So you’re ready to buy a house on Long Island! But where do you start?
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or veteran home owner, purchasing a new piece of real estate can be both lengthy and stressful. It’s not just about finding a house and making an offer. You should know that it’s typically more complicated than that.
To ensure that there won’t be any major headaches or hiccups, we've come up with these time-tested steps to help streamline the process. You can always refer to this list if you ever forget what you’re next move should be.
Here’s how to buy a house on Long Island without wanting losing your mind along the way.
1: Have all of your finances in order.
Even though you’re already past the point of deciding whether you can afford to be a home-owner, remember to get all your finances in order so that you have them handy when it comes time to apply for a mortgage.
2: Get pre-approved.
Speaking of getting a mortgage, remember to get pre-approved as soon as you can. Then you can avoid the heartbreak of falling in love with a house that you can’t afford. Contact multiple mortgage lenders before you choose one. Take your time and do it right.
3: Ask about different financing options.
You can consider many types of mortgage loans—203(k) loans, conventional loans, jumbo loans, VA loans, FHA loans, just to name a few. If you’re not sure which option is right for you, or even if you qualify for them, talk to your lender and find out more information.
4: Narrow down your neighborhoods.
After you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you will have a definitive budget to stay under, and you'll know what desirable locations are out of reach. You never want to buy more than you can afford because that will affect your future. You want to keep a roof over your head for a long time to come. Once you know your limits, you can research the Long Island neighborhoods that interest you the most.
5: Find a realtor.
Hiring a Long Island realtor can actually help you pinpoint an ideal neighborhood, if you’re having trouble doing that on your own. And since many realtors are experts on certain locations, you may find yourself considering a town you hadn’t before and that could lead to a pleasant surprise. Plus, having a realtor takes the searching and price-negotiating responsibilities off your plate.
6: Keep your eyes open.
When you visit different properties, be sure to watch out for any red flags hinting that there's a problem with the house’s foundation, for example, or indicating that the maintenance and upkeep would be too expensive for your budget.
7: Continue to save money.
The more you save, the larger down payment you can afford.
8: Get an inspection.
Having a home inspector check out a property you're interested in buying could save you a ton of money. You may find yourself walking away from a house as a result of turns up. Your realtor should be able to recommend someone who's qualified. Never get a home inspector who's friends with the seller.
9: Make an offer.
Once you find a house that you're interested in, speak with your realtor and find out what comparable homes cost in the area and make an offer on it. (You’re almost there, we promise!)
If your offer is accepted, then you’ll have to go to the closing so you can officially become the owner of the house. You'll find yourself at a table with people you've never met and will never see again, but with your realtor's guidance, the process will be over soon, and then you'll be the proud owner of a new house.
11: Move in.
Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a Long Island house. Now, pack up all of your stuff and get moving!