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7 Mistakes First-time Homebuyers Make

Homebuyer Mistakes

Buying your first home can be one of the most stressful decisions as it is most likely the largest purchase of your life. As a first-time buyer, you feel pressured to have everything go exactly as planned, ultimately ending up in your dream palace in the sky. Throughout the purchase process, we see first-time buyers make mistakes that affect his or her ability to land the property of his or her dreams.

Below is a list of 7 mistakes frequently made by first-time buyers. Partner yourself with an educated broker, and you will soon be on the way to calling your dream house home!

1. NOT HIRING A BROKER:

First-time buyers, especially those that are unfamiliar with transacting in real estate, have a large misconception that if they hire a broker, they are going to have to pay. This is not the case. When it comes to buying, unlike renting, the seller’s agent splits the commission with the buyer’s (your) agent. With that being said, you only stand to gain with partnering with a reputable broker when conducting your home search.

2. LACK OF PRE-APPROVAL:

If you are planning to finance the purchase of your home, it is imperative that you get a pre-approval letter from your mortgage company. This will help you in two ways: 1) you know that you will even get approved and 2) what amount the bank is willing to lend to you. For the latter, some are pleasantly surprised that they are approved for more than they originally thought, while sometimes, the approval may come in lower than expected. This is important, however, so you know at what price point you can shop. Many first-time buyers feel that this is not urgent and say “I will get it later!” The sooner you have your pre-approval in hand, the sooner you will be a competitive buyer in the marketplace. Mortgage pre-approvals are generally valid for 3 months, so even if you don’t find an apartment immediately, you are better prepared for the search by getting the letter from the start.

3. BROKER ACCESS TO LISTING:

This relates to mistake #1 in that, often, first-time buyers believe that they have to go direct (without a broker) to a listing that they are interested in because it is that listing agent’s listing. All brokers have access to all listings. So no matter what broker you partner with as a buyer, they can take you to any listing throughout the city. You will not get a better deal by going alone!

4. INDECISIVENESS:

Buying your first home will probably be one of the most stressful purchases of your life. First-time buyers can suffer from indecisiveness, especially in the Manhattan market which offers so many options. If you find what feels to be the perfect home, bid on it and focus on that apartment. Too often, first-time buyers cannot commit to a property and miss out on a deal that meets their criteria. 

5. EDUCATION:

Hiring a reputable broker is 90% of the equation while the other 10% is on you as the buyer. Be sure to do your homework regarding all the components that go into purchasing a home. How much will insurance be? Utilities? The more you understand what expenses are involved and what the state of the market is, you will know what you can realistically afford and focus your search accordingly. 

6. BUYING DIRECT WITH THE SELLER’S AGENT:

This, too, related to mistake #1- notice a theme? Too often, first-time buyers buy direct (without a buyer’s broker), which can hurt them in the end. It is important to understand that while the seller’s agent is thrilled with a double commission, throughout the entire purchase process they are legally obligated to the seller, not you. the buyer. This means that the seller’s interests are prioritized before yours. Make sure you are represented by a broker that has your best interests at heart so you can feel confident that you received the best deal.

7. UNDERESTIMATE THE COMPLEXITY OF THE PROCESS:

Often when dealing with something we have never done, we have expectations or assumptions of how to approach it and handle it. We see many first-time buyers that underestimate the complexity of the real estate transaction process. The steps of going from offer submission to the closing table is like navigating a minefield. There is a myriad of things that can popup between contract signing and closing that may complicate the deal or threaten it, often things you would not anticipate as a non real estate professional. Your broker will seamlessly guide you throughout the process. 

7 Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make

7 Mistakes First-Time Buyers Make

first time home buyer mistakes

We know how stressful it can be buying a home, let alone your first home. As a first-time buyer, you feel pressured to have everything go exactly as planned, ultimately ending up in your dream palace in the sky. Throughout the purchase process, we see first-time buyers make mistakes that affect his or her ability to land the property of his or her dreams.

