If you are a first-time home buyer in NYC, you are taking the plunge into one of the country’s most unique real estate markets. That’s because New York is a vertical city of full of idiosyncrasies compared to the rest of the U.S. You will not find ranches and Colonials and mid-century moderns here. Instead, you’ll likely choose between a condo or co-op. Prewar or new development? Doorman? Elevator or walk-up?
And once you land your prize, you will be among the 30 percent of New York residents who own — because a whopping 70 percent rent. To help kick off shopping season, we are focusing on first-time home buyers in NYC. All month long, we’ll be highlighting articles that will help you navigate the buying process in NYC. Below is a four-week plan for how to become a New York homeowner. Let’s roll.
Week 1: Preparing to Buy
Many questions go into whether you can or should buy a place in NYC. A big one to ask is how long you’ll be living in NYC. To help provide that answer, we have a tool called “the tipping point,” which is the point in time when owning a home outweighs the benefits of renting. And here are plenty of other articles you should review before you take the dive:
- Should You Rent or Buy — See the pros and cons.
- 5 Tips for First-Time Buyers — No. 2 is probably the most important.
- First-time Buyers’ Timeline and Checklist — Five-minute read on steps in buying.
- How to Check Your Credit Score — Also, see what a credit report means.
- Why You Need a Good Credit Score — It will affect your interest rate.
- How to Buy a House with Bad Credit in NYC — It can be done.
- Difference Between Prequalification and Preapproval — Preapproval is most important.
- How to Get Preapproved for a Mortgage — It takes less than 30 minutes.
- Buying With Your Parents’ Help — Just be aware of gift money rules.
- Buying a Home With Gift Money — Timing is everything.
- How to Buy an Apartment for Less — Five tips on getting a deal.
- What Fed Rate Increase Means for NYC Buyers — Rates are rising.
- How Will Tax Reform Affect Me? — It’s a mixed bag.
- How Can I Save Enough for a Down Payment — Lower your buying price.
- Tips on Saving on Your Down Payment — Pack a lunch, for starters.
- Try to Avoid PMI — Why 20 percent down is so important.
- Why You Need a Real Estate Attorney to Close a Deal in NYC — Yep. NYC is “one of those.”
Week 2: Finding an Apartment
Now comes the fun part — finding an apartment. Before you jump into shopping for the place of your dreams, you should review this list of articles and determine how to go about finding that apartment.
- Should You Hire a Buyer’s Broker in NYC? — Uh, yes.
- Difference Between Buyer’s Broker and Renter’s Broker — They are like night and day.
- Buying? Beware of Entering a Dual Agency Deal — Get your own broker. Period.
- 5 Mistakes Home Buyers Make — It’s almost like falling in love.
- Why Are Condos More Expensive Than Co-ops? — Simply, supply and demand.
- What Is NYC’s Mansion Tax? — For one thing, it’s not a tax.
- 6 Reasons You Should Consider New Development — New is nice.
- What are HDFC or Restricted Sale Buildings?— Great deals, if you qualify.
- Want a Brownstone House? Here’s What to Know — It’s quintessentially New York.
- What Is a Prewar Apartment Building? — It has detailing everyone adores.
- Are Tax-Abated Apartments Good for Buyers? — They can be, until they expire.
- What Are Maintenance Fees? — This fee is for co-ops.
- What Are Common Charges? — This fee is for condos.
- Why Floor Plans Are Important — It’s all about space and flow.
- Types of Apartments in NYC — Hint: A junior four is not a young child.
Week 3: Making an Offer
You’ve found the home of your dreams. Now it’s time to make an offer and get a loan. Remember: In NYC, real estate is a blood sport, so put on your armor and go to battle.
- 6 Tips to Offering the Winning Bid — Become Sasha Fierce.
- 5 Tips on Giving Your ‘Best and Final’ Offer — Tricky, but try not to overpay.
- Getting a Mortgage for a Condo or Co-op — Co-ops are more nitpicky.
- 5 Reasons Why Your Offer Could Get Rejected — It’s not over until it’s over.
- Where to Get a Mortgage: Banks, Brokers, Credit Unions and More — Tip: Shop around.
- How to Get the Best Mortgage Rate — Get your financial house in order.
- What Is Typical DTI Ratio Required by Boards? — The magic number is 28 percent.
- How Much You Should Bid on an Apartment — It’s part art, part science.
- Types of Home Loans — Check out programs for first-time buyers.
Week 4: Closing the Deal
Now you’re in the final stretch. This is where things come together and you hopefully close on your dream apartment. But what if you have second thoughts? We have an article about that, too.
- How Much Time Is There Between Offer and Closing — It can take weeks. Maybe months.
- Do You Really Need a Home Inspection? — Not critical for condos or co-ops.
- Ins and Outs of Board Approval — Don’t mess this up.
- Co-op Financial Disclosure Statement Tips for Buyers — Don’t rush this process.
- Top Reasons for Co-op Board Rejections — Co-op boards should be a reality show.
- Closing Costs for Condo and Co-op — Condos are way pricier than co-ops.
- Where Does the Closing Happen? — Get ready to sign, sign, sign. And sign again.
- NYC Real Estate Oddity: Tipping the Title Closer — It’s no longer allowed.
- Buyers’ Remorse? Tips to Get Out of a Deal — There’s always a way out.
That’s a Wrap! Here Are More Resources
Join us for StreetEasy’s First-Time Home Buyers Seminar on March 3! Register here.
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