The Home Buying Process

Real Estate

On January 6, 2017, David Brooks’ editorial in the New York Times ( posed the question of ‘how do people choose a house’. This article was particular interesting to me because of my unique market area. Running North to South along the Jersey Shore, I have the great fortune of introducing my clients to almost thirty towns in a fifteen-twenty mile run. David covers most of the process of selecting a home from the internet search to the Realtor showing. What I found most poignant was his recognition the the buying process is not about buyers buying houses – it’s about them buying a lifestyle.

The initial meeting with a new client for me includes a discussion that goes beyond bedrooms and baths and proximity to beach or schools, budgets etc. My interview includes discussions about their everyday living habits, the sort of community they want to live in, what they do for entertainment, do they entertain and what is it exactly that makes them happy. Often times we discuss buying a beach house vs buying a house at the beach as many find then can move here and still commute to Central Jersey and NYC.

Why is it so important that I know all this information you ask? With a few personal examples I can show you that every town has its own personality.

Asbury Park is a very diverse community. From seasonal to full time residents, it has condos, rentals and homes. The downtown area is vibrant with a variety of dining options that rivals many of New Jersey’s larger towns. There is a movie theatre, The Showroom Cinema, that takes you back in time as you sit in the tiny theatre offering overflow seating on folding chairs. Rooftop bars, boardwalk restaurants and quaint stores add to the ambiance. Move here if you want to walk to a cafe for a cup of coffee or stroll home after dinner. I sold to a lovely couple who lived and work in Princeton. After travelling up and down the shore a couple weekends we determined that they wanted a home at the beach, not a beach house, and are thrilled with their decision. Easily commutable to points in New Jersey and New York made it easy for them to get to work.

Spring Lake is on the quieter side with stately homes, an upscale main street, a few dining options and a beautiful boardwalk. The Spring Lake Theatre and the many home and Inn tours serve as great entertainment. Move here is you are looking for an upscale beautiful town at the beach. I often think it sad that some of these beautiful homes sit idle for many months a year. They are beautiful on the outside as well as inside, often restored to their early nineteenth century charm. Many buy here for their family’s enjoyment as well as the opportunity to invite and entertain guests on their expansive rocky chair porches. I have sold to clients who have homes within a thirty minute drive, looking for the perfect lifestyle to escape the stresses of their jobs.

If you are looking for a boating community you will stop in Manasquan, Brielle, Point Pleasant and Brick.  Manasquan and Point Pleasant have wonderful downtown areas offering that beachy feel that appeals to all ages. Hit the boardwalk, sail from the marina or park you boat in your backyard. I sold a wonderful home to a young couple from one of our Northern Cities looking for a little country on the water. The pool went in this year, next year the water sports will be addressed.

As you can see, David was on point in his article when he said: “The process of house hunting focuses your attention of the wrong things”……”It focuses on the features of the house, not on the social relationships that will happen in them, which is all you’ll remember decades hence.” Thank you David. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Think Coldwell Banker and call me because I can make awesomeness happen!