3 Things You Should Know Before Buying A Home As A First Time Home Buyer

Before you buy a home read this article!

First Time Home Buyer

As a real estate agent I’ve helped dozens of first time home buyers over the years and I’ve learned there are 3 things you should know before buying a home as a first time home buyer.  Now the first one may be a surprising and the second two may be obvious.  So lets dig in to these three items now.

3 Things you Need to Know as a First Time Home Buyer

1. It’s Okay Not To Buy A House

Many first time home buyers feel like they have to buy a house!  We just got married – have to buy a house. I just graduated college… time to buy a house.  I’m 38 years old and live in my parents basement… you really should buy a house then!

First Time Home BuyerSo here is my point.  Just because you are at a certain stage in life does not mean you should buy a house.  One of the big problems I see is people want to buy a house who really can’t afford it.  Maybe they’ve just graduated college but have a huge amount of debt or student loans.  It may be best to pay off the debt first and then save money for down payment before purchasing.  Also it’s not wise to buy a home unless you see yourself living there for at least 5 years.  Renting is a great option if you’re not ready to buy.  Don’t listen to everyone who says you have to buy a house.

2. Know Your Mortgage Options

The biggest step as a first time home buyer is to qualify for a mortgage, what loan program to use and how much you can afford.  The mortgage company will look at credit scores, debt and income to determine if you qualify for a mortgage.  You’ll also want to determine what mortgage program is right for you.  I always recommend a conventional loan at 20% down payment to avoid paying a mortgage insurance premium every month.  There are other programs with zero down like a USDA or VA loan, and low down payment options like 3.5% down with FHA.  It’s important to select a local mortgage company and loan officer who knows the area and all available loan options including any local grants and programs for first time home buyers.

3.  Select The Right Real Estate Agent

Everyone knows someone in real estate, right?  Selecting the right real estate agent is the next biggest step as a first time home buyer.  Selecting an agent because they are a friend or friend of the family can be a disaster.  When interviewing or researching an agent here are a few great questions to ask:

  •  How long have you been in the real estate business?
  • How many people do you help per year?
  • Are you a full time agent?

These are simple questions and important ones.  When you are making one of the biggest financial decisions of your life do you want someone helping you who is inexperienced, unresponsive and not organized?

Hopefully my 3 things you should know before buying a home as a first time home buyer helped you out as you start to look for your first home. Of course if you need a great mortgage consultant and real estate agent we are here to help.  Contact me for a free consultation.

Best wishes,

Matt

You can see a success story of one of my first time home buyers here.

When A Bad Thing Becomes A Good Thing, Short Sale in Egg Harbor Township NJ

Choosing a short sale when facing foreclosure can make the best of a bad situation.

A few months ago I got a call from Susan.  She got my name online as a short sale expert and called me desiring to sell her home in a short sale in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.  She was behind in her payments and did not want to keep the home because she was relocating.  I listed the home for sale and found a great buyer looking to purchase the home for his children.

Short Sale in Egg Harbor Township, NJ

Short Sale in Egg Harbor Township, NJ

These happy home buyers purchased a short sale foreclosure property through me.

We received short sale approval and were able to sell the house so Susan could avoid foreclosure.  We were also able to get her a relocation incentive of $3,000.  The new buyers were able to get a great deal and are happy with their new home.  If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure or considering a short sale in Egg Harbor Township, NJ or anywhere else, please call me at 609-338-3773 or visit my foreclosure help center.  Best wishes, Matt

  • For privacy seller’s name has been changed in this post.

If you would like more information on short sales or forclosures please use the form below and contact me. I will get back to you ASAP!

New Listing: 2403 Lahn Lane, Mays Landing, NJ 08330

4 bed, 2.5 bath, executive home for sale on an acre in fantastic Hamilton Walk.

I just listed a lovely home for sale.  It’s located at 2403 Lahn Lane, Mays Landing, NJ 08330.  The home is located in the fantastic executive Hamilton Walk community.  It features a 1 acre private lot yet close to major roadways and shopping. The neighborhood is just down the street from the Atlantic City International Airport, FAA Technical Center, Air National Guard and Coast Guard.  It’s also a short drive to Atlantic City and less than a mile to the Expressway East and West ramp toward Philadelphia.

The home features a great layout with Game room/family room, office, dining room and great room with updated eat in kitchen and family room. Newer stainless steel appliance, granite countertops in the kitchen and laminate wood floors throughout first floor. Bonus room on the 1st floor currently used as 4th bedroom. Master suite has his and hers closets and large master bath. Large outdoor deck with built in bench seating. Fantastic back yard. This home and grounds are beautifully maintained.  The list price is $268,000.  Contact me for details or to schedule a showing.

$50,000 Help For NJ Home Owners Facing Foreclosure

New Jersey HomeSaver offers eligible homeowners up to $50,000 in financial assistance to help bring their household monthly payment to an affordable level

Did you know that the NJ Hardest Hit Fund has funds available to help home owners facing foreclosure?

HHF logos

New Jersey HomeSaver program offers eligible homeowners up to $50,000 in financial assistance to help bring their household monthly payment to an affordable level by using HHF funds to facilitate a refinance, recast, or permanent modification of the first mortgage loan.

Visit our NJ HomeSaver page for details and eligibility requirements:  http://sjhouses.com/new-jersey-home-saver-program.

