Mark Casamassina


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Phone: 973-435-3505

As you well know, buying a home is not only one of the most important financial decisions of your life, but it’s also one of the most expensive. Not only are buyers putting down a large sum of money for their down payment, but they also have to take care of moving costs, renovations (if needed), furniture, earnest money deposit, and lastly…closing costs.

Closing costs are usually the second-most expensive part of the home-buying process. Since they typically cost somewhere between 2-5% of the total purchase price, buyers are trying to find ways to cut back on these costs and save as much money as possible. But, how do they go about doing so?

Listed below are the five need-to-know tips for lowering your closing costs…

Tip #1: Ask if the Seller or Your Realtor Can Contribute To Closing Costs

Sometimes, if it means the difference between getting the deal done or losing it and starting the process all over again, a seller might offer a concession to the buyer to help pay for some or all of the closing costs. This might work if the house has been on the market for a long time and if you were the only interested party. You also have the option of asking your real estate agent to use part of their commission to help out as well, if you feel comfortable asking them.

Tip #2: Shop for Services When You Can To Reduce Your Closing Costs

Once you’ve spoken to your mortgage lender and they’ve given you ...

Home buyers in New Jersey tend to have a lot of questions relating to home inspections and appraisals. While these two procedures share some similarities, they have different purposes and objectives.

Home inspections are generally not required in New Jersey, but highly recommended. Appraisals, on the other hand, are required when a buyer is using a mortgage loan to finance the purchase.

Home Appraisal vs. Home Inspection

Let’s start by distinguishing the two kinds of property assessments. While they are often confused as being the same, home appraisals and inspections are actually different procedures with different objectives.

  • A home inspection is a thorough but non-invasive evaluation of the property’s overall condition. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) defines it as “an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.” The primary objective here is to assess the condition of the property.
  • A home appraisal is a review of the property to determine its fair market value, based on current real estate market conditions. The appraiser will prepare a comprehensive report that includes sales data supporting his or her determination of value. Here, the primary objective is to determine the value of the property.

So there are some similarities ...

Whether you’re planning your dream wedding or planning to buy your dream home, both are large expenses and major life events that can seem overwhelming to tackle at the same time. Purchasing a home will require paying a down payment and closing costs, while planning your wedding will include payments to your venue, vendors, and even a honeymoon. While couples today think that it might be far-fetched to accomplish both at the same time, think again. You can use these helpful tips to get you down the aisle AND claim the keys to your new home…

Tip #1: Figure Out Your Budget

If you plan on paying for a wedding and a new home at the same time, your first step should be to sit down together as a couple and figure out what your budget is going to be. Talk to each other about expenses and how much you’d realistically like to spend on both. You can use a mortgage calculator to help give you an idea of what you can afford, or you could always speak to a loan officer to see what you’d be pre-approved for.

Not only should the couple look at their own savings, but factor in any money or assistance you might be getting from your family or friends to help you achieve both things. When you’ve figured out your budget, it’s also important to discuss your “must-have’s” and also the things you’re willing to cut back on for both the wedding and for your future home.

Tip #2: Consider a Home-Buying ...

Why A Non-QM Loans Might Be For You

Jun 10
Category | Blog

Are you a self-employed borrower? Do you own your own business, and have maybe struggled to obtain financing? If you’ve experienced difficulty trying to do so, it might be best to try and benefit from a non-qualified mortgage (non-QM) loan.

What is a non-QM loan?

A non-QM loan is any home loan that doesn’t meet the regular standards of a qualified mortgage. But, keep in mind that not every lender will offer this. NJ Lenders Corp. is, in fact, a non-QM lender, and they have more flexibility in the underwriting process to work with any borrower that other lenders might label as risky.

Who exactly can benefit from a non-QM loan?

  • Self-employed borrowers
  • Real estate investors
  • Foreign nationals
  • Prime borrowers
  • Near or non-prime borrowers
  • Borrowers with significant assets

The non-QM loan program will target credit-worthy borrowers who are self-employed, have non-traditional incomes, have assets and no income, or have had difficulty qualifying for a traditional mortgage. It can be used for rate-and-term refinances, cash-out refinances, or a new home purchase for owner-occupied, second homes, or investment homes.

Expected growth for non-QM loans in 2019

One of the bright spots for the mortgage industry in 2019 is the expected increase of non-QM loans. According to the Origination ...

For a lot of New Jersey home buyers, the down payment can be the biggest hurdle to buying a home. But it might only be a perceived hurdle. The truth is there are several mortgage programs available in New Jersey that offer low down-payment requirements.

Additionally, borrowers might be able to obtain gift money from a family member or borrower from a 401k. Those are just some of the ways you could buy a home in New Jersey with little to no money down.

Buying a Home With Little Money Down, Using FHA

House prices across New Jersey have risen steadily over the last few years. According to the real estate information service Zillow, the median home value for the state rose 5% over the last 12 months alone (ending in October 2017).

As a result, many home buyers in New Jersey are seeking ways to reduce their upfront, out-of-pocket expenses when buying a house. Some prefer to buy a house in New Jersey with little to no money down. Here’s how you might accomplish that goal.

Despite common misconceptions, you don’t necessarily need a down payment of 20% or more when buying a house in New Jersey. There are mortgage loans available that offer a much lower upfront investment.

The FHA loan program is one of those financing strategies that offers a low down payment. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which manages this particular mortgage program, allows borrowers to make a down payment as low as ...

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