Staten Island Home purchase guide



Thinking About Buying Your First Staten Island Home?


Thinking about purchasing a home of your own? Keep these critical considerations in mind:

How long you plan to live in the home.
If you purchase a home and get a job transfer or decide to move after only a short time, you may end up paying money in order to sell it. The value of your home may not have appreciated enough to cover the costs that you paid to buy the home and the costs that it would take you to sell your home.

The length of time that it will take to cover those costs depends on various economic factors in the area of the home. Most parts of the country have an average of 5% appreciation per year. In this case, you should plan to stay in your home at least 3-4 years to cover buying and selling costs. If the area you buy your home in experiences an economic up turn, the length of the time to cover these costs could be shortened, and the opposite is also true.

How long the home will meet your needs.
What features do you require in a home to satisfy your lifestyle now? Five years from now? Depending on how long you plan to stay in your home, you'll need to ensure that the home has the amenities that you'll need. For example, a two-bedroom dwelling may be perfect for a young couple with no children. However, if they start a family, they could quickly outgrow the space. Therefore, they should consider a home with room to grow. Could the basement be turned into a den and extra bedrooms? Could the attic be turned into a master suite? Having an idea of what you'll need will help you find a home that will satisfy you for years to come.

Your financial health - your credit and home affordability.
Is now the right time financially for you to buy a home? Would you rate your financial picture as healthy? Is your credit good? While you can always find a lender to lend you money, solid lenders are more skeptical if your credit history is not good. Generally, a couple of blemishes on a credit report will make you a good credit risk and could qualify you for the lowest interest rates. If you have more than a couple of blemishes on your report, lenders like Quicken Loans may still provide you with a loan, but you may just have to pay a higher interest rate and fees.

Some say that you should refrain from borrowing as much as you qualify for because it is wiser not to stretch your financial boundaries. The other school of thought says you should stretch to buy as much home as you can afford, because with regular pay raises and increased earning potential, the big payment today will seem like less of a payment tomorrow. This is a decision only you can make. Are you in a position where you expect to make more money soon? Would you rather be conservative and fairly certain that you can make your payment without stretching financially? Make sure that whatever you do, it's within your comfort zone.

To determine how much home you can afford, talk to a lender or go online and use a "home affordability" calculator. Good calculators will give you a range of what you may qualify for. Then call a lender. While some may say that the "28/36" rule applies, in today's home mortgage market, lenders are making loans customized to a particular person's situation. The "28/36" rule means that your monthly housing costs can't exceed 28 percent of your income and your total debt load can't exceed 36 percent of your total monthly income. Depending on your assets, credit history, job potential and other factors, lenders can push the ratios up to 40-60% or higher. While we're not advocating you purchase a home utilizing the higher ratios, its important for you to know your options.

Where the money for the transaction will come from.
Typically homebuyers will need some money for a down payment and closing costs. However, with today's broad range of loan options, having a lot of money saved for a down payment is not always necessary - if you can prove that you are a good financial risk to a lender. If your credit isn't stellar but you have managed to save 10-20% for a down payment, you will still appear to be a very good financial risk to a lender.

The ongoing costs of home ownership.
Maintenance, improvements, taxes and insurance are all costs that are added to a monthly house payment. If you buy a condominium, townhouse or in certain communities, a monthly homeowner's association fee might be required. If these additional costs are a concern, you can make choices to lower or avoid these fees. Be sure to make your realtor and your lender aware of your desire to limit these costs.

If you are still unsure if you should buy a home after making these considerations, you may want to consult with an accountant or financial planner to help you assess how a home purchase fits into your overall financial goals.


Three simple Steps to Ensure a Smooth Home Purchase


Buying a home can be an emotional, time-consuming, and complex process. There are a few things that you can do to help make the process go as smooth as possible:

1. Check your credit.
Before you apply for a home loan, regardless of your credit, it's a smart idea to obtain a copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus and review the information. If there are errors or things that need to be addressed, it's easier to address them before you have found a house, than after you have found a house and are trying to close your loan.

