If you plan on moving to New Jersey, or buying a home for the first time, there are nuances within the buying system you should be aware of. Much of the laws created were implemented in order to protect the buyer during the process.
Here are some tips on getting through the home buying process without missing any big laws, and making sure you have the most protection as a buyer.
Decide on which area
New Jersey might be a small state, but there are several areas to choose from, all with completely different features. The shoreline has boardwalk and casino options, or quiet family town feels. Central Jersey is more industrial, while South Jersey has more farms and suburban areas. Then North Jersey has more expensive areas and a love of New York City. Depending on your interests and if you have a family, each area has a different set of options to offer.
Research each area and see the costs, type of area, and how safe it is before setting your eyes on any town. In Camden County, there’s Cherry Hill, which is an upper-middle class town with great shops and huge stores, along with the first mall in America. In that same county is Camden city, one of the most dangerous towns in America. The few miles distance makes a huge change, so make sure to look into the town first.
Know Required Disclosures
In New Jersey, law requires sellers to disclose certain information when trying to sell a home. This can include a consumer statement, natural hazard risks, land condition, known defects and more. These requirements are meant to protect the buyer. It’s easy to try to hide different conditions and claim a property is in better condition than it really is. This law gives the buyer protection and a leg to stand on if they have to go after the seller down the line.
Review Credit History
Before looking at any homes for sale in NJ, make sure you have good enough credit to get a loan. There are a lot of things that can creep up and ruin your credit when you’re not looking. This can range from medical bills to student loans and other things you had no idea about.
In that same vein, getting pre-approved for a loan will save a lot of time in the end. The process of looking at a house, putting in an offer, negotiating price with the current owners, drawing up contracts, and so on takes a long enough time. Making sure your credit is in order and you can get the loan is good to have lined up ahead of time, and will also save you paperwork during the stressful time of trying to close a deal.
Finding a Home Inspector
Before closing on a home anywhere, an independent home inspector must look at the property to make sure there aren’t any defects. This isn’t a code inspection or appraisal, but not getting one will leave you unable to take legal action later against the seller, if any problems arise.
An inspection should check for termites and other pests, Radon, moisture intrusion, gas leaks, electrical issues, structural problems, and so on. In New Jersey, there are state licensing requirements for residential home inspectors. To find a home inspector, go through the American Society of Home Inspectors.
By Lauren Wainwright, a south Jersey native and blogger with a love of different areas and localities. Follow her on Twitter!