In our first Home Buying 101 article, we shared some tips to help you when hiring a real estate broker. In this article, we want to talk about the idea of “value” as it relates to buying a home. We’re not just talking about the resale value of the property, but how to get the most bang for your buck in New York’s highly competitive real estate market.
Whether you are looking for a high-end luxury home or shopping for something within your particular budget, it’s always important to get the best value and avoid overpaying. At the same time, there are many different factors to consider.
1. Define Your Idea of a “Bargain”
A lot of home buyers go into real estate shopping looking for the best bargain. They want to somehow magically find that perfect home that checks all the boxes and can be bought for way below asking price. The truth is, bargains like this rarely exist—especially here in Manhattan. “The first thing to do is to define the word ‘bargain,’” says Tom. “A lot of people today just want to go in and knock 30 percent off the price, and that just may not be realistic.” All value is relative, so you have to factor in everything about a home to determine if you are getting a good deal.
2. Buyer Beware
Imagine you are shopping on the bargain rack at a department store. The best price may be found on a shirt that has holes in it or is missing one sleeve. “Is that really the thing you should put money into?” asks Mickey. There are almost always reasons why one property is priced way less than comparable properties in a neighborhood. Do your research and look carefully before buying something that isn’t worth your time or money. Great deals can be found on fixer-uppers, but how much more will it cost you to fix up?
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” —Warren Buffett
3. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Technology has been an absolute game-changer in the real estate industry. There is more information out there than ever before. You can learn more about the building, the neighborhood, and prices on comparable properties. You can see pictures and video tours before you even set up a preview in person. You can study the property’s complete market history. “You can look anything up online,” says Tom. “It’s complete and total transparency.”
4. See the Home in Person
Technology will help you weed out the properties you are not interested in and narrow down the ones you might consider buying. However, nothing will compare to being able to see it in person. It never makes sense to buy a property sight unseen, especially if you are looking to maximize your value. Staged online pictures, videos and descriptions are designed to showcase the property’s best features, so you want to be sure to see any property you are seriously considering with your own eyes.
5. Hire a Real Estate Agent
Having a knowledgeable real estate professional on your side during a home purchase will make a major difference. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of any potential property, while also providing insight on other factors like resale value in the future. When it comes time to make an offer, an agent can provide guidance and negotiation support to help you get the most value possible.
Check out this interview we did on Cheddar, which talks about these tips along with a variety of topics that home buyers should find helpful:
We’ll be providing more Home Buying 101 tips as time goes on, so please stay tuned to the Tom & Mickey Blog for more installations in this series.
Tom Postilio & Mickey Conlon are a leading real estate team with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. They serve luxury home buyers and sellers throughout Manhattan. If you are looking to buy a home in the city, contact Tom & Mickey for a personal and confidential consultation to help you get the most out of your New York home buying experience.