How to Buy an Apartment in New York City

Are you preparing to purchase your home this spring? Be a savvy consumer before you hit the pavement and go to the next open house this weekend. 

Helpful Paperwork

1 - Find an Agent - Look for a licensed real estate agent who understands your local market and specific needs. Certain agents or brokerages can specialized in specific areas or types of homes. 

2 - Get Pre-Qualified - Before beginning your search, you should have a good understanding of your purchasing power. Unless you are paying with cash, get pre approved for a mortgage loan with the bank. Your agent can connect you with a few options speak with. Based on your income and credit history, a mortgage broker can determine how much the bank will lend you and estimate your monthly costs. 

3 - Visit Properties - Attend open houses and arrange private showings with your agent. You will quickly get an understanding of the market once you physically see a handful of homes. Prioritize your list of needs vs wants and specifically target the properties that best fit your list. 

4 - Negotiate - Now you must reach an agreement with the seller on the price and terms of your future dream home. Now that you want to make an "offer," consult your agent or comparable sales data to arrive at your price. Your offer is a non binding commitment to purchase the property at an agreed price. If you offer below ask, the seller can accept counter or reject.

 5 - Review -  Once an offer is accepted, a contract of sale will be created, building financials, and board minutes should be reviewed by an attorney. It is best to work with an attorney who is versed in New York City condo, coop, and townhouse sales. It is essential to used an attorney who will accurately complete due diligence on your behalf as the paperwork can be extensive. Many opportunities can arise that could slow or end your transaction.

6 - Sign your Contract - Show me the money. You will place a 10% contract deposit to move forward to a closing. The seller is entitled to this deposit if the buyer does not satisfy their obligations. 

7 - Complete Loan Application - Your bank will randomly select an appraiser to create an unbiased assessment of the home's value. 

8 - Pre Pare your board package (if you are purchasing a single, multifamily or lot skip to 10) - Coops and sometimes condos, are run by a board of directors who will require a board package in order for you to purchase the apartment. A board package generally consists of financial documents including tax returns, bank statements, mortgage commitment, from your bank, and letter of reference. After reviewing your package, the board will set an interview date. Your agent will help prepare your board package as well as pre pare you for the interview. While condos generally do not have interviews, you will have to present a purchase application to show you are financially qualified to purchase the home. .

9 - Board Approves Purchase 

10 - Bank Issues Clearance to Close - The bank will continue to do due diligence on the building for insurance underwriting purposes and loan compliance. 

11 - Closing Scheduled by Attorneys 

12 - Final Walk Through with Your Agent

13 - Closing - Congrats you are a home owner!