The frequently asked questions presented here are in chronological order of when they were received.


Q. What’s the significance of the name Azimuth?

  1. I wanted to build a place to help get everyone where they wanted to be.  In keeping with that mission, Azimuth stemmed from that.  Loosely translated from Arabic to English, azimuth means "the way to heaven."
  2. It's also a nod to my math background.  Quite literally, azimuth is the horizontal angle or direction of a compass bearing.
  3. It's also a nod to my culture/ heritage being one of the few words that have an Arabic/ English origin that makes any sense as the name of the firm.

Q. I want to buy my first house.  What's the process look like?

A. Typically, first-time homebuyers get preapproved in order to keep pace with a quickly moving market. Many listings require a preapproval as well either to tour and / or to make an offer. If you don't have a lender, your broker should match you up with one that has the program(s)<link> that you should qualify for.

Once you have your letter in hand, you tour some properties that most closely follow your selection criteria. Typically, a buyer's selection criteria may be based on the size of the property, amenities, proximity to work, proximity to recreation, location of family members or friends, or a preferred school district. After you've toured enough houses to feel compelled to make an offer, you submit via the broker. Once an offer gets accepted, you have the option to retain an attorney. After an attorney review process<link>, you get under contract.

Once all the clauses in the contract get satisfied, a closing is scheduled, financing is finalized, and a closing statement is issued. If you accept the closing statement to be correct and the final walkthrough to be satisfactory, you close. You trade your promissory note for cash if you're financing. You trade cash for the keys and deed with the seller and then you live happily ever after in your new house.


Q. How do I choose the right program(s) to help me finance my first purchase?

A.

Loans (Secondary Mkt) / Features Low $ Down or No $ Down Reduced PMI No PMI Commission Rebate from ARE (up to 50bps on purchase price) Reduced Closing Costs
HomePath (Fannie Mae) * $ $
FHA $ $
VA $ $ $ $
USDA $ $
Conventional (10%+ down) $
Good Neighbor Next Door (Freddie Mac) $ $ $ $
NJ HMFA (Freddie Mac) $ $ $
Commercial $
Non-QM loans ** $
Interest-Only $
* = 5% on 1-unit/ primary residence, 20% for everything else
** = 25% or more
See Your Home Loan Toolkit for more.

Q. What's the attorney review process like?

A. Like watching two 5-year-olds fighting over finger paint, lots of hurrying up and waiting, or short, sweet, and pleasant depending on the two attorneys.  The end goal here is agreement and cooperation such that both clients are safe and protected so they can proceed in good faith.


Q.  What are some other things you think I should know about buying for the first time?

A. You should be following our Facebook page to know if there are any homebuying seminars coming up.
It's never too early to start saving for a down payment.  No down payment is too big.  Really do the numbers on what you can truly afford.
Check your credit score and improve it if needed.  The better your credit, the cheaper it'll cost to borrow over the life of the loan.

A good real estate agent will inform you of the home buying process and provide their expertise on local market trends. Also, they will connect you with listings within your price range that best suit your needs, as well as help negotiate the purchase price.
Line up and consider all contingencies in making your offer.  Watch this video for more.

Get a home inspection and other specialists (chimney inspector, electrician, plumber, etc.) who can make specific findings beyond what the home inspection can reveal.
Learn about common myths and truths.