If real estate is a gamble, then Long Beach Island, NJ real estate is a sure bet. Owning a home in LBI is a rare privilege few buyers enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a primary home, a summer getaway, or a property investment, this guide will help you get ready for the buying process.
How will you finance the purchase? Most homebuyers apply for home loans or re-finance existing ones. 2020 is a good time to do either one of these, with 30-year mortgage rates falling to a record-breaking low of just 3.35% in February of this year, a sharp drop from 4.41% in 2019. The same goes for 15-year mortgage rates, which have decreased to 2.97%.
When it comes to luxury real estate, jumbo mortgages allow buyers to finance their purchase. Jumbo mortgages exceed conforming loan limits set by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The amount for a jumbo loan varies by state or city.
For example, conventional loan limits are currently at $510,400 in most real estate markets and can go up to $765,600 in high-cost markets. In Ocean County, the conforming loan limit for a single-family home is $765,600. The amount for jumbo loans exceeds those numbers.
When taking out a jumbo loan, you’re looking at a down payment of 25% to 30% of the asking price instead of the usual 20% for a conventional loan. Mortgage rates for jumbo loans are comparable with, or sometimes lower than, rates for conventional loans.
Regardless of the type of loan you’ll be applying for, gathering all the necessary documents early can save you time. Important documents include:
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
- Investment accounts
Needless to say, take care of your finances during this time and be prepared to demonstrate your financial preparedness.
Finding an agent
When it comes to high profile real estate transactions in LBI, getting proper representation is crucial. A real estate agent will offer advice and insight into the buying process. They can also give you access to exclusive and off-market listings through their database and professional network.
Those who have been serving the area for years can also introduce you to the community and provide information on the best schools, shops, restaurants, and membership only clubs in LBI.
As your real estate partner, your agent will protect your interests and make sure you get the best deal possible.
Craig Stefanoni is a local expert. Let him be your guide as you explore the LBI real estate market.
Finding a home
Here comes the fun part – looking at all these gorgeous Long Beach Island homes for sale. From Craftsman-style homes in quiet cul-de-sacs to oceanfront estates with spacious viewing decks and stunning views of the water, LBI truly has it all.
But with so many desirable homes in one area, it can be hard to choose just one. Narrow down the search by creating a list of must-haves and non-negotiables. From there, your agent will present you with listings that match your criteria. You can also explore the MLS to find your dream home.
Once you’ve found several listings that you’d consider purchasing, your agent will set a schedule for home viewings.
Making an offer
As a general rule, your first offer should ideally be your strongest offer. This doesn’t necessarily mean making the highest offer, though it certainly helps.
Crafting a strong offer means having a good understanding of the seller’s motivations, such as a divorce, work promotion, or a death in the family. It’s also about communicating what you can do to speed up the sale, such as waiving certain contingencies or being pre-approved for a loan.
Work with your agent to create an offer that no seller can refuse.
Negotiating with the seller
Once you make an offer, the seller can either accept it or counter it. Get ready to go back and forth until you come to an agreement. Likewise, you should know when to walk away from the deal.
Your agent will protect your interests during negotiations. While it makes sense to want to get a great bargain, you must keep your demands reasonable if you want to sale to go through.
Closing the sale
If you come to terms with the seller, you will enter escrow and entrust your deposit money with a third party until all the terms and conditions of the purchase contract are met. You will be able to do a final walkthrough of the property to ensure that it is in the same condition as when you first made an offer.
If everything goes according to plan, you will soon receive the keys to your new home.
Are you ready to find the perfect home in Long Beach Island? Craig and Sharon Stefanoni of Berkshire Hathaway Zack Shore Realtors are at your service. Get in touch with them here. You can also reach the team at 609.432.1104