Staten Island is constantly evolving, and being one of the more affordable boroughs in New York City, has a vibrant young community of professionals who are laying down their roots here. With this blog, we thought we might offer some handy hints for those looking to make Staten Island their home early in adult life.
Here are our top six tips for buying a home early in life, and why you should choose Staten Island! Of course, everyone has their own unique circumstances, and we would encourage you to seek professional legal and/or financial advice prior to making any decisions.
So without further ado, our tips on buying a home in your twenties in Staten Island!
1. If possible, live at home with your parents/guardians while you are saving for your deposit
While it might not be the coolest living situation, it’s an almost sure-fire way to save for your deposit faster. Not having to worry about large expenses like rent, food, and utility bills goes a long way towards cutting down your monthly expenses.
2. Consider an automatic savings plan
Take some time to analyze your spending habits and consider creating an automated savings plan, whereby a certain percentage of your salary goes automatically in to an external bank account. This will take away the temptation of having the money in your everyday banking account to spend.
3. Build your credit score, responsibly
One of the key criteria the bank will look at is your capacity to repay the mortgage that you will be taking on. Ask yourself the question, What is my credit rating, and how can I improve it? The first step is to take a peek at your credit rating here. If it appears lower than you expected, fear not, there are ways to improve it, including;
- Pay back any outstanding, overdue debts as soon as possible
- If you don’t already have one, consider applying for a credit card with a low limit. If you repay this in full each month, this will demonstrate to the bank that you are able to control your expenses
You should also verify if all entries on your credit score are correct. If there are any errors, you should be able to correct these. However, this could take some time.
4. Research any assistance programs that might be available to you
There are various down payment assistance programs available for first time home owners in New York City, assisting with up to $25,000 in either down payments or closing costs. Eligibility requirements vary by program, but it would certainly pay to research some of these programs, they could see you in your own home sooner than you think!
Also note that there are various tax concessions and advantages available to you as a homeowner. For example, the interest you pay each month on your loan will be tax deductible. Something to keep in mind when budgeting for your first home. The links below share some of the details of the programs available.
5. Do your homework (a.k.a. due diligence)
Now, we know you’ve more than likely finished high school, but there is still some serious homework to do while searching for your first home. Staten Island has some beautiful areas, depending on what sort of lifestyle you would like to lead.
We recommend spending some time in the area in which you would like to live (if you haven’t already). Rent an Airbnb for a weekend in the area and get to know the local parks, cafes and amenities. More than likely you will fall in love with the area, but there may also be some red flags which wouldn’t be quite so obvious if just visiting for an open house. Whether you choose the convenience of the North Shore, the rich culture of Randall Manor, the bustling restaurant scene of West Brighton or the greenery that Emerson Hill has to offer, we are sure you will find something to suit your lifestyle and budget here in the Staten Island housing market.
6. Get an idea of how much you can borrow
There are several calculators available online that will give you an indication of how much you are able to borrow based on your current financial situation, such as this one. Be sure to consider all your current loans and expenses (student loans included!) in your calculations.
If your borrowing capacity is not sufficient for the home of your dreams, consider starting a side-hustle to provide yourself with some extra income. Services such as Airbnb, if you have a spare bedroom at your place, Uber, if you have your own car or Etsy, if you are artistically inclined will help with your cash flow and get you to your savings goal sooner.
If your income already comfortably services the loan that you require, a logical next step would be to get a pre-approval for a loan from any number of financial institutions that offer this service. This will give you a solid idea of what you are able to borrow and will assist in the fun part of the process, shopping for your home!
We hope you have found these tips helpful, and that perhaps owning your own slice of paradise here in Staten Island could be closer than you thought. Please feel free to contact our office if requiring further details on any of the legal aspects of home ownership. We love nothing more than helping our customers obtain the home of their dreams, right here in Staten Island.
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This information, based on New York law, was provided courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher J. Arrigali, P.C. It is intended to inform, not to advise. No one should try to interpret or apply any law without the assistance of legal counsel.