Real Estate NJ Law/ Buying A Home in New Jersey

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Buying a Home FAQS


Should I sign the broker's contract?
There's no harm in signing. If you sign a broker-prepared buy-sell agreement in New Jersey, your attorney has 3 days in which to review it and then approve, disapprove (cancel), or modify it.

What is the contract of sale?
A contract of sale is an agreement for the purchase and sale of real estate. The contract is usually prepared by your real estate broker and is a standard form contract, which is submitted to your attorney, for further refining.

What is attorney review?
Following the signing of the initial contract of sale, the parties have three business days to have the contract reviewed by their attorney. During this time period, your attorney will review the contract and prepare what is called a rider or letter addendum to the contract. The Rider will create additional provisions to the contract, both attorneys trying to make the terms most favorable to their client and addressing any issues that have not been already addressed by the initial contract.
Representing a Buyer, this firm, as your attorney, would try to extend the deadlines for your mortgage commitment and inspection report, as well as giving you the most flexibility to get out of the transaction, if your inspection report is unfavorable or if you are unable to secure a mortgage.
If you are buying a condominium, co-op or a townhouse, this firm will put in a provision requesting copies of important documents, including the Master Deed, Bylaws as well as the House Rules of the Condo Association, in addition to the financial documents, including a budget, and/or financial statements, which will show the financial stability of the building.
Once the attorneys and their clients accept each others newly added terms, the attorneys will sign off on the final Rider and inform all parties that attorney review is concluded. All time periods (for the mortgage contingency and inspection results) will start from this date (not the date you signed the initial contract with your broker).

What is a Closing?
Closing is the time when the purchaser and seller meet and transfer the title to the property. The deed, loan documents and other legally required documents are signed and all funds are obtained and then disbursed in exchange to the keys to the house. During the closing process, we work closely with you, the real estate agents, your lender and the sellers attorney. We will take care of the title search and will carefully examine the title abstract to determine that there are no defects on your title that might have a negative impact on your ownership rights to your property. We explain each document involved in the settlement process and review each entry on the settlement sheet. When the closing is complete, you own the house.

Buying a Home

Buying a home, condominium, cooperative or townhouse, or private is a major transaction as you are probably making the largest single investment of your life. As such, buying a home can be a stressful process. This firm strives to make the process as smooth as possible and provide you with answers to your questions and concerns. The following is a brief introduction to the home buying process to help give you a better understanding of the process.

What is the contract of sale?
A contract of sale is an agreement for the purchase and sale of real estate. The contract is usually prepared by your real estate broker and is a standard form contract, which is submitted to your attorney, for further refining.

What is attorney review?
Following the signing of the initial contract of sale, the parties have three business days to have the contract reviewed by their attorney. During this time period, your attorney will review the contract and prepare what is called a rider or letter addendum to the contract. The Rider will create additional provisions to the contract, both attorneys trying to make the terms most favorable to their client and addressing any issues that have not been already addressed by the initial contract.
Representing a Buyer, this firm, as your attorney, would try to extend the deadlines for your mortgage commitment and inspection report, as well as giving you the most flexibility to get out of the transaction, if your inspection report is unfavorable or if you are unable to secure a mortgage.
If you are buying a condominium, co-op or a townhouse, this firm will put in a provision requesting copies of important documents, including the Master Deed, Bylaws as well as the House Rules of the Condo Association, in addition to the financial documents, including a budget, and/or financial statements, which will show the financial stability of the building.
Once the attorneys and their clients accept each others newly added terms, the attorneys will sign off on the final Rider and inform all parties that attorney review is concluded. All time periods (for the mortgage contingency and inspection results) will start from this date (not the date you signed the initial contract with your broker).

What are my expected closing costs?

There are several things you are responsible for between attorney review and closing:

Inspection
A structural home inspection is not required, however, it is strongly recommended if you are purchasing a home. An inspector will provide you with information about the property and learn recommended maintenance for your new home. Depending on the age and condition of your building, you may choose to get inspections in the following areas: termite radon, septic, well, home heating oil tank, and/or lead paint. The fees for a structural inspection vary, but are roughly $400.00 to $600.00 This is an out of pocket expense that you pay directly to the inspector. You will work with your real estate broker and the seller to coordinate this.

You have a limited time (usually between 10-14 days) to get the inspection done and submit the results to the Sellers attorney. You should schedule an appointment with an inspector immediately following attorney review. Any defects will be submitted by your attorney for the Sellers attorney to address and repair or provide a credit at closing. This firm can provide you with names of a number of licensed home inspectors.

Title Insurance, Title Searches and Survey
You will be required to purchase title insurance for your property, which is an insurance policy that covers your ownership interest and the mortgage interest of your lender. Title insurance prices are state regulated and this firm, as your attorney, will order the insurance in coNJunction with the title searches (which are approximately $400.00), from a licensed title agency, which will find any judgments against the parties, liens against the property, including mortgages or any unpaid taxes, encroachments or easements and provide a copy of the recorded deed and mortgage for the Seller.
Your mortgage company will generally require you to have a survey of the property. A survey is a map of the property , as if looking at it from above. It outlines your property lines, fences, driveway and the house, usually including a showing of the setback lines. A survey for a one family house costs approximately $650.00 and a survey certificate for condo costs about $275.00.
Title insurance, title searches and the survey costs are paid at closing.

Mortgage costs
Mortgage closings costs vary by the mortgage company. You are advised to speak to your mortgage broker about their specific costs/fees. Some companies collect fees in advance and others are paid at closing. It is wise to contact a few mortgage companies to compare rates. This firm can provide you with contacts at reputable mortgage companies at your request. Typical lenders fees/requirements may include any or all of the following:
Application Fee, Appraisal Fee, Commitment Fee, Credit Report, Escrow for taxes/insurance, Flood Certification, Prepaid interest, Tax Service Fee

Insurance
If you are purchasing a one or two family home (not a condo, co-op, or townhouse) your mortgage company will require you to purchase a one year policy for homeowners insurance and provide a paid receipt. This must be paid prior to closing.

Attorneys Fees.
Attorneys fees are paid at closing. Our fees are usually on a flat fee basis; however, some transactions may require an hourly fee arrangement. Please contact this office directly to find out the rate for the purchase of your future home.

Realty Transfer Tax
If you are purchasing a home for greater than $1,000,000.00, you will be responsible to pay the State a tax equal to one (1%) percent of the purchase. By way of example, if the purchase price were exactly $1,000,000.00 then the tax is $10,000.00.

We provide legal services for these counties located in New Jersey:


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Real Estate NJ Law/ Buying A Home in New Jersey