The borough of Glen Rock, NJ is nestled within Bergen County, approximately 23 miles northwest of Midtown Manhattan. This tranquil neighborhood perfectly combines small-town charm with the convenience of city living, making it one of the best towns to live in New Jersey
Strategically located from the big city, Glen Rock is served by two train lines connecting the town to Penn Station, so commuters can travel to and from New York in as fast as 42 minutes. The town is also home to various top-rated public schools, outdoor recreational facilities, and refreshing natural beauty, making it the perfect place to settle down and raise a family.
These are just some of the reasons why more and more people are falling in love with this small community and are relocating or buying a home in the area. But before you go ahead and start home shopping, there are important considerations to be made.
Get insights from this comprehensive guide and find out if you’re ready for homeownership in the coveted community of Glen Rock, NJ.
4 SIGNS YOU’RE READY TO BUY YOUR DREAM HOME
Buying a house is a huge milestone that comes with big responsibilities, so it’s crucial to make sure you’re prepared for this commitment. To help you assess if you’re ready to make the jump from renting to owning, ask yourself these questions and weigh your answers carefully.
Do you have a stable source of income?
Having a regular source of income will give you the power and security to make major financial decisions, including buying a home. When you have a steady job or if your business has been doing well, this shows lenders you have the capacity to make your mortgage payments and avoid defaulting on your loan.
Before you decide to buy a house, you need to assess whether your current income will be able to support your monthly mortgage payments as well as your living expenses. Homeownership is a long-term commitment and will take a huge chunk out of your income, so it’s important to sit down and take the time to make an honest evaluation of your current and future financial situation.
Aside from having a secure source of income for at least the next few years, you should also be able to demonstrate a reliable employment history or steady paycheck in the past. This will show lenders your capacity to generate income consistently and increase your chances of getting approved for a mortgage. If you’re self-employed, applying for a home loan can be more challenging. Make sure to prepare at least two years’ worth of bank statements or tax returns to allow lenders to verify your financial stability.
Are your finances in good shape?
There are some basic figures to look at to determine your financial health:
- Debt-to-income ratio
You don’t have to be debt-free before you can start your homeownership journey. However, you need to have it under control. Lenders often use a formula called debt-to-income (DTI) ratio to assess your finances. Ideally, the sum of your debt and housing-related payments should beno more than 43% of your total income. Use this formula to get a good picture of your overall financial status before taking the next step in buying a home.
- Credit score
Your credit score reflects your past expenditures and other financial activities, so banks and lenders use it to assess your reliability in handling your finances and paying back a loan. The higher your credit score, the better your chances not only of getting approved for a mortgage but also of receiving favorable interest rates and loan terms.
When applying for a home loan, most lenders will look for a credit score of at least 620. You may still qualify for a mortgage with a lower score but you might have to deal with higher interest rates and shorter terms.
Before you apply for a home loan, get a copy of your credit report from an accredited financial bureau and review it to determine where and how you can improve your credit score.
Are you ready to shoulder the additional costs of homeownership?
It’s important to note that mortgage payments are just one part of the financial responsibilities that come with homeownership.
When you’re a tenant and something goes wrong in the rental property such as a water leak, you just give your landlord a call and they’ll take care of it. But as a homeowner, you’re solely responsible for the maintenance of your property. Aside from the small repairs, there are also major home upkeep and renovation expenses to take into account, such as roofing repairs or landscaping.
On top of these, you also need to set aside a budget for other recurring expenses such as insurance, HOA fees, and property taxes. So before you go ahead and decide to buy a home, carefully assess your budget and check if you can afford these costs on top of your monthly mortgage payments.
You also need to think about building an emergency fund. An emergency fund can be a life saver when unexpected expenses occur, such as hospital bills or major home repairs. It’s important to plan and prepare for these events by setting aside pot money that you can use to cover unexpected expenses. This way, you won’t have to touch the portion of your monthly income that you’ve already set aside for mortgage and other bills. Generally, you’d want to have at least three to six months’ worth of your total monthly expenses in your emergency fund.
Are you ready to settle down in an area for the long term?
Buying a house is a long-term commitment. In most cases, it takes around three to five years to build enough equity to make a profit when you sell the property.
Consider if you’re emotionally and mentally prepared to settle down in an area for the long term. Before settling on a home, ask yourself: is this the place where you want to be for the next five to ten years? Do you see yourself raising a family or retiring here?
If you still haven’t kicked the travel bug or are still trying to figure out what you really want, wait until the dust settles. Once you get a pretty solid idea of where and how you see yourself in the next five to ten years, that’s a good telltale sign that you’re ready to settle down and buy your own home.
- It’s strategically located. Glen Rock residents simply love that almost everything they need is just a few minutes away from any part of the town. Manhattan is also easily accessible via a one-hour trip by train.
