Though most people rent, the housing market in NYC is competitive. The median price of homes in New York City is mid 800,000, or $665 per square foot. On average, homes in New York City sell after 133 days on the market.
There are several different housing situations within New York. Two of the most common are the condominium (co-ownership) or the cooperative (residents are jointly responsible for the building and units).
Condo: The purchaser buys the apartment outright from the seller. Once bought, you own the place.
Ownership, in this case, entitles you to do with your apartment whatever you desire. You can make any number of reasonable improvements to your place, live there yourself, rent it to others, or sell it at any time and at any price to whomever is willing to buy.
Co-op: A co-op is a real estate arrangement the allows the people living there to buy a share in the building. Though they own their own apartment, the other residents have a say in who may buy into the building, what changes can be made to the apartments and building and usually have meetings concerning apartment affairs. A Co-op Board meets and confers about all changes of the building and residents
The best websites for starting an online search are:
Newspapers are a good source for searching available real estate in New York. For property ads consult the print and online versions of:
Hiring a real estate agent may save you a lot of time and worry. An agent will consult you on your search, accompany you to the viewings, and help with drawing up the necessary documents for signing the contract.
The price of the rental agent's services can vary from agent to agent thus it is necessary to discuss it beforehand and sign a contract. The agent is paid only when the contract for buying the property has been signed.
Advertisements for real estate agents can be found practically everywhere (yellowpages.com or newyork.citysearch.com/) but is important to retain people you can trust as they will be handling a huge financial investment. Ask around for referrals, or consult the EasyExpat NYC forum.
Nevertheless, EasyExpat.com recommends you start your research on your own to see what you like and don't like, as well as get a better understanding of what different neighbourhoods and housing have to offer.
Once you have found a property you would like to purchase, work with professionals to make sure you complete the process as inexpensively and quickly as possible.
If you are relying on a mortgage, you must get it approved before you start to look for a property. Once you have found a property you like, you must get formal mortgage approval before you sign the contract for sale.
Note that a seller is under no obligation to disclose defects in a property. You should get a survey of the property to find out if there are any defects before finalising the purchase. The Society of Chartered Surveyors in the Americas (RICS) is a professional that can offer surveyors and information.
Once these steps are cleared, sign the contract for sale. This binds the parties to the completion of the sale.
A housing auction is a public sale of residential properties. The reason why a house is auctioned might be: due to being repossessed by the bank or in the event that the original owed the government enough money for it to reclaim and sell the house. Every citizen is allowed to acquire properties through auctions.
Newspaper ads and online websites are good resources to look for auctioned properties. You can also check with your real estate agent to find out when next property auctions are planned. The New York Estate Auctioneers Association can offer information on accredited sales.
A reserve figure is set for the property, usually by the seller or the auctioneer. The reserve figure is the value the property must achieve; anything below this and the property will be withdrawn from the market.
At all times during the auction, the seller can withdraw the property from the market, even if it has achieved the reserve figure. The vendor can also reserve the right to sell the property before the auction.
Before the auction takes place, your should have a professional check the contract for sale for the property and that all title documents that are referred to in that contract.
The successful bidder immediately pays a deposit and signs the contract for sale. It is important to get home insurance as soon as possible.