Tagged: house

One of the Most Important Things To Do When Buying a Home

One of the most important things to do when purchasing a home in New York or anywhere for that matter is to higher a real estate lawyer.  Now I know what you are thinking – of course we would say that because we real estate lawyers – but this genuinely happens to be one of the most important things that you could do for yourself that will help you not only now but for many years to come considering that purchasing a home for most people is a long term investment.

Hiring a real estate lawyer means you will have an experienced person who knows the real estate law for the state you are moving into and will be able to help you with the following type of issues:

  • Help you negotiate terms and price on the binder (if you have a real estate lawyer in this stage of the process)
  • Review and explain the contact to you and make necessary negotiations  with the seller’s attorney
  • Assist in the process of helping you obtain your mortgage commitment
  • Review the title which would include information on the seller’s, yourself and the property
  • Set up the closing date
  • Represent you during the closing of title to make sure your transaction goes as smooth as possible

Real estate lawyers are not very expensive and nothing can replace being represented by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney throughout the process of buying your home.

If you live in the New York City area and would like us to represent you throughout your purchase and at the closing of title or if you just have real estate questions call 800.976.4904 or fill out of contact form.

3 Tips On Purchasing a Home In New York If You Don’t Have Enough Money Saved for the Downpayment

Purchasing a home may seem like it is an impossible task for some people, especially for those who have never owned a home before.  Sometimes it can be challenging to find the perfect home but even more of a challenge to some may be saving up money for a downpayment on a house.

Downpayments for homes in New York is generally 10% of the purchase but can be higher or lower depending on the seller of the home.  You may find yourself in a dilema because you want to purchase a home and want to take advantage of the homebuyer tax credit, low interest rates and low housing prices but do not have enough money saved up right now for the downpayment amount.

Here are some tips that may help you get the money for the downpayment amount you need so that you can purchase a home and take advantage of the first time homebuyers tax credit of up to $8,000 before the time is up on April 30, 2010 (must be in contract by this date):

  •  If you see a house you are interested in find out how much they are asking for the downpayment amount if it is a little too pricey for what you are looking for in a downpayment amount but you are able to handle the monthly payments it would cost for the mortgage of the house try to negotiate with the seller to find out if they would be flexible with the downpayment amount and lower it slightly;
  • If you get a lump sum of money back for taxes and are expecting your refund to arrive soon you may want to consider using the money you get back from taxes for a downpayment on a home;
  • If you do not have enough for a downpayment on a house and are looking to purchase a home in New York City (Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx) you may be eligible for assistance with your downpayment amount with the HomeFirst Downpayment Assistance Program.

New York City Listed as a Top 10 City to Bargain for a House

According to ABC’s Good Morning America and Zillow.com New York City is one of the nations top 10 place to find a bargain on a house right now.

New York City – Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx – ranked number 8 out of 10 for the nations best bargains across the U.S. right now.

If you have been considering purchasing a house in New York City now is the time to buy if you want a bargain according to this recent report.

If you would like more free information such as Steven Decker’s book 5 Myths that Can Ruin the Purchase of Your Home call us at 800.976.4904 or email our real estate law firm.  If you are looking for an attorney to represent you in the purchase of your home contact Steven Decker to discuss the process of purchasing a home and how to go about obtaining a real estate lawyer from our firm.

Finding the Right Decisions in Real Estate Transactions

Whether you are purchasing a home or selling a home you always have many questions and throughout the real estate process you may often wonder if you are being too safe or too risky and if the decisions you are making are the right ones.

According to a recent article in the Staten Island Advance titled “Walking Real Estate Tightropes” The article explains the similarities between an documentary about a man who in 1974 walked between the twin towers on a tightrope and the current real estate situations and decision a person must make when buying or selling a home.

Often times questions may arise throughout your real estate process that require you to take the safe approach or the “risky” approach but sometimes the safe approach may not always be the correct choice.

For some the answer to certain real estate questions may not have an actual correct or incorrect answer but may just depend solely on the opinion and risk level that a person is willing to take while other times there may be a correct answer but you may not know what it is.  The article explains that in these type of situations where there is a correct answer out there it makes sense to not just move forward with a decision based on your own opinion but rather to seek advice from a real estate expert to help find out the correct decision you should be making.

Speaking with a real estate expert such as a real estate attorney will help clarify a lot of questions that are lingering over your head regarding the real estate process.  It is good to educate yourself by speaking to other homeowners who have been through similar situations, by speaking with a real estate lawyer and by reading real estate books.  If you would like more information regarding purchasing or selling a house in Staten Island or Brooklyn New York call Steven Decker Staten Island real estate lawyer at 800.976.4904 or email us by filling out our contact form.