Below is a list of 7 mistakes frequently made by first-time buyers. Partner yourself with an educated broker, and you will soon be on the way to calling your dream house home!

1. Not Hiring a Broker:

First-time buyers, especially those that are unfamiliar with transacting in real estate, have a large misconception that if they hire a broker, they are going to have to pay. This is not the case. When it comes to buying, unlike renting, the seller’s agent splits the commission with the buyer’s (your) agent. With that being said, you only stand to gain with partnering with a reputable broker when conducting your home search.

2. Lack of Pre-Approval:

If you are planning to finance the purchase of your home, it is imperative that you get a pre-approval letter from your mortgage company. This will help you in two ways: 1) you know that you will even get approved and 2) what amount the bank is willing to lend to you. For the latter, some are pleasantly surprised that they are approved for more than they originally thought, while sometimes, the approval may come in lower than expected. This is important, however, so you know at what price point you can shop. Many first-time buyers feel that this is not urgent and say “I will get it later!” The sooner you have your pre-approval in hand, the sooner you will be a competitive buyer in the marketplace. Mortgage pre-approvals are generally valid for 3 months, so even if you don’t find an apartment immediately, you are better prepared for the search by getting the letter from the start.

3. Broker Access to Listing:

This relates to mistake #1 in that, often, first-time buyers believe that they have to go direct (without a broker) to a listing that they are interested in because it is that listing agent’s listing. All brokers have access to all listings. So no matter what broker you partner with as a buyer, they can take you to any listing throughout the city. You will not get a better deal by going alone!

4. Indecisiveness:

Buying your first home will probably be one of the most stressful purchases of your life. First-time buyers can suffer from indecisiveness, especially in the Manhattan market which offers so many options. If you find what feels to be the perfect home, bid on it and focus on that apartment. Too often, first-time buyers cannot commit to a property and miss out on a deal that meets their criteria. 

5. Education:

Hiring a reputable broker is 90% of the equation while the other 10% is on you as the buyer. Be sure to do your homework regarding all the components that go into purchasing a home. How much will insurance be? Utilities? The more you understand what expenses are involved and what the state of the market is, you will know what you can realistically afford and focus your search accordingly. 

6. Buying Direct with the Seller’s Agent:

This, too, related to mistake #1- notice a theme? Too often, first-time buyers buy direct (without a buyer’s broker), which can hurt them in the end. It is important to understand that while the seller’s agent is thrilled with a double commission, throughout the entire purchase process they are legally obligated to the seller, not you. the buyer. This means that the seller’s interests are prioritized before yours. Make sure you are represented by a broker that has your best interests at heart so you can feel confident that you received the best deal.

7. Underestimate the Complexity of the Process:

Often when dealing with something we have never done, we have expectations or assumptions of how to approach it and handle it. We see many first-time buyers that underestimate the complexity of the real estate transaction process. The steps of going from offer submission to the closing table is like navigating a minefield. There is a myriad of things that can popup between contract signing and closing that may complicate the deal or threaten it, often things you would not anticipate as a non real estate professional. Your broker will seamlessly guide you throughout the process. 

 

 

Why 2017 May Be the Year to Buy Real Estate

2017 Real Estate Market

The New Year brings with it the feeling of a chance to start fresh, new opportunities, and excitement about what the coming months ahead may bring. Coming off of 2016 which was a tumultuous year to say the least, the sentiments of optimism for 2017 seem stronger than ever. 

2016 was a strong year for real estate, and industry experts are looking for another favorable year in 2017. Home prices rose in 2016 and have since recovered from the lows of 2012 that resulted from the collapse of the housing market. For the majority of 2016, mortgage rates were suppressed to historic lows until crossing 4% after the November election. Builders were not building at a fast enough pace to keep up with demand at the lower end of the market while the ultra-luxury segment remained saturated. 

With this backdrop of the 2016 market as we enter 2017- the question on many peoples' minds is: "what can we expect for the 2017 market? Is it going to be positive?"

Here are some considerations and thoughts as to why 2017 may be the year to buy real estate, keeping the luxury market in mind.