Matt

May 2018 Atlantic County Announces First Time Home Buyer Grant Money Now Available – $10,000

It's back! $10,000 available for Atlantic County, NJ First Time Home Buyers

Good news!  As of today the Atlantic County, NJ grant program is now funded with grants available of up to $10,000 for first time home buyers!  All funds are forgiven after 5 years.  This programs does not work for everyone so I’ve outlined the key requirements below.  If you don’t think you’ll qualify for this program the state grant program is also giving $10,000 grants and it’s easier to qualify.  Click here for details on the state grant.  You will need to be pre-qualified by an a approved mortgage company.  My preferred lenders are on stand by to help qualify potential first time home buyers asap and get them qualified to receive the grant money.  Complete the form below and we’ll reach out to see if you qualify.

Atlantic County, NJ First Time Home Buyer Grant Money Is Now Available

Eligible Applicants:

     HOUSEHOLDS

  1. Who have resided in Atlantic County for the last 12 months or are employed in Atlantic County.
  2. Who have not owned a home for the last  three years.
  3. With acceptable credit history and the ability to obtain an approved mortgage.
  4. With incomes below 80% of Median income:

These income levels are (2015):

                                                           # of Household  Members 80% of Median Income
1 Person. $37,600
2 Persons $43,000
3 Persons $48,350
4 Persons $53,700
5 Persons $58,000
6 Persons $62,300
7 Persons $66,600
8 Persons $70,900

If you or someone you know may be eligible to qualify for this grant please call me for more details at 609-338-3773.  Time is limited and funds are usually gone in a few months so please call me now.  Matt

$10,000 Grant Money For First Time Home Buyers Is Back!

NJ home buyers in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Passaic and Union may be eligible for $10,000 grant.

It’s back!  The HomeSeeker Downpayment assistance program has funds available now to issue $10,000 grants to first time home buyers.  These grants are only for the following counties:  Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Passaic and Union.

HomeSeeker loans are only available to eligible homebuyers who obtain first mortgage financing through the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s (NJHMFA) Homeward Bound mortgage program.  The $10,000 is forgivable after 5 years of owning the home.  The home must be a primary residence.

If you would like to know if you qualify for the HomeSeeker grant I’ve arranged a free mortgage consultation with my preferred lender approved by the NJHMFA to fund the HomeSeeker loans.  Contact me below for a free consultation.  There are limited funds available on a first come first serve basis.  Contact me now to see if you qualify.

When Should I Sell My House?

Why wait until the Spring? There is less competition right now!

Many people always think of the Spring as the best time to sell and buy a home.  That typically is when we have the most activity in our market however that doesn’t mean it’s always the best time to sell.  Right now we are on the tail end of winter.  We have some cold nights and the occasional snow storm and overall the weather is not bad.  Buyers are out now shopping for homes.  Listing and selling your home now means that your home will competing agains fewer homes for sale.  Fewer homes for sale means you may be able to get a better price for your home.

March 2, 2018 Winter storm. Ocean City, NJ

Some of our communities are experiencing an all time low in inventory of homes available.  The answer to the questions of when should I sell my house is it depends.  It depends on your circumstances, your plans, your neighborhood and your house.  There are many factors to consider and I’m here to help you.  Contact me for a free consultation to determine when the best time to sell would be for you.

Best wishes, Matt

Thank You For Helping Me Earn The NJ Circle Of Excellence Silver Level In 2017

I want to say thank you for my friends, family past clients and all the wonderful people I was able to help in 2017.  I was able to achieve the NJ Circle Of Excellence Award Silver level.  My business is almost 100% referral based so I want to thank all of the people who felt comfortable and confident referring me to the people that they care about.  Thank you and I look forward to another fantastic year in 2018!  Matthew Haviland

The Haviland Group Welcomes Our Newest Real Estate Partner James Schroeder Esq.

Photo of Agents by Macpherson Photography

Matthew Haviland, Jim Schroeder, Richard Haviland, Linda Haviland: The Haviland Group

We are pleased to welcome a new partner agent to The Haviland Group.  Jim Schroeder has been a long time friend of the Haviland family and personal legal advisor to our family and many of our past clients.  Jim is a licensed real estate agent and attorney.  This allows him to use his incredible legal knowledge to help our clients in their real estate needs.

Jim is the owner of the Schroeder Law Group, a law firm with offices in Hammonton and Egg Harbor City, New Jersey. Jim devotes a significant portion of his practice to real estate issues, especially counseling those in distressed situations and helping real estate investors get started. He serves as attorney for the Land Use Boards in Hammonton, Galloway and Estell Manor. Most importantly Jim is an all-around great guy, and a man who values family and faith. Jim is involved in many local charities and organizations helping them improve our communities. We welcome Jim to our real estate team at the Haviland Group.

Can A House Be Sold While In Foreclosure Without Going To Short Sale?

Your house can be sold while in foreclosure without going to sheriff sale.

Recently past client’s of mine came in to my office.  They received notification from their bank that the home was sold and they need to get out of the house.  They had been behind on their mortgage payments and had attempted to work out a modification but it was not successful.  Their house was located in Atlantic County in southern NJ.

Normally, in our county the foreclosures run through the sheriff’s office and usually the owner of the house is notified of the sale and can even postpone the sale for at least a month.  However in this case the house was sold to an investor and the deed was recorded with the county clerks office.  I advised that my client’s seek legal advice since there was little I could do to help at this point.

If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure contact me immediately.  I’m here to help home owners keep their home when possible or avoid foreclosure through a short sale.  Contact me for a private complementary consultation.

Matt

P.S.  If you or someone you know is facing the stress of foreclosure and not knowing if you will still have a roof over your head contact me for help and options.