North Jersey Real Estate Report by Thomas Mayer

Dec. 7, 2016

How to Make The Mortgage Process Easier



Applying for a Mortgage? 3 Easy Ways to Make the Process Easier -- and Reduce Your Stress

There are more than enough details involved in getting a mortgage and moving into your own home that you'll want to know how to make the process as seamless as possible beforehand. However, there's a chance you might not be aware of the things you can do to make it a little easier on yourself. If you're currently looking for a home and are wondering how to streamline the approval process, here are some things to do before applying to minimize mortgage-related stress.

 Get Electronic Documentation

 In order to get approved for your mortgage application, you'll need to provide documentation that will likely include bank statements, federal tax returns and recent paystubs, but providing or acquiring all of these documents in paper form can require a lot of drudgery. Instead of paper, get your documentation together and ensure it's in electronic form so it can be easily accessed or sent from anywhere. This means you'll have it on hand as soon as it's needed.

 Choose A House You Can Afford

 As a potential homebuyer on the market, it's easy to be swayed by your dream home, but if your dream home doesn't come with an acceptable price tag, it's important to move on to the next best opportunity. It can be very easy to be invested enough in a particular home that you can convince yourself you'll budget for it, but the market can shift and this can push your monthly payment from difficult to not-doable. Choosing a home at an affordable cost will not only improve your chances of approval, it will also minimize your stress after the move-in date.

 Have Your Down Payment Ready

 It may be all well and good to know that your down payment money is in the bank, but it's important that it's in the appropriate account at least 3 months prior to your application submission so you can ensure you'll be seen as financially sound. While it's great to have money held in investments and RRSPs, it's important that this down payment money is kept in an easily accessible account where it can be withdrawn without any time delays or financial losses.

There are many different steps and small details associated with obtaining a mortgage, but by having your electronic documentation and down payment ready, you'll be well on your way to an approval. If you're currently on the market for a home, you may want to contact one of our mortgage professionals for more information.


Dec. 21, 2015

Why a Mortgage Pre-Qualification Meeting Might Be Your Best Use of 5 Minutes

If you're in the market for a mortgage, you may want to set up a pre-qualification meeting with a bank or lender. Even if you're not sure which lender you'd like to apply for a mortgage with, pre-qualification can still be a valuable step to take. And given that it only takes a few minutes, it's something every potential homeowner can do.

So why should you go to a mortgage pre-qualification meeting with a lender? Here are just a few reasons why it's a great idea.

It Will Give You A Good Idea Of How Much House You Can Afford

A mortgage pre-qualification is not the same thing as a pre-approval. When you pre-qualify for a mortgage, your lender will use information that you provide – information like your debts, your income, and your assets - to determine what size of a mortgage you can afford. This affordability information discovered during pre-qualification is then verified during pre-approval.

Pre-qualification doesn't involve a credit check, and it only takes a few minutes. The advantage of a pre-qualification is that it helps to guide your house hunt. When you know what kind of a home you can afford, it's easier to navigate the real estate market.

It Will Help You To Budget Your Expenses

A pre-qualification is a great way to get your household budget sorted out as a homeowner. When you pre-qualify, your potential new lender will tell you what kind of a mortgage you might be able to get. That means you can easily budget for estimated mortgage expenses and know what to expect before you apply for a mortgage.

Many Agents And Sellers Require Pre-Qualification

The pre-qualification phase is the first step in the mortgage process. When you're buying a home, agents and sellers will want to see that you have a good chance of getting a mortgage, as this makes the sale much easier. For that reason, a number of sellers and real estate agents highly prefer buyers who have been pre-qualified – and many of them simply won't sell to a buyer who hasn't been pre-qualified.

Mortgage pre-qualification is a great way to sort out your budget, determine what kind of a home you can afford, and persuade a seller to sell to you. And given that it only takes a few minutes to get pre-qualified, it's a simple step that simply should not be skipped.

Nov. 4, 2014

Things to Watch Out For When Buying a Home

Looking for a Home: 5 Things to Watch for That Can Lead to Bigger Problems

I've heard many stories of homeowners that fell in love with the idea of owning a certain home and overlooked many signs of problems that appeared small at first glance. The truth is that the sellers were actually hiding much larger and more serious issues. That combined with the buyer looking at these issues through rose colored glasses can really turn buying your dream home into living with a ongoing nightmare. Next time you go house hunting, pay particular attention to these 5 things that can be hiding much bigger and more costly problems.

