Making the decision to purchase a house can be momentous – a life-changing choice that fulfills a large part of the American dream to own property. Of course, this decision is not one that is made easily. Prior to closing on a home, you will need to do your due diligence and make sure that this is truly the property that you and your family will want to spend the next few years, or even decades, living in. Beyond that, you will need to make sure that your finances are in order.
The best thing you can do before buying a house is to speak with a qualified real estate attorney who can help advise you throughout the home buying process. A real estate attorney can answer any questions you might have and ensure that you are adequately informed about how the process works.
Myths About Buying a Home
When it comes to home buying in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, there are a number of myths that can influence the decisions of both homebuyers and home sellers. Here are some of the most common myths about purchasing houses:
1. You should always opt for a 30-year mortgage. A common assumption among people looking to buy a house in NJ or PA is that they should automatically opt for a 30-year mortgage. However, sometimes a 15-year mortgage is preferable because it allows you to pay down your balance more quickly and ultimately results in significantly lower interest payments over the lifetime of the mortgage. Another option is an adjustable-rate mortgage, which could also save you money in the long run.
2. You will need to put down at least 20 percent as a down payment. Although many home purchases require a 20-percent down payment, there are also plenty of home buyers who qualify to put down far less than the standard 20 percent. In some cases, the home purchasers may qualify for down payment assistance via a government-backed loan at just 3.5 percent down.
3. You should always go with the lender who offers the lowest interest rate. While a low interest rate is obviously preferable to a higher interest rate, there are other factors that you should consider when choosing a lender. For instance, is the lending company trustworthy? And have they received favorable reviews from previous customers?
4. You need perfect credit. Although a high credit rating will likely improve your chances of being approved for a home loan with a low interest rate, the reality is that potential homebuyers without perfect credit ratings can still be approved. That’s because there are other factors that affect your ability to secure a home loan, including your savings and other assets.
5. Home inspections aren’t always necessary. Do not make the mistake of skipping this important step in the homebuying process. The principle of caveat emptor applies here, meaning that the buyer is responsible for verifying the quality of the home purchase before signing on the dotted line.
If you are looking to buy a home, or sell a home, in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you should speak with a knowledgeable real estate attorney. Joel R. Spivack, Esq., is an experienced real estate lawyer who can help you with any legal issues that might arise during the home purchasing process. Contact Mr. Spivack anytime to schedule a free consultation.