So you've made the decision to buy your first apartment in New York City.
You've done the hard part of saving up for your first down payment, and you're ready to hit the streets to find your own slice of the city. You have enthusiasm, cash and willpower on your side.
You begin working with a sales broker who immediately asks what your timeframe for your apartment purchase looks like. That's when it hits you. You're still committed to a lease for your current rental apartment, and you have more than half a year left. Then you begin to rationalize whether the timing to buy an apartment is right, and you immediately lose motivation and take a step back from the beast that's the New York City real estate scene. Sound about right? Wrong!
Your purchase does not need to overlap with the end of your lease.
Attempting to overlap your NYC apartment purchase with the end of your lease becomes a non-issue when you can simply sublet your lease. Now you can devote your full attention on the apartment hunt and work with a timeframe that works for you.
Why shouldn't you wait until your lease is up to pursue your New York City apartment purchase? Most people assume that buying a place in the city is easy and straight forward, and that if they wait a month or two before their lease expires, they'll be set and ready to buy an apartment before having to renew a lease. This is pure naiveté and couldn't be further from the truth.
The timing of your apartment purchase will be challenging to time perfectly as there are many factors involved.
At Blooming Sky, we've worked with dozens of first-time homebuyers and guided them through the process from start to finish. Buying an apartment for the first time in New York City takes time. There's a few factors that are involved, such as identifying the ideal neighborhood, property type and price range. Even when you've found your perfect apartment, you'll still need to endure a potential bidding war and contract negotiation. You might not actually get that first apartment you set your eyes on. Then you have to go through the mortgage process, which can take up to 45 days in itself.
Thought you had this entire thing mapped out on your calendar to sync up with the end of your lease, right? We've seen many would-be buyers stop their search because they realized they mistimed the entire process, and then just end up extending their lease for a year.
While in some cases the timing works out perfectly, don't let the expiration of your lease be the guide to when you seek out your apartment purchase in NYC. Your apartment purchase is likely the biggest investment you'll make in the near-term, and it should be treated as such. When an apartment purchase opportunity is too good of a deal to pass up, don't let your existing lease hold you hostage. Just sublet it.