Prime locations and generally high desirability mean that New York City’s housing market is one of the hottest in the US, and can be a daunting prospect for both experienced and first-time buyers seeking to find a home here. Buying property in locations where median house prices as high as $1 million (Brooklyn) are to be expected, and where even less desirable areas boast of price tags around the $600,000 mark, is certainly not easy. When you pair that with the fact that most offerings here sell within as little as 69 days, often to developers who can offer above the asking price and turn the property over quickly, buying a property in NYC can seem like an obstacle best left untested.
However, access to a host of top local amenities including Central Park and the Empire State building means that, either for work or personal reasons, some home buyers would do better to not rule out the NYC housing market altogether. Rental averages that are steep in themselves (NYC average rental costs are currently just above the $4,000 mark) especially mean that buyers are increasingly considering purchasing properties in these areas. For those who achieve this goal, the stress created by the New York housing market quickly fades in place of a fantastic lifestyle. Make sure you can achieve the same when buying a property in New York by considering the following information that you need to know before starting your search here.
How Much Does Buying A Property In NYC Cost?
New York continually appears as one of the top ten most expensive cities in the world, alongside contenders that include Singapore and Tel Aviv. However, as is always the case in property markets, certain prime areas in NYC are more expensive than others, meaning that buying a property here is really about understanding the market, and understanding where you can realistically afford to base your search.
In fact, when you consider all five boroughs of NYC as a whole, median prices drop to just $571,000. This is a significantly lower figure than sometimes panic-inducing million+ estimates. With this in mind, informed purchases in NYC need to take price variations into account as follows –
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Down Payments And Closing Costs
Outside of upfront housing costs, NYC house hunters also find themselves trapped by sometimes steep down payments and closing costs. These aren’t unusual in a competitive market, but making sure to factor for them before beginning a house hunt is fundamental for avoiding disappointment.
Of course, down payments aren’t unique to NYC properties, and a relatively standard 20% deposit applies across the market. That said, when you consider the already high costs of purchase, this could mean a deposit as high as $200,000 for homeowners looking to secure the right property.
Perhaps the main hidden cost to consider, however, is that of closing costs including bank fees, which can famously end up being as high as around 3-6% of the overall property price. This figure only increases with certain property types like co-ops and condos, which can also include additional extra fees and flip taxes.
What Types Of Property Are Available In NYC?
The variations evident across NYC locations mean that individuals considering a purchase here also need to understand the types of property that they should factor for in their search. The most common property types that NYC house hunters face include –
Townhouses are typically three-four story properties complete with gardens or rooftop terraces that are adjoined with other buildings. These are sold as both full-family homes and apartments and are most often at the higher end of NYC real estate with prices ranging anywhere from just over $1,000,000 right up to $88,000,000.
Fully Detached Homes
While they can be harder to find in locations like modern-day Manhattan, some outer-borough NYC neighborhoods still contain fully detached homes complete with spacious gardens which, due to their location, are often more affordable than townhouses for house hunters willing to compromise on prime locations.
Condos are full-ownership apartments available across NYC locations that most often also provide common access to common areas including gyms, etc. The ability to rent and sell as you require makes these a good option for long-term investment, but condos also tend to be some of the fastest-moving properties in the city.
When buying a co-op building, owners are given a share in a co-op association that is mutually responsible for the building and its units. This is typically a cheaper apartment option than condos but does have the downside of needing to seek the approval of the co-op board if you wish to rent or sell in the future, and even to decide whether you’re allowed to purchase the property in the first place.
Is There A Good Time To Buy Property In NYC?
As with any market, NYC housing prices and availability vary a great deal depending on when you choose to buy. In New York, spring is an especially competitive period as this is typically when the majority of new developments enter the market, meaning both that there’s more variety on offer, and that competition may be at its peak. By comparison, winter markets tend to be slower, thus increasing the chances of securing a deal on a property that’s struggling to sell as long as homeowners are happy to face a much slower and limited market overall.
Buying A Property In NYC Is Possible If You Know The Facts
While there is no denying the challenges of the NYC housing market, especially as previously plummeting property prices continue to rally, the reality is that homeownership here is within reach for anyone who does their research. House hunters seeking to find their ideal NYC retreat simply need to consider crucial factors like location and property type, and make sure that they are entering the market at the right time to ensure they avoid missing out on the ideal property for their needs.