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When Should You Refinance Your Home?

When should you refinance your home? When it makes financial sense, of course! But with so many options out there, it can be hard to know which route to take. This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of home refinancing so that you can determine whether it's right for you at this time in your life or not.

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance?
Refinancing your home can seem like an attractive option when you're looking to reduce your monthly mortgage payments or perhaps even pay off your home early. A better question to ask may be when is a good time to refinance my home, as it depends on several factors. If you are underwater on your mortgage (owe more than your home is worth), then now may not be an excellent time to refinance. Unless you can come up with more money (either through savings or equity), then you won't save money over refinancing at a later date. Some homeowners find that there aren't many savings after taxes and closing costs have been factored in, even if you have equity in your home. Before deciding whether or not it is an excellent time to refinance, consider each of these factors whether you should refinance your home.

Understanding Interest Rates
Lending conditions have been, to put it mildly, rather lax in recent years. If you're considering refinancing your home—or you've already made up your mind to do so—there are a few key factors that you should take into account to decide if now is an excellent time to refinance. For example, low-interest rates mean that mortgage rates are cheaper than five or ten years ago; however, high home prices and tighter lending standards may make it more difficult for some people to qualify for a new loan. Plus, refinancing can still carry costs and risks even with interest rates lower than usual and home prices on an upward trajectory (at least for now).

Is It Time To Sell? Try Our Free Home Value Estimator Tool

What Happens When There Are Multiple Offers in Real Estate?

In markets with high demand for real estate properties due to low inventories, such as New Jersey, receiving multiple offers on a property is commonplace. Such scenarios are caused by the number of prospective buyers exceeding the number of properties available on the market.

Multiple offers will leave a potential buyer with the challenging issue of competing with other parties. Some may even question whether it is worth the effort competing with other prospective buyers. You have to go toe-to-toe with others who are just as qualified and determined as you to close a deal on the property you liked.

For the seller, multiple offers are a welcome headache, the problem of every seller’s dreams. Multiple offers will initiate bidding wars on the property, which only increases a seller’s chances of making good profits from the sale. It gives the seller the flexibility to go through all the offers and pick the best deal.

When a seller receives multiple offers for a property, they can take any of the following actions:

  • Accepting the offer that they find to be most favorable to them
  • Counter all the offers received, allowing the buyers to prepare and table an improved offer with better terms and prices than their last one.
  • Counter only the offer that came closest to the terms and price that the seller wants.

Here are some factors to take into consideration as a seller while dealing with multiple offers on your home sale:

  1. Take into consideration the real value of the property.
  2. The highest offer may not be the best offer. Review the terms and conditions of each offer.
  3. A cash purchase will always be a lot smoother than a loan purchase.
  4. Have to fall back contingency plans in place.
  5. Review the closing period, prioritize the buyer with the best offer within the shortest time.
  6. Take a look at the extras in each offer.
  7. Consider revealing the offers you’ve received.
  8. Do not be too greedy.

Home Buying In New York

Buying Process in New York

Acknowledge that you're ready to buy a home. In this post, we will discuss where and how to start.

1. Pre-Approval Process

It is time to figure out how much house you can afford and your monthly budget. It is time to contact a lender. A lender will ask you for the following:

  • 30 - 60 days of bank statements with all pages included (inclusive of blank and non-informative pages)
  • Tax Returns, typically two years
  • 4 to 8 weeks of pay stubs for proof of income
  • Statements showing assets such as stock portfolio, retirement investments (401k plan, IRA)

These documents, along with your credit score, down payment, and income, will help a bank determine how much house you can truly afford.

2. Find A Knowledgeable & Reliable Realtor

Public house hunting websites' information is not 100% accurate. REALTORS get up to date listings from the MLS databases for a more accurate availability of houses.
Once you have found your REALTOR, you will also be required to sign the New York State Disclosure Agreement. This document is NOT A CONTRACT. It is a state-required document that identifies the party that your REALTOR is working for; buyers' agent, sellers' agent, or dual disclosed agent.

3. Visit Properties of Interest

So now, you're pre-approved, you have picked out your REALTOR, and you're off to the races!

Important Tip: always see a property in person to get a sense of the property and potential remodel capabilities.

