As someone who searched for more than one year before I purchased my Upper West Side apartment, I can relate to the overwhelming and tedious process of finding the right home to buy in New York City. I have lived in my apartment for more than seven years, and I have experienced no buyer’s remorse, but others aren’t so lucky.

Buying real estate in New York is unlike buying real estate in other cities. Yes, the market moves at the speed of light.

But the minutia of co-op vs. condo, Manhattan vs. Brooklyn, not to mention the feat of choosing a neighborhood that’s best suited to an individual lifestyle, can be paralyzing. The last thing any homeowner wants to experience is buyer’s remorse. Heed this tips before you make any offers, so in the end, you’re happy with your new home in NYC.

Educate yourself about the market.

Before you’re ready to buy, do your homework. Look at various neighborhoods, and try to get an idea of where you’d like to live. Narrow down the section of town, and, if possible, to less than three or four neighborhoods. New York is a huge city, and you will run yourself ragged trying to explore all of Manhattan and Brooklyn. If you didn’t already know, you’ll quickly learn which areas of town would be within your budget. Once you’ve established that budget range and figured out the areas of the city you prefer, you have done the hardest part of the legwork. Now, move on to the hunt.

Find a buyer’s agent you trust.

Don’t attempt to tackle the search yourself. Find an experienced and recommended licensed buyer’s agent to work with you. Interview multiple agents until you find “the one.” The right broker will be knowledgeable, patient, and guide you through the process, as well as advise you on which property is the best investment and appropriately priced as compared to others on the market.

Don’t make a snap decision.

Give yourself enough time to look at apartments. Ten might be not enough, and 100 might be too many, but the number is different for each buyer. Make your wishlist and search until you find a home that meets 80 percent of the what’s on your list. You won’t find a single property that has everything you desire, so you will have to compromise. Don’t rush your decision –– you don’t want to have regrets.

Don’t buy too much.

Spending more than your original budget might encourage remorse later on. Yes, you’ll be able to get that chef’s kitchen if you spend $200K more, or a better view of the park for the apartment on a higher floor (also higher maintenance charges) but, you might not sleep at night because you’ll be stressing over making that monthly payment. Buying the right home is key, and will lower any anxiety that could creep up on you after the closing. Plus, buying within your budget will ensure that you won’t have to sell before you’re ready. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, but rather, what you can afford.

Be in it for the long haul.

You’ll want to commit to living in your New York home for a minimum of seven years. Yes, seven years may sound like a long time, but in the real estate world, it can often take that long or longer to turn a profit. Selling a property in less than two years from the purchase date could subject you to a capital gains tax. Staying in your home will provide a sense of security and ensure that you’ll make a good profit when you eventually sell.


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