I'm in NYC and need to buy an appartment in July of 2011 - when should I start looking at properties?

Asked by john jones, New York, NY Wed Oct 27, 2010

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Christopher…, Agent, West Hollywood, CA
Fri Jan 21, 2011
Eric, If you need to move in during July, you should be looking now. A co-op deal can take several months to close. Call me if you need any assistance. Christopher Stanley 212-500-7052
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Rob, , New York, NY
Fri Jan 21, 2011
Hi Eric,
When you say you need to "buy" in July I assume you mean that the deal must close at some point during that month. If so - and assuming that some portion of your purchase will be financed - I suggest arranging your finances now in advance of getting a pre-approval letter issued around April. This step, and the subsequent steps in the best-practice home-buying process are detailed in a 5-minute video linked below. I hope you find it useful. Feel free to click on my name if you'd like more information about the process. My work on behalf of home buyers is always free of charge.
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Joseph Hasti…, Agent, Bayside, NY
Fri Dec 31, 2010
Eric, if you truly "need" to buy on or before the date mentioned, time is already of the essence. If you have interest in Coops, keep in mind that once you have an accepted offer it will still take at least three months (or more) to close if you are financing the sale.

I strongly suggest you contact a broker to help. They can stream line the process big time. You are well aware that time does indeed fly. Don't get caught by thinking you have plenty of time as you don't. Good luck!
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Filippa Edbe…, Agent, New York, NY
Mon Nov 15, 2010
Dear Eric,

To give you the most appropriate answer, i would need to first ask you some questions:
You say that you "need to buy an apartment" in July. What is the reason for this timeline?

Is your current lease expiring, is your personal situation changing and you need to move to a larger apartment, do you have money coming in that you want to invest?

Right now Mortgage Interest Rates are down to 4.17% for a 30 year fixed loan. If you want to play the "adjustable rate game" then you can now find rated under 4%. The last time that we saw rates this low was back in 1971. What this means is that banks are practically loaning you the money you need to purchase a home for free.

First: You should start with making sure that your finances are in order. Start with seeing a couple of banks and a mortgage broker to get pre approved. Find out your credit score. Figure out your budget. How much can you comfortably afford.

Second: Make a "wish list" of all of your criteria by order of importance. Size of apartment, amenities, neighborhood etc. This will make you think about what is really important for you and it will help your broker find properties that fit your budget and match as many of your requests as possible. Decide whether you are looking into buying a coop or a condo.

Third: meet with a couple of different brokers and see how you feel about them and decide who you get along with most and who you think will best represent your interest. Work with someone who you trust. Someone who understands your needs and wants and who is dedicated to find you the best property possible within your budget.

Then the fun starts!

I'd be happy to meet with you and further discuss what you should think about as a buyer in New York.

Filippa Edberg
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Brigitte Oua…, , Upper West Side, New York, NY
Wed Oct 27, 2010
I would start ASAP by going to open houses every week-end.
To get a sense of the market.
I would also hire a real estate professional with whom I feel very happy and confident to work with.
Remember that you will be sharing very confidential and personal information with that person.
And of course I would get my finances organized, with the help of my real estate agent.
Enjoy the process! And good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.69west83.com
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Christopher…, Agent, West Hollywood, CA
Wed Oct 27, 2010
I would suggest starting to look in December if you are planning to buy a Co-op, and a couple of months later if you are sure you will focus on Condos only. Give yourself a solid 6 months to get through a Co-op deal!
Organize your financial statement, talk to a mortgage person for a free pre-approval, and find a broker you like who will monitor all listings for you in your category (it's free to the buyer, so Enjoy!)

