Home Buying in New York>Question Details

Lucy, Home Buyer in New York, NY

I am a 32 years old single female looking to buy in Manhattan.

Asked by Lucy, New York, NY Sat Apr 14, 2012

My credit score( last time i checked in March) is 725 and I made about 55K last year(2011) and I have about $50-60k in saving. Is it still realistic for me to consider owning a property in NYC? Thanks.

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If you have not checked out Harlem, give it a try. I am from Virginia and moved to Manhattan in 1998. When I decided that I wanted to stay in Manhattan to raise a family, I came to the top of Central Park and purchased in Harlem. My wife was reluctant but 11 years later (and 4 boys were all born here) we don't want to move anywhere else. The federal loan programs match the price points of properties here (mortgage brokers, jump in here) unlike the higher prices of midtown Manhattan. If your income is lower and you want a new condo for $550-$675 a SF or a townhouse for $400 a SF, Welcome to Harlem. We have 8 brokers that only focus on Harlem if you need help. We also offer a 1 hour real estate tour for new buyers wanting to learn about Harlem. If nothing else, You get a free cup of coffee at our office, some spring water for the ride and comfortable seating in a Lexus LX570 SUV. Contact our office for more details.

Robb Pair
President Harlem Lofts Inc.
Vice President Manhattan Association of REALTORS
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 20, 2012
I think your best bet would be to keep your eyes peeled for listings that say HDFC (Housing Development Fund Corp). These are buildings that the city has taken over, usually because the owners failed to pay property taxes, that have been converted to co-ops for low and middle income earners. I don't know of a list of these, but an agent will usually specify it in the listing. Check the listings for upper Manhattan - Harlem, Washington Heights, etc... Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012

I agree with Konstantin and Anna's comments. Your first step is to meet with a loan officer. You can meet with the bank that you do your banking with or any bank and they can tell you how much you can afford to purchase. Based on the amount you are preapproved for that will dictate how much real estate you can afford. There are options but you must get preapproved first.

If you would like to discuss further, do not hestitate to contact me.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
Be aware that a mortgage pre-approval letter is required in order to determine your price range and for any offers to be taken seriously, therefore begin by visiting with any loan officer; also choose an agent to work with, he/she will best guide you...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
Lucy, there are always options available. First step is to speak to a mortgage broker and find out what kind of mortgage you can qualify for / afford. Once we have that we can start looking for a home.
Additional monthly expenses to consider ( any good broker will do that for you) are property taxes and maintenance if getting a condo, or carring cost for coop.

If you want to discuss it further feel free to reach out.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
Hi Lucy,

Have you ever been to Long Island? I have an condo, 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom built in 2006 in the market right now. It has a covered parking, outdoor swimming pool, a gym and an entertainment room.
The Long Island Railway Station (LIRR-Westbury Station) is just across the street.
More information on the unit here:

Do let me know if you have any question. I'll be glad to assist you anyway I can.
You can email me at fhanim@gmail.com

Good luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 24, 2012

Robb hit the nail on the head for your needs. Also realize that HFDC is likely the best bet based off of your income as there are guidelines for those types of properties.

Timing is crucial as you may even be able to secure something in a more "downtown" area with those kind of options.

Best regards,

New York, NY 10014
Mobile: 917.423.5004
Fax 646.738.7415
E rshumake@townrealestate.com
W http://www.townrealestate.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 25, 2012
good luck Lucy, not to brag, but i make significantly more than you, and hv more in savings, and i still can not find something tht is reasonable in NYC... also my credit score is 762... i hv settled in brooklyn, i work in downtown NYC so it is only two stops from the office, but they hv far better pricing... BRKLYN is about 550-750 on the low end per sq ft... where manhatten starts at prob 950 per sq ft... by my apt in mid town they hv condo's going for nearly 1500 per sq ft... its getting pretty out of control...
for a heads up, if you find something you like jump on it... most building being put up at mom are all rentals and not ownerships due to the continuing run-up in manhattens rental market
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 20, 2012
Lucy, 55k for a yearly income is not a lot of money in Manhattan, believe it or not. Fortunately, New York City is a vast place, and there are numerous places in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, as well as Staten Island that are much more affordable to most people. Unfortunately most people are" low income" by Manhattan standards. and therefore priced out of this market. Other points that agents made were also good points by the way, so follow their advice to prequalify your financials, and you will have a much better idea of reality, which is what the bank is actually willing to lend you . You have every right to reside in Manhattan if that is your preference and if you can swing it financially.
Best of luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 16, 2012
Please contact Kevin at 212-714-1027 for immediate assistance. I have some nice places in Manhattan that you might want to see. Thank you and good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 16, 2012
Yes, definitely. Staten Island is a great place to look as far as owning your own home with that type of down payment. Another way to go is investing in a coop in Brooklyn maybe Bay Ridge, Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend these are just some of the beautiful neighborhoods in Brooklyn. With owning a coop the maintenance is a write off on your taxes which means extra money for you at the end of the year. If you need help you can always call me 718-635-2421 Thanks Jeannette Batsikas
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Hi, Lucy.
The first step would be to get pre-qualified by a mortgage professional. Then you will have a realistic idea of what you can afford based upon what a bank will lend you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Hello Lucy!
Great decision!! You should get a pre-approval letter from a mortgage broker in order to find out exactly how much you can afford. Then interview a few real estate broker and feel comfortable with one and go for it!!
best of luck
if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Fern hamberger
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Hi, you should also consider speaking with a mortgage professional to see how much you will qualify for. Then you can link up with an agent and they can show you what your options are.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Congratulations on your decision to buy an apartment in Manhattan. I wish you well and will do everything possible to make your investment a "smart" and well informed one.

