When it comes to buying a home, there’s a large number of items you’ll want to check off along the way. Here are some helpful things to keep in mind:

Figure Out Your Budget
Determine your budget for a down payment and amount you are able to spend monthly. Consider monthly expenditures such as your mortgage, maintenance or common charges and real estate taxes, utilities, parking etc.

Get Pre-Approved
Pre-approval is an important and necessary step in the home buying journey. You should seek pre-approval for a mortgage, look into your credit report, FICO score, understand the different types of mortgages out there, shop for the best rates, and find the right program for your specific needs.

Understand Your Timeline
Identify your timeline for moving and understand what specific constraints you have.

Work With The Local Expert
Find a real estate agent who specializes in New York City real estate and more specifically, find a local expert who is active in the neighborhood you wish to purchase in.

Figure Out Exactly What You Want
Determine your needs and prioritize your wants: style of home, size, location, building amenities, condo, co-op or house.

Think About Your Commute
Evaluate access to transportation and commuting time to work in selected neighborhoods.

Consider Schools
If applicable, research schools and review school reports in selected neighborhoods.

Think About Amenities
Evaluate building amenities and house rules in terms of your needs (e.g. washer/dryer permitted, doorman, gym, pet policy, storage facilities, etc.)

Let Your Agent Handle The Negotiations
Discuss with your agent how much to offer and leave room to negotiate. Your agent will be able to advise based on how long the property has been on the market, the condition of the home, other offers that have been presented, and how the asking price compares to recently sold comparable properties. Let your agent prepare your offer and apply trained negotiating skills during the buying process. Your agent will advise you of any final negotiating factors that may benefit you in the purchase.

Review The Building
Once you have chosen an apartment, have both your agent and your attorney evaluate the building’s financial statements.

Have All Your Documents In Order
Once your offer is accepted work closely with your agent to gather materials for your mortgage application and/or board package.

Work With A Local Attorney
Find a local real estate attorney to prepare the purchase contract before you sign and represent you at the closing.

Consider Homeowners Insurance
Before you move in, obtain homeowners insurance. Get quotes, compare and secure an insurance policy with appropriate coverage.