Buying Long Island NY Real Estate: Things to Consider

If you're thinking about buying Long Island NY real estate, perhaps for the first time, we know it can seem like chaos trying to figure out all the things you have to do and the order you need to do them in. We're here to help with a list of things you might not ordinarily think about before buying Long Island NY real estate, but things you definitely should consider.

When buying Long Island NY real estate, it can seem like chaos trying to figure out all the things you have to do and the order you need to do them

Before Buying Long Island NY Real Estate

You've probably heard this 1,000 times. So make it 1,001. Get your credit score in order before starting the process of buying Long Island NY real estate.

The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate will be, which makes your mortgage payment smaller in the long run. If your credit score isn't looking too good (below 660), see if you can improve your finances and boost the score before shopping interest rates.

As long as your credit score is above 580, you can always try for an FHA loan, which can save you some money. If you're looking to raise your credit score, it's all about making payments on time and keeping your debt payments current.

Take some time to get your financial house in order before you go hunting for Long Island NY real estate. Outside of your credit score, make sure you have some money saved. Yes a mortgage is a loan, but it still requires a good chunk of change up front.

Two of the largest items you'll pay for will be your closing costs and your down payment. Closing costs is a general term for many of the services and fees you'll have to pay when getting a mortgage: title fees, inspections, taxes and more are thrown into this. Your down payment is how much you pay upfront on the overall cost of your home – the remainder is your mortgage.

The larger the down payment, the smaller the loan you'll have to pay off. The recommended down payment size is 20% of the total cost of your home, but that's not a required amount. It's hard to give exact advice on savings for your down payment and closing costs, because the amount depends on what your home costs. Have a good amount of money saved, so you have the upper hand when approaching lenders.

Know How Much Long Island NY Real Estate You Can Afford

Know what you're financially capable of before you even start looking for any kind of Long Island NY real estate. Searching for a new home can be like ordering at a restaurant when you're starving – it's easy to overspend. Figure out realistically how much you can afford with your down payment and closing costs, and start searching for homes in areas that will accommodate your budget. There's no point in touring 8-bedroom mansions if you're in a 2 or 3-bedroom starter home bracket.

Buy Long Island NY Real Estate For the Long Haul

To prevent you from making impulse buying decisions when looking at any Long Island NY real estate, decide if the home you're going to buy is going to be one for the long haul, or a temporary move as a stepping stone on the way up to something bigger or better.

Think about all of the changes your life could have while you're living in your new home, and if this home will accommodate your needs long term.

Are you going to get married while living here? If so, are children in the plans? Does the surrounding community seem like it's getting better or worse? Is this a neighborhood you will want to live in at your current age? How about in 10, 15, or 20 years? It's a little weird to get that deep in thinking about your future, but it's a conversation you need to have with yourself, and your partner, if you have one.

We have more articles to help in the process of buying Long Island NY real estate at our Long Island NY Home Buying Tips link to your right under our Long Island NY Real Estate Categories.

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Young Long Island NY Homebuyers – Overcoming Hurdles

Many young "would-be" Long Island NY homebuyers are finding themselves in a position that young Long Island NY homebuyers haven't been in before.

Statistics tell us there aren't as many young Long Island NY homebuyers as there used to be. Thirty-six percent of American homeowners are 35 and younger, the lowest on record since 1982, when the census's Housing Vacancy Survey began tracking homeownership by age. Those age 65 and older have a much higher rate of homeownership – 80 percent – but that's expected. The longer you live, the more time you've had to save and buy a house.

Many young Long Island NY homebuyers are beginning to wonder if they've done something wrong, and will they ever have a place of their own.

Long Island NY homebuyers are finding themselves facing financial hurdles

Financial Hurdles for Long Island NY Homebuyers Today

There are numerous factors pushing against millennials' plans to become Long Island NY homebuyers, including the economic hangover from the recession, but student loans are a major obstacle. Even if a lender doesn't see your massive student loan debt as something that could prevent you from making a mortgage payment, plenty of potential homeowners do.

Student loans have kept many potential Long Island NY homebuyers on the sidelines in recent years, and that trend is poised to get even worse going forward.

Other "would-be-buyers" are burdened with the lack of any credit history at all. Lenders generally see you as a risk if you have no credit history.

The best advice most lenders have for young Long Island NY homebuyers is to establish some credit as soon as possible. Getting a credit card will help, providing you don't abuse it and turn no credit into bad credit. The average millennial is two to four times more likely to make a late payment than older generations. So be careful with credit cards.

Your geography may be an obstacle. If you graduated from college and moved to  Long Island NY with a lot of student debt and no other credit, your chances for becoming one of the few Long Island NY homebuyers in your age bracket to own their own home is slim.

If you have good credit, a good job, some funds for a down payment, and are not strapped with a lot of student debt, getting a mortgage may still be a challenge if you're using the bigger lenders. Sometimes it's better to shop the smaller lenders and credit unions. Oftentimes they may be willing to keep your mortgage "in-house" rather than re-selling your loan to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Smaller lenders can work around some circumstances and situations with less red tape, and without having to worry about guidelines on the loan resale market.

Consider an FHA loan. These loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and are for first-time Long Island NY homebuyers, although the FHA defines that as anyone who hasn't owned a house in three years. Generally, you'll need a down payment of at least 3.5 percent and a credit score of at least 580, although some lenders won't even begin a discussion unless you're in the mid-600s.

Talk to as many lenders as possible, and see what specific programs they offer and what the best rate around is. Go in person to a branch office and speak directly with a loan officer. Your chances of becoming one of the newest Long Island NY homebuyers is much better going that route than trying to apply online, or through a larger lender.

