Confessions of a First-Time Home Buyer in Tribeca

Confessions of a First-Time Home Buyer in Tribeca

  • Caryl Berenato
  • 05/5/23

Are you ready to move toward owning your first home in the iconic Tribeca, New York neighborhood? Whether you are in the process of searching MLS listings or wondering if homeownership is right for you, there are so many things to consider. It can even feel stressful and intimidating when buying a home for the first time. Luckily, this guide can help. Read on to find eight expert tips to make your first home-buying process as seamless as possible.

1. A 20% down payment is not mandatory

One thing that everybody from real estate agents to your neighbors and colleagues often bring up when speaking about buying a home is the down payment. Specifically, they mention that you need to save up to 20% of the anticipated purchase price of your home to submit as the down payment. When applying for mortgage loans, a down payment is often required; however, it should be noted that the 20% requirement should be only used as a guide. Though many conventional loans, such as a jumbo loan, do require a minimum of 20%, many factors, such as your credit score, type of housing, and mortgage lender, determine how much to submit as a down payment. Furthermore, some loans, such as a VA Loan, do not require you to put down any down payment at all. Regardless of the limits, you can also pay more than the minimum requirement to reduce your loan amount and maximize your budget.

2. Create a list of must-haves

Searching for a home on the exclusive MLS listing can be tiring and painstaking, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. With so many different types of Tribeca houses for sale on the market, it can feel overwhelming to find the one that aligns with your lifestyle. Consider creating a list of must-haves or amenities that you want to have on your property and the neighborhood.

Tribeca has many multi-family condominiums, each with its own distinct culture and vibe. You want to consider what amenities you most desire, such as high ceilings, storage options, chef’s kitchens, and hardwood flooring. Consider also if a private roof deck or balcony is important to you. You need to consider the size, number of bedrooms, and home style. Once you know what features you most want in your dream home in Tribeca, you can conduct a much more efficient search.

3. The right timing matters

Many real estate agents might tell you that the right time to buy a home is now. However, one of the tenets to success in real estate is determining the right now. You need to consider many conditions to maximize your chances of a successful real estate transaction. The first thing you need to consider is the condition of the market.

For example, you might have a more difficult time buying a home in a competitive seller’s market when homes are quickly selling, there are fierce bidding wars, and prices are rising at breathtaking speed. Instead, consider buying a home when there is less demand and greater inventory to have more options and, ultimately, more negotiation power to maximize your budget.

4. Don’t just look at the bottom line

It is essential to search for homes within your targeted price range. Whether paying with cash or getting preapproval for a mortgage loan, knowing your budget can help make the home-buying process as seamless as possible. However, it is essential to remember that the asking price is not the final price. The price you see is a number that the seller came up with after considering factors such as the fair market value and the price of other similar luxury Tribeca houses for sale. When making an offer on a home, you will submit a price. The seller can then accept, reject, or submit a counteroffer. After negotiating, you will likely not buy at the asking price. The price you ultimately purchase your home for largely depends on how your real estate agent will negotiate with the seller’s agent as well as the competitiveness of the market.

5. Do your due diligence


When you find a potential home that you love, you most likely want to speed up the closing process so you can begin living your lifestyle. However, before signing the closing papers, do your due diligence. This includes reading the entire contract and knowing what you are signing. You need to understand what would happen if you were to change your mind or the seller decides to take their home off the market.

6. Know the difference between condos and co-ops

In Tribeca, you will find a variety of home types, such as condos and co-ops. Home buyers should know the difference between a condo and a co-op. Both types of properties are located in multi-family units, but that is where the similarities end.

A condo is a unit in a multi-family building that a buyer can purchase and own, much like a single-family home. As for co-ops, buyers don’t own the unit but rather buy a certain number of shares from the corporation that owns the building. Understanding the difference between a condo and a co-op can help ease the process of choosing the home type that best fits your lifestyle. While co-ops are generally less expensive, they do have stricter regulations.

7. Get a home inspection done

You need to know what condition the home will be in at the sale. Consider working with a home inspector with experience working with Tribeca houses for sale. The trained home inspector can find potential issues that might not be immediately noticeable to the naked eye. For example, some typical home inspection issues in Tribeca homes are a faulty HVAC system, faulty wiring, and any hazardous materials present. Getting your home inspected gives you much-needed peace of mind that your home is safe to live in. In addition, you can be forewarned about any potential issues that could arise in your home so that you can plan for them accordingly.

8. Find a home that you can live with

Usually, it is hard to find that seemingly perfect dream home that aligns with all of your criteria. While you want to find a home with many of your desired amenities, you also need to consider that the home you ultimately buy won’t have it all. For example, if the condo has wallpaper you abhor, find out about the possibility of removing and painting it. Or, if the kitchen backsplash does not look fantastic, you could replace it after buying the home. For small to moderate fixes, there is a possibility that you can change it yourself. When searching for Tribeca real estate, prioritize the more extensive must-haves, such as the number of bedrooms, type of flooring, and ceiling height, as these are often harder to fix. By focusing on the bigger amenities, you will more likely find a home you love.

Work with Caryl Berenato to buy Tribeca real estate

Interested in buying your first home in Tribeca? Schedule a consultation with New York City real estate broker Caryl Berenato and her esteemed team of experts. They can provide extensive guidance on everything from localized neighborhood insights to innovative negotiation strategies. Caryl and her Team can help you find the perfect dream home as seamlessly as possible!



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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.