A Guide for First Time Buyers Who Are Relocating to Manhattan

A Guide for First Time Buyers Who Are Relocating to Manhattan

  • Caryl Berenato
  • 01/15/22

So it has finally happened: you are making the big decision to purchase your first home in vibrant and bustling Manhattan. This is a thrilling time in your life, but you might find it to be an overwhelming one as well. There is a diverse array of housing selections, locations, and styles to choose from. How do you know which one is right for you? And where do you even begin looking? Rest assured, we have you covered. As you get ready to start searching for your dream home, here are some practical and helpful things you should know to guide you on your journey. 

First Time Buyers

One must-know for first-time homebuyers in Manhattan is how to get the best interest rate possible. There are a variety of practical ways you can do this: first, you will want to check your credit report and score to make sure you are on track to hit your target of purchasing a house. Look for any errors or inaccuracies in your report which might be damaging your score. Correcting this will take some time, but it will prove invaluable in the long run. And if your credit score is below 760, you will want to work on improving it and bringing it up to a higher number. Pay down all balances on your cards and make sure you pay your bills on time each month. Once again, this will take some work, consistency, and time to bring up your credit score, but it will definitely be worth it.

A second step you will want to take is saving up for your down payment. In Manhattan, a down payment is typically 20-30%. If you put down less than this, the seller will see you as a higher-risk borrower than someone who puts down a bigger down payment. Be prepared for this step because it is an absolutely vital one on your home-buying journey. 

Third, work on paying down the debt you already have, whether that be credit cards, car payments, or student loans. This will improve your DTI ratio and make you less of a risk to borrowers. You can also look for ways to cut back on your current expenses. Having less debt will make it better for your credit score as well. These steps will require time and work, so be patient with the process. In the long run, following this guide will help you not only discover the home of your dreams but give you peace of mind and extra financial wellness as well. 


Whether you are a first-time buyer or seeking to relocate to Manhattan, getting your finances prepared is always a great idea. Furthermore, you will also want to find a real estate attorney to keep the process of buying your first home a smooth transition. They will be able to oversee any complexities or complications that might arise from your contract and advise you on the best course of action. 

An extra bonus here is more peace of mind as well as their expertise, knowledge, and experience in guiding contracts just like this. While you might be a first-time buyer, your real estate attorney will be well-versed in the process, and having one on your side will make the journey to a first-time home buyer all the easier. 

How do you find the attorney? One great way is by asking for suggestions from trusted family and friends. You can ask questions about which attorney they went with and what their experience was like working with them. Additionally, take advantage of the resources that are at your disposal. Look at an online legal review site that provides descriptions of attorneys and reviews by home-buyers. You can also use your state’s Bar association directory. This lists all of the lawyers in your area, and you can look up real estate attorneys in your vicinity. 

Another thing to know when preparing to move into your new home is the best way to move out of your old one. For most people, this will likely include hiring movers and contractors who will make the process seamless. Of course, you want people who will handle your prized possessions and furniture with the utmost care. This means you will want a moving team with experience, good reputations, and expertise. 

So then, how can you find the right movers and contractors for you? Once again, asking friends and colleagues is a good way to go. Contact a couple of different movers and get quotes on their prices. Additionally, you will want to check with them and ask if they have the proper licensure and insurance. Read over reviews of the moving companies as well. Moving is a large undertaking, and you want to rest assured that it will be a smooth transition for you, your family, and your belongings. 

Now that we have covered what you do need for purchasing your home and moving journey, it’s time to talk about what you don’t need. This includes appliance warranties, a paid contract that states if the appliance stops working during the warranty, it will be fixed or replaced free of charge by the warranty company. Why don’t you need these? The short answer is that, typically, warranties are not worth the extra money. 

For example, people generally overpay by buying a warranty because they overcalculate the repairs or issues the appliance might have. It is better to purchase the item without the warranty because you likely won’t need it and might as well save yourself the extra money. Your appliance is well-made, and the chance that it will actually need a repair during the warranty period is low. With the money saved upfront, you’ll likely find yourself positioned favorably to shoulder any necessary repairs without the hassle of coordinating with a warranty company. If you do decide to purchase a warranty — always read the fine print!

Foreign Buyers

For those from another country buying a house, there are several things you will want to know: first, make sure you are aware of the changes in the tax code. Each year the IRS announces adjustments and changes to the existing tax codes for the forthcoming year. These aren’t always big changes, but it is certainly something you will want to remain aware of when preparing to buy your new home. 

You also want to make sure you have a real estate broker. So then, what exactly is the difference between a real estate agent and a broker? Simply put, a broker has continued their education and completed further training and licensing. They are independent workers and can hire other real estate agents to work for them. This will prove to be an amazing asset when you are viewing different properties, asking questions, and getting everything in order for your house purchase. 

Furthermore, a real estate broker is an ally who will help you to buy, sell, lease, or rent properties. Additionally, they can help you find resources for renovations, staging, management, adjusting your will, and making the most profit from your purchase if you want your house to be an investment. If you are looking to stay and settle down in New York City, your broker will work to help you discover a home that fits your lifestyle, preferences, and vision. They will assist you in the process of finding and buying a place that truly feels like home. 

Because each buyer and transaction has unique needs, desires, and expectations, your broker will take the time to listen to what it is that you are looking for and help you identify it. They will work wholeheartedly to put all the pieces in place so that you can find the home of your dreams. With their wealth of wisdom, knowledgeable experience, and excellent communication, a broker is a stellar team member that you want on your side. 

Practically speaking, a broker will act as a liaison between you (the buyer) and the seller. Their whole goal is to make the transition into you becoming a first-time homeowner a smooth process. They will negotiate on your behalf and communicate your needs and preferences to the seller. With their valuable expertise and indispensable knowledge, a real estate broker is a top-notch messenger between you and the seller. 

Are you looking for more information about Manhattan real estate or want to learn more about our specific property listings? Feel free to contact Caryl Berenato for all your Manhattan house, luxury condo, or real estate needs. Our team would love to show you some homes and townhouses for sale in our Manhattan locations. Let’s get started today in helping you find your perfect dream home! 



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Caryl built an unparalleled knowledge base and tool kit of resources to address any obstacles that may arise, and she has a strong network of professional contacts she readily shares with her clients.