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Buyer Tips

In New Jersey, searching “Homes for sale near me” means a lot of choices

  • Posted Feb 1, 2021

From dreaming of your new home to actual ownership, home shopping can be an adventure—but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming adventure. With proper planning, your search for a home for sale near you (or in another New Jersey community) can be very pleasant and rewarding. It should be! In New Jersey, you’ll find a plethora of house listings and a host of different house styles.

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned one, a home is a long-term investment and one of the few opportunities in life to plot your own happiness, comfort and future plans.

What follows is a how-to approach for maximizing your time, minimizing your frustration and ultimately finding success in locating and buying that perfect home. We’ll cover how best to find a home near you, in a community already familiar to you. Whether it’s your first home, second or third, everyone will benefit from using a tested approach that works. So let’s get started.

Realize you’re not the only one searching for “homes for sale near me.”
Increase your success by having a home buying checklist ready.

Make sure you still like the neighborhood

  • If you intend to search for “Homes for sale near me,” then make sure you really want a home near you. Look as objectively as you can at your neighborhood, community or city. Make sure to get an update on home values, schools, incidences of crime, noise issues or any future development projects being planned. If all looks good, check this off the list and move forward.

Make and prioritize a list of features you want in your home

  • Be clear about what you want. Are you still pondering how many bedrooms, bathrooms or square footage? Don’t skip over the big questions that sometimes don’t even get asked, like “do I prefer new construction or pre-owned?” “how important to me is a powder room on the first floor?” and “do I want a home close to area schools?” If commuting is an issue, don’t forget to look into NJ Transit Trains or NJ Transit Bus locations. Begin with what is absolutely necessary for your new home, then add a “would be nice to have” list to factor in later.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

  • Getting pre-approved for an amount you can safely spend on a new home will save you a lot to time and frustration. Don’t get caught in the disappointing situation of falling in love with a house you can’t afford. Part of a new happy household is controlling your finances, so start your home shopping with efficiency, confidence and comfort by getting pre-approved.

Your home buying pre-checklist is complete. The neighborhood “near me” still meets your needs. You know what features are most important to you, and you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage so you know how much you can spend. Now you’re ready to get to work. Enjoy the journey by following these four important steps:

1. Work with accurate, up-to-date information. Work with NJMLS.

For most home buyers, especially first-time buyers, your home search starts online. Though you’ll find a number of sites to browse through, few offer everything you are looking for or everything you need. It’s important to realize that third-party listing sites can lead to dead ends. Often, their online information is not up-to-date, properties may already be under contract, not available, or have contingencies attached. Don’t get your heart broken by working with information that hasn’t been updated or may be inaccurate. An MLS listing from the NJMLS contains real-time, relevant data supplied directly from the listing agent–including dates and locations for upcoming open houses near you.

The New Jersey Multiple Listing Service (NJMLS) is available to listing agents on a 24/7 basis, enabling them to update listings right away. In addition to the most accurate real estate information “near me,” each house listing at NJMLS.com includes a world of useful information. You might even learn new facts about your neighborhood. In the past, access to MLS data was reserved for REALTORS® who had a membership into that particular MLS. Today, millions of prospective homeowners around your neighborhood, your city, New Jersey and the entire country go to the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service for a premium online home shopping experience. To avoid getting discouraged or getting your heart broken by outdated or inaccurate information, bookmark NJMLS.com for all your home searches. You can enter your preferences into NJMLS’s propriety database and review the houses that meet your requirements—skipping any listings that do not.

2. Get the best help you can. Search for “a REALTOR® near me”.

Finding that best REALTOR® will make all the difference. Think of your agent as your partner. A full-service REALTOR®, belonging to the National Association of Realtors and a member of the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service, will be knowledgeable about your neighborhood and the current real estate market. They’ll provide valuable recommendations on how best to proceed. Let your agent know your timeline and what you discovered in your pre-buying checklist: your needs and wants, and the purchase price you’ve been pre-approved for. This information helps your REALTOR® match you with homes for sale, so you won’t be wasting time looking at properties that don’t fit your wish list. To learn about all the services a local REALTOR® can provide, read “Do I need a Realtor?”

3. The best place to live in NJ is the house you’re ready to make an offer on.

Never feel pushed into making an offer on a house that you do not love. Though buying a house can be a rather emotional activity, it’s important to gain the education and practice the patience needed to find the perfect home for you and your family. The dream house you envisioned might not exist in the real world, but finding one that’s as close as possible is a wonderful goal to reach.

With advice from your local real estate agent, make an offer when you’re ready. Your New Jersey REALTOR® will guide you through this process and be a strong negotiator working on your behalf. Remember, there are no out-of-pocket expenses associated with the valuable services of a licensed New Jersey REALTOR®. Make sure s/he belongs to the NJMLS (New Jersey Multiple Listing Service) to gain access to all the important tools and information available through membership, including one of the nation’s top MLS websites.

4. Inspect, Address and Close.

Finally, make sure to get a thorough inspection of the house, inside and out. Your REALTOR® can recommend certified home inspectors. Though you might be moving into your dream home, there still may be some unseen damages needing repairs. Make sure all this is addressed as you finalize the sale price and move toward closing.

At any one time there are thousands of New Jersey homes for sale. Anyone searching for a “house for sale near me” has a few major advantages—they avoid the challenges of a large geographic area to cover, the need to investigate unfamiliar neighborhoods and long drives to see homes for sale in faraway towns.

With the right REALTOR®, the right MLS (NJMLS) and the right attitude, your journey will be adventurous and rewarding.