So you’ve finally decided to take that leap from renting to buying but you don’t know where to start? We know this can be a daunting process in any city, but New York can be particularly scary for first-time homebuyers. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of our essential first-time homebuyer tips for the Big Apple.

Preparation is Key

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Before you start the process of buying your first home, get all your ducks in a row. Get a team ready and have all important documents on hand before you start any other steps. The last thing you want is to get into your search and realize that you aren’t prepared. The New York City market is fast paced, so preparation is key when trying to lock down your first home.

Budget First, Shop Second

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Already have your dream apartment bookmarked, your Pinterest board prepared, and new dishes in your Pottery Barn shopping cart? Stop right there. You must get your budget in check before you start looking. This way you can avoid that painful, “I want what I can’t have,” feeling. How do you figure out your budget? That’s our next tip!

Get Pre-Approved


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We hate to break it to you, but you most likely don’t know what you can afford, unless you’re a mortgage broker by trade. If not, definitely pay one a visit before setting out to buy your first place. Leave it to the professionals to help you calculate your budget, then you’re free to go shopping.

Save, Save, Save!

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If you haven’t followed this before, let us keep reiterating the importance of saving. A down payment on a New York City apartment is generally 20 percent of the purchase price. Many first timers think they can get away with much less, but NYC sellers stick to that pretty religiously.

Many sellers will even require a down payment of 25 to 30 percent, as some co-ops won’t allow financing for more than 80 percent of the selling price. Moral of the story; saving is essential so get to it!

Keep an Open Mindset

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If your wish list is ten pages long, you might not be able to find a place that crosses off every single item. We want you to love your purchase of course, but it’s a good idea to sort your wants from your needs. Having your needs in mind will speed up your search process, and help your agent to find the perfect place for you.

A Buyer’s Agent Will be Your Best Friend

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That leads us to our last point. A buyer’s agent can be a huge asset in this crazy New York City market. Thankfully, you don’t have to brave it alone.

Most first-time buyers in NYC don’t realize that there’s no fee to have a buyer’s agent on deck. Your agent will be there to guide you through the entire process, start to finish.

Buyer’s agents at Triplemint can even show you properties that nobody else has seen, thanks to our groundbreaking off-market platform.

After all, we know that buying your first home in New York City can be both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. It’s hard to know what to expect in an ever-changing market. While the learning curve can be steep, you’ll be a step ahead by following these tips. We wish you the best of luck in your search!