Blocks & Lots

Assembling a team to help you buy a home in NYC

If you’re the type of person who likes to work alone and demurs whenever asked to take responsibility, you might need a pep talk before buying a home in NYC. You’re about to have a whole bunch of people working with and for you. You’ll need to hire experts in their respective fields to guide you through the home buying mine field. Here are the professionals you’ll need on board.

A lawyer

Possibly one of the most important decisions you can make when buying a house in NYC is to hire a good lawyer. You’ll need someone who’s a real estate expert as opposed to a general lawyer that does a bit of everything. The best way to find one is to go on the referral of friends (ask them who they used in their home purchases) and other people in the real estate business. However, to avoid a conflict of interest don’t ask your real estate agent (should you be using one) for a referral. An online search with reviews could also help you choose. 

It’s important that you speak to a few and find one that you gel with. Many lawyers are competent and experienced. Only you, though, are paying your lawyer and you and have the right to feel comfortable around them. If you are a first time home buyer, you’ll need someone who can explain each step of the process and has the patience to go over any red flags with you and offer advice. 

A mortgage broker or direct lender

The personality of a mortgage broker or direct lender is less important than that of a lawyer. The personality of the mortgage, however, is crucial! If you have stellar credit, a great high paying job and a lot of money in savings you won’t have an issue qualifying for a mortgage. Most banks will be willing to do business with you. However, if you are self-employed, have so-so credit and limited savings, you’ll want to seek out a lender that has the best loan program for you. Generally, mortgage brokers are better for more nuanced loans as they offer a wide selection of loan products for you to choose from.

A Home inspector

If you are buying a new condo in a large development there is no harm in choosing a home inspector who has gone through other units in the building. You can ask other residents who they used and question them on their experiences. The advantage of using the same inspector is that he will already be familiar with the property and this will save time. Much of the inspection will be done electronically.

However, if you are buying an older home you will want to seriously vet your inspector to make sure they have expertise in this area. Their job is to let you know the condition of the property, not tell you whether you should buy it or not. That is a conversation you should have with your attorney. There will be many factors to take into account when purchasing an older home, notably does the sales price reflect the repairs that need to be made.


Jeff Vasishta