A PRE Home Buying Guide for New Yorkers
Before you even crack open a home buying guide on your quest for buying a home in NYC, you need to do some pre-prep work. The homebuying process takes a lot of time, money, and patience, so prepping yourself ahead of time can alleviate a lot of stress.
Before you even crack open a home buying guide on your quest for buying a home in NYC, you need to do some pre-prep work. Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase you’ll make in your life, so knowing what you’re getting into before you leap in can help calm any concerns you may have.
Get Your Paperwork Together
Any home buying guide is going to have paperwork on the list. You’re going to need a lot of to prove that you are responsible enough to own a home. This mountain of paperwork will include W-2s, tax returns going back at least two years, job references, and credit reports. Gathering all of this paperwork when you’re starting to even think about the idea of buying will help you remain more in control later. Put everything in a clearly marked packet so that you can just grab it and go when you’re ready.
How Much Can You afford?
Every New Yorker would love a sleek penthouse on the Upper East Side or an enormous downtown Tribeca loft, but you’ve got to make sure that you can afford that type of housing before you even begin to consider it. A $1 million-dollar apartment doesn’t simply cost $1 million. You’ll need to pay maintenance and taxes as well, so figure those numbers into your budget when figuring out a home amount you can afford.
Secure Your Down Payment
Unless you’re able to produce an all-cash bid for your apartment, you’re going to have to come up with a down payment, so secure it as soon as you can. Plan on putting down at least 20 percent, although some buildings require as much as 50 percent down. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to secure an apartment through a low-down payment program, but they tend to be hard to get in NYC, especially if you’re interested in buying a coop. Aggressively save, have it gifted to you from friends and/or family . . . do whatever you can to make sure you have enough money to put down. If you have less money to put down, you may wish to consider a condo, which often require smaller down payments but are also usually more expensive.
Find a Good Broker
A good broker can mean the difference between scoring the home of your dreams and spending months on a never-ending home search. Even though there is so much online these days, brokers still know about homes before they even hit the market, thanks to their years in the business and the relationships that they’ve built up. In addition to past clients, they also know building boards, building supers, doormen, and all of the other people who’d be the first to know about great apartments coming onto the market. A great broker can also help you negotiate a good price for a place if there’s any wiggle room.
Which Neighborhood Do You Want to Live In?
If you’re a single person, your key requirement in finding a place to live may be proximity to your job, nightlife, and friends. Once you have a family, the key determining factor will probably be finding a place close to your kids’ schools. If you’re planning on going the public school route, keep in mind that in order for your kids to be guaranteed a spot at a chosen school, you’ll have to be zoned for (live in) the district the school is located in. And to make it a bit harder for those struggling with a tight budget, the best public schools tend to be in the more expensive parts of the city.