How to Find the Right Home in New York and New Jersey

Deciding to purchase a home is a big step that most people take at one point and time in their life.  It is a time in most peoples lives where they decide what area they want to live in, how big of a house they need and how much money they are willing to spend on the house.  Making sure that you get everything you want from your house is important, especially if you plan on living there for a while.  Most people wonder “How will I know which house is right for me?” you will want to make sure you figure out what you need in a house before looking for one this will help you and your realtor because you will both be on the same page and you will not find yourself purchasing a home that you are just “settiling” for.

So how do you know if you are buying the right house? There are many different things you will have to decide on as far as your house goes that you will want to decide and make your real estate agent aware of when you are looking for a house in New York or New Jersey. Here are some things you will want to decide on to help you find the right home in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens or the Bronx, New York or New Jersey these tips will help you find what you are looking for:

  • Decide on what type of neighborhood you want to live in.  Do you prefer to live in a quiet suburban area or in a urban area.  Suburban areas are often more quiet because you are further away from your neighbors most of the time and they are often slightly less expensive in price when compared with city houses.  Urban areas or “city” areas are often more populated and have less of a commute to work and school but also usually have slightly more expensive homes, are noisier and sometimes have higher crime rates.
  • Decide on what type of location you want to live in.  Once you have decided on whether you want to live in a city or in the suburbs you will want to decide if you prefer living on a busy street or on a more secluded street.  This is really just a personal preference if you are a person who likes it completely quiet all of the time you will want to avoid homes that are on busy streets or that are next to the highway because of the noise from the traffic, but if you are not bothered by the noise purchasing a home on a busier street is usually a few thousand dollars cheaper – just remember that since it can be purchased for thousands cheaper also means that when you sell it there is a chance it will probably sell cheaper.  You will also want to decide if you want to live on a corner lot or not.
  • Find an area with a good education system.  If you have children or plan on having them sometime in the future while you reside in the house you are considering purchasing you will want to make sure the area has a good education system.
  • Decide what type of home you want.  Are you interested in a single family home, multi-family home, condominium, townhome or cooperative (co-op)?  Single family and multi-family homes are usually quieter and have more appreciation but require a lot of maintainance.  Condominiums, townhomes and cooperative units usually require less maintainance but noisier and not as private because you share common walls and/or ceilings with your neighbors.  This category of homes is also usually less expensive than a single or multi-family home.
  • Determine what style of home you want.  Do you want a single story home, split level or a multi-level home? Deciding what type of style home you want is most commonly based on how much space you need, what type of layout you find more appealing, whether or not you have medical conditions that prohibit you to one floor, whether you feel safer in a one floor home or a multi-story home and if a multi-floor home is more or less convienient for your daily activities.
  • Decide what interior specificiations are important to you.  You will want to determine what specific needs you and your family have and what they need from the house for everyday living.  How many bedrooms do you need?  Will you need extra bedrooms in the future for a baby, in-law or parent?  Do you need a guest room?  Is one bathroom okay for your family or do you require 2 or only 1 1/2 bathrooms?  Determining the specific needs your family has will help you decide what qualities you need inside of your house.
  • Figure out if you want a home that is newer and will require less fixing or if you are looking for a “fix-up” home.  Regardless of whether or not you are buying a home that is apparent that it needs to be fixed up or if you are looking for a home that requires little to no repairs you will always want to make sure you have an engineers inspection (home inspection) done to make sure there are no “hidden problems” but deciding if you want to pay less for a home that needs to be fixed up or if you want to spend a little extra and purchase a home that is newer and does not require and fixing up will not only help you in the long run but will also help you map out the amount you may need to invest in the house to fix it up.
  • Try to figure out if there are any “little things” that are important.  Determining if there are any small things that will be a make or break the deal is important to figure out before hand also and sometimes are not thought about until the purchase process is already occuring. A few things to consider are does the house offer gas or electric heat, does it have central air or will you have to put a window unit in, do you want a swimming pool, if you are buying a condo or co-op are you allowed to have pets, are you willing to buy a house if it is a short sale or a foreclosure? – there are many questions that you may want to figure out the answers to before making a final decision and signing a binder for a house.
Steven T. Decker is an experienced real estate lawyer, author and speaker. With over 20 years of experience, Steven represents individuals and investors in the purchase of residential and commercial real property. Steven is the author of "The Five Myths that can Ruin the Purchase of Your Home" and he is the publisher of the "New York Real Estate Law Blog". If you are buying or selling a home or commercial property in Staten Island, New York City or New Jersey contact Steven T. Decker, Esq. to discuss the services that he offers and how his legal representation will assist you.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this website is provided for general educational purposes only, should not be relied on as legal advice and does not serve to create an attorney client relationship. In utilizing this website you acknowledge that there is no attorney client relationship between you and Steven T. Decker, Esq. and that the information contained on this site does not and cannot serve as a replacement for the competent legal advice of a licensed attorney in your state. The content of this website is subject to the Copyright of its author, Steven T. Decker, Esq.
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