Don’t Make These 6 Common Mistakes When Buying a Home in New York

by | May 24, 2021 | Buying a Home in New York, New York Real Estate Transactions

Based on real estate pricing, New York City is the second most expensive city to live in!   

While buying a home is never easy, buying a home in New York can be even harder. Apart from needing to invest a significant amount of money, the New York home buying process needs patience, time, and most importantly you should never go at it alone!  

To help you buy a home in New York, we’ve listed out 6 common mistakes that homebuyers make when buying real estate in New York.  

Here’s what to avoid. 

6 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make in New York

1. Not working with a real estate agent and a real estate attorney who specializes in New York real estate.  

The single biggest mistake you can make when investing in or buying real estate in New York is going at it alone. The real estate transaction process in New York can be very complicated.

A real estate agent will walk you through the process, negotiate the deal for you, and make sure you are making an offer that is true to the current market.  When purchasing a home, a purchaser working with an agent typically will not pay a fee to that agent and all fees will be at the cost of the seller.  

Furthermore, having an experienced New York real estate attorney can make all the difference, not only saving you time and money but also protecting you and your new investment.   

At Piccinnini Law, we have helped oversee hundreds of real estate transactions and offer our help to you to ensure the entire process is fast, seamless, and most importantly, that you get the best representation possible. 

2. Deciding to or trying to buy a house before seeing it physically. 

Today, a lot of the initial research and finding processes are done online. But let me tell you a very important secret. What you see online is very often different from the actual physical property.    

Many listings have 3-dimensional renderings or what an apartment or house might look like if fully furnished, many pictures are taken at angles that make a property look much larger than it really is, and so on.

You have to see a property before making any decisions. Additionally, while searching online, pick several different options you think will fit in case the one you want turns out to be different than what was shown online.  

3. Not having and searching within a budget.  

 When buying a home in New York, you will generally have an idea of what kind of financing you will get and a general price tag that you are willing to pay for real estate in New York. 

When searching for homes online, or when working with your New York real estate agent, be sure to look at homes with that budget. New York can have some very amazing real estate properties, however, some may be above your budget.  

Additionally, from experience, I’ve found that trying to see homes well below your budget often presents many properties that aren’t right for you. Buying real estate in New York is a large investment, and “cheapest” is not always the best. The key is finding something within your budget that is right for you. Remember this will take time and patience. Once you do find the right home, hire a New York real estate attorney to help you through the real estate transactional process.  


4. Thinking about a property’s potential as opposed to its current state.  

When shopping for your future home, it’s very easy to see an apartment or home and imagine what it will look like once you’ve furnished it and made adjustments and repairs that you want to make in order to make it perfect.  

If you are experienced with flipping real estate in New York, then you’re fine. But if not, keep in mind that making adjustments to a home, or repairing a home in New York can be complicated and expensive. Sometimes permits are required and if not obtained can result in a significant fine or cloud on the title 

If you do have the time and finances to invest in fixing up a property to make it fit your dreams, then working with a New York real estate attorney is very important to make sure the adjustments and fixes you plan to make are properly permitted and that they can be done in the first place.  


5. Not focusing on the crucial aspects of a home, and being distracted by less important details.  

On the flip side, when looking at homes to see if it’s the right home for you, there are important points that you need to review to see if the home is safe, worth buying and to make sure you don’t buy it and wind up with things to repair 

Often home buyers might look at small details that can be easily changed, repaired, such as the color of walls, fixtures, etc. These items are cosmetic and shouldn’t be a deterrent to purchasing the home in the current market. 

Often, homes can have very nice things that make it look great such as fancy chandeliers, or a great view, or a terrace, but there are other very important factors that could make the home a poor investment.  

Important things to review include the roof, the A/C, how the monthly expenses and utilities are handled—a lot of apartments in New York City operate as co-ops that can have expensive monthly fees, for residential purchases it is important to have an inspector review theelectrical, plumbing, age of the home, check the home for termites or insects, and so on. 

Be sure to ask your real estate agent about these and take your time to ensure everything is in order before purchasing an apartment or home in New York.   

New York Real Estate Attorney


6. Not seeing the potential of a home. 

While earlier I spoke about getting too caught up into making tons of adjustments and fixes that will turn any home into your dream home there is also another side of the coin and that’s not seeing potential where it exists.  

Sometimes small things like the wrong color kitchen cabinets, or old wallpaper, could make a home look horrible, yet with some small adjustments that you can often do yourself, the home can be turned into a great home for you! A purchaser should look at the bigger picture rather than the current of the cosmetic items.    

You would be surprised at how little work some flippers do to make a home an amazing place to live and sell it at a great profit just by changing simple things.  

So, keep in mind that there also exist homes with the potential to become the perfect dream home for you in New York. The key is judging how time-consuming and expensive the changes you want to make will be and working with a New York real estate attorney to make sure those changes are possible and are permitted if needed.  

Annie Justice Piccinnini Law Senior Editor

Annie Justice
Senior Editor
Piccinnini Law
(516) 500-2110