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Underwriting is an important part of the mortgage process in New Jersey. It’s also one of the most “mysterious” stages for first-time home buyers and borrowers. How does the mortgage underwriting process work in New Jersey? What should you, as a borrower, be doing during this stage? These are some of the common questions we’ll answer today. Basic Steps in the Mortgage Process To start with, let’s place underwriting into the broader context of the mortgage lending process. While this process can vary slightly from one borrower to the next, it usually follows a series of steps. Underwriting typically falls somewhere in the middle. Here are the basic steps home buyers go through when getting a mortgage loan: The home buyer / borrower completes a loan application. The home buyer gets pre-approved for a certain loan amount. The buyer locates a suitable property and makes an offer to buy. The mortgage company orders an appraisal to determine the market value. A title search is performed to ensure there aren’t any liens or claims on the home. The mortgage loan file moves into the underwriting state, for a thorough review. The underwriter approves the loan, and the buyer moves on to the closing. The loan is funded at or near the closing day (sometimes a few days later). So, getting back to the question at hand. What happens during the mortgage underwriting stage in New Jersey? What does the underwriter actually do , and what can you as a borrower expect during this time? What Happens During the Underwriting Stage There are several aspects to the underwriting process. The ...

Are you thinking about buying a home in New Jersey this summer? If so, you’ll have plenty of company. Real estate markets across the state are still highly competitive, as we enter the last month of spring 2018. In many markets, this competition is being driven by tight supply along with steady demand from buyers. Here are three things you should know about buying a home in New Jersey, in summer 2018: 1. Rising mortgage rates could create urgency among buyers. Average mortgage rates have risen steadily (more or less) since the start of 2018. There have been a few week-to-week declines during that time. But overall, it has been a mostly upward trend. This is based on the weekly mortgage industry survey compiled by Freddie Mac. On May 24, the government-sponsored corporation reported that the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage loan rose to 4.66%. What’s notable about this is that rates haven’t been that high in a long time. In fact, you’d have to go back to May of 2011 to find average rates at that level. For those planning to buy a home in New Jersey during summer 2018, this is an important trend to watch. It could add a sense of urgency to the house-hunting process, at least for those buyers who need to use mortgage loans to finance their purchases. The bottom line is that home buyers might want to consider buying sooner rather than later, due to the potential for rising housing costs and interest rates. Get a rate quote:  The figures reported above are averages based on a nationwide survey. Individual  mortgage rates can vary based on a number of factors. Please contact us if you’d ...

Helping Your Children Buy a First Home

May 22
9:00
AM
Category | Blog
From day one, parents help their children with almost everything. But sometimes even adult “children” need a helping hand. This is often the case when it comes to buying a home. Fortunately, there are several things parents can do to help their children buy a first home in New Jersey. Common Obstacles to Homeownership For some would-be home buyers, the financial path to buying a house can seem overwhelming at first. Qualifying for a mortgage loan. Coming up with a down payment. These things can seem like insurmountable obstacles to a first-time purchaser. It’s common for home buyers in New Jersey to get a helping hand from their parents. Consider the evidence. A 2016 survey from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) found that nearly a quarter of millennial home buyers got down-payment help from a family member when buying a home. Parents were listed as the most common source of financial help. According to the NAR report: “Overall, the median down payment ranged from 7 percent for millennial buyers to 21 percent for older boomers and the Silent Generation. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of millennials cited a gift from a relative or friend – typically their parents – as a source of their down payment.” How Parents Can Help Their Children Buy a Home All of this begs the question: What can you, as a parent, do to help your child buy his or her first home in New Jersey? There are several ways that parents can come to the “rescue.” Today, we’ll look at two of the most commonly used strategies — down payment gifts and cosigning. Providing a down payment gift A down ...

Pre-qualification and pre-approval are commonly used terms that relate to the mortgage process in New Jersey. And while they sound the same, they’re actually a bit different. This short version is this: mortgage pre-approval in New Jersey is typically a more detailed and comprehensive review, when compared to a basic pre-qualification. Home buyers can benefit from pre-approval in several ways. Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval in New Jersey These two terms have “pre” attached to them because they happen on the front end of the mortgage process — before the appraisal, before underwriting, and before the actual funding. It’s a way to get the ball rolling. But these two terms are not the same. Here’s the basic difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval: Pre-qualification  is a quick review of your financial situation, often done without any kind of supporting documents or verification. The mortgage lender estimates how much you might be able to borrow, based on the financial information (income, debts, etc.) that you’ve provided. Pre-approval  is a more in-depth and useful process. When you get pre-approved for a mortgage loan in New Jersey, you’ll actually provide some additional documents relating to your finances. A credit check is usually performed as well. The end result is that you’ll have a more realistic, and more accurate, idea of how much you can borrow. So the key difference has to do with verification and documentation. David Reiss, a legal professor and real estate law expert, summed it up nicely in an article for Realtor.com: ...

The New Jersey real estate market has undergone many changes over the last few years, and this has many would-be home buyers asking the same questions: Is now a good time to buy a home in New Jersey? From a cost perspective, would it be better to buy in 2018 or wait until 2019? Here’s an updated look at real estate and economic trends in the state, to help you answer these important questions. New Jersey House Values Expected to Rise Statewide, home prices in New Jersey have risen over the last few years. They are expected to continue rising, in most parts of the state, over the coming months. These trends are important to all  home buyers, whether you end up buying a house in 2018 or 2019. The research team at Zillow, for example, recently predicted that the median home value for New Jersey would rise by around 2.1% over the next 12 months. Granted, this is just one forecast. But the general consensus among economists and housing analysts appears to be that home prices in the state will likely continue to rise. So, purely from a cost perspective, now might be a very good time to buy a house in New Jersey. Buyers who postpone their purchases until later in 2018, or 2019, could encounter higher housing costs. Mortgage Rates Level Off in Spring Mortgage rates have settled down a bit, following a steady upward climb during the first two months of the year. This is another trend that could affect many home buyers across the state, since most use mortgage financing to facilitate their purchases. According to the weekly survey conducted by Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage loan was 3.95% during the ...

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