If you know that there are a few blemishes on your credit, let your lender know what they are, why they are there, and why you are a still good credit risk. Lenders look at your credit to determine how likely you will pay back the loan. If you had extenuating circumstances - like a loss of a job or medical bills - let them know so that they understand that it is not likely to happen again in the future.

2. Get approved before you buy.
An approval means that a lender has reviewed your credit history, verified your assets and employment, and has approved your loan before you have found a home to purchase. As long as the home appraises for at least the purchase price, the loan should close.

Getting approved also gives you an advantage over other buyers. Your firm approval makes it easier for you to negotiate on the price of a home, than a person who is not approved or is pre-qualified.

While getting pre-qualified may sound official, it is really just getting an idea of what you can afford. Its having a person plug in a few numbers that you give them - your monthly income and your monthly debt - and getting an approximate payment calculated. From the payment, the calculator can approximate the house price range that you can afford. No information is verified. Because your assets, income or credit is not verified, a pre-qualification has little value when purchasing a home.

3. Find a great buyer's agent.
Traditionally real estate agents represent the sellers in a transaction. When you are not working with a buyer's agent, they are less likely to negotiate the best price or contingencies for you.

A buyer's agent's job and fiduciary responsibility (meaning legal duty) is to you, the buyer. Before working with an agent, establish if they are a buyer's agent or a seller's agent. After spending a lot of time with a Realtor, it's natural to feel like you're a team. But if they are not negotiating for you, then they are not on your team.

Shopping for a new home is an emotional experience. It’s also time consuming and  comes with a myriad of details. Some buyers, however, caught up in the excitement of buying a new home tend to overlook some items. Their home purchase turns into an expensive process. These errors generally fall into three areas:

  • Paying too much
  • Losing a dream home to another buyer
  • Buying the wrong home

When you have a systematic plan before you shop, you’ll be sure to avoid these costly errors. Here are some tips on making the most of your home purchase:

Bidding without sufficient information
What price do you offer a seller? Is the seller’s asking price too high? Is it a deal? Without research on the market and comparable homes, you could lose thousands of dollars. Before you make that offer, be sure you have researched the market. A professional realtor, can offer an unbiased opinion on the value of a home, based on market conditions, condition of the home and neighborhood. Without knowledge of the market, your offer could be too much. Or worse, you could miss out on a great buying opportunity.

Buying a mis-matched home
What do you need and want in a home? Sounds simple. Yet, clearly identifying your needs and bringing an objective view to home shopping, leaves you in a better position. Sometimes, home buyers buy a home that is too large or too small. Perhaps they didn’t consider the drive to work, the distance to school, or the many repair jobs waiting for completion. Plan ahead. Use your needs list as a guideline for every home you view.

Unclear title
Before you sign any document, be sure the property you are considering is free of all encumbrances. As part of their services, a realtor can supply you with a copy of the title to ensure there are no liens, debts, undisclosed owners, leases or easements.

Outdated survey
Before the purchase is completed, an updated survey is essential. This report will indicate boundaries and structural changes (additions to the house, a new swimming pool, neighbor’s new fence which is extending a boundary line, etc.).

Unexpected repairs
For $300 - $500 a professional inspector will conduct a thorough inspection of the home. This way, you’ll have an idea of the cost of future repairs. Make the final contract subject to a favourable report.

Shopping without pre-approval
It only takes a few days to get financing pre-approval. When you are shopping for a home, this gives you more power. A seller is more likely to consider an offer from a serious buyer.

Remember additional cost
Besides the funds for the purchase of a home, you’ll need funds for items such as loan fees, insurance, legal fees, surveys, inspections, etc.

Rushing the closing
Before you sign, ensure that all documentation clearly reflects your understanding and conditions of the transaction. Has anything been forgotten? Don’t rush. You could lose money, financing or even the sale.

 
How to Not Pay Too Much for Your Home


 



 

 

Whether you are buying your first home, or your fifth, the process of buying a home is a detailed, time-consuming venture. At the same time, it’s an emotional period laden with difficult choices. You want to ensure that the home you purchase meets your family’s needs now, and in the future.

