June 29, 2022
Real Estate

The Manhattan homebuying guide

Congrats – making this decision is not always easy. Once you determine to settle in NYC, the process begins. From choosing the right neighborhood, finding the perfect home, and organizing the move. An extremely exciting period is ahead of you, and you should start preparing right away. The first step is exploring Manhattan as your borough of choice and finding the perfect home. Luckily, this Manhattan home buying guide is here to assist you. Here’s everything to know about purchasing a home in Manhattan – where and how to make a property your new home in one of the most popular locations in the world.

Manhattan homebuying
Manhattan homebuying

The prices

Manhattan is undoubtedly one of the most expensive places to buy a home in the world. That’s why you should know what to expect and prepare financially for this step. The average value of homes in Manhattan is about $722,000. Even though we could notice a significant drop in the market during the pandemic, the Manhattan real estate market is actually bouncing back now. The prices have gone up in the last year – about 4 percent. This trend will probably continue next year, as more people want to live in NYC again.

Remember: It’s often possible to negotiate the price a little bit. That’s why it’s okay to look at homes that go 10-15% above your budget. Many sellers are open to negotiation, so if you or your agent have good negotiating skills, it’s definitely worth trying.

Is this a good time to buy a home in Manhattan?

It’s actually a great time to purchase a home here. The market is pretty friendly to buyers, and the inventory is on the rise. This means there’s a good number of homes to choose from, and the competition is not that tough. However, it is important not to be indecisive when the time comes to buy a house. If you see a good property that meets most of your criteria and your budget – don’t wait for too long to make an offer. Good homes sell fast!

Types of homes

There are several types of homes you’ll come across in NYC. However, this Manhattan homebuying guide will point out to main apartment types, so you can know what to expect and decide what you want before you start browsing listings:

Co-ops give their residents the ability to have their share in the co-op association. This means you’ll buy a piece of building together with other shareholders. This detail determines a set of different rules like who can buy an apartment, if you can rent it out or not, etc.

Condos – this type of apartment gives you more freedom compared to co-ops. You are the absolute owner of the place and can rent it whenever you want. They are more expensive, though, and may involve additional fees if you get the share of some amenities in the building.

Detached homes are a rarity in Manhattan, but if you happen to find one, it will be great to live here. More indoor and outdoor space, as well as more privacy.

Townhouses are basically a couple of apartments within the same building. They can also be single-family homes. Townhouses are often more expensive because they offer more space and privacy than regular apartments.

For singles looking for a smaller place to stay and pursue their dreams in NYC, micro-apartments are becoming more and more popular. These focus on simple and practical living spaces, located in some of the best places in the city.

Set your priorities

Before you start house-hunting, make sure you set some priorities for your purchase. These include the size of the house, number of bedrooms, floor, etc. Even though it’s not always possible to find exactly what you’re looking for, try to be realistic and get as close as possible to your goal.

Where to start your search – the best neighborhoods in Manhattan

Manhattan is the borough of about 50 neighborhoods. So, if you don’t know where to look, finding a home may be pretty time-consuming. Before you start the search, be sure to evaluate your living and work situation. Think about your family’s needs, location of the office, school, etc. This will help you decide what neighborhoods work best for you so you can narrow your options and save time.

If moving with your family, you can look at some of the more family-friendly options such as Battery Park, Upper West Side, and Harlem. These come up as the best results for those who want to raise their family in the city.

For young professionals looking for the best place to grow their careers, there are several excellent options. Take a look at the listings located in East Village, Financial District, or Murray Hills. Young people love these locations as they are usually close to their work but also provide a wide set of entertainment options, bars, and restaurants.

Rent first

Buying a home is a long-term commitment, and it’s often a tough decision to make – especially for first-time buyers. If you’re not sure about the neighborhood, or it simply takes too long to find a good place to buy, try renting a home first. Renting an apartment in Manhattan will help you get to know the area better, see what type of home works for you the best, and then you can decide to buy your own property.

Buy a property and then make it a home

The last piece of advice in our Manhattan home buying guide is not to expect to feel at home on your first day. You’re moving into a property that has probably been staged for sale. It will take time to make it a home. Get ready for the decoration and furnishing process, to make the place where you’ll make new memories with your loved ones.