Rising Rates

We have already seen rates rise from their historic 2016 lows. The sharp rise in mortgage rates, largely corollated to the spike in 10-year Treasury yields, since the election has been dubbed "The Trump Effect". Rates have been hovering around the 4% mark on a 30-year mortgage, and many anticipate this to continue to rise throughout the year and into the future as the Fed has placed expectations on continued rate hikes in 2017 to its Fed Funds rate and the expectation that inflation will increase in 2017.

If you have been considering the purchase of a property with mortgage financing, now may be the time to act on your willingness to purchase and lock in a favorable rate. 

Build Wealth

Buying a home and building equity in it is one of the greatest ways to accumulate wealth for yourself, and wealth that can eventually be passed to your children or heirs. This is most profoundly seen for Millennials as they have a long time horizon for their investment, and generally speaking, the value of property increases over the long term. In fact, a self-made millionaire has stated that buying a home is the single most important factor for accumulating wealth.

Millennials are expected to increase their representation in the buyers pool as we enter 2017. If you are in the position to buy (not drowning in student debt, etc.) consider purchasing a property to start accumulating that wealth now instead of flushing money down the toilet each month with rent. Close to saving for your down payment or looking for some ideas of how to get on track? Check out our creative ways to save for a down payment

Negotiability

Realistic sellers that are looking to get out of their properties for whatever the reason may be are willing to negotiate. This means the cards are in the hands of the buyer and with a keen broker to negotiate for you, deals can be had on great properties. In fact, one published research statistics showed that the average difference between listing price and contract price for the luxury market in 2016 was 6%. For a luxury property, that is a handsome discount! 

Less Regulations

The Trump Administration has outlined policy plans that include an array of deregulation in both the financial services and housing sectors. One of the most notable is related to the Dodd-Frank Act, a cumbersome 2,300 page piece of legislation that has largely been critiqued by many. The legislation essentially tied banks' hands after the financial crisis as a means to (hopefully) avoid another by imposing rules regarding what investment banks can hold on their balance sheets and who banks can lend to among other things. 

By reducing regulations related to Dodd-Frank, we could see access to credit expand. Will banks be rushing to lend every person a mortgage? Doubtful as they have learned their lessons regarding due diligence, however, expanded credit certainly stands to benefit many as they will hopefully have access to a mortgage for which they would have previously not qualified. 

The Wealth Effect

Buyers in the luxury market seem ready to benefit from "The Wealth Effect," or the feeling of increased wealth from various economic factors. Trump's proposed policy, specifically taxes, will benefit wealthy buyers, hypothetically returning more money to their pockets if enacted. 

Additionally, financial markets have reached record highs since the elections and the consensus among financial experts seems to be another march higher in 2017 thanks to Trump's proposed infrastructure spending and corporate profits. Increased markets means increased stock portfolio values...have you checked your statement recently?

All of this combined with increased consumer confidence and sentiment leads wealthier buyers to feel even wealthier!

Normalized Pricing

Pricing in the luxury and especially ultra-luxury segments of the market have began to normalize or "cool-off." Sellers can no longer demand the outlandish prices that we saw on some properties in 2014. This has been a harsh reality for some sellers to accept, however, a normal market is certainly a more healthy market for all. Given normalized pricing, buyers have a more realistic picture as to what properties are in their price range and where they can negotiate to score a deal. 

Less Building Permits

Have you noticed less cranes dotting the skyline of New York City? The last three years saw a boom in new construction across the city; however, significantly less building permits have been approved recently. There has never been a better selection of new development inventory on the market as there is now, and many developers are offering concessions to lure buyers to their projects given current inventory. 

This makes it a great time to be a buyer! You have a vast selection of luxury product in the city from Battery Park to the Upper East Side, offering beautiful finishes and unparalleled amenities. With the pipeline of new development uncertain given building permits, now may be the ideal time to shop!


 

Questions About Buying Property?

In addition to our various resources, we are happy to answer any question you may have about buying or transacting in real estate. Please complete the below form to pose your question and we will promptly answer!

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