Each of these decisions often involves money. When you consider all that money represents, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t pay too much. This article helps you become a savvy buyer, by pointing out some of the pitfalls inherent in the home-buying process. These include such things as knowing what you want before you begin shopping, taking your time to shop, choosing the right realtor, and remaining objective while viewing potential homes. With this information, you’ll be closer to finding your ideal home.

1. Before you shop, develop a needs vs. wants list
Everyone has a picture of an ideal home. This would include all the features you not only need, but have long desired. However, when it comes time to buying a home, the desires cost more. While it’s nice to think about having a beautifully landscaped backyard, or a solarium, perhaps even some built-in appliances, these are usually considered luxury items, which can add considerably to the price of your home.

That’s why it’s a good idea to develop a needs and wants lists. With this list, begin with items you really need like adequate space, garage and number of bedrooms. For most people, basic needs should be considered first. After that, you could consider additional desires, if you can manage these benefits financially.

With such a list in your hands, you’re less likely to be caught up in the excitement of the pursuit. You’ll have a good idea of what you want, within you price range, and if you can afford those additional items.

2, Get pre-approved prior to shopping
Visit your financial or lending institution prior to home buying. Quickly, you’ll know the amount of mortgage you’ll receive. Be sure to get a mortgage commitment in writing. Most importantly, you’ll tell sellers that you are a serious prospect. Depending upon market conditions, a seller may lean towards an unconditional offer. You’ll have less negotiating power if you have to wait for mortgage approval.

Banks and financial institutions have developed many programs especially for home buyers, be that first-time buyers or those with equity in their homes. When you review your needs and objectives with a lending officer, you’ll be one step closer to purchasing your home.


 

The 9 Steps to Home Ownership

 

Step - 1 Make the Decision to Buy

It seems obvious, but it's good to note that the first step to buying a house is making the decision to buy. Consider the reasons you want a new house and write them down. Determine how long you want to live in the new house - does buying still make good financial sense? Can you afford a house that will meet your list of requirements? A good rule of thumb is your mortgage payment should not exceed 1/3 of your net monthly income.

Step 2 - Seek Professional Guidance

I'd like to schedule a time to meet with you to hear the reasons you want to buy a house and your plans for the future. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools, economic factors liable to affect the market today and tomorrow, as well as how you would like your house and neighborhood to grow with you.

At this time, I will also help you get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. Pre-qualification is a written statement from a loan officer indicating his or her opinion that you will be approved for a mortgage loan up to a certain amount. The fact that you are pre-qualified will help us when we are negotiating the deal.

Step 3 - Begin the Hunt

After our initial meeting, I'll search all my resources for houses on the market that fit your criteria. I'll preview these houses to eliminate the duds. Then, I'll schedule appointments to tour the houses at times convenient to you.

As we tour houses, I'll point out positive features and negative features. I'll ask you to tell me what you like and what you don't like. You'll probably amend your "wish list" as we tour houses, some things will become more important and others less important. With this new information, I'll refine our search criteria to narrow in on the house of your dreams.

Step 4 - Know the Market

My knowledge of the local market is an essential factor in the house search. I'll let you know when the market in a particular neighborhood is "hot" and requires immediate action or when the market is "cool" and allows for thoughtful consideration.

As we tour houses, I'll let you know when the asking price has negotiating room and when the house is "priced to sell". My unique market knowledge will keep you a step ahead of the "house hunting competition".

In a "seller's market". It is not unusual to see multiple offers on a property, full-price offers and even above-price offers. On the flip side, during a "buyer's market" there are more houses for sale than buyers. This gives us more negotiating room as houses are taking longer to sell.

Step 5 - Find Your Dream House

I'm confident we'll find your dream house. When we do, I'll put together the purchase offer tailored for your needs including appropriate contingencies (such as obtaining financing, favorable home inspection, clear title, etc.).

The offer is normally presented with "earnest money". This is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is applied to closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, generally closing is held 30 to 60 days from the offer date (generally dependent on the turn around time of your mortgage financing).

Step 6 - Negotiate the Deal

It is not uncommon to receive a counter offer when the initial purchase offer is submitted. Don't let this discourage you. We will discuss the counter offer and decide whether or not to accept the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the counter offer and move on.

