Tagged: affordable homes

How Much House Can I Afford: 5 Questions You Should Answer Before Looking at Homes

As an experienced real estate attorney part of my job is to help homebuyers get information needed to make an informed buying decision.  Unfortunately many buyers who come to me after making an offer describe the process as mysterious or confusing.   This would not happen if potential buyers took a little time to acquire important information before looking at houses.  While individual preference items like neighborhood, house sizes and styles are important there are several questions you need to answer so you can be confident about HOW MUCH HOUSE YOU CAN AFFORD before starting your house search.

I always tell home buyers they need to understand the process before starting.  Figure out how much of a house you can afford, the neighborhood you want and most importantly who can help you make it happen.  Speak with an experienced attorney specializing in residential real estate before you start looking. I tell my clients to speak to me so they can find an excellent mortgage broker and an experienced realtor.  The mortgage broker will help you to determine how much mortgage you can afford and your realtor can give you an idea what neighborhood makes sense based on your budget.  Once you get the information from the mortgage broker and realtor a quick conversation with your lawyer can help you focus in on suitably priced properties before you start shopping.

Five questions you should ask before looking at homes are as follows:

  • How much will I need to put down on the house
  • How much mortgage can I afford
  • What will my mortgage payment be
  • What other monthly costs will I have to pay – Real estate taxes, insurance, PMI & flood insurance and utilities
  • Have I selected my attorney before I get started

More Home Buyers Purchasing Newly Constructed Homes as New Housing Permits Continue to Rise

A recent report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce showed that housing starts and building permits rose to the highest they have been since last November.  This news comes a month after the housing report for July was released which announced that home sales rose 9.6%, which was the largest monthly increase in sales in the past four years.

While the report showed that construction starts of single family homes dropped 3%, it showed that multi-family homes rose 25.3% after coming off of an all time low a month before in July.  Total housing starts rose 1.5% and building permits rose 2.6%, although the majority of the rise in building permit applications were for two-family, three-family and four-family homes and larger buildings such as condominiums.

All of this information listed in the report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce was released one day after and corresponds along with the report released by the National Association of Home Builders who released a statement saying that its home builder confidence level rose for the third consecutive month in September to the highest it has been in 18 months.

So what does all of this mean for you as a home buyer? The large increase in building permit applications and large number of building permits that have already been issued to home builders will create a larger number of homes for those looking to purchase a house.  Because numbers rose so high in the area of multi-family homes it also mean that there are more condominiums being constructed.  With the rising numbers of people looking to buy new homes home builders are trying to create new affordable homes for the buyers.  Home builders are also hoping that the bill to extend the home buyer tax credit will pass.  In the case that the bill does pass it will more than likely mean that that there will be an even larger number of people in the market to purchase a home.  A larger number of people looking for homes also means a larger number of people who will be interested in purchasing a home that is newly constructed.

If you are interested in purchasing a home in the Staten Island area and need a lawyer to represent you contact Steven T. Decker.  Steven T. Decker is a real estate attorney in Staten Island and represent clients purchasing, selling and refinancing their homes in New York and New Jersey.  If you would like to speak with Steven T. Decker to discuss your purchase, sale or refinance of your home you can contact him at 718.979.4300.

Affordability Index says now is the time to buy

While some economists believe that further declines will happen many feel that the residential real estate market will be one of the first sectors to recover from the recession.  With record foreclosure rates forcing prices down and mortgage interest rates as low as ever homeownership is more affordable than ever before.  With prices falling new housing starts have fallen even further.  In Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens the number of new building permits issued has fallen 50-70%.  In Manhattan dozens of new projects are being abandoned as developers wait for a sign that the market for luxury housing will improve.  With new housing stats falling once the current inventory is exhausted the normal rules of supply and demand will lead to an increase in market prices as the number of available new units will be way down.  Many defaulting homeowners were themselves first time homebuyers trying to get into starter homes.  Many of these homeowners were not as knowledgeable as they could have been and were more likely to underestimate the true consequences of sub prime loans with variable rates.  The National Board of Realtors affordability index is at an all time high.