Taking the plunge and Buying an Apartment in NYC is always an exciting step, especially because it’s NYC! If you’re ready to have a little more stability in the city that never sleeps, read on for our insider tips on how to buy the NYC apartment of your dreams.
Tips on Buying an Apartment in NYC
Get Your People in Place
The real estate market in NYC is notoriously competitive, especially for first time home buyers who are on a budget. While it may seem counter intuitive to spend some of your precious down payment stash on additional house hunting helpers, experts recommend working with a real estate agent from the very start. Ask around to find a personal recommendation from a friend or family member so you can be sure you’ve found someone that you can trust to guide you through the process. In addition, New York requires you have a real estate lawyer on your side to complete all the necessary closing paperwork. Shop around to find a trusted attorney who will charge a flat rate that won’t break the bank, but don’t scrimp too much as you want someone with the know how to help everything go smoothly when it matters most. As you round out your team, you’ll also want to contact a mortgage lender or bank to start the pre-approval process. Having a clear idea of your budget will make your apartment hunting more realistic, and help everything go a bit quicker when you find the perfect pad.
Feel free to use us as a resource. We have worked with many terrific Real Estate Agents in NYC, Real Estate Attorney’s and Mortgage Brokers. We would be happy to share our experiences with you
Co-op vs. Condo?
Once you’ve got a real estate agent in place, you can begin the process of buying an apartment in NYC. One of the first questions you’ll need to answer is whether you want to buy a unit in a co-op or purchase a condo. There are many factors that will influence this decision depending on your personal tastes, budget, and how long you plan to stay in your unit. To make some broad generalization, co-ops are typically older buildings that technically grant its occupants shares in the corporation that own the building. They are governed by co-op boards who have a say in approving your request to buy, and also regulate many aspects of co-op life, including noise level, how long you can stay, and renovation and maintenance. Condos are typically newer and offer some more amenities as a result, plus greater freedom and autonomy in terms of what you can do to your unit and how you can carry on your life as an apartment owner. The downside to condos is cost; newer units and more freedom means higher turnover and higher prices.
Location and Lifestyle
Finding and buying an apartment in NYC that works for you often means taking plenty of time to think carefully about the area where you want to live. As you begin your search, consider your commute time, access to supermarkets or bodegas, and amenities like restaurants, coffee shops, and gyms or yoga studios. Buying an apartment in NYC as opposed to just renting an apartment in NYC means that you’ll be investing more time in an area, so you’ll want to make sure it works for you. Spend time in different neighborhoods after you check out apartments to get a feel for the overall energy of the block. Don’t get stuck finding the perfect unit in a terrible neighborhood; you’ll have a harder time getting it off your hands and you’ll have to start the whole process over again.
Buying an apartment in NYC can be incredibly challenging, but there’s nothing like the feeling of turning the key into a place you actually own in the Big Apple. Be persistent, be smart about budget and location, and you too can find an apartment to call home for years to come!