Market conditions will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We will also work within your limits. Emotions can lead to buyer's remorse. It is better to set limits prior to negotiating an offer and stick to these limits.

Step 7 - Get a Loan

During the closing period, you will be working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. Since you pre-qualified for the loan before starting your home search, you will be that much closer to the end. I'll gather the necessary property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 - Close the Deal

You will receive a "Good Faith Estimate" of closing costs at the time the loan application is submitted to the lender. The estimate is based on the loan officer's past experience and may not include all the closing costs. I will be glad to review the "Good Faith Estimate," answering questions and highlighting missing costs and estimates I believe to be low.

Step 9 - Move In

Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house and make it your home. Enjoy this exciting time. I'll give you a checklist to help you remember the numerous details that will make your moving day a pleasure.

  • Realtors® are real estate professionals that pledge to hold themselves and their fellow Realtors® to higher standards of ethics and professionalism than are required by the State of New York.
  • They take additional training.
  • They belong to the Local, State and National Association of Realtors®.
  • They subscribe to a strict code of ethics

    Why use a Realtor ®?

    BUYING OR SELLING real estate is one of the biggest and most important financial decisions that you have to make in your life time, especially if that real estate is to be a "home" for you and your family.

    WHETHER you are buying or selling, a REALTOR® can supply you with the information needed for you to make an informed decision.

    A REALTOR® has access to the vast real estate market of your area through utilizing the latest marketing techniques, Multiple Listings Service, and other research and advertising tools of the trade available to them.

    What function does a Realtor ® Association serve?
    The Staten Island Board of Realtors®  serves its members by providing educational programs, products and services which enhance their ability to operate successfully in an ethical, professional and legal manner. Being members of the New York Association of Realtors® and the National Association of Realtors® works to assist its members to achieve the highest level of professionalism and ethical standards that will enhance their ability to provide a professional quality service to their clients.

  • Top 10 Reasons I am the Realtor for You!

    1. I have years of experience successfully buying and selling homes in the local market.

    2. I know the neighborhoods, schools, market conditions, zoning regulations and local economy.

    3. I will do the leg work, keeping you up-to-date with new listings and conditions as they impact the market.

    4. I am a full-time real estate broker - anything less and you'd be short changed.

    5. I will use my connections throughout the mortgage industry to get you the best deals possible.

    6. You'll be my only client in the real estate transaction.

    7. I will guide you through the complexities of buying and/or selling a house, eliminating hassles and stress.

    8. As a standard business practice I preview homes as they become available, keeping you apprised of market conditions as they evolve.

    9. I won't waste your time - when an offer is made, I will require acceptance or a counter offer within 24 to 48 hours.

    10. You'll have the advantage of personal, one-on-one attention, as well as my dynamic web and e-mail resources.

    Results Count!

    For the Seller

    • Real-time Market Conditions
      My Comparative Market Analysis will help us set the listing price and develop the marketing strategy.
     
    For the Buyer

    • Real-time Market Conditions
      Keeping apprised of market conditions, I'll know if an asking price is out of line or on target.
    • Experience
      With my many years experience, I'll negotiate the best deal for you.
     
    • Experience
      With my many years experience, I'll negotiate the best deal for you.
    • Support
      I'll guide you through the complexities of selling a house, eliminating hassles and stress.
     
    • Support
      I'll guide you through the complexities of buying a house, eliminating hassles and stress.
    • Unmatched Commitment
      I'll initiate a comprehensive marketing program that combines print, web and outdoor advertising with one-to-one marketing.
     
    • Unmatched Commitment
      As a full-time agent, I make myself available to show houses when it's convenient for you. I'll be there after hours and weekends - just ask.
    • Local Expert
      Working my connections in the local market, I'll begin promoting your house to agents and potential buyers as soon as I secure the listing.
     
    • Local Expert
      I know the neighborhoods, schools, market conditions and local economy. Essential factors in finding the right house at the right price.
    • Time-Management
      Your house will be posted with MLS in 24 to 48 hours.
     
    • Time-Management
      I'll notify you of new listings as soon as they become available.
    • Superior Service
      You'll be my only client in the real estate transaction.

     

     
    • Superior Service
      You'll be my only client in the real estate transaction.