This week, we’re rounding up tips and advice on a variety of home-buying topics from experienced NYC agents as part of StreetEasy Buyers Week.

Today’s question:

What’s the most important first step if you’re considering buying in NYC?

Understand what you can afford, was the most common piece of advice:

“First, buyers need to get preapproved for financing from a bank or lending institution if they need to finance their purchase with a mortgage and are not paying all cash. This will help the buyer determine what they can really afford and prevent their disappointment if they think they can afford something they actually can’t. Having preapproved financing enables buyers to submit an offer for a property that is viable and means business.”

Joseph Dima & Josiane Lysius, Corcoran

“Understanding affordability by way of knowing what lenders and co-op boards will need from them.”

Josh Rubin, Douglas Elliman

“Home buyers underestimate the need to be preapproved and knowing their numbers to settle into the home. The diligence in shopping for a mortgage is just as important as searching for the home.”

Jacqueline Edwards, Perfect Quarters

“Get preapproved by a mortgage professional who is versed in the NYC market and their closing costs.”

Takk Yamaguchi, Compass

Other Tips:

“Build a relationship with a good real estate agent. Go for coffee, get to know each other and make sure you are a match. Then get down to specifics.”

Bernard Klein, Blooming Sky

“Find out which neighborhood you want to live in and why. Just because it sounds cool doesn’t necessarily mean it makes sense for your situation. Paying a higher price tag which leads to over extending oneself, length of commute, what the neighborhood truly has to offer are the serious considerations potential buyers should be thinking about.”

Michael Napolitano, RE/Max


If you’re thinking about buying in NYC, check out Buyers Week for more agent tips and need-to-know information about the process.