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3 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in New Jersey

Dennis and Marshall Lynch

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For first-time home buyers, the housing market in Rumson, New Jersey continues to heat up. It causes untold frustration for people who already face a number of disadvantages in the housing market.

The Causes of the Housing Crunch in New Jersey

The lack of homes for sale in Rumson, New Jersey arose like a perfect storm. According to, COVID-19 put a damper on home sales. Home sellers in the Garden State became reluctant to sell once the pandemic hit. 

Supply and demand kicked in. Fewer homes on the market created higher home prices. Home prices in Bergen County (for example) jumped by more than 10%. They increased in Passaic County by 12.5%. The average price tag for homes in the area rose to almost $650K.

Aside from all of this, New Jersey routinely gets rated as one of the best places to live in the US, according to The Financial. The fact that Jersey boasts a healthy economy and relatively low crime rates enhances this reputation. This also skews supply and demand.

Finally, the conditions that most first-time home buyers find themselves in add to their difficulties in finding a home for sale in New Jersey. Many of them don’t have the cash that other home buyers have. For example, they don’t have the profits from the sale of another home to give them a financial edge. 

Getting One of the Homes for Sale in NJ: The Experts’ Take

First-time homebuyers who want to nab one of the homes for sale in Rumson, New Jersey must think strategically. Committing to playing the long game helps many first-time buyers weather the inevitable ups and downs of the process.

It’s also helpful for them to think realistically about what it means to buy a home in New Jersey in today’s market. The reality is, the number of homes sold to first-time buyers nationwide (and not just in Jersey) has been on a downward slope in recent years. 

The points out that the number of first-time homebuyers went as low as 31% of the market in the year 2020. Many of these first-time buyers can’t compete in the bidding wars that dominate the markets these days. 

How Buyers Can Get Into Their First Home

First, we recommend that buyers should assess their financial situation. Often, their best bet involves doing nothing. That is, instead of looking for a home to buy right now, these homebuyers can concentrate on saving up their money.

Some would-be homebuyers who opt for this solution live in apartments or have made arrangements to live with family members or friends. This allows them to bide their time while they wait and enter the housing market when conditions look a bit more favorable.

This isn’t to say that would-be homebuyers can’t look for homes for sale in New Jersey. They can, and often, it’s best to enter the market in less-than-ideal conditions. However, it’s also good to enter the market in a stronger financial position. 

As real estate agents, we have seen both solutions work out. Often, the choice comes down to the individual buyer. It’s helpful to talk with your real estate agent about timing before you make such a decision. 

Second, we suggest that buyers think about reassessing what “dream home” means to them. Many people wish for a large home with numerous bedrooms, easy access to public transit, and great area schools. 

On the surface, there is nothing wrong with this dream. However, these buyers may want to look at some simple solutions. For example, if they have their hearts set on a specific school district, they could look at school districts with similar offerings, but in a different area.

Nowadays, as a carryover from COVID, many homebuyers work from home and will continue to do so. These buyers are not as tied to specific location-based elements that affect their home buying decisions. Sometimes, their best bet is to look in places they haven’t thought of living in.

Look Into Buyer-Friendly Financing Options

Third, we encourage first-time buyers to look at financial programs designed to help people get into their homes. A number of first-time buyer- and/ or lower-income mortgage programs exist for New Jerseyans.

For example, these buyers can look into the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) or the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System Mortage Program (PFRS). The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) also helps buyers get into a mortgage with a low down payment, often as little as 3.5%. 

Your real estate agent can help you sort out these programs. As well, they often work with a number of mortgage lenders. As such, they can keep you apprised of financing options you may not know about. These programs are designed to help first-time buyers beat the issues facing them as they navigate the New Jersey housing market.

Dennis Lynch, along with his son and business partner, Marshall Lynch, can help first-time home buyers in New Jersey. Dennis and Marshall Lynch have built their careers on helping people navigate the sometimes challenging Rumson, New Jersey housing marketing.

If you’re a first-time home buyer and need advice on how to buy your first home, contact Dennis or Marshall Lynch today.

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