Q: We are looking to relocate to New York City in Winter 2012-2013. I have lived in NYC in the past and found an apartment search to be somewhat like a rat race – literally running around with different brokers to be shown dingy apartments and pressured into completing paperwork the same day.
With the New York market so competitive, this frenzy of apartment searches makes it almost impossible to thorough vet if a building is well managed and if the neighborhood is suitable. While that may have been suitable for a bachelor in his twenties, it is not so for a married couple thinking about starting a family.
So as we look ahead a year, we are wondering if now is actually a good time to start thinking about neighborhoods, budgets, communities, schools, etc. Should we rent or buy? How much money will we need to save to complete the move? What different types of homes will we be able to afford given our income levels? How much does it cost to keep an automobile, day care, etc? When you start to think about all these decisions, a year seems a short time to plan and save.
One of the frustrations of working with most realties is that they work for the seller or landlord of a building, and are incentivised to move homes fast and to maximize price. We wonder, are there services/brokers, out there, even if they charge out of pocket fees that work directly for the buyer/renter and have a vested interest in making sure we are satisfied with our home decision? If these ‘saviors’ exist, are we good candidates for starting a dialogue about our upcoming moving decisions?
A: Relocating in general is a daunting task. The many challenges that you have outlined, could be addressed by working with a real estate professional who understands the complexity and emotional transition of moving and can help navigate the market as it applies to your particular situation.
As you know from having experienced New York City living before, every neighborhood offers a variety of options and benefits that fit your requirements. With children in the mix, proximity to schools, parks and cultural sights such as museums are among important things to consider. Adjacency to transportation for a convenient commute is another important factor to think about.
There are a variety of organizations that can help you with child-related concerns including The Parentsleague.org and Insideschools.org.
Your choice of a real estate professional should insure that you will know everything about the buildings you are considering. Depending on your timeline, you may wish to begin to familiarize yourself with price points for the purchase of co-ops vs condos; as well as the current rental market. Of course, current mortgage interest rates make purchase very inviting, but depending on size and location, Manhattan properties are still priced higher than other parts of the country.
If you’d like, we can introduce you to an agent who can assist you and your family in this important decision. We can also provide the most up-to-date financing options if you choose to purchase a home.