2016 Apr 19th

Pinching Pennies Can TORPEDO Your Hoboken Condo Purchase

When You’re Spending Over a Half Million on a Condo, Don’t Wreck Your Chances of Closing Trying to Save $1000 (or less)

Penny-pinchingAs a successful Realtor for over 12 years I’ve worked with hundreds of buyers and sellers.  Many of them are savvy, wealthy and prosperous business people who got that way by making sensible and frugal decisions.  They also, very often, have made the acquaintance of lawyers and lenders and they often want to leverage those relationships to save a few dollars when they decide to purchase a home.  Based upon my years of experience it is my opinion that this is often a HORRIBLE mistake.  I just last week negotiated the purchase of a million dollar apartment on behalf of a lovely young couple, but when they told me they were using an out-of-state lawyer I’d never heard of who does not even specialize in real estate transactions, I just wanted to scream!  If you analyzed every real estate transaction that fell apart, I believe you’d find a large majority failed due financing problems or bad advice from inexperienced lawyers.  (The third major culprit would be inspection items, but that’s the subject of another blog post.)

I can not recommend strongly enough that you use a local attorney, familiar with both the ins and outs of closing Hoboken real estate transactions, and equally familiar with the other players in the Hoboken real estate market.  There are many attorneys with whom we deal all the time who are smart and experienced, who keep me in the loop so that I can help resolve issues with the other agent before they become deal breaking problems, and who work well with each other so that minor issues that your cousin, the trial lawyer who is doing you a favor, would misinterpret as a deal breaker due to his unfamiliarity with the process.  Trust me when I tell you, I see it happen all the time.

The other recommendation I stand firmly behind is that you should use a local lender to obtain your mortgage.  This can be a conundrum for some people in the NYC finance area.  Our buyers often work for a major bank, so they believe they will obtain a preferred rate by using their own company.  The truth is that the promise of a great rate is enticing, but there are certain large, commercial banks with whom we have NEVER done a successful deal.  They make the borrower jump through a million hoops and in the end, the buyer needs to start the process all over again with a local lender.  You best bet?  Go straight to our preferred lender, Jennifer Curty of Wells Fargo.  Jen will give it to you straight and not waste your time.  If she can’t get the loan done for you. she’ll let you know right away and we’ll find help you find a portfolio lender that can.

Purchasing a home (especially your first) can become the foundation for a lifetime of financial security.  Don’t risk what might be one of the most important decisions of your whole life by trying to save a few dollars.  Go to the right people and sleep at night knowing that you’ve got the best professionals working on your behalf.

 

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  1. Craig

    I concur with Lori on Jen Curty from Wells Fargo. I’ve used her to fiance the purchase of two homes in Hudson and Bergen counties the past 5 years, and she’s awesome. I wouldn’t use anyone else to get a mortgage.

    But I disagree with Lori on only using local attorneys. You don’t need to use someone based in Hoboken – merely ensuring they are experienced in doing deals in Hoboken is sufficient. My attorney on my last two deals is based in Bergen County, but he does tons of deals in Hoboken and knew exactly what he was doing in a Hoboken deal. You’ll find that the fee can often be as much as $300 cheaper if you use counsel outside Hoboken because they don’t have the extra overhead that comes with a Hoboken office rent.

    That said, I wouldn’t recommend just picking an attorney out of the yellow pages. Get a referral from people you know who has retained attorneys for their own deals. No offense Lori, but I’m always wary of agent-referred attorneys who rely on a lot of business from said agent referrals and have a vested interest in ensuring the continuation of those relationships. The same goes for agent-referred home inspectors. I want a team working for me that’s beholden to no one but me.

  2. Lori

    Let me clarify that by ‘local’ an attorney need not have an office in Hoboken but should have done a multitude of closings on Hoboken properties. I have a list of at least a dozen such lawyers and always recommend several so the client can choose among them. Trust me, you are lucky if the good ones will have time to represent you – they get that much business due to their reputation in the community. They do not rely on me nor are they beholden to me in any way.

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