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Residential real estate transactions in Staten Island, like anywhere, can be a daunting undertaking for people, especially for first-time home buyers. Below is a brief outline that hopefully demystifies the process somewhat.

The Basic Process

The first step for buyers is a proper assessment of the mortgage limit they can expect a bank to offer them. Now that you have a projected budget range to work with, you’re ready for the next step. And the next step is probably the most enjoyable: searching for your new Staten Island home.

Once you discover your dream home, you then present a purchase offer to the seller. The seller reviews the offer and decides whether to accept the offer, reject it, or ask for a modification. Assuming the seller accepts the home buying offer, a purchase contract is submitted for review and approval.

As the Staten Island home buyer, you will be required to apply for a mortgage on the residential property. Your attorney will examine the property title next (for more information about this, click here). If you and the seller agree on the result of the title report, the closing process begins, and it’s time to get excited because you’re almost there. Soon you’ll be filing your new home with the Staten Island County Clerk’s Office.

As a Staten Island real estate attorney, I’ve been working in the Staten Island real estate market for more than a decade. (I still get a thrill when I see people close on a new home.) During this time, I’ve worked with a number of highly qualified real estate agents, and learned a great deal. Buying a home in Staten Island can be complicated, yes. Buying a home in Staten Island for the first time is almost always complicated for the buyer, true. Like anything, the first time is most difficult. But if you do your due diligence, keep your calm, and have a plan, you’ll be just fine.

Here are some points to keep in mind that might assist you along the way:

  • Take the process one step at a time. Buying a home can take time, but if you focus on one step at a time, you’ll make steady progress towards the closing. You probably need help.
  • Rely on family and friends who have gone through the process. Find a Staten Island real estate agent who is responsive and who you trust. The same goes for a Staten Island real estate attorney. They will be your allies during the home-buying process.
  • Ask for Clarification. Like any specialized field, professionals in the real estate field use a bunch of lingo. And lawyers? We might be the worse. Hopefully you’ll have an attorney who knows how to speak in layman’s terms, but if not, don’t be afraid to ask for explanations. Ask questions until you feel comfortable with each step of the residential real estate transaction process.

I always recommend to my clients to get as involved in the process as they are comfortable with. Research the various parts of a Staten Island real estate sale, and get informed about every aspect. However, if you aren’t sure you want to invest the time and effort in learning about the ins and outs of title insurance, for instance, you can do a lot worse than at least following the three points above.

Questions? As always, please contact me today.


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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.

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