Last Updated on June 5, 2017 by Taylor Welshe
There are plenty of reasons New Jersey residents choose to continue living here, and at the same time, maintain a steady line of new home buyers. There’s the fact that it has relaxing countrysides and quaint villas, it offers diverse outdoor adventures from hunting to camping to hiking, and that it boasts of various thriving industries from pharmaceuticals to banking to telecommunications. Many of its cities are great places to live in, too, including Princeton, Morristown, and Hoboken. (Source: Livability.com)
Those planning to purchase a home here will find that the high employment rate and household income median may outweigh the Garden State’s higher-than-national-average cost of living. (Sperling’s Best Places)
Real estate pricing and value in the state
With a median home value of $302,600, houses in the state cost considerably more, since the countrywide median is $195,300. (Zillow)
However, the individual expenses of a home buyer still depend on the type of house he/she will purchase. For instance, townhomes on average are valued at $103,514.62, while PUD homes at $142,212.59. Condominiums are slightly pricier at $152,975.37. Single-family homes are the most expensive, with a property value average of $194,416.75.
Renting vs. buying
Home ownership is a dream come true for many people, but unfortunately, not everyone can immediately afford it. Because this is one of the biggest expenditures one can ever take on, it’s important to first determine whether a potential buyer really has the financial capability to make the purchase.
The biggest advantage of renting is that it’s a lot cheaper than any expense related with buying. However, becoming a home owner not only provides superior satisfaction, but also a long-term, sound investment. It’s crucial though that home buyers make certain that they can pay off their debts on time.
Choosing between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages
Future housing needs are other critical factors for consideration when planning to buy a home. Knowing what these needs are can help borrowers figure out which mortgage type to choose from: fixed-rate or adjustable-rate. Those who have plans of buying only one home and staying in it for a lifetime (or at least a decade or more) may be better off with a fixed-rate mortgage. On the other hand, those who only plan to stay in the same house short-term may benefit more with an adjustable-rate mortgage.
Credit score rating and mortgages
A borrower’s FICO score also strongly influences an applicant’s mortgage eligibility and interest rate. All lenders follow a credit score rating model that classifies borrowers based on their FICO score. Those with a score of 800 or higher fall under the excellent category, and these people typically get the best possible interest rate. Having a poor score can make it difficult to secure a housing loan, or even if one manages to, he/she can expect higher interest rates.
Down payment 101
Although not all home buyers who will use a financing service have to make a down payment, it pays to have enough money saved up. Typically though, lenders require their clients to put down at least 20% of the house’s selling price. Some loans, like those backed up by the government, may have lower down payment requirements.
In the event that a home buyer qualifies for a mortgage but doesn’t have enough for the required down payment, he/she may have to purchase mortgage insurance.
Refinancing for existing home owners
Like in all other states in the country, home owners in NJ can have their existing mortgages refinanced. However, they should do so only when they have made sure it will help them cut back on their costs. For instance, refinancing is only recommended if a borrower can reduce the interest rate by at least one percent.
New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency
State of New Jersey Recovery and Reinvestment
Hardest Hit New Jersey