New Jersey Real Estate News & Blog

4 Non-Traditional Ways to Finance a Home

A 30- or 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage with the same payment amounts each month is one of the most common ways to buy a home—but not everyone can qualify for a traditional mortgage, or has the money set aside for a sizable down payment so they can get a low-interest loan and have affordable payments.

Here are four non-traditional ways to be able to afford to buy a home:

1. Borrow from your parentsIf you don’t mind possibly changing your relationship with your parents, ask them for a loan to help you come up with a bigger down payment so you can qualify for a loan. Hire a lawyer to write up a contract, and make sure the loan doesn’t appear as a gift, which would require a gift tax to be paid.

2. Parental co-signers...

Researching a Neighborhood From Far Away

Good public transportation, low crime, schools, nearby hospitals and other factors can help home shoppers decide if a neighborhood is right for them.

If you’re planning on moving to a city that’s far away from where you live now, then finding a neighborhood that’s a good fit can be more difficult than driving around a nearby city.

Here are some ways to research a neighborhood even if you’re miles away:

Ask for Help
If you have a specific city you want to move to, ask a real estate agent there to give you a market overview and for help finding a neighborhood that matches your needs.

You may not be able to check off everything on your wish list, but focusing on your top priorities can help narrow the choices. If you think...

For the Self-Employed Buyer: What You Need to Apply for a Mortgage

For the self-employed, applying for a mortgage can seem like an even more daunting task, especially if you can’t predict your monthly income. But although there may be a few additional hurdles to clear, the self-employed can certainly qualify for a mortgage, and the best way to do this is to be ultra-prepared. Although requirement vary depending on your lender and your loan, below is a list of documents you should be able to provide.

1.  Tax returns for the past 2 years.

This is simple: in order to predict if you can make your payments, lenders will want to check out your income history. And without the convenience of a monthly or weekly pay stub like most W-2 employees have, lenders will turn to your tax returns to calculate an estimated average monthly income.

2.  Profit...

Great Garages for Millennial Homebuyers

Millennials are the largest generation shaking up the real estate market these days, according to research by the National Association of REALTORS®. However, when compared with the generations that came before them, millennials remain delayed in purchasing their first home and are more particular about the features they want their home to have when they are finally ready to buy. One aspect of homes millennials are particularly interested in is technology, even when it comes to the garage. For the latest and greatest in garage trends, read on.

Access 
Millennials use their phones for more than just communicating. They use them to buy coffee and to book exercise classes, as well as to pay friends and family. Access to the garage should be no different, and with the availability of...

Understanding Investment Properties: What You Should Know

Unlike a second home, where a homeowner lives for a portion of the year, an investment property is property that the homeowner uses to generate income, and in most cases, is not occupied by the homeowner at any time. Trying to figure out if your next home falls under second home or investment home status? Ask yourself: are you using it to make a profit? If the answer is yes, it’s an investment property.

A few examples of investment property include:

  • A condo at the beach that you rent out to vacationers
  • A house that you rent to long-term tenants
  • A home you purchased to “flip” (buy and resell in a short period of time)

Financing

If you need to finance your investment home, expect higher...

How to Update Your Kitchen on a Small Budget

Kitchens are one of the most well-used and dynamic spaces in a house. Whether you have a small condo kitchen or a home with a spacious eat-in, it’s likely to have been the heart of your house, and potential buyers will be picturing it that way for their own needs too.

This is why it’s a great place to focus on if you want to do some basic upgrades to prep your home before selling. The kitchen can really make or break a purchase decision. With that in mind, here’s what to focus on if you have a small renovation or upgrade budget:

Cabinet Doors
Unless your cabinets are in terrible shape through and through, it’s often enough to just swap out or enhance the doors themselves. A quick coat of paint can hide wear or give your kitchen an entirely new mood. Even replacing the doors entirely...