Buying Your New Home
BEFORE YOU START LOOKING
Before you begin looking at houses in the New York City (NYC) area, start by identifying preferred and ideal locations based on your needs, social activities, job location and lifestyle preference. Since you are new to the area, get familiar by driving around some of the neighborhoods at different times of the day. The NYC area is quite expansive, and if your new job is located in Manhattan or out in one of further burroughs, living really far from your jobs will make little sense and make commuting more difficult. Since you are new to the area, get familiar by driving around some of the neighborhoods and burroughs at different times of the day. Once targeted locations are identified, it is important to define your living needs within the house and homes with the style you seek.

For example, how many bedrooms and bathrooms are needed? Are there special requests, such as ample kitchen counter space or an island in the kitchen for food preparation? Is it important to have a family room or backyard? Are there preferences for the kitchen, such as gourmet features with top-of-the-line equipment, or will a functional kitchen be acceptable? What architectural and aesthetic preferences are important—single-level or multilevel, traditional or contemporary, bold and modern or warm and rustic? What about a swimming pool, a scenic view or a big yard—are any of these items a priority? If so, your real estate agent will need to know. A discussion about location or proximity to certain facilities and amenities is also an important conversation because it will influence a family’s opinion of a property.

It’s also important to note what you don’t like and communicate that to your real estate agent. If traffic noise near your home is a problem, make note. Is there adequate shade around the property so utilities won’t be high in summer? Is the potential home light, bright and airy or in need of immediate modernization? Is the property located in your preferred school district? How about shopping? Is it necessary to drive far to buy groceries or access services? Are there adequate roadways in and out of your neighborhood, especially during rush hours? Let these ideas help you develop your own list that you can refer to during the home-shopping process. This can help you avoid making an emotional decision.

USING THE WEB AS A RESEARCH TOOL
In addition to searching for properties and real estate agents in the NYC area through the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR), there are national real estate websites that list homes for sale and provide information and tips but don’t handle transactions. These include Zillow.com (
www.zillow.com), Yahoo Real Estate (www.realestate.yahoo.com) and MSN Real Estate (www.realestate.msn.com). At these sites, you can learn about individual neighborhoods, school districts, local area statistics and home values as well as access current real estate market reports.

SELECTING A REAL ESTATE AGENT
Before you relocate to the area, it is a good idea is to find a real estate agent who is a relocation specialist or a buyer’s agent. A relocation specialist focuses on helping people move to a new area, and many are available through nationwide real estate brokerages. If you’re unfamiliar with real estate companies in the New York region, ask a real estate agent you know in your current city for a company recommendation or affiliation. You can go online and search for companies that meet your needs and geographic location. You also can contact the advertisers included in this relocation guide.

Selecting the right real estate agent is important as you will be working closely with that professional on one of the most important financial transactions in your life—the purchase of your home. When interviewing real estate agents, include these questions to ask:
  • Question 1: Is the real estate agent a certified REALTOR®?
  • Question 2: Does the real estate agent have any additional training or designations? Does the agent’s business card and website information reflect this?
  • Question 3: How long has the agent been in the business?
  • Question 4: How well does the agent know the NYC real estate market?
  • Question 5: How many transactions was the agent involved with last year?
  • Question 6: Does the agent work full-time or part-time?
  • Question 7: Is the agent a good communicator and does he present himself professionally? Which tools does the agent use to communicate? By phone and e-mail?
  • Question 8: How accessible is this person during the workweek and the weekend?
  • Question 9: Does the agent know the community you may be interested in?
  • Question 10: Is the real estate agent a buyer’s agent, a seller’s agent or a dual agent?
  • Question 11: Does he or she have recent client references?

After deciding on the right agent, it’s important to remember to keep communication lines open, sharing any thoughts, concerns or reservations at any point along the way to ensure the best home buying experience.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
 
Chapters
The New York Metropolitan Area, formally known as ...
BEFORE YOU START LOOKING Before you begin looking at ...
One of the highest priorities for relocating families ...
YOUR GUIDE TO FINANCING A HOME As a newcomer ...
HEALTH AND WELLNESS IN NEW YORK CITY New York ...
In this chapter, you’ll find information on different ...
It’s been a hectic week as you learned ...
New York City (NYC) is the most populous ...
STAYING ORGANIZED BEFORE THE MOVE You’ve just received exciting ...
Buying a House and Making it a Home While ...
ALTERNATIVES TO BUYING A HOME If you’re relocating to ...
Your spouse has just been offered a promotion ...
VERTICAL LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY As the most ...