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What You Need To Know About Buying A Home In New York

Cassidy Chansirik
Cassidy Chansirik Student at U.C. Berkeley
Hi! I'm Cassidy, a rising junior majoring in Legal Studies at U.C. Berkeley who is passionate about the law, helping others, and all things coffee!
buying a home in new york
Despite the havoc COVID-19 is causing around the world, it hasn't destroyed the real estate market in this country - especially in New York State.

According to the New York State Association of REALTORS, new listings rose 17.0 percent to 23,637 units versus 20,210 homes in July 2019.  Pending sales rocketed from 13,343 units to 18,679 homes in July – a 40.0 percent increase in year over year comparisons. 

So if you live in New York State, this year may be the right time to buy or sell a home. 

For buyers, interest rates are at historic lows.

For sellers, there aren't as many properties on the market as there usually are, so you will likely net a decent profit. And it hopefully won't take forever.

If you’re a New York native looking for a place of your own or just someone looking to relocate to the bustling state, here’s what you need to know about buying a home in New York. 

The cost of living for each city in New York greatly affects the prices of homes.
Before you buy a home, research the cost of living for different cities and make sure they’re within your budget. In New York, the city you choose to live in will heavily influence how much your home will cost. For example, in Manhattan, the median family home value is $1.3 million, whereas in Queens, the median family home value is $518,000

Inspections are not required before home purchases, but it’s something you should still look into. 
Even if you’ve found an impeccable home with no signs of exterior damage, there may be issues inside the home. Before finalizing your home purchase, the New York Department of Real Estate recommends having a professional inspector check out the home. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, an inspector will look at the home’s heating system, central air-conditioning system, plumbing and electrical systems, insulation, and any visible structures of the home. Once the inspector has finished, you will be provided with a report about any damages or things to look out for. 

Title searches are not required before home purchases, but they’re highly recommended. 
In New York, title searches aren't required, but they’re highly recommended by the New York Attorney General. A title search is a detailed examination of public records about a property, and looks to see if there are any liens or easements on the property. 

A lien is a legal right against assets used as collateral to satisfy a debt, and an easement allows another property owner to access the property. 

Purchasing title insurance is in your best interests. 
Title insurance protects property owners from future claims about unknown defects in the title to the property at the time of sale. Such claims can include fraud, unpaid property taxes, or forgery. 

There are two types of title insurance policies in New York: lender’s policy and owner’s policy. The lender’s policy protects the mortgage company you choose to use, and the owner’s policy protects you, the buyer. While the lender’s policy coverage amount declines over time, the owner’s policy does not and protects you up to the full sale price of the property. Generally, a home buyer has to pay for both policies.

Title insurance can be bought from licensed title insurers and the rates of each policy are subject to the Department of Financial Services.    

You must draw up a contract in order to finalize your purchase. 
Unlike other states, having a real estate lawyer involved in your home purchase is incredibly common and is even recommended by the New York Attorney General. This is because in order to finalize the purchase of your home, you must draw up a contract. The contract will lay out all the terms of the purchase arrangement, such as the price, contingency date, and more. Typically, both the buyer and seller are represented by practicing attorneys. 

Buying a home is a complex process that involves lots of paperwork and legal terms, especially in New York. If you are in the process of buying a home and need a lawyer to draft your contract, Court Buddy can match you with an experienced real estate attorney. 

Court Buddy is here to connect you with an experienced and trusted lawyer who can help you at an affordable rate. The company assists with the management of your case and lawyer relationship. Your lawyer will assess your legal issue in a timely and confidential manner, explain why you need or do not need a lawyer, and only charge you for the legal services performed and associated out of pocket fees. This article is intended to convey general information and does not constitute legal advice.

Ready to get started? We’re here to help.

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