Buying a home is a major decision, especially in a state with a vibrant real estate market like New York. However, don’t fret as we walk you through the steps you have to take to purchase a home in the Empire State.

Consider Your Financial Situation

Buying a house is a major financial decision. Therefore, you must be aware of your current financial situation. This involves reviewing your bank statements over the last few months to better understand your spending habits, calculating your debt-to-income ratio, and determining your credit score using a major credit-reporting bureau.

Start Saving for the Down Payment

A good rule of thumb is to have at least 20% or more of the estimated property value for the down payment before starting house hunting for Yonkers homes for sale. Lending agencies will usually cover the rest of the cost. Saving a sizable down payment helps drive down your monthly mortgage payments and gives you stronger leverage with lenders. It’s also important to remember that buying a home comes with several other fees, such as legal fees, inspection fees, moving costs, and even renovations.

Get Preapproved For the Mortgage

Most realtors or sellers will require your letter of pre-approval or a mortgage commitment before showing you a property or entertaining any offer to purchase a property. This also gives you an idea of how much banks are willing to lend you and, by extension, the type of home you can afford.

Find a Trusted Real Estate Agent

Finding a realtor who is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and effective makes buying a home much easier. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. Check online reviews and scout extensively for popular realtors. Remember that even though realtors get paid when you purchase a property, their job is to represent and protect your interests.

Choose the Right Neighborhoods to Scout From

When scouting for a neighborhood to purchase a home, there are many things to consider. Things like local housing prices, proximity to good schools, restaurants, and public spaces, safety, zoning laws, and the cost of commuting are just a few of them. Don’t hesitate to get the opinion of friends and family, especially those who live around the neighborhood. Talk to some locals for honest opinions. And take a walk around the area to get a first-hand opinion on some of its perceived strengths and weaknesses.

Go House Hunting

Now that you’ve scoped out a few nice neighborhoods, it’s time to start hunting for properties. There are several ways you can do this. Open houses are a great way to view a property for yourself, but other forms of house tours appeared due to a reduction in open houses following the pandemic. So, another popular option to view a house is 3D video tours which allow you to view the property right from the comfort of your home. You can also take a look at online sitings in the neighborhood to get a general idea of the cost of homes in the area. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and always request a final in-person tour even if you went with the remote option.

Make an Offer

Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, make a formal offer to the seller through your respective realtors. A general rule is to start about 5% below the asking price but be prepared to negotiate and bid significantly. Bidding wars and even losing out on a property are just some things you should be prepared for. It’s also a good idea at this point to obtain legal representation through a real estate lawyer.

Apply for the Mortgage

During this process, your lender will typically order an appraisal to ensure that the property is worth the value of the loan you are requesting for. As part of this process, you will typically be required to obtain title insurance which helps you determine if there are any undisclosed liens against the property. It is also a good idea to conduct any inspections on the property at this point. Make sure you use trusted inspection companies to avoid any unpleasant surprises later.

Close the Deal

This is the final step in purchasing your home. However, before this can happen, the mortgage company must have provided a mortgage commitment, all title objections have been cleared, and the legal representatives for the buyers, sellers, and mortgage company should have reached an agreement on the terms of the contract. Once you’ve settled all the paperwork and paid the closing costs (in New York, this usually costs about 3 – 5% of the property value), the property is finally yours. Don’t forget to save money for moving costs, possible renovations, and unexpected expenses.

So, while it’s important to do your homework and understand the market, don’t forget to listen to your heart. After all, when it comes to finding a place to call home, there’s no such thing as a sure thing. But with a little bit of research (and a lot of soul-searching), you’re sure to find the perfect fit.