How to Prepare to Buy an Apartment in NYC

With spring just a few weeks around the corner, an age old question is coming up for many New Yorkers – “What on earth do I need to do to actually prepare to purchase an apartment?” Are you currently asking this question? If so, the steps below can help you get on the right track.

Get Educated

  • Take time to learn about the different kinds of ownership available in NYC so that you can figure out which one is right for you. You can get started by checking out my post on the differences between condos and co-ops.
  • Try to get a basic idea of the entire process from start to finish so that you’ll have an idea of what to expect (see Timeline for Buying).  
  • You should also try to figure out if there might be any special programs that could apply to you (i.e. HDFC housing, special loan programs via banks, etc).

Get Clear on Your Financial Situation

  • Determine how much you can afford for a down payment.
  • If you’re thinking of purchasing a co-op, it’s critical for you to figure out how much in assets you’d have left over after a down payment.
  • Calculate how much debt you’re currently carrying, and determine if you can pay down any of that debt before you start searching for a home. The lower your overall debt to income ratio, the better.
  • Check your credit reports to be sure there are no errors. Incorrect information can be costly when it comes to getting a mortgage.

Consider If Now is Actually the Right Time for You to Buy

  • No matter what’s happening with the market, deciding whether or not you should buy is a highly individualized choice. There’s a number of questions you should ask yourself first before taking the plunge (see “Should You Buy”).

Have more questions or want more tips? Feel free to reach out to me! I’m always happy to help!