First-Time Home Buyers
If you are a first-time home buyer, use the guide below for helpful hints and tips and learn how to avoid common mistakes when buying your first home in Manhattan & Brooklyn.
- Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
- Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
- List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes - things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
- Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.
- Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
- One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
- A list or file of the properties that your agent has shown to you.
- Paper and pen for taking notes as you search.
- A camera to snap pictures of homes you have toured to help you remember your favorites and features you really liked.
- Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
- Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
- Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:
- Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
- Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
- Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
- You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).
All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please contact us directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.
All information is from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, prior sale or withdrawal without notice. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate and all descriptive information should be confirmed by customer. All rights to content, photographs and graphics are reserved to Brown Harris Stevens. Customer should consult with its counsel regarding all closing and tax costs. Broker represents the seller/owner on Broker's own exclusives, except if another agent of Broker represents the buyer/tenant, in which case a dual agent with designated or disclosed agents representing seller/owner and buyer/tenant. Broker represents the buyer/tenant when showing the exclusives of other real estate firms. If you are looking to purchase or rent housing, are using a screen reader, and are having problems using this website, please call 1-833-312-0654 for assistance. Broker actively supports Fair Housing and Equal Housing Opportunities. BHS has adopted the attached policy statement - Prior to showing a homebuyer a property or providing services: (1) The Rory S. Clark Team at BHS does not require identification from a prospective homebuyer, (2) The Rory S. Clark Team at BHS does not require a homebuyer to sign an exclusive brokerage agreement requiring the homebuyer to work only with the Rory S. Clark Team at BHS on all properties; and (3) The Rory S. Clark Team at BHS does not require a pre-approval for a mortgage loan in order to show a homebuyer properties. However, based upon the requirements of the seller, the building in which the properties is located, or others, some or all of the foregoing items may be required.