Apartments are real gems if you live in the city. Buying an apartment, especially in your 20s, can be a real headache if you don’t know what you’re doing. I am a city girl at heart, I grew up in the Bronx and now live in Manhattan, and I don’t think I could live anywhere else.
That said, I’ve lived in several apartments in my life, some of the most luxurious lofts and even some apartments that look like they’re out of hell. That’s why we’re here to teach you some of the things you need to watch out for when looking for an apartment. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and discover some of our tips for buying an apartment.
1. Identifying your needs
Before choosing an apartment, you must first choose the location where you can immediately project yourself. The reputation of the neighborhood, proximity to public transportation, shops, and schools in the area if you have children… These are all priority criteria that can guide you in choosing a property. Choosing a good environment will also be an asset for the future: your property will increase in value and be easier to resell.
If your priority is to look for an apartment in a busy area, be sure to check the soundproofing of the property to reduce noise pollution: busy streets or roads and railroad lines in the immediate vicinity can become very annoying. Stadiums, factories, or schools can also be sources of noise. Also, make sure that your property is not located under an air corridor.
The exposure of the property is another important parameter to take into account. In addition to being dark, a property facing north will be difficult to heat. To the east, you will only get sun in the morning. Properties with through light are the most appreciated for their beautiful luminosity. Note that the higher a property is on a floor, the greater its luminosity.
2. Dare to negotiate
Buying a property is often synonymous with a long-term commitment. Few buