If you are considering buying a home here in the Ocean Beach area, whether as a vacation home or an investment property, our knowledgeable sales staff can help you make the right choice. While we specialize in Ocean Beach I, II and III, as well as in Ocean Beach Shores and Monterey Beach, we can search the entire island for the right property to fit your needs.
Ocean Beach is a family-oriented beach community that has been attracting people for more than 60 years with its clean, wide beaches, slow pace, clean waters and local activities. Many of our buyers came here as children, dreaming of the day they could buy their own piece of Ocean Beach.
Real estate here is highly desirable and can range in price from the $200,000 range for a two-bedroom home on the middle block, to over a million for some bay or ocean front homes. In Ocean Beach, unlike most areas, we sell two types of properties: fee simple and leased land. In a fee simple purchase, you buy the land and the building on it. In a lease-land transaction, you are buying the house only, and will pay a yearly lease on the land to the landowner. For more information on how leased-land works, the specific cost, and potential tax benefits, please call one of our helpful Sales Associates.
Once you have decided you want to purchase, there are steps you should follow:
- Why are you buying and what can you afford? Whether this is your first vacation home or your third, you need to ask yourself why you want to buy and how much are you able to spend. Besides the down payment (typically 20% of the sale price) and mortgage payments, you will also be spending money every year on insurance, taxes and utilities. Are you going to use your vacation home as a rental property or keep it solely for your own use? What are the tax ramifications of each decision? If you decide to rent your property, you may be able to take advantage of income tax deductions. You should speak to one of our Sales Associates as well as a financial advisor who can determine whether or not you qualify.
- Get a mortgage pre-approval. It is a good idea for a buyer to be pre-approved by a bank before they make an offer on a property. Although this is not a final loan commitment, a pre-approval shows sellers that your have the ability to purchase their property. Our Sales Associates can recommend a lender upon request.
- Preview homes for sale. Your search for the perfect vacation home should begin on our sales listings page. Here you will find information on all of our listings, arranged by locale, including price, taxes, lot size, description and photos. Any questions you may have on a particular listing, whether its listed by Ocean Beach Sales, Monterey Beach Realty, or any other real estate agency on the island, can be answered by our knowledgeable staff. If you cannot find exactly what you are looking for in our current listings, you can talk to one of our Sales Associates about getting onto our contact list for either phone or e-mail updates. When you find a property or properties that may interest you, call your Sales Associate and schedule a time when you can view them, or click here to arrange a showing. Your Sales Associate will make sure the properties are still available and will make appointments for you to view them.
- Making an offer. After you have previewed homes and you have found one that meets your needs, you may want to make an offer. In a typical situation, you will complete an offer that your Sales Associate will present to the owner and/or owner's representative. With your offer, you will be expected to submit a check, usually for $500, as "earnest money" to show the seller that you are making serious offer. This money is returned to you if the offer is not accepted. The offer will be presented and the owner, in turn, may accept, reject or make a counter-offer. Because counter-offers are common, it is important for buyers to remain in close contact with their Sales Associate during the negotiation process so that any proposed changes can be reviewed quickly.
- Offer acceptance and attorney review. Once the buyer and seller have agreed to a price and terms of an offer and fully-executed contracts are in hand, attorney review begins. In New Jersey, it is typical to hire an attorney for the purchase and sale of real estate. Attorney review lasts typically three business days, but this can be shortened or extended by an attorney for either party if necessary. At this time, the balance of the initial deposit is due.
- Home inspections. When attornew review ends, you typically have 10 to 14 days to schedule inspections, which normally include a wood-boring insect inspection and a structural inspection. You will normally receive a report within 48 hours after the inspections. Any inspection issues should be discussed at this time with your attorney and what, if any, remedy you require, and he in turn will relay this information to the seller's attorney.
- Getting a commitment and ordering title work and survey. From the signing of the contract to securing a mortgage commitment, it usually takes 30 to 45 days. Once you have received a commitment, your attorney will order a survey of the property and a title search. You will also need to arrange homeowner's and flood insurances; keep in mind that the entire Ocean Beach area lies in a flood zone, and banks will require that you carry a policy. It is recommended that you contact a local insurance carrier who is familiar with the area; your Sales Associate can recommend local agencies that specialize in insuring shore homes.
- Getting to the closing. Once a closing date has been set, both the buyer and seller will call the utility companies to switch them over into the buyer's name. You will also schedule a last walk-through of the home to make sure it has been left in the condition as specified in the contract. The closing will normally be held in the office of the buyer's attorney, either with both buyer and seller present, or just the buyer because the seller has already signed their paperwork and sent it to the closing table. Money is exchanged, title to the property is transferred from seller to buyer, and the buyer receives the keys to his or her new vacation home.
- Moving day. Some homes are sold furnished, so moving in can be as easy as unpacking your suitcases. Other homes may be empty or need improvements before your move in. Your Sales Associate can help you find a moving company and/or a contractor, and our rental office can help you set up your new home as a rental property.
Congratulations! Once you make it through these steps, you are part of our beach community! Sit back, wiggle your toes in the sand, and enjoy the pleasure of owning a home within walking distance of the ocean!