Christopher Stanley | Senior Associate Broker | Multi-Million Dollar Club
the corcoran group 36 East 12th Street | New York, NY 10003
tel: 212.500.7052 | email: cstanley@corcoran.com
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Robin Silver…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Garden City, NY
Wed Oct 27, 2010
There are a few steps you should take before you start looking at properties. First is to figure out what type of property you want, and how much you can afford to spend. You should learn the pitfalls of thinking about new construction condos, and decide what you are willing to do as far as getting a loan if you plan to finance the purchase. If you are going to focus on co-ops and existing condos, you may want to know certain things about that as well.
The other thing to decide is how picky you are and what you want. I have clients who have looked for months and haven't ended up liking what they see, or getting an offer accepted. Everyone is different, but your first step, if you are planning on financing, is to contact a loan officer who has the most options available for you. I can do banking or brokering, so there are more options.
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Perry Afiuny, , New York, NY
Wed Oct 27, 2010
Well, there are a lot of factors...It really depends on where and what you would like. I've been in both the real estate and mortgage industries for 10 years and I would love to give you some more insight. Give me a call at 646-300-7275.
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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed Oct 27, 2010
You can actually begin now by getting your finances in order; do visit with any qualified loan officer, see if you qualify for a mortgage, how much, establish a budget, etc.; you can also begin researching neighborhoods online, also visit areas of interest more than once and at different times of day--narrow down your preferences, etc.; depending on the property you wish to purchase, do keep in mind that once an offer is accepted and are in contract, it can take a few months to close.
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Jenet Levy, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Oct 27, 2010
You really should start soon as every step of the process is taking much longer now. You must get pre-qualified first, then you need time to search for a suitable property, hopefully with an experienced agent. After your agent has negotiated for you, the contract phase is taking much longer, a couple of weeks in many cases. Banks are very backed up, so after you apply for your mortgage, it is taking a lot longer to get your commitment. Then, for a co-op, you have to add a month for board approval. Then banks are adding ridiculous amounts of time to clear buyers for closing. They are sometimes adding an entire extra month of rechecking and foot-dragging, which is holding up NYC sales closings to a ridiculous degree. For a co-op, better allow at least 4 months and 3 for a condo. Two of my very recent condo purchasers had their loans stuck in underwriting for a good month beyond the expected closing date. The banks just can't handle the volume right now and it is not easing, if anything getting worse.
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Klara Madlin, Agent, NY,
Wed Oct 27, 2010
If you are getting financing it is taking more time then it used to. Even condo closings are taking 2 months to close and coops can take 3 to four months. You should use the time before you start looking to get pre qualified for financing
Web Reference:  http://www.klaramadlin.com
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Ross Ellis, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Oct 27, 2010
You have to take into account that an accepted offer and signed contract could take approximately one month depending on parties. It shouldn't but it can. The average closing takes approx two months. But there could be a few variables. If you are looking for a new development, you may want to begin looking now. If you're looking for a resale you could wait until February or March if you're not sure of what you're looking for you may want to start earlier so you get a feel for what is the "right fit" for you.

Having an experienced agent to represent your interests is always best. I'd be happy to assist you in the process. Do feel free to contact me. I can also recommend appropriate real estate attorneys and other vendors/services.

Ross Ellis
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Halstead Property, LLC
770 Lexington Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10065
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Bestplace2mo…, , Kingston, NY
Wed Oct 27, 2010
If you want to close in July I'd start looking casually in February and get your shortlist and be ready to make an offer in April or May to play it safe. The process of buying a coop is longer because you need board approval etc. but if you have a good realtor and they do their homework they'll be able to make sure you won't get any surprises during the approval process. Good luck.
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Eisenberg Sc…, Other Pro, New York, NY
Wed Oct 27, 2010
It depends on several factors, including the type of property you intend to purchase. Most importantly it depends on if you want to be closed in July of 2011. Other factors will include if you are looking at new construction or newly renovated buildings as the timeframes on those can be significantly longer from contract to closing. Please feel free to call me to discuss now 212-683-1668 or 917-306-6618. Thanks
Scott Eisenberg
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Doug Perlson, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Oct 27, 2010
Start as early as you can. By the time you are ready to buy, you want to have your neighborhood - and ideally your favorite blocks and buildings - narrowed down so you know exactly what you want. You should also be able to walk in and know if a floorplan is going to suit you. Then you will be able to do a lot of weeding out by looking at floorplans on the web. And you can save the buildings that appeal to you and be notified when apartments in those buildings come up. Also keep in mind that buying a co-op in the summer months can be tricky due to vacation schedules of co-op board members, making the approval process even trickier. So a 6-8 month lead time is probably a good idea in my opinion.
Web Reference:  http://www.realdirect.com
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Annette Levi…, , New York, NY
Wed Oct 27, 2010
That depends, are looking to purchase a coop, condo, single family or multifamily home? If you are looking to buy a coop, it normally takes 4 months from the time you find the unit you want to buy. Condo (not in construction) and the others should take 1 month from the time you have an accepted offer.
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