- It’s a walkable town. All four elementary schools in Glen Rock are within walking distance of most homes. The tree-lined streets with wide sidewalks are also perfect for a daily stroll.
- It prioritizes education. Aside from four elementary schools, Glen Rock also hosts a middle school and a high school, as well as a couple of private schools. The Glen Rock Public School District is known for engaging and well-rounded academics, and students continuously achieve above state averages on standardized tests.
- It’s a place that promotes fun and work-life balance. You’ll never run out of fun things to do in Glen Rock. Want to spend some time with nature? Visit the Thielke Arboretum. Want to go on a foodie adventure? Just head on to some of Glen Rock’s top-rated restaurants, such as Iachetti’s Kitchen, Kosher Nosh, and John Boy’s Pizzeria.
- Set your finances in order.
Buying real estate is a huge commitment that requires careful planning. At least six to nine months before you go shopping for properties, take the time to review your financial status. Use this time to:
- Save up for down payment.
- Prepare for other homeownership costs such as repairs and moving services.
- Reduce debt-to-income ratio.
- Review credit reports and dispute any errors.
- Understand mortgage options and shop around for mortgage lenders.
Many people think they need to prepare 20% for a down payment. This is not true. For instance, FHA mortgages require only 2.5% down payment, and VA mortgages for veterans and active-duty military members require no down payment. Some conventional loans require as little as 3% for down payment.
The rate and terms of your mortgage depend on what you agree on with a lender, so it’s best to shop around to find the right loan product and provider for you. Compare loan estimates from different lenders. Also, don’t just check the interest rate. You should also look at the APR, which includes the total cost of the loan.
- Hire a good real estate agent.
When you hire an experienced real estate agent, you get to:
- Make your home search more convenient. In addition to listings on the MLS and other real estate websites, your agent has access to off-market properties or homes for sale that are not listed publicly. With their network and familiarity of the area, a local Realtor knows where to find homes for sale in Glen Rock, NJ that match your needs and preferences. They can help you narrow down your options and can schedule viewings more efficiently so you can maximize your time.
- Work with an expert in preparing the paperwork. By working with an agent, you’ll better understand the terms and conditions of the deal and the benefits you can get from it. Your agent will also help you review and prepare the numerous documents needed in a real estate transaction such as property disclosure forms, inspection reports, title search, mortgage requirements, and more.
- Close the transaction at the best price and terms possible. You want to get the house of your dreams with favorable terms, but at the same time, you don’t want to make a lowball offer that might ruffle the seller’s feathers. Negotiation is tricky, and this is where the expertise of a real estate agent comes in. Your agent knows how to make a strong offer that represents your best interests without turning off the seller.
THE GLEN ROCK REAL ESTATE MARKET
Ranked as one of the best places to live in New Jersey, it’s not surprising that homes in Glen Rock are consistently in high demand.
As of October 2023, the median listing price of homes for sale in Glen Rock, NJ was approximately $890,000. This is a 41% increase over the median listing price in November 2022. Starting the fourth quarter of 2023, Glen Rock was also observed to be a seller’s market, which means more people are looking for homes than there are available properties. Homes for sale in Glen Rock, NJ sell after 29 days on average, slightly down from the same month last year.
Properties in Glen Rock are priced higher than the national median home price of about $431,000. Despite this, more people are still looking to relocate or invest in a property here, thanks to the overall quality of life it offers –– from tranquil, diverse neighborhoods to excellent school systems and family-friendly amenities.
Most properties for sale in Glen Rock are single-family homes, but townhomes and condos are also added to the mix. Depending on your preference and budget, you’re sure to find a home that you can truly call your own.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE LIVING IN GLEN ROCK, NJ
Homes for sale in Glen Rock, NJ may be pricier, but it’s definitely worth every penny. Here are just some of the reasons why many people are eyeing to purchase real estate in this community, whether as a resident or investor.
THE HOMEBUYING PROCESS
Purchasing a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in your life. Add in the complex real estate market on top of it and you might feel overwhelmed as you begin your homeownership journey. So before you go shopping for homes for sale in Glen Rock, NJ, let’s go over the steps you need to take.
FIND YOUR DREAM HOME WITH HELP FROM THE GUBB TEAM
Buying a home is a complex financial transaction, especially for first timers. To ensure a smooth process and get the most out of your investment, choose a seasoned and dedicated team of real estate agents who will advocate for your interests. The Gubb Team is your go-to experts in the Greater Bergen County area.
Our founders Christine Gubb and David Gubb have more than 20 years of experience in the industry. Collectively, our team’s goal is to provide you with top-notch service and make the entire real estate transaction as stress-free as possible for you. We want to help you at every step of your homeownership journey, and we’re committed to assisting you even after closing.