I take the worry out of real estate deals
For over 15 years I've closed thousands of real estate transactions on both the residential and commercial side.
I protect your interests in what may be the largest financial transaction you will ever make.
2 Convenient Locations
Being centrally located, I'm available all over New Jersey
302 Lenox Avenue
54 Old Highway 22, Suite 250
My name is James Miner and I love working with home buyers.
Buying A PropertyMy law practice is concentrated in residential real estate transactions. I’ve handled thousands of purchases and have learned two “secrets” to successful real estate transactions. The first secret to success is assembling the right team of Real Estate Professionals to guide you through the transaction. When you have a great Realtor, a great mortgage lender and a great real estate attorney on your team you have vastly improved your chances of a successful, hassle-free transaction.
The second secret to success is communication. Regular on-going communication between you and your team of real estate professionals will ensure that you reach your goals.
Before you look for a home:
When you’ve decided that you would like to own a home the first step is to determine how much home you can afford. Meet with a mortgage professional to review your income, assets, credit, etc. to find out. There are many mortgage companies out there, and your choice of lender may determine whether your transaction is a dream or a nightmare, so choose wisely. I recommend that you choose someone local that you can reach when you need to, and can sit down with when necessary. I do not recommend choosing an internet based lender where all contact is online or through the telephone.
When interviewing mortgage lenders, keep in mind that each time a lender checks your credit score, the score may drop slightly. Therefore, first choose your lender, based on their estimated interest rates, fees and upon your interview of the representatives. After you have chosen the lender, then have that lender run your credit score so that he can quote you the actual rates based on your credit.
Now that you know how much house you can afford, the next step is to put together the team of real estate professionals that will help you achieve your goals. Your team will include a realtor, a real estate attorney, a home inspector and an insurance professional.
Finding a home:
Once your team is in place it is time to find the perfect home. Your realtor should know your price range as well as your preferences for type of home, neighborhood, etc., and will show you all of the available homes that meet your criteria.
Offer & Acceptance:
Once you have chosen the right house for you and have determined the price that you are willing to pay, your realtor will provide a draft contract. You will complete the document with your offer price, the amount of down payment, the amount to be financed, the requested closing date, inclusions/exclusions, and any other conditions of the offer. The offer is presented to the seller via the listing agent and the seller may reject, accept, or counter-offer. If the offer is accepted or once you are able to negotiate to mutually acceptable terms, the seller will sign the offer and this fully executed document becomes the Contract.
Your realtor will forward the executed contract to your attorney and also to the seller’s attorney. Attorney Review is the opportunity for the attorneys on both sides of the transaction to review the Contract and request changes that the attorneys feel are in their client’s best interests. Once the requested changes are discussed, negotiated, and finally agreed-upon, the contract will be out of attorney review and is then considered a binding contract.
There are three main things you need to know about Attorney Review:
1) Attorney Review is not three days. The three day period is the time during which the first Review letter must be sent. If the attorneys do not “disapprove” of the Contract within the first three business days the Contract will be binding as written.
2) The Contract is not binding on either party until the Review is concluded. This means that it is important that the Review be conducted, and concluded, as quickly as possible.
3) If you have any questions about the Contract, or if there is anything that you feel MUST be added to the Contract, we need to discuss it before Attorney Review is concluded.
The inspection contingency is intended to protect you from serious problems with the home. This would include structural defects, wood destroying insects, safety hazards and environmental hazards. The inspection contingency does not apply to minor maintenance items, cosmetic defects, or items which are simply old, if they nevertheless are in proper working order. The most common inspections are the structural inspection, wood destroying insect inspection, pool and septic inspections (if applicable), underground oil tank sweep and radon test.
The Contract will contain the date by which the buyer is required to obtain a mortgage commitment. If the commitment is not obtained by this date the seller could cancel the Contract.
Title Searches & Insurance:
Title insurance protects you and your mortgage lender against any title claims to the property. Title claims could be anyone claiming an ownership interest in the property or a lien against the property. I will arrange for a title insurance agency to prepare a title report for the home.
The closing should be the easiest part of the entire transaction. As long as the seller, the attorneys, the mortgage company and the title company have done their part in advance. Prior to the closing you will do a final walk-through of the home. Also prior to closing you will have to go to your bank to arrange for the funds for the closing.
The closing itself occurs in two parts. The first part is the closing of the buyer’s mortgage. This usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes. As the mortgage documents are highly standardized, and non-negotiable, the buyer is not expected to carefully read the documents at the closing. The attorney will provide a brief description of each document, along with its legal ramifications, as each document is presented for signature. The second part of the closing is the closing of title, during which the seller’s attorney will provide a Deed which transfers ownership of the home to the buyers, along with other necessary documents. The buyers will get keys to the home and the sellers will receive the funds due to them.
