By Michelle Needham & Anne Nosnitsky
As seasoned professionals who have been assisting buyers and sellers in the Princeton area for many years, we are often asked, “WHEN is the best time to buy a home?” Typically, spring is the most favorable time to buy — especially if you want your closing to correspond with the school calendar. Once you find a home and sign a contract, you can typically complete inspections, mortgage processing, and close within 45 to 90 days. However, if mortgage rates remain favorable and housing inventory remains high, it might benefit you to wait until the “spring rush” is over.
But, WHY buy a home? We typically reply with the legal term “quiet enjoyment” — defined as “undisturbed use and enjoyment of real property.” Buyers have a variety of reasons to buy — they want to take advantage of favorable interest rates, want to create equity, dream of a garden, garage, or workshop for “tinkering,” and/or want to reap tax deductions on mortgage interest or property tax payments (consult an accountant to itemize your tax benefits.) And many buyers add that they are simply tired of paying their landlord’s mortgage!
And, lastly, HOW can I buy a home? Most importantly, a local REALTOR should be retained as a buyer’s agent as your fiduciary — with duties that include reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality, and full disclosure to the buyer. Your agent will compile a list of features you prefer in a home — including location (urban? suburban? near train/commuting highways?) size and style of the home, type of ownership (Single family? Townhome? Condo?) He/she will also provide a list of what you’ll need, including your current credit score, your employment history, your income, long term debts, how much money you (or a family member) can contribute to a down payment, etc. With this information, a local lender will prepare a pre-approval letter, which confirms the amount of loan a bank would be conditionally willing to lend you. This document would be affixed to any contract proposal you submit.
Needless to say, there are many moving parts in the average real estate transaction — allow us to assist you and put our experience and resources to work for you!
Gloria Nilson & Co Real Estate is a Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate and a wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America Inc. Princeton Office – 609-921-2600.