Stephanie A. Rizzuto

Loan Officer NMLS#: 145265

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In previous blog posts, we’ve explained the real estate closing process in New Jersey and the various costs that home buyers have to pay. Today, we’ll talk about some of the things buyers can do to prepare for closing day. But first, a quick definition is in order. Definition: You can think of the “closing” as the final step in the home purchasing process. It’s when you will sign all of the finalized documents relating to your mortgage loan and the transfer of the property. It’s also when you’ll receive the keys to your new place. How to Prepare for Your Closing Day As a home buyer in New Jersey, there are some steps you can take to help ensure that your closing process goes smoothly. Much of the paperwork will be done by other people, such as a title or escrow professional. But home buyers can be proactive here as well. Here are some steps you can take. 1. Start saving for closing costs and other expenses. It’s never too early to start putting money aside for your closing costs, and the more you can save the better. Most home buyers in New Jersey have to pay closing costs of some kind when they purchase a house or condo. You’ll receive an estimate of these costs when you apply for a mortgage loan, as well as a finalized list shortly before the scheduled closing day. Getting a head start on the saving process can help ensure that you’ll have the funds needed to close. 2. Try to keep your financial situation stable. When you’re being reviewed for a mortgage loan, it’s generally a good idea to keep your financial situation “static.” That’s ...

With its beautiful neighborhoods and unique attractions, New Jersey has become a popular state among many homebuyers looking to settle down and raise a family. Buying a home for the first time is nothing to take lightly; therefore, it is important to know all the facts, particularly when it comes to the market. Check out these helpful tips for first-time homebuyers purchasing a home in the Garden State. Know what you can afford before you start looking Because a home is such a large investment, you should know what you can afford both in terms of the mortgage and the down payment. Come up with a budget before you even start house hunting; that way, you and your partner can realistically build a “wishlist” that fits into your price range. For some first time homebuyers, a 20% down payment might be the suggested amount; however, putting down as little as 3% is also acceptable. To ensure you have enough money to do this, here are a few savings suggestions: Set aside tax refunds and work bonuses: It might seem tempting to use that April tax return for some nice new clothes or a new gaming system, but saving that extra money for a future investment like a new home is a smarter decision. Your future self will thank you!                    Set up automatic savings to be deducted from your checking account : Many savings apps are now available online and on mobile devices to help you put money aside for future investments. Take advantage of what is out there and label your investments so that you know what your savings are going towards. ...

Are you in the market for a new home (or even your first)?  Of course, finding the perfect home isn’t as easy as we often hope. You may have to make some compromises; for instance, you may choose to accept less space in favor of a desirable location. Fortunately, the FHA’s (Federal Housing Administration) 203K rehab loans allow you to wrap the remodeling funds into the mortgage. This means that you can use this type of loan to purchase a home or to remodel a home that you already own. FHA 203K Mortgage Loans for New Jersey Home Buyers Most New Jersey home buyers who invest in fixer-upper properties use two separate loans to finance the home and to pay for renovations. But this can be expensive, challenging, and time-consuming. That is where the Federal Housing Administration 203k loans come in. Also known as FHA Construction loans or Rehab Loans, the FHA 203K loans are backed by the federal government. Essentially, they allow you to purchase a house and repair it in one transaction . How FHA 203K Loans Work The process of purchasing a house with an FHA 203K loan is not much different than buying one the “typical” way. However, it has some modifications: Apply and get approved The method of applying and getting final approval involves contacting contractors and receiving bids. Choose your projects Before your loan can be approved, you have to determine the repairs you want to do . Your lender will require that any potential health or safety hazards are promptly addressed. For instance, you have to address things like mold, lead-based paints, and broken windows. You can also decide the cosmetic items you ...

With 2019 coming to a close and 2020 right around the corner, you might be thinking about settling down, starting a family and investing in a cozy new home. If you are looking to settle down in New Jersey, then you might want to know what the real estate market may look like. Knowing the housing forecast for real estate in the garden state can help you put your best foot forward. Luxury homes in the New Jersey real estate market don’t seem to be a hot seller The median price for a home in New Jersey is approximately $338,000, as of October 2019. In fact, home values have seen an increase by more than 10% since 2018, when the average median price was close to $320,000. With this increase has come fewer “sold” signs in front of luxury homes. Because of the state’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in 2018, New Jersey’s total state and local taxes were deducted to $10,000. Additionally, more prospective homebuyers are interested in investing in homes that make it easier for work or home commutes like downtown Jersey City or Hoboken. These neighborhoods are more appealing with a 20 minute or less commute over buying a house in Monmouth County which is over an hour from New York City, Philadelphia and other busy hubs. Economy in New Jersey is on the rise As of mid-2019, New Jersey has seen a boom in company hires, resulting in a lower unemployment rate of 3.0%. This puts the state under the national 3.2% average for men and women. One explanation for this thriving economy? An increasing number of both existing companies and start ups are coming to New Jersey, resulting in fewer industrial business vacancies. With more jobs ...

You just had a successful open house with several prospective buyers. What steps should you take next to reel in these clients? Many real estate agents struggle with maintaining leads. Unfortunately, without consistent follow up, these leads may grow more and more distant until they are lost entirely. Recently, real estate agents have found retargeting to be very effective. Retargeting entails using creative ads and eye-catching copy to entice people back to your website after they already visited it. Of course, retargeting takes many different forms and can be accomplished  through various platforms. However, it is also easy to use it ineffectively. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts for realtors and mortgage professionals to follow for a successful retargeting campaign. Read on to learn more. Do try an A/B test It is estimated that 70% of consumers convert to a website thanks to a successful retargeting campaign. With this said, it is important for real estate agents to test out a few campaigns and evaluate each one critically. Consider: which ones yield the best results? Which ones offer little benefit? What areas need improvement? To get a feel for the type of market you should focus on, also consider testing your ads to different types of groups, based on specific demographics and buying behavior. DON’T retarget on too many platforms Remember back in the old days of AOL when you used to have to click out of every pop-up ad just to get to the site you needed? Don’t remind your customers of the old dial-up days! It might seem beneficial to get your retargeting campaign out on every possible ...

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