We can help you find the best lender for your set of circumstances. Contact us and let us help you get on the right path to becoming a Long Island NY homebuyer.

Avoiding Regrets When Buying a Long Island NY Home

A recent survey of buyers buying a Long Island NY home indicated that a whopping 80% said there was at least one thing they regretted about the home.

Buyers buying a Long Island NY home say their biggest regret is buying a house that is too small.

The number one complaint: The home just isn't big enough, mortgage information site HSH.com found. Others complained about a lack of closet space or that the place didn't have enough bathrooms. Bad neighbors were also a problem, as was a substandard school system.

A lot of those issues could have been avoided. Of course, some factors, like bad neighbors, can't be anticipated. And some conditions change over time. Nearby property may be developed into a shopping mall or freeway, for instance.

Tips When Buying a Long Island NY Home

To keep you from buying a Long Island NY home you'll regret, follow these tips:

  • Don't give in on your core requirements. If you know that having three bathrooms is important for your happiness but the Long Island NY home you're looking at only has two, keep shopping.
  • Don't let yourself fall in love with a Long Island NY home that doesn't match your needs. Regret may not set in right away, but when it does, the fix, like adding a bathroom, might cost you a fortune.
  • Don't cave in to a partner or spouse. If you believe you will be unhappy in your new Long Island NY home, don't let your wife of husband talk you into buying it. It will only cause resentment.
  • Know your give-in points. Everyone house hunts with a wish list, but there are some items that can be compromised. Tiny kitchens might be a deal breaker if you are an avid cook but maybe you can live without a den.
  • Don't lose your edge. Once a shopper makes the decision to buy a Long Island NY home, they sometimes overlook major issues. If the home inspector finds dry rot in the joists or the appraisal comes in lower than the sale price, stand your ground: either pull out of the deal or get the seller to lower the price to reflect the cost of the repairs. Consider the advantages of having your own buyer's agent to help you in the home search process.
  • Do your research. These days, there's a ton of information available on the web that can help you in your search for a new Long Island NY home. We can help you get the stats you need on the quality of school systems, walkability and access to restaurants, as well as crime, that will help you assess whether a neighborhood or area is right for you.

You'll find many more tips on buying a Long Island NY home in our Long Island NY Homebuyer Tips section of articles in the Long Island NY Real Estate Categories to your right.

We also post other tips on buying a Long Island NY home on Twitter, and Facebook as well. Be sure to follow us there.

Long Island NY Home Buying Pop Quiz

There are some things you need to know before you start the Long Island NY home buying process. Stacy Johnson hit the streets to ask a few questions. How would you answer these questions?

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We have more Long Island NY home buying tips and information to your right in the Long Island NY Home Buying Tips section of articles under Long Island NY Real Estate Categories. Check 'em out!
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Finding a Long Island NY Home You Can Afford

Buying a Long Island NY home remains a dream for many people. Whether you are a young professional, part of a new family, or an empty-nester, the desire for permanence, peace of mind, and independence can be extremely motivating, in part because almost everyone considers these factors important for having a good quality of life.

When looking for a Long Island NY home, whether for the first time or not, many would-be homeowners finding themselves wondering: what kind of Long Island NY home can I actually afford and how do I find one that is affordable on my budget?

Here is how to go about figuring out a budget for your Long Island NY home.

Determining a Budget for Your Long Island NY Home

You must take an objective look at your finances to understand exactly how much you can afford to spend on creating your perfect home.

You must look closely at all your debts, bills, and earnings, and that can be uncomfortable or even depressing, depending on your circumstances.

A good place to start is by talking to a financial adviser, loan officer, or other professional to get an accurate picture of your finances and potential budget for buying your Long Island NY home.

In the end, however, you should have a figure in mind in terms of the monthly payment you can afford. Remember the payment includes more than just the principal and interest associated with the home loan. You will also be paying property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and possibly mortgage insurance, making the payment higher than you may initially think.

Finding an Affordable Long Island NY Home

In recent years, some of the best real estate deals have been on foreclosures and short sales. Foreclosures are homes sold by the bank holding the mortgage, usually due to non-payment by the owner. Sometimes, homes may be sold at auction by the state/city due to non-payment of property or other taxes. Foreclosures are generally sold well below market value, primarily to prevent the bank or other interested parties from losing even more money on the property. Lists of foreclosures can be found online or sometimes in local newspapers.

Short sales are similar, however, the list price of the home may be higher than a foreclosure. Keep in mind, many of these homes are not necessarily in good condition and may need work, either cosmetic or structural, to make the home livable or nice inside.

If you choose to purchase such a Long Island NY home, a property inspection beforehand can save you a lot of potential heartache. Replacing a roof, for example, generally costs thousands. Mold remediation is likewise expensive, not to mention hazardous. Homes for sale by-owner are likely to be affordable; however, the transaction itself can be much more difficult without having professional assistance working on behalf of both parties.

These reasons alone should be convincing enough to hire your own agent to look after your best interests in any purchase of a Long Island NY home.

Other Expenses When Buying A Long Island NY Home

Closing costs can be one major expense. Ideally, the seller should pay the majority of these costs. To avoid surprises, be certain to understand fully which expenses are your responsibility and which ones belong to the seller. High closing costs can represent a serious expense that could be unnecessary or at least negotiable.

The same goes for insurance. It is entirely possible to overpay for a policy that does not provide any additional benefits to you as the homeowner. You should get quotes from several insurance companies prior to choosing a policy. Do not skimp on coverage! Just make an attempt at getting what you need for an affordable rate through comparison shopping.

We have more articles to help in the process of buying a Long Island NY home over in our Long Island NY Home Buying Tips section of articles under the Long Island NY Real Estate Categories to your right.