Buying a home is one of the biggest financial moves most people make in their lives. How do you find the right property, especially in a city as vast as New York City?
How much can I afford?
As much as you want a home, if you aren’t financially qualified, you’re going to have a tough time fulfilling this dream. Before you start looking for a home, get with a lender and discuss your current situation. Fix your credit if need be and work together to get a pre-approval letter in hand.
As a result, you’ll know exactly how much your maximum loan could be. These hard numbers eliminate any properties that are out of your price range.
What do I want in a home?
When you know your maximum price, sit down and brainstorm what you want in a home. Here are the most basic questions you should answer before calling a real estate agent:
- Where do you want to live? What’s the farthest you’re willing to commute?
- What type of home do you want? (coop, condo, brownstone, townhouse, etc)
- What is your price maximum? Minimum?
When you know what you want and are financially fit to buy, it’s now time to officially start the house hunt. However, we highly recommend you don’t do this alone.
Should I go unrepresented or find an agent?
Please don’t buy a home as an unrepresented party, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. Having an agent will make all the difference in landing you the home of your dreams. Buyer’s agents are well worth the commission they receive as they can save you hours of stress. They know real estate law, are familiar with the city and are experts at negotiating all the best contract terms for your sake.
Buying a home as an unrepresented party is much like walking into a rainstorm without an umbrella. A real estate agent will protect you from many mishaps like unfair contract terms. They can also rescue a deal from imploding due to fixable issues.
What if there’s nothing out there that I like right now?
Buyer’s remorse with something you can return like clothes isn’t a big deal. Homes, on the other hand, are not so easy to give back. If you visit a listing and you don’t love it, move on. The right home will speak to you. Rushing out of desperation or settling on a mediocre home will only lead to regret.
Instead, let your realtor show you the best properties that fit your needs and leave out anything that’s below the bar. We promise you that at the right time, the right property will come on the market.
What if I find my dream home?
When you fall in love, you want to do all you can to woo the person of your affection. The same goes for the home of your dreams.
Competition for affordable and quality properties in desirable areas in NYC is steep. Get your realtor to make the most enticing offer to the seller and hang tight. Trust and hope that your quick actions and your realtor’s negotiation power are going to be enough to seal the deal.
For some of the best properties, there may be several buyers all submitting competitive offers. Take your agent’s advice on what should go on the contract to make your offer stand out from the others. If it’s meant to be, then you’ll have a ratified contract with your name on it!
House hunting is an exciting yet tumultuous time in anyone’s life. Make it easier by hiring a real estate buyers agent who will do his or her best to get you your dream home in NYC.