth County in buying their first home.

To schedule a consultation with a member of our team today regarding your purchase process and more detailed information today about how we can assist you, fill out our online form or call our West Long Branch, New Jersey office at (732) 440-3950.