New Jersey is not New York City. Neither is Bergen County NYC. Because so many of us see it as the same area, mistakes happen. When this involves your mortgage, results are often disastrous.
New Jersey is not New York City
Bergen County is in New Jersey. We’re the northeast corner of NJ immediately across the Hudson river from NYC. Above Manhattan is Westchester and to our north is Rockland County. Going east 45 minutes is Connecticut.
Since everything is within a 1 hour drive from each other, we think of this as one area. It isn’t. If you’ve ever been to these places, you’ll know how different they all are. Additionally there are 3 different States – 5 locations in 3 States. Isn’t it amazing that we think of this as one big area?
This is why its so easy for New York home buyers to make mortgage mistakes purchasing Bergen County homes. They think a New York City based bank is fine in New Jersey.
Look at it this way: Instead of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, call it Wyoming, Florida and New Mexico. Would someone in New Mexico use a Wyoming bank for their mortgage? New Jersey is not New York City. Don’t use a NYC based mortgage bank to buy a Bergen County home.
The Bank Appraisal Disaster
Who orders the bank appraisal? In New York it can be the bank, real estate agent or buyer. In Bergen County it’s ordered by the bank.
Let’s say you are closing on April 23rd and your lease ends on the 30th. This gives you 1 week to clean and paint before you move in. Everything is in place or so you thought.
Your NYC mortgage bank doesn’t know NJ practice so they don’t order the appraisal. By the time this mistake is discovered, it’s late. You close on May 5th which costs you thousands. No time to paint, you’re in a hotel and forced to store your things with a double move.
Condominiums Are Not Single Family Homes
NYC condos are treated similarly to single family homes. Condos there are often FHA approved. Not so here. Bergen County condos are not FHA approved.
Condos here don’t want the expense and aggravation of getting FHA approval. Does it matter? Not really. Banks solve this by using condo questionnaires. While it’s pretty standard stuff, it can take days or weeks. Each condo handles it differently.
Currently a Queens NY mortgage bank made this mistake on a Bergen County condo causing a 1 month delay.
How To Avoid Mortgage Disasters
- Go local. Even large national banks use local area bankers
- Get educated. Know the home buying and mortgage process in and out.
- Trust your Realtor to recommend several bankers to interview
If you go to the Buyers section of my site, you’ll find a detailed description of how to buy a house in Bergen County. I’ve written this specifically with you in mind. Call me at 201-741-8490 to discuss this further.
The bottom line is that no matter where you come from, it’s in your best interest to go local. Doing things differently can hurt you tremendously.