A Step By Step Guide To Buying An Apartment in NYC

Complete Guide To Buying An Apartment in NYC
  • Author: Mohsin Khan
  • Posted On: September 19, 2022
  • Updated On: July 10, 2023

Many people want to own an apartment in New York City, but it’s important to know that buying an apartment in NYC can be intimidating for the first-time buyer.

Many renters are surprised at how much more complicated the process can be than expected. This resource will guide you on how to buy an apartment in NYC, walk you through each step of the process, and make it much less scary!

Get a Buyer’s Agent

The most important thing you can do is find a buyer’s agent to help you through the process. Search online for someone experienced and knowledgeable, then set up an appointment with them to have an initial meeting.

This meeting should cover your situation: what type of home you’re looking for, your price range, whether or not you have a broker already, and so on. Ideally, this person will become your advisor and advocate throughout the search process.

Let Them Guide You to Lender for Financing

The agent guides you to the lender that best fits your needs and offers you a list of recommended lenders. It would be best if you also researched lenders on your own.

Make sure you are comfortable with the people working with you, as this is an important relationship. Make sure they have the qualifications to help you buy apartment NYC, not just close a mortgage loan for an existing home.

Estimating Your Budget

When considering an apartment, it’s important to determine how much you can afford. Take a look at your take-home pay, then subtract taxes and necessary monthly expenses like student loans, car payments, insurance premiums, groceries, and other monthly bills.

Choosing Between A Condo And Co-Op

There are two main apartment options in NYC a condo and a co-op. In most cases, buying a condo is more affordable than a co-op, but not always.

Condos have risks, such as higher maintenance fees and the chance that the condo could be bought out by the developer who owns the land around it.

Co-ops are often cheaper to buy than condos because they don’t have expensive individual maintenance fees or ground rents to pay (these expenses come from being part of an association).

Hiring A Closing Attorney

A closing attorney will typically charge between $200 and $500 to complete your mortgage closings, depending on where you live. This is a very important task that requires the help of a professional to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Offer, Negotiation To Acceptance

At this stage, the seller shall submit an offer in writing. The seller can either accept or reject the offer. If the seller accepts, both parties must sign a contract and pay 10% of the purchase price down. If the seller rejects, they must provide a counteroffer which will go back to negotiation.

Finding An Apartment To Buy

By considering the budget in hand, as well as how much they can save every month, a buyer will have a better idea of how long it will take to buy an apartment. That being said, one should consider that the more they earn and can save, the less time it will take them to purchase their place.

If a buyer’s goal is to live near public transportation or close to a business district with more jobs available, one might want to spend extra time searching for those neighborhoods with competitive prices.

Getting Ready to Close the Deal

The days leading up to the closing can be stressful. As you wait for your offer to be accepted, check to make sure your financing is still lined up and find out when you’ll need to bring copies of identification, legal documents, and proof of income with you on the closing day.

Final Walk-Through

Before the day of closing, make sure to pack up any personal items and move them out of your apartment. Once you have signed off on all the documents, return your keys to the leasing office. The next time you return to this building, it will be as a resident with all new neighbors and friends. Congratulations on buying an apartment in NYC!

Closing Day

You’ll then submit the remaining closing cost payment, after which you’ll be given the keys to your new home.


It may seem like buying a home is expensive, but if you approach it with the right knowledge and mindset, you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration.

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Author: Mohsin Khan

Mohsin has worked as one of the experienced editors with ConstructionHow since 2020 with a total span of 5 years of experience in business PR, boasting a remarkable professional trajectory, he has collaborated with entrepreneurs and startups, and certain publications over the last few years. His unwavering interest lies in the construction industry and related materials. He believes in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing buildings, and homes that fall under the right budget. With a wide range of experience in construction, he also tapped into DIY and home improvement projects based on his extensive set of knowledge in the industry.