4. Submit an Offer on a Desired Property

Your REALTOR will submit a document called A BINDER. This document means that you accept the offer and a meeting of the minds between both parties. This document will have your name(s), address where you currently live, contact number & email, as well as the offer price, total down payment monies, estimated closing date, and terms of the purchase. You will sign it as well as your REALTOR. It will then get scanned and emailed along with your PRE-APPROVAL, NYS Disclosure Statement, Proof of Funds (POF...This is a must).

5. Schedule An Inspection

This is an essential part of the process. A Licensed Inspector or Engineer needs to test appliances & utility systems. An Inspector needs to examine electrical receptacles, electrical panels, light switches, light fixtures to ensure that they're all in working order. An Inspector needs to inspect the pool, read the siding or roof, and review the land's grade surrounding the property. An Inspector may even be required to check for Lead Paint, Asbestos, Mold, or Foundation Issues.

They come to your purchase property, take photos, take notes, test the functionality of things and compile a report for you, your agent, and the attorney to review. This report is forwarded to the other side for review. If repairs or alterations are needed, this is the time for the buying party to speak up. Assuming that everything can be agreed upon, this leads us to the next step.

6. Signing Contracts

Once the inspection outcome is settled, you will be called into your attorney's office to sign a contract. You will hand over a down payment check (earnest money/good faith deposit), which will go into an escrow account (most likely of the seller's attorney), which will be used towards the property's purchase price. These documents then get sent over to the selling side. The seller receives called into their attorney's office, they sign the contracts, and voila, officially under contract!

7. Behind the Scenes During the Process

So you're under contract, fantastic! There are still tasks left to do. As a REALTOR, our job is to monitor the final steps in the transaction.

8. Appraisal

An appraisal is ordered by your lender, coordinated by your REALTOR & the seller's REALTOR. The appraiser reviews the property for size, space, location, and quality. They then compare properties to ensure that what you're spending is sensible.

9. Loan Committment

Once your property APPRAISES, and all is well, your lender will issue a COMMITMENT lender committing to loaning your money.

10. Title

The Title is essential as your attorney will coordinate a title search to ensure that the property you're buying has been transferred legally from party to party since the beginning of time.

11. Homeowner's Insurance

Homeowners Insurance: Before closing, you must PAY for a full INSURANCE year. You will provide this receipt to your lender as evidence.

12. Final Walk-Through & Closing Date

Once all of the above is complete, and both parties are ready to move forward and close, the attorneys will coordinate a closing date. Before the closing date (usually 24 hours before or the day of), you will visit the property to ensure that all appliances are still present, the house is not damaged, and that the sellers have begun packing their belongings.

Get Your Key, Take Possession & Celebrate!

Home Buying In New Jersey

Buying Process in New Jersey

Acknowledge that you're ready to buy a home. In this post, we will discuss where and how to start.

1. Pre-Approval Process

It is time to figure out how much house you can afford and what monthly payment you’re comfortable with. It is time to contact a lender. A lender will ask you for the following:

  • 30 - 60 days of bank statements with all pages included (including blank and non-informative pages).
  • Tax Returns...Usually two years.
    4 to 8 weeks of pay stubs for proof of income.
  • Statements showing assets such as stock portfolio, retirement investments (401k plan, IRA).

These documents, along with your credit score, down payment monies, and income, will help a bank determine how much house you can truly afford.

2. Find A Knowledgeable & Reliable Realtor

Public house hunting websites' information is not 100% accurate. REALTORS get up to date listings from the MLS databases for a more accurate availability of houses. A realtor working as a Buyer’s Agent will help work for your best interest in negotiating the price as best as the market allows them to, research similar processes to help compare prices of recently sold properties (AKA COMPS), confirm data on the property, and provide up-to-date tax information. You will also be required to sign the CONSUMER INFORMATION STATEMENT. This document is NOT A CONTRACT. It is a state-required document that identifies the REALTOR party you’re working with treats as a fiduciary. You will also be required to sign the Attorney General’s Memorandum regarding discrimination.

3. Visit Properties of Interest

So now, you're pre-approved, you have picked out your REALTOR, and you're off to the races!

