Buying a home in NYC can sometimes seem difficult, especially when you start looking at the numbers: the median sales price in Manhattan is just under $1 million, sellers often expect a 20% down payment, and the median income in the area is just $57,000! Daunting, right? But the good news is that inventory is climbing and there is more supply than demand (giving buyers the upper hand in getting some good deals), so read on for all the info you need to get started on your first purchase journey.

What kind of homes can I buy?

  • When buying a condo, you have total ownership of the apartment and will be able to use some common areas in the building. Though the condo building will have a board, it won’t be as involved as a co-op board, and owners can easily rent or sell their home when they chose to.

  • A co-op can be an option when you want to make a long-term investment in a home. In a co-op building, owners get a share in the co-op association, and all the shareholders together own the building and its units.

  • Townhouses are connected with other buildings on a block and can serve as a single-family home or multiple different apartments. These houses often have a backyard and a rooftop and offer more privacy.

  • A fully-detached home is hard to find in Manhattan, but easier to find in outer-borough neighborhoods and more spacious than a typical townhouse.
  • Lofts are located in former industrial buildings converted to living areas. They are notable for their high ceilings, large windows, and wide-open spaces.

When’s the best time to buy?

This can be a little bit different in NYC than in the rest of the US: The best time to buy in the city is spring or fall. Conversely, the worst time could during the winter months as there isn’t as much housing stock available.

Should I get pre-approval?

Yes, you definitely should get a pre-approval. When you’re working with a broker they will often insist you have a pre-approval letter from your lender before they will start hunting for homes. The letter is based on your income and your credit score. 

What to expect at a closing?

Closings themselves can usually take a couple of hours because as the buyer, you have to sign a number of bank documents. You don’t really have to bring anything to a closing besides a government-issued ID (and a checkbook if you plan to pay that way). Your broker and your attorney will typically accompany you to this closing, and make sure that all the documentation is in accordance with what you and the seller agreed upon, before you can get to the signing of documents.

Should I get a broker?

With the incredibly competitive market in New York, it’s definitely a good idea to get a real estate agent – They’ll help you with finding the best deals and they know all the details about the requirements and laws. So click here or call 646.681.5272 with your questions to speak with an agent from Platinum Properties! We’re standing by to help you through every step of the real estate process, whether that’s buying your home, selling, renting, or anything in between.