1) Start with realistic goals. Do you have 20% in cash for down payment?
2) Be financially prepared. Do you have two years of mortgage and maintenance in liquid cash—after closing?
3) Know when to, and who to, ask for help. Buyers and sellers, especially in New York City, tend to over manage.
4) Secure your initial loan in advance
5) Know your own timeline. When will you be able to move? How much time is left on your lease? Does your current home need to be listed for sale?
6) Smart buyers insist on home inspections. Ensure that any major problems or defects are discovered and repaired before closing.
7) Take the long view: will your new home be your dream house? Starter home—or long term?
8) Find the right person to work with. Look for real estate professionals who share your principles and style.
9) Negotiate wisely. Shrewd negotiating might save you a bundle, but you have to careful not to negotiate yourself right out of the picture.
10) Look to the future. Buyer’s remorse is common, particularly for a big ticket item like a new home. Come up with a post-home buying budget. Factor in repairs, decorating costs and maintenance.