It's interesting to look back at what was happening a year ago in the North Jersey real estate market and compare it to this year. Looking at the first three quarters of the year, there's been quite a change!
I looked at single family homes that sold from January 1, 1012 through September 30, 2012, as reported in the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service, and compared the numbers to the same period for this year.
For the 13 towns of Northwest Bergen County* last year (2012) saw 1165 homes sold at an average sold price of $701,621. In 2013, those numbers rose to 1309 properties sold at an average price of $773,005. What a difference a year makes!
From everything I've read and real estate seminars I've attended, all indications are that the market will continue to improve. Some estimates say that home prices will continue to rise 5-6% in 2014. While the government shut down may have caused a minor bump in that road to recovery, it's expected that prices and mortgage rates will continue to rise over the next year.
*Allendale, Franklin Lakes, Glen Rock, HoHoKus, Mahwah, Midland Park, Oakland, Ramsey, Ridgewood, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River, Waldwick and Wyckoff.
On a beautiful autumn day like today, there are so many fun things to do for all ages in and around North Jersey!
Here's a sampling for Sunday, October 13, 2013:
The homebuying process can be exciting, but also stressful. When there are a large number of buyers in the market for real estate, the odds of being able to purchase your desired home can be low. However, getting a mortgage preapproval prior to home shopping can dramatically increase the odds of success.
Make Mortgage Preapproval Your First Step
A mortgage preapproval should be a homebuyer's first step when purchasing a home. A borrower can choose to meet with a lender or get an initial preapproval over the phone. The preapproval process is similar to the actual mortgage process and will, in fact, eliminate a lot of time after a home has been chosen.
When obtaining a mortgage preapproval, the borrower will complete a mortgage application and submit the necessary documentation to the lender. The lender will pull a credit report and examine the borrower's credit.
Based on all of this information, the lender will determine the amount of funds that the borrower qualifies for. The borrower will receive a preapproval, which states the amount of funds that the lender agrees to lend provided that certain conditions are met. While a preapproval is an important first step, it is not the final mortgage approval.
Impress Homesellers With Your Mortgage Preapproval
One of the advantages of having a preapproval is that this letter can be shown to real estate agents and sellers when looking for a home. By doing so, both the agent and the seller know that the borrower can qualify for a certain amount of funds. It is proof of the borrower's financial standing and ability to proceed with the home purchase.
Another advantage is that some of the work that is involved in obtaining a mortgage is already done. The lender has already examined the borrower's financial situation, including credit, income and assets. During the preapproval process, the lender will also discuss the most appropriate type of mortgage program that fits the borrower's needs, whether it is a conventional loan or a government loan.
This is significant because not all sellers will accept a buyer who is using a government loan. Knowing the details of what type of loan is appropriate for the borrower, the agent can then show them homes that will fit their preapproval both for cost and type of funding.
How Mortgage Preapproval is Determined
The preapproval is determined by putting the information given to the lender through automated underwriting. In most cases, the preliminary loan file goes through a preprocessing before the preapproval is given to the borrower. Since there is an actual examination of the borrower's documentation, the borrower will also receive a list of additional information that may be needed. The borrower can then submit this information while shopping for a home.
Once a home is found and the sales contract is signed, processing the loan is faster since most of the work for the credit file has been done. The final process involves income and identity verifications, ordering and receiving the appraisal, ordering title documents, obtaining insurance, etc. The final underwriting is the last step before the loan file is sent for closing.
The preapproval process is an important part of a home purchase. Since there is a lot of information involved in obtaining a mortgage, it eliminates many last minute problems that can arise. Obtaining a mortgage preapproval helps the home purchase process go smoothly.