Staten Island Homeowners Can Appeal their Property Assesments Until March 2010

If you are one of the unhappy Staten Island homeowners who received a property assessment amount that seems like it is wrong you have the opportunity to appeal with the Tax Commission.

Property assessment amounts were already mailed out and include the approximate property value of your home.  Taken into consideration when evaluating the property value amounts is the building size, lot size, tax class, contruction year and market value.

If you own a Staten Island home that is a one, two or three family home you have until March 15, 2010 to file an appeal.  If you own a co-op or condominium you have until March 1, 2010 to file your appeal for your property assessment.

Property owners who feel the market value listed for their home on the property assessment should fill out and file a Finance Request for Review which can be found on nyc.gov’s website under the forms section for valuation/assessment.

If you would like to file an appeal the New York officials want the residents to know that they do not need to appear in court to appeal the decision but if you would like to you can.

Quick and Inexpensive Home Fix-ups that Can Help Your Home Sell for More

If you are considering selling your home but know it needs some fixing up and do not have the money for expensive repairs and fix-ups there is still hope for selling your home.  Doing some quick fix-ups to the appearance of your home can help you get more for the value of your home and won’t cost you much either.

Here are 15 quick fix-ups that can get your more money for your home:

  • Remove excess furniture
  • Remove excess clutter
  • Clean out your closets and organize anything that needs to stay in there in an orderly fashion
  • Patch up any nail holes in the wall that do not have pictures hanging on them
  • Keep your lawn mowed
  • Wash exterior and interior or windows thouroughly
  • Paint or replace your front door if needed
  • Power spray the outside of the house to get rid of excessive dirt and cobwebs
  • Replace the welcome mat at the front steps if the one your currently  have looks used
  • Paint or replace your mailbox if necessary
  • Wash or replace the front porch light fixture
  • Make sure your house has the house number well displayed and that the display is clean
  • Thouroughly clean the house before you put it on the market – sweep, mop, scrub, shampoo your carpet or wax your floors
  • Re-do anything that is worn down in your kitchen and bathroom
  • Re-paint the interior of your house if you are in need of a paint job

Having any edge over everyone else in this economy will  help your house sell for more and will make your house look more appealing and like it is worth more.  Once you have a buyer for  your house you will need to find a real estate lawyer in your area.  If you are looking for a real estate lawyer in Staten Island or if you are selling your Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens or Bronx New York or New Jersey home you can contact us at 800.976.4904 to find out how we represent clients selling their home like you everyday and how we can be of assistance to you.

Alternative Options to Consider if you are not Eligible for the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit

So if you are not eligible for the first time home buyers tax credit should you still consider buying a home?  For most people the answer will probably be yes as long as you have the necessary income to make a down payment and to pay your mortgage every month while still having enough money for additional expenses.

The home buyers tax credit requirements are not able to be filled by everyone looking to purchase a home especially if you have owned a home within the last three years so where does that leave the buyer who is not eligible for the tax credit but still is looking for a break.  Here are some some reasons to buy a home now if you are not eligible for the first time homebuyer tax credit:

  • Low interest rates – For some who are considering purchasing a house they may find that their monthly mortgage payments for their house will actually end up being less expensive than renting an apartment. Mortgage rates have been at record lows over the past year and right now are still low (in the 5% apr range).
  • Special provisions for military members – There is a special provision in the first time home buyers tax credit for military and some federal members that was recently added by Congress that allows military member to not have to abide by all of the requirements for the first time homebuyers tax credit.  A military member does not have to live in their new home as their primary residence for the first three years if they receive PCS orders to depart from their unit and get restationed within that period of time.  The will be able to sell the house or rent it out to someone else and will still be eligible for the $8,000 credit.
  • Lower house prices – While home sales are up house prices are still down lower than what they were worth a few years ago.  Sellers are still not able to raise the prices of their homes if they want to sell their house quickly or, in some circumstances, at all.

If you are interested in purchasing a house in New York you will want to cover all of your grounds before signing a contract.  One of the first steps you will want to take once you have found a home you are interested in is to contact a New York real estate lawyer, such as Steven T. Decker a Staten Island real estate lawyer, and discuss your home purchase with him/her.  Your real estate attorney will go over your contract of sale with you so that you understand its terms and conditions.  To speak with a real estate attorney call 718.979.4300.

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.