Most of our work is done in the Hunterdon-Somerset-Morris county area of New Jersey, but our network of agents inside and outside our company can help you find a house anywhere in the country, so if you are interested in learning more about homes in towns not featured in our search tool, let us know and we’ll be happy to let you know about the ways we can help you out.
Searching for Properties
We have three different levels of access to information for buyers trying to identify properties for sale that match their needs.
GSMLS Search. You can search the Garden State Multiple Listing System (GSMLS) on our site in the Quick Search box on the right side of this page. Feel free to use the account system we have set up for you to keep track of the properties that interest you. This way, you have a place you can go back to to look at them.
Leaf, Realtors®’s Exclusive Listings. Be sure to check out our exclusive listings — these are properties we have been hired to sell which aren’t listed in the GSMLS.
Leaf, Realtors®’s Savvy Buyer Search. If you’d like to find out about even more properties, let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll provide you with any information we have about properties which are not yet on the market (this has proven a very successful approach for several of our past clients). We are constantly learning about these properties from sellers as well as colleagues.
Establishing your purchasing power is about more than just picking a price range or getting a mortgage pre-approval. You can streamline your search process by meeting with a mortgage representative as early as possible in the search process to discuss the following as they pertain to your individual situation:
- Different loan products available to you. People often ask lenders, “What’s your rate?” but there’s no quick answer to this question. Because of dramatic changes in the mortgage industry in the last few years, the rate and other terms of mortgage products are a function of many different factors, so a mortgage solution (and the cost thereof) is a direct reflection of characteristics of the borrower (you!).
- Effect of taxes and insurance on your monthly payments. People often focus in on the purchase price of a property but overlook the effect of taxes on how much the house will cost them on a monthly basis. The taxes on properties of similar market values can vary dramatically from municipality to municipality. Be sure to discuss with a mortgage professional the effect taxes will have on your monthly cost to you of your next home. You should know this before you go out shopping so you’re sure to focus in on the properties that make the most sense for you.
- Closing costs. Buyers who don’t discuss closing costs with a mortgage professional are often surprised by how much they can add up to. Ask your mortgage professional for a written estimates of the costs anticipated for your closing, which include lender fees, points, mortgage insurance, municipal taxes, municipal tax escrows, homeowners insurance, attorneys fees, among other things.
- How much a lender will give you vs. how much you want to spend per month on housing. Just because a lender is willing to give you a lot of money to buy a house doesn’t mean that you should let that determine how much you will be spending on your new house. You need to determine how much of your monthly and/or annual budget you’re comfortable allocating toward your housing costs. Maybe that’s part of a rent vs. buy analysis or if you currently own your home, it’s a prudent way to plan for the costs of your new home, whether they are more or less than your current home.
Making An Offer
At Leaf, Realtors®, we believe that any offer is a good offer. The market has presented homeowners as well as home buyers with a lot of challenges, but the best way to see if you can reach an agreement with a seller to purchase their property is to start a dialogue by making them an offer in writing with documentation proving a buyer’s financial ability to make the deal (e.g., mortgage pre-approval letter). We take our advocacy seriously and present our buyers’ offers in person to the seller(s) and their agent whenever possible. Additionally, we have found that our reputation in our local real estate community for being fair-minded, professional, and solutions-oriented often gives our clients an advantage.
Getting From Contract to Closing
Once we’ve been successful in reaching an agreement with a buyer to the terms of a purchase contract, there’s a lot of work involved in getting from contract to closing. We understand that the final decision about what to do at each stage of a transaction lies with the buyer and the seller, so we make sure we provide our customers with clear information and professional advice at every step of the process. We have over a decade developing solid working relationships with local agents, attorneys, lenders, appraisers, etc. to help us guide you through:
- contract negotiations and attorney review
- home inspections, including structural, well water, and septic testing
- home inspection negotiations
- mortgage/financing contingencies and appraisals
- final walk-through
- closing (we always attend our closings — even if you don’t!)
Anybody can make promises, but we are accountable to you. We’ll guide you every step of the way with complete accountability and transparency in the process of buying your home.
Buyer Relocation Services
If you are buying a home in the Hunterdon, Somerset, or Morris Counties or looking for support for a corporate relocation transferee buying in Hunterdon, Somerset, or Morris Counties, Leaf, Realtors®’ expertise and experience can help you get top-notch results. We have been approved as vendors by several relocation companies, including Cartus, Altair, and NRI and have experience working with domestic and international corporate transferees.
Through personal and professional experience, our agents are familiar with not only the local housing market but also the practical details of local life. We pride ourselves on using this experience to help transferees settle in before and after their real estate closing, from sharing information about our favorite pediatricians to where to find the best Thai food.
If you are responsible for relocating employees or an employee involved in a corporate or personal move, contact Leaf, Realtors® to discuss what we can do to simplify the relocation process by implementing a customized plan.