Homeowners Insurance for Condos

Do you need to get homeowners insurance for condos?

Homeowners Insurance for Condos

Watch this video to learn about Homeowners Insurance for Condos.


Would you like to see condos in other Monmouth County towns?

When you’re ready to either buy or sell a home, please call us.

Recent Blog Posts:

Surprise! You’ll Need More Cash

Computerized Home Valuations

Bunny Art Reiman Homeowners Insurance COndo

Do you have questions about insurance? While we do have some knowledge, we’re not experts. In fact, you should speak with an insurance agent.


Why Would a Seller Pay Your Closing Costs?

That’s a great question, because, why would a seller pay closing costs?

The Seller Pays Closing Costs


seller pay closing costs

By the way, would you like to read related blog posts?

Surprise! You’ll Need More Cash

Would you like to search condos / townhouses in other Monmouth County towns?

When you’re ready to either buy or sell a home, contact us.


Did You Save the 20% Down Payment?

Did You Save the Necessary 20% Down Payment yet?

20% Down Payment

Are you getting ready to buy your first home? You do realize that you’ll need to save  a 20% down payment, right? In addition, you’ll need to save the closing costs. In fact, closing costs will run as much as $8,000 – or more.

If you haven’t saved up all that cash yet, I have some good news for you.

You Don’t Need 20% Down

It’s a matter of fact that there are many mortgages written in this country right now that require considerably less than 20% down. Of course, if you put down less than 20%, you’ll probably need to pay some kind of mortgage insurance. But don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of these low interest rates. Get into your own home now!  Because this is way to get into your dream home now without waiting to save up all that extra money.

FHA Mortgage

First is the widely known FHA mortgage. The Federal Housing Authority guarantees these mortgages. Mortgage insurance is required, but if this is what it takes to get your own home, it is what it is. You can get an FHA loan with as little as 3.5% down.

Veterans Administration Mortgage

If you are a veteran, my thanks for your service. You deserve any benefits you can get, and this is a good one. With a VA loan, you can purchase with a down payment of ZERO. That’s right, nothing down. There are restrictions however, speak with a loan officer to see if you qualify. Yes, you will pay mortgage insurance, however, this can be paid up front and added into the mortgage.

Conventional Financing

There are numerous mortgage programs for qualified borrowers. Many of these allow for down payments of less than 20%. Speak with a mortgage lender to learn what you’ll qualify for. And yes, you will need to pay mortgage insurance if you have less than 20% down.

Other Options

There are some other programs available, the US Department of Agriculture and others, which allow for the low down payment. Again, speak with a loan officer for details.

Closing Costs

Now – what can you do about closing costs? They still need to be paid. Hey – here’s an idea. Let’s ask the seller to pay some, or all, closing costs. It can happen. But the details are for another blog post, so stay tuned.

Bottom Line

Speak with your mortgage professional to find out exactly how small a down payment you can get by with. And do it soon, because interest rates may rise.

When you’re ready to either buy or sell a home, please contact us.

Would you like to search for homes in other Monmouth County towns?


Computerized Home Valuations

Watch this short video to learn about Computerized Home Valuations.

Computerized Home Valuations


There’s one thing that we find it interesting  about these computerized valuations. One of the companies which touts that feature states, right on their website, that their valuations are not accurate. In addition, they suggest that you get a Comparative Market Analysis from a Realtor. Furthermore, they recommend that you get a professional appraisal.

Yet, we often have clients tell us that a web site tells them a home is worth $xxxxx. Yet, as local Realtors, we know better. A Realtor knows the local market. In addition, a Realtor knows which homes are similar. And we know which homes are not.

If a web site says, their estimates aren’t correct, why believe them? After all, you do want accuracy, don’t you?

You may want to read some related blog posts.

Did You Save the 20% Down Payment?

Surprise! You’ll Need More Cash



Looking for homes in other Monmouth County towns?


Surprise! You’ll Need More Cash

Surprise, you need more cash!


Most buyers are aware that a down payment is required (most of the time) when you purchase a home. Typically you’ll be looking to save 3.5% of the purchase price for a FHA loan, or 20% for a conventional loan. Yet, there are other variations – 5%, 10% or 0%, but usually it’s either a 3.5% or 20% down payment.

But what about closing costs?

And here’s where the surprise comes in. Most buyers are aware that there will be closing costs involved. However, not many buyers have a good idea of how much. Let’s take a look at costs in closing costs in New Jersey.

As a general rule you can figure on 2% to 7% of the purchase price. That’s a wide range, so let’s look a little further.

Cash Purchase

First let’s let’s look at the costs if you purchase cash.  Here are some of the services you’ll need to pay for.
Attorney fees Title Company Fees – Title Search, Title Insurance, Misc Services
Home Inspection
Well and septic system inspection – if applicable
Homeowners Insurance
Flood Insurance – if applicable
You may need to prepay a certain number of monthly payments If there’s a homeowners association.

Also, if you’re purchasing in an active adult community, many have fees (with various names) which you’re require to pay the association when you close. We’ve seen that these fees can range from $300 to $3000 or more. Ask your Realtor before making an offer

Financed Purchase

Now let’s look at costs if you’ll be getting a mortgage. Additional costs will be incurred If you’ll be getting a mortgage. In addition to the costs when purchasing cash, here are some additional ones.

Bank fees / Origination fees Note – these fees vary according to the lender. Banks fees can be as low as $300, however, we’ve seen fees considerably higher! Don’t be afraid to ask your lender, and it may be worth you time to shop around.
Prepaid Interest – this is the interest due between the closing date and the first payment
Taxes will need to be prepaid into an escrow account
With conventional financing, if you’re putting less than 20% down, you’ll usually need to pay Private Mortgage Insurance. Typically you’ll pay the first months premium at closing
FHA Financing – there’s an Up-Front Mortgage Insurance Premium. Usually, it’s possible to roll into the mortgage
VA Financing requires the VA Funding Fee. However, this can usually be rolled into the mortgage.

Miscellaneous COsts

These are the major expenses. However, there will be many small costs that will add up. Our suggestion is to speak with your attorney and your bank early and often to find out what their fees are. Don’t be afraid to shop around for attorneys and banks. You have the right to do that. And be wary of fees that are too low, because there may additional fees that will make the total costs higher.

When you’re ready to either buy or sell a home, contact us.


Rent or Buy?

Should I rent or buy?

Rent or Buy ?

There is a severe shortage of rentals available in our area. Due to increased demand rental rates have risen.  And as those rental rates go up, the difference in cost between owning a home and renting a home lessens.

When you rent your home, you have a stack of cancelled checks at the end of the year. But when you own the home,  you have hopefully built up equity.  Your mortgage interest and your real estate taxes are tax deductible which will save you even more. But will the monthly payments cost you more if you rent or if you purchase a home?
Here’s an Example

Let’s look at an example. An average condo in Freehold Township will rent for approximately $2,000 per month. The average condo in the same town sells for about $234,000.

If you were to buy this average condo, you would need a 20% down payment of $46,800. The mortgage amount of $187,200 will cost, at today’s interest rate, $921. You would also have the Homeowners Association Fee of $250 – $300  per month. The property taxes will be $500 – $600 per month. A few complexes are FHA approved so you would have a lower down payment but pay more in the mortgage payments.

Bottom Line

One way or another, you will be paying the mortgage. It’s up to you to decide if you want to pay your mortgage or your landlord’s mortgage
When you’re ready to become a home owner instead of a tenant, contact us.

Our Web Sites

Condos in Howell
Homes In Monmouth County
Monmouth County Active Adult Communities
Ocean County Active Adult Communities
About Bunny and Art Reiman