Important Tip: always see a property in person to get a sense of the property and potential remodel capabilities.

4. Submit an Offer on a Desired Property

New Jersey REALTORS are permitted and required to submit a 13 Page Contract to purchase. This document means that you accept the offer and meet both parties' minds. Once signed by both parties, this contract is a VALID and ENFORCEABLE contract. This document will have your name(s), address where you currently live, contact number & email, as well as the offer price, total down payment monies, estimated closing date, and terms of the purchase. You will sign it as well as your REALTOR. It will then get scanned and emailed along with your PRE-APPROVAL, Consumer Information Statement (CIS), Attorney General’s Memorandum (AGM), Proof of Funds (POF...This is a must).

5. Attorney Review

In the State of New Jersey, you have the option of retaining an attorney. It would be pennywise, dollar foolish to skip this part as a REALTOR is most likely, not legal counsel. While an NJ Real Estate contract is a valid contract, you have the right to identify and contact an attorney of your choice to “REVIEW” the agreement. Attorney review is usually 3 to 5 business days. Sometimes it is longer, and sometimes it is shorter. During this process, the attorneys will hash out the terms, estimated closing date, and purchase terms. Once attorney review is completed, you’re officially under contract.

6. Schedule An Inspection

This is an essential part of the process. A Licensed Inspector or Engineer needs to test appliances & utility systems. An Inspector needs to examine electrical receptacles, electrical panels, light switches, light fixtures to ensure that they're all in working order. An Inspector needs to inspect the pool, read the siding or roof, and review the land's grade surrounding the property. An Inspector may even be required to check for Lead Paint, Asbestos, Mold, or Foundation Issues.

They come to your purchase property, take photos, take notes, test the functionality of things and compile a report for you, your agent, and the attorney to review. This report is forwarded to the other side for review. If repairs or alterations are needed, this is the time for the buying party to speak up. Assuming that everything can be agreed upon, this leads us to the next step.

7. Behind the Scenes During the Process

So you're under contract, fantastic! There are still tasks left to do. As a REALTOR, our job is to monitor the final steps in the transaction.

8. Appraisal

An appraisal is ordered by your lender, coordinated by your REALTOR & the seller's REALTOR. The appraiser reviews the property for size, space, location, and quality. They then compare properties to ensure that what you're spending is sensible.

9. Loan Committment

Once your property APPRAISES, and all is well, your lender will issue a COMMITMENT lender committing to loaning your money.

10. Title

The Title is essential as your attorney will coordinate a title search to ensure that the property you're buying has been transferred legally from party to party since the beginning of time.

11. Homeowner's Insurance

Homeowners Insurance: Before closing, you must PAY for a full INSURANCE year. You will provide this receipt to your lender as evidence.

12. Final Walk-Through & Closing Date

Once all of the above is complete, and both parties are ready to move forward and close, the attorneys will coordinate a closing date. Before the closing date (usually 24 hours before or the day of), you will visit the property to ensure that all appliances are still present, the house is not damaged, and that the sellers have begun packing their belongings.

Get Your Key, Take Possession & Celebrate!

New Dorp, Staten Island Neighborhood 10306

New Dorp is a large neighborhood located on the East Shore in Staten Island Expressway.  As per WIKIPEDIA ™, the area was founded in 1671 following the English resurveying the pre-existing Dutch settlement of Oude Dorp (now Old Town) and expanded the lots along the South Shore, which were then settled primarily by Dutch families.  The new lots became known as Nieuwe Dorp (meaning “New Village”) in contrast with Oude Dorp.  It eventually became anglicized as New Dorp.

New Dorp is an area of Staten Island that has undergone lots of change over the years.  Some numerous shops and restaurants have popped up over the years.  Between New Dorp Lane and Hylan Blvd, there is nothing that you cannot find to eat.  One of the most convenient aspects of New Dorp is that the Staten Island Rail Way services it by the MTA.  Miller Field is also in the neighborhood, which used to be the old “Vanderbilt Farm.”

New Dorp is not too far from the local Staten Island Beaches. You have Midland Beach and South Beach that overlook Brooklyn. The boardwalk is approximately 2.5 miles long, which many people frequent to ride bikes, jog, and exercise.