Please be kind enough and give me a few details with regard to your expectations. A broad stroke list of some information for starters would help identify options that fit in your criteria. What is recommended is a Condo as opposed to a Co-Op, mostly because of the freedom and less restrictions that Condos facilitate. Although Co-Ops are more agressivly priced, the fact that a "Board" intervenes constantly can be an deterrent in the long run.

If you could outline preferred areas, like Mid Town, Down Town, Financial District, Chelsea etc etc would be a big help.

How large a space were you interested in, a one bedroom or two, Studio, loft?
How much have you allocated in terms of a budget?
A doorman/elevator building would be better, being that you are single, or are you OK with "walk up" options?
Will you have any pets?
When were you looking to occupy the premises?
About how much were you considering putting down as a payment, would you be financing the rest?

Just this much is fine to begin with, based on your response I'll do my research and contact multiple listing agents to find the right fit for you. Once I've done that, I'll forward the listings for you to review, complete with pictures, geographical details and amenities that are included. After you've reviewed and picked the ones you would like to see, I'll make appointments to show them to you.

I will be relentless in my search and will work with you consistently till you are comfortable and ready to make a decision. It will be my pleasure to assist you with this process. Call me (917) 705-3013 afernandes@manapts.com

Thanks for creating the opportunity to possibly findind an apartment for you, I really appreciate it,

best Wishes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
Hi Lucy,

I am an agent with Broadway Realty and I specialize in residential properties in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Give me a call at (718) 916 -2355. There are a few option which you have and potentially a few government programs you can use to your advantage depending on your situation. It is very realistic for you to own property in NYC.

Give me a call, we can discuss options available to you.

Ksenia Melnikova
(718) 916 - 2355
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
Hi Lucy,

Give me a call I would be glad to assist you in finding a place in Manhattan. I have a coop that may be of interest to you in Manhattan. You can reach me at the number below.

I look forward to discussing your real estate needs.

Coffy Bailey
Exit Realty Power
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
Hi Lucy. Congratulations on having a goal in mind. It's great to see someone saving for their dream. Banks will prefer a slightly higher FICO score though yours is quite good. 740 and up are what they prefer. You may not get the absolute best rate on a loan with 725 but you'll get a very good rate.

If you look at pricing anywhere below 110th St you may have trouble with a 20% downpayment. Keep in mind there are other fees associated with purchasing and many Coops and Condos will look for you to have a good level of post closing liquidity.

If you truly want Manhattan, I would suggest saving more and work a little on bringing up your FICO score. I also have a niche in Queens and your saving, income, credit and assets would give you much more there. I wish you all the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012

First off good job in saving and maintaining a healthy credit score. There are many options for you. Have you visited with a lender yet? My firm works with Wells Fargo and I also have a great contact, also a client, at Chase Home Lending. I suggest we start there to see what the bank will give you and then move on to looking for your home. There are many Condos or Co-ops here in the city and prices have become quite affordable.

You would not want to put all of your savings as down payment as closing costs here in the city can be costly. Depending on what you decide to by.

Please feel free to give me a call so that I can further assist you in your search!

Annette Holmgren

Bond New York
401-837-9445 c
212-584-4220 o
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
Dear Lucy,

It is very realistic, Financing for a condominium purchase is fairly easy. When borrowing more than 80% or more you'll get the lowest rate; but rates haven't been lower since the Great Depression, so putting less down will not greatly increase your carrying costs. With condominiums you can put down whatever the lender will accept. There are programs where first time buyers can put down as little as 3.5%.

Co-Ops tend to be less expensive, However, they usually require at least 20% down and requiring you have at least a reasonable amount of cash or liquid assets in your hands after you buy. Which is prudent. When buying, whether a condominium, Co-Op, or a house, I think it's wise to buy what you can afford to carry, and have the liquidity to carry it for awhile, if for some reason your income decreases.


Peter Howard, Associate Broker
Charles Rutenberg, LLC
127 East 56th Street, The 4th Floor
New York, NY 10022

917 414-5093
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
Yes, you are Qualified buyer for a studio in Manhattan up to $250000. In Queens or Brooklyn you can buy bigger apartment for that price. If you are ready to buy you can contact me and I can do some researches for you and help you to buy your first home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
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