Selling A PropertyTen steps to Managing your move
1. Start Early
It’s never too early to begin the process. Begin by focusing on typical problem areas such as the attic, basement, garage, closets, file cabinets.
2. Be Generous
If you are downsizing, and you can’t take everything to your new home, now is the time to make arrangements to “gift” some of your treasures to special people in your life including family, helpful neighbors, friends, or charitable organizations.
3. Preserve Your Memories
You may have boxes of old photos from every holiday, vacation and birthday party. Consider the following ways to preserve family photos and stories: a customized process of audio and video recordings called Life-Storying. Copy your special photos on to CDs, or try your hand at scrapbooking. Also services now exist that will take all your photos, slides, and videos and do it for you.
4. Think about Books
If you own large quantities of books, you need to spend time downsizing your collections. Books occupy lots of space and are heavy to move. Consider donations to libraries or senior centers, or sales to used bookstores. Call on a book dealer for older books with potential value.
5. Use It , Don’t move it
Take an inventory of your canned goods, frozen foods, and paper products. Plan to use as many of these products as you can before moving. If you simply have too many of these items, think about passing them on to a local food pantry.
6. Recycle the Toxins
Put together a box or two of household, yard, and automotive cleaning products, batteries and paint that cannot be thrown away and make arrangements for safe and proper disposal.
7. Don’t Lose Touch
Create a list of people, places, and utilities/services that need to be notified of your upcoming change in address.
8. Space Plan Ahead
Make a floor plan of your new residence. A floor plan will help you determine which pieces of furniture will fit in your new home, and the best location for each.
9. Pack a Survival Bag
Put together a survival bag for move day. It might in clude personal needs (medications, eyeglasses, toiletries, change of clothes, important papers, etc); kitchen needs (snacks, drinks, folding chair, disposable cups plates); basic tools (hammer, screwdriver, flashlight, tape, etc.); cleaning supplies (sponge, roll of paper towels, soap, etc.); and payment for mover – be sure you know what forms of payment they accept.
10. Ask For Help
Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Moving is not easy and you shouldn’t do it all yourself. But don’t wait until the last minute to ask for help. Some of these downsizing steps require months to accomplish.
A Real Estate AgentI understand how important it is for us to work as a team when we help our mutual clients to achieve their real estate goals. I am always available to you to discuss our files and my office will copy you via email on all correspondence.
A little bit about my office…. real estate is the primary focus of my practice and I handle over 300 transactions per year. My practice has been dedicated to real estate transactions for almost 20 years.
I have two paralegals, one full-time and one part-time, dedicated to my real estate files. All of our files and documents are saved digitally and databased, so anyone in the office can access the files, answer questions, and forward copies quickly and efficiently.
I look forward to working with you and proving that you can refer your clients to my office with confidence that your files will be handled professionally and efficiently and that your clients will be treated that way that you want them to be treated.
Thinking about a Short SaleI’ve represented hundreds of clients in short sale transactions, both buyers and sellers.
If you are the seller, I will handle all negotiations with your lender(s) with a goal of arranging for the lenders to release all liens on the property, waive any deficiency balance and cover all expenses of the transaction, including legal fees, real estate commissions, etc.
If you are the buyer, we can discuss the benefits and pitfalls of a short sale purchase. I will ensure that your purchase is free of any liens or claims, including mortgage, tax liens, or homeowner’s association obligations.
Feel free to call me to discuss any short sale transaction you may be considering.
Dear Jim & Staff, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the good work, patience and kindness you’ve shown us over the last several months with selling & buying our homes. . .
Dear Jim, Just wanted to tell you again how much we appreciated your help. Your advice was very helpful and your professional caring manner made what could have been a difficult procedure simple and painless. . .
Thanks for everything you’ve done for us. You truly made the closing a stress-free situation. We are eternally appreciative and thankful.
David & I would like to sincerely thank you for all of your assistance with the sale of our house. With a new baby coming and so many other things going on, we can’t tell you enough how much we appreciate you making this such a simple process for us.
Thank you again for your careful, inclusive and diplomatic way of managing the reiew of the Frosh Valley proposal and subsequent board vote. Your attention and skill ensured that the proposal received a fair and thorough consideration
Shawn and I just wanted to thank you again for everything you did to ensure such a smooth closing. We really appreciate and thank you for everything! We could have not done this without you!
I am extremely grateful to have my transaction in your office’s hands. It was indeed a seamless transaction. It was a pleasure…
Thank you very much for drawing up the legal papers for our church and our new pastor Rev. *** and his wife. Your kindness is appreciated.