Buyers Tips ...
These are the
steps to follow in a successful New York home purchase:
- A home is the largest single investment you
have probably ever made. The first question has to be "Can you afford the home
you've chosen?". Hopefully you've reviewed this before making an offer but if
you haven't this would be the time to take a hard look at the numbers and to
make sure they still make sense to you. At closing you will have to pay the
price for the home and closing costs. Usually the bulk of the purchase price is
paid with a mortgage loan. Your monthly mortgage payment will generally cover
principal and interest on you mortgage loan, real estate taxes and property
insurance (not always). Afterward, you will need to budget for that payment,
maintenance, utility bills, and repairs. Remember there are tax advantages to
home ownership that you need to consider as well. To avoid surprises, examine
the seller's bills to get an idea of the monthly expenses for the home. Also
check the age and condition of appliances, plumbing, roof, structures and wiring
since they might need repair after your purchase.
Make your offer
- You've made your bid. You now must wait until you are notified that the seller
has accepted it. Once they have you may be asked to sign a "Binder" and to put
down a token amount of money ($100 is common). If you are don't worry,
binders aren't binding in New York unless they contain all of the essential
elements of the transaction. They are usually not prepared that way but are
prepared just to outline the basic agreement and to reassure both buyer and
seller (and maybe the broker) that there is really a deal. If you are in doubt,
mark the binder "SUBJECT TO ATTORNEY APPROVAL" and see your attorney within some
reasonable period thereafter.
Hire your attorney
- At this point you are going to have many questions and you will be called upon
to do a number of things in a very short period of time. Since most attorneys
charge a flat fee for their services, hiring an attorney early in the
transaction will allow you to have a resource available to help you separate
what you must do from what others want you to do.
Buying Tips - Choosing your attorney
How long has the attorney been in practice?
How many transactions have they handled?
Do real estate transaction make up a large part of their practice?
How long have they been practicing in this field?
If you would like an initial consultation will the attorney agree to meet with
you? If so, will they charge for it? How much?
Will you be charged a flat fee or will you be charged on an hourly basis. Hourly
billing for residential real estate transactions is unusual and, potentially,
Given the nature of your transaction, does the attorney believe that he is
familiar with the resolution of any anticipated problems?
DETERMINE THE CONDITION OF
THE PROPERTY -
It is important to check the condition of the real
estate before you sign the contract. If you choose, you may have the premises
inspected in advance by a professional or a knowledgeable friend before you are
legally bound to buy it. The cost of repairs (or the performance of the repairs
themselves) may be addressed in your purchase contract if the seller agrees.
Because, as a general rule you accept the condition of the property when you
sign the contract (subject to a final inspection before the closing), it is best
not rely on the Sellers' representations about the condition of the house.
Home Buying Tips - Your engineer
You’ve found the house, you've selected an attorney and now yet another
professional is needed to help you make the right decision, an engineer. The
engineer is going to help you decide if you’re really going to buy the house
you’ve found. A good engineer will review all the major systems in the house
(plumbing, heating/cooling and electrical, etc.) and will thoroughly inspect the
structure itself. He’ll see things you wouldn’t even know to look for!
Choose your engineer carefully - Ask your friends, co-workers and family for recommendations
of an engineer they have used and been happy with.
Go with the engineer - You must walk through with them. See what the
engineer may be concerned about. Don’t wait for a report and then try to figure
out what he means
Take notes - You’ll never remember everything you’ll want to review
Special inspections - You may have unique features at the home you've chosen
(swimming pool, septic system, central air conditioning, etc.) that are better
inspected by specialized inspectors from that field. Ask the engineer for
Ask Questions - While you are walking through the house with your engineer he’ll
answer anything. That’s the time to ask
SIGN YOUR CONTRACT
moment of truth is at hand. You will meet with your attorney and review the
contract, generally prepared by Sellers' attorney. Any promises made by seller
or broker must be put into the contract. Your attorney will make sure you are
protected legally and you will help him identify terms that are unique to your
purchase that he will make sure are made a part of the contract. You'll sign and
send the contract back with your down payment check (generally 10% of the
purchase price, but frequently less). If you make changes there may be more
negotiations before the seller signs.
MAKE APPLICATION FOR
YOUR MORTGAGE LOAN -
been shopping around and you know where you want to apply. Although in many
cases you will have applied prior to contact, if you haven't you generally
should submit the application no later than a week after the contract is fully
COMPLY WITH LENDER REQUESTS
FOR INFORMATION -
It is important that you provide any
information or documents requested by your mortgage lender as quickly as
possible. This will reduce the time required to approve your loan.
OBTAIN AND REVIEW YOUR
Sometimes the commitment isn't exactly the loan you applied for. Check the
interest rate, points, origination fee, fixed rate or adjustable and the amount
of the loan. Make sure it's what you expected and if it isn't notify the bank
and your attorney immediately. Send a copy of the commitment to your lawyer.
PURCHASE HOME OWNERS'
INSURANCE: You will
probably be required to bring a homeowners' insurance policy to closing proving
you have insurance as required by your lender (check the commitment for
requirements). You will also need a receipt showing that you have paid the
premium for one year. There may be other requirements too, so ask your insurance
agent to call the lender well before the closing to be certain that the policy
UTILITIES AND TELEPHONE
- As soon as a closing date is set, you should notify the telephone company
about the change in your service, and to notify all utilities of the closing
date. These include electricity, gas, water and sewer and cable TV, If your new
house uses fuel oil, shop carefully for a provider before the closing. disposal.
- After a closing date has been set, call your Realtor to arrange for a final
inspection of the property. The home should be in the same condition it was in
on the date of the contract, with the exception of ordinary wear and tear,
unless your contract specifically provides otherwise. Usually you'll also be
checking to make sure plumbing, heating, electr9ical systems and appliances are
in working order and the roof is free from leaks.
REVIEW LENDER REQUIREMENTS
AT CLOSING - Review your
mortgage commitment letter and check with your mortgage lender before closing.
Lenders sometimes ask that you bring last-minute documentation with you.
GET CLOSING FIGURES
- Exact closing figures are usually not available until the business day before
the closing. Once they become available, your attorney will calculate the amount
you will need for closing and call you with that information. Please let your
attorney know how to reach you the day before closing.
BRING PROPER FUNDS FOR PAYMENT AT CLOSING
- Payment to the
seller must be made by Certified or Cashier's check . Consult your attorney for
details. You must bring your checkbook also, there are usually a number of small
expenses (tax and fuel adjustments, title charges, attorney fees, etc.) to be
paid at closing.
666 Old Country Road.
Garden City, NY