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Step by Step Guide for Purchasing your First Home    December 28, 2013, 1:17 pm

Congratulations on your decision to purchase your first home! Whether you're looking to buy a house, apartment, condo or move into a coop, there are a lot of decisions to be made. Whether you're working with a realtor, broker or are also contracting the services of a condo lawyer nyc, there are numerous steps you must take before you sign on the dotted line. Below are some tips to follow when purchasing your first home.

Speak with a Lender
Before you start browsing condos and coops, it's imperative that you qualify for a home loan. With a plethora of programs and types of loans available, you have a lot of options. Make sure you get the best interest rate you can and ask for a pre approval letter from the lender. Remember, everything is negotiable and having an experienced NYC real estate attorney on your side is always a good idea!

Research Neighborhoods
With all the available resources on the internet, there is no excuse for not doing your homework when it comes to the neighborhood and type of home you're looking for. Make a list of what's important to you, what your “must haves” are, and what you can do without. Do you need to be close to work, schools and the train? Figure out what your budget is and find what you can in your price range.
Make an Offer
Once you've found your dream home, it's time to make an offer. Your realtor or nyc real estate attorney will help you to draft an offer that includes your terms and price. Figure out if the seller is paying closing costs and negotiate on what you can. Part of your offer will include “earnest money”. This is typically 1% of the sales price and shows the seller that you're serious. Earnest money is held by your agent or lawyer and should be put into escrow within 48 hours. This money is then deducted from the price of the home.
Final Contract
The final contract is the original offer after negotiations. Terms and price may be changed and reflected in the final contract based on negotiations with the seller. The final contract is signed by all parties. You may need to enlist the services of your attorney when undergoing negotiations.
Your final contract should allow for a 10 day inspection period from the final contract date. This allows you to order the inspection and ensure that you're receiving the home in satisfactory condition. At this point, you can decide if you want to continue your purchase or terminate your contract.
Obtain your Loan
If not paying cash, you will need to provide your lender with various documents including income statements. The lender will also order an appraisal on the property, order title work and get the loan documents in order for closing.


During the closing process, all final documents are signed and the buyer signs documents giving him/her ownership of the property. In addition, keys are exchanged and monies due to attorneys and agents are given.