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FHA-insured mortgage loans are a popular financing option among home buyers in New Jersey. They’re especially popular with first-time buyers, though they are not limited to this group. Here’s a quick look at the basic FHA loan requirements for New Jersey borrowers, updated for 2017.

FHA Loan Requirements in New Jersey

The Federal Housing Administration’s mortgage insurance program is managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). So it is HUD that establishes all of the guidelines and requirements for FHA loans issued to New Jersey borrowers.

Many of these guidelines can be found in HUD Handbook 4000.1, also known as the Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook. But that resource contains nearly 1,000 pages, and you’re a busy person. So we’ve pulled out a few of the most importantrequirements for an FHA loan in New Jersey.

Related: A forecast for the NJ housing market

A Minimum Down Payment of 3.5%

New Jersey home buyers who use an FHA loan to purchase a house must make a down payment of at least 3.5%. Specifically, that’s 3.5% of the purchase price or the appraised value, whichever is less. HUD refers to this as the minimum required investment, or MRI.

The good news is you can obtain down-payment funds from a third party, such as a family member or employer. FHA allows for “gift funds” from a variety of sources, including family members, ...


With fall right around the corner, some New Jersey home buyers are already looking ahead to 2018. And many are asking the same questions: What will the real estate market be like next year? Are home prices expected to continue rising? Is now a good time to buy a house, or should I wait a while?

To give you a bit more insight, we've rounded up some noteworthy statistics, trends and forecasts for the New Jersey housing market stretching through the summer of 2018.

Forecast for NJ Housing Markets Through 2018

Home prices in New Jersey have risen steadily over the last couple of years, following a broader national trend. But there's a chance we could see slower growth in the months ahead. New forecasts from the housing research team at Zillow suggest that home price growth could slow down in most cities and towns over the coming months.

But first, a look at current prices. According to New Jersey REALTORS, the median sale price for single-family homes sold across the state rose to $330,000 during the summer of 2017. The median for condos and townhouses rose to $260,000.

Zillow's forecast for the New Jersey real estate market suggests smaller gains over the next year or so. By their estimation, home prices in the state rose by around 5% over the last year (from Sept. 2016 to Sept. 2017). Looking forward, they expect the state's median home value to rise by a more modest 1.5% over the next year. This forecast was issued in September ...


What is a Survey?

Sep 11
11:51
AM
Category | Blog

What is a Survey?  

A survey is a graphic description of a property, similar to a map, outlining its legal boundaries, dimensions and other features such as structures, roads, driveways, fences, easements, setbacks, flood zones and elevation. It is typically ordered by your attorney or the title company.

Cost:

The cost varies depending on the size and complexity of the property along with other features such as staking each property corner. Without corner stakes the cost of a survey ranges from $700-$1,000.

Why get a Survey?

Surveys are conducted to determine the boundaries between parcels of real estate and are used to determine the exact legal area of ground that will be transferred when a property is sold.   A land survey will give you important information including if the property is in a flood-zone and if the deed shown to you by the seller indeed reflects the correct size of the property being transacted.   The Survey will also determine whether all structures are completely within your property’s boundaries and meet municipal requirements for the required distance, commonly known as setback, from your property’s border.


Understanding Title Insurance

Sep 1
2:42
PM
Category | Blog

When you buy a home, you “take title” to the property and establish legal ownership which is documented by recording your deed in the county’s public records. The objective of title insurance is to protect a buyer’s rights and interest in the property and to assure the property transfer is secure.  In the event that there is an error in the process, the title insurance policy protects you from any financial exposure as a result of those errors.

Prior to issuing the title policy, the title company will obtain a title search which is needed to discover any liens against the property so they can satisfied prior to or at closing.   Approximately 25 percent of all residential real estate transactions have issues with the title and in almost all cases get resolved prior to closing.  The following are some examples of title issues:

  • Unpaid liens for real estate taxes
  • Mechanic liens from contractors who worked on the home but were never paid
  • Judgments, state or federal taxes or business loans owed by the seller
  • Mistakes in the legal description of the property or human error on previously recorded documents
  • Paid mortgages that were not properly discharged

There are two types ...


Closing On a VA Loan When Deployed

Aug 22
10:31
AM
Category | Blog

Completing the final steps in closing on your new home comes with great relief and excitement.  At this point, it is likely you’ve prepared for your move and are all packed and ready to go. Yet there are times when an immediate move-in is not possible.

Remember the VA home loan can only be used for a primary residence and you must occupy the residence within 60 days of closing. Sometimes that’s not possible and the VA does make some exceptions for overseas deployment.

When must you occupy?

If you don’t occupy the property within that required time frame and the lender determines you have no intention of moving into the home, the VA can, in fact, call in the loan. Calling a loan means you must have the entire loan in full.

This 60-day timetable can also give the previous owners time to move out. If the sellers need another 30 days you can negotiate a temporary lease for them to pay you while they’re moving.

For those that are deployed or will be deployed during closing, the VA allows for a spouse to act as the occupant and fulfill the owner occupancy requirement. To prepare for a closing while a spouse is deployed overseas, a Power of Attorney must be drawn that allows the remaining spouse to sign ...


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