Mold, Water Spotting & Damage from Water

It's not uncommon for a homeowner to have a pipe leak or plumbing issue over time, but any type of plumbing issue or pipe leak can result in mold growth inside the walls. Water spotting and warped wood indicate that the property probably had a water issue in the past and would be grounds for a more careful inspection for mold growth prior to finalizing any purchase.

Sticking Doors and Windows

One very common sign that an issue exists with the foundation is doors and windows that stick or even impossible to open or close. If you are interested in the home, make a point to open and close doors to make sure that they move freely and without any effort. If you notice that they aren't properly sitting in the frame, there is a strong possibility that an issue with the foundation exists. This should be properly evaluated by a structural engineer or foundation contractor.

Cracks in Walls

Cracks in both interior and exterior walls can indicate that the home's foundation is no longer flat and level. As you walk from room to room, look at the door frames and moldings. Any issues with a homes foundation shifting usually shows up in these most obvious places. Once again, if there is any doubt as to the extent of the problem, call in a professional to examine the issue before it becomes your issue.

Freshly Painted Area of a Wall

It's not uncommon for a homeseller to paint walls and ceilings prior to listing their home for sale. Why not, they want to show their home in a way that will allow them to get top dollar. However, when fresh paint is applied to only one small area of a wall or ceiling, it's usually a sign that the homeowner had/has an issue in that location and they are attempting to conceal water damage or some related issue. If you are serious about the home, call in a professional for further evaluation.

Slanting Floors

While walking through a home, do you get the impression that you are walking up or down an incline? If so, it's a good indicator that the foundation has shifted. These issues are usually the direct result of movement of the foundation that the home rests on. This results in an uneven feeling as you walk across the floor. Any indication of this in a property that you have interest, call for further inspection of the home's foundation.

Remember, your home purchase should be both exciting and enjoyable. Don't let common sense be overrun by emotion. If any of these issues should present themselves to you while evaluating a home for purchase, call a professional for further assistance before you finalize the deal.


Oct. 24, 2014

Roof Restoration 101

Preparing Your Roof for Winter & When to Call in Professional Help

While the days may be relatively warm and sunny right now, the transition to fall and winter will soon be upon us. Winter weather can be harsh, and it can also be destructive to your property. From the snow and ice to the frigid temperatures, winter can wreak havoc on a property.

One of the best steps that you can take now while the weather is warm is to restore your roof to prepare for the harsh winter ahead. This effort today will minimize damage that the home may endure throughout the cold months of the year. Here are some steps you can take to winterize your roof before the weather gets colder.

Steps to Take Now

As a homeowner, you can easily take a few steps today to prevent your home from being damaged in the winter months. From the ground level, inspect the home for signs of roof damage. You may notice a few shingles not laying flush on the roof, or you may see that some shingles are missing.

Repair work to the roof should be completed quickly. In addition, you can trim away tree limbs and branches that hang over the roof. These can become heavy with the weight of snow and ice, and they can break entirely or hang low to cause damage to the roof.

You also should clean out your gutters now. When gutters become clogged, they are ineffective at handling snow and ice melt. Cleaning your gutters every spring and fall will ensure they are prepared to handle inclement weather.

When to Call a Professional

Some work on a roof can easily be completed by a homeowner. However, roof work can also be dangerous or difficult. This may be due to the high height of the roof, the steep incline or even the type of work that needs to be completed.

When the work is dangerous or when you believe that you do not have the equipment or skills required to complete the work right, you should call a professional to your home to assist you. You'll want to call an experienced roofer if you notice leaks or damaged gutters or soffits. These kinds of repairs are critical to properly winterizing your home, and letting a professional handle them means you get a high-quality job.

The integrity of your home's roof will impact energy efficiency of your home's heating and cooling system, its ability to resist water damage and pest infestation and more. Long before the first snow or ice arrives, it is important for homeowners to assess their roofs for damage and to make repairs as needed. Contact a roofing contractor for an inspection to ensure your roof is winter-ready.