The Best Time of Year to Buy a Home

forsale signs

If you’re considering making a home purchase in the near future, you’ve probably tried to determine the best time of year to buy. Here in the Northeast U.S., it’s very common to see a surge in home purchases just as the temperatures start to climb upward again after a long winter. Typically, the months between April and July are when the most home sales take place. This statistic is generally thought to be due to the fact that late spring and summer are vacation months for many homeowners, so they have more time to dedicate to listing their home on the market. Conveniently, this also means that buyers have more time to visit potential new homes that they’d like to purchase.

Another factor that makes summer an especially busy time for realtors is that most parents would prefer not to disrupt their child’s school year. Even families who move within the same school district are pretty reluctant to dedicate the time required for moving when school is still in session and the weather is usually just too cold.

Starting around April, home buyers are presented with a surplus of new homes on the market, which may allow you to find the house of your dreams. It may mean that you’ll be looking at higher asking prices, though. Because so many buyers are on the lookout for a similar combination of amenities, upgrades, and square footage, sellers tend to stay firm on their asking price. If the demand is particularly high, bidding wars may even shoot the final price of the home above the asking price.

With the information that April-July are when home sales start to pick up, now is a great time to start looking. As it is just before that sweet spot for sellers and many of them have just listed their homes, you’ll have a better chance at snagging the perfect abode before prices skyrocket. You’ll have less competition, and because of that, you may even get a better deal on a mortgage. Lenders are often willing to waive some of their fees if it means winning you as a customer.

Of course, the very best time to buy a home is when it’s best for you, with all factors considered, like your job status, how much you have in savings, interest rates, cost of living, and marriage or divorce. As it’s a momentous life event, buying a home is a transaction that must be taken very seriously. There are many steps involved, along with plenty of paperwork that can cause buyers to become overwhelmed or anxious. Going it alone can be nail-biting, wondering if you’ve missed any important details.

At Veitengruber Law, we see our clients through the home buying process all the way from making an offer to the closing. We have the experience to be able to help you navigate all stages of your experience so that your fears and concerns are quelled, and you can enjoy buying a new home. By assisting you in the negotiation process, reviewing or drawing up the contract, performing the title search, obtaining land use or zoning permits, and attending the closing, we’ll be there to meet all of your real estate needs.

Photo courtesy of Images_of_Money

Keep the Keys to Your Home with NJ HomeKeeper

keysPhoto courtesy of Keith Williamson

Every day, Veitengruber Law meets with clients who are struggling to make ends meet. If you’re finding yourself in over your head, or if you’re managing to barely tread water, we’ve got some ideas that may be just what you need.

Most people who are struggling financially name their rent or mortgage payment as their most cumbersome bill. Homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments all the time, especially in recent years, as the job market has been unpredictable.

If you are struggling to keep the keys to your beloved residence and honestly don’t know where to turn, we want to talk to you about the New Jersey HomeKeeper Program. This amazing organization receives its funding through a federal grant from the U.S. Treasury’s ‘Hardest Hit’ Fund, which has been helping those states that have the highest unemployment rates. If you’re in danger of losing your New Jersey home to foreclosure because you can’t make the payments, this program may be for you.

The HomeKeeper Program requires that your home is located in New Jersey, and that you have become unemployed or underemployed (have had an income loss of 15% or more) in the past three years through no fault or personal decision of your own. The home you’re struggling to keep must be your primary residence, and must also be the only residential real estate that you currently own.

You must also not owe over $429,619 when it comes to mortgage debt (for a one unit property). If you’ve got next to nothing in your savings account (not including investments for retirement and/or education of a dependent), and your lender participates in the New Jersey HomeKeeper program, Veitengruber Law can assist you in applying for help.

Of course, you may be wondering just how much help you’ll be entitled to if you qualify. We’re excited to tell you that the HomeKeeper organization can offer you up to $48,000 in forgivable mortgage assistance! The money can be applied to your current mortgage payments and/or arrearages (late payments), and includes payment of your principal, interest, and property taxes.

Don’t worry if you haven’t yet fallen behind on your payments; you will still be eligible if you are likely to fall behind very soon. We applaud your ability to stay current as long as you have, but again, being unemployed or underemployed will sooner or later prevent you from making those payments. Luckily, you have a good, solid solution right at your fingertips.

Call our office today so we can run through the basics of the New Jersey HomeKeeper Program to see if you qualify. Self-employed individuals are encouraged to give us a call as well. We may need to acquire some additional information from you, but you are eligible for the program.

Don’t let the keys to your home slip through your fingers. Take action now, and let us help you explore all options that will help you stay rooted firmly in your beloved State of New Jersey.

Veitengruber Law and the Mortgage Broker: How We Can Help You

Last week in our “Veitengruber Law and the Professional” series, we discussed the ways in which bankruptcy attorneys and divorce lawyers can team up to help clients more effectively.  This week, we take a look at the mortgage broker or banker who is faced with a difficult scenario: a potentially qualified borrower…..with credit issues. Many times, you are forced to deal with rejections of potential borrowers by your underwriting department, based solely on some past credit issues that may be showing up on the borrower’s credit report at the time of application.  This can be very frustrating if the borrower meets all other qualifications easily, has the money ready for closing, and seems like a shoe-in for a loan.

Mortgage brokers sometimes get a bad reputation, but we know that most of you really do want to help the qualified borrowers that you come into contact with. You come face to face with their struggle to get a loan or to hold on to their house after a divorce, and you know that they qualify in every way for a loan other than a marred credit rating. This may have been caused by mistakes in the past, a difficult divorce, a previous job loss that was out of their hands, starting their own business, or something else that has now receded into the past and is no longer relevant.

By all appearances, this client presents a great opportunity for you to earn a great commission and also help a qualified applicant who is in need of a loan. When you pull their credit report and find that their credit history is “less than ideal”, this will no doubt put a damper on your initial enthusiasm.  But have no fear – Veitengruber Law can help you in this type of situation! We specialize in credit repair and can take that client’s credit history, get it back on track, and send him/her back to you with a better credit report, a higher credit score and a better chance at that loan.  It should only take us several months to get your potential borrower up to snuff because we have the means and the experience to legitimately and lawfully raise your client’s credit score by 100 points or more in a relatively short period of time.  We can easily get them into the range of what is considered acceptable by your underwriting team.

Having us on call when you are faced with clients who need some credit help before being approved for a loan will benefit you in several ways.  First, you will have the peace of mind of having Veitengruber Law to turn to when you need quick results for an otherwise totally viable loan applicant. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have a solution to offer to your potential borrowers who are quite upset at the notion of being rejected for a loan. Helping people in their time of need is an incredible feeling, and having a partnership with us will make helping them that much easier.  Not to mention, you will not lose the potential commission due to a numbers game, which means that everybody wins.

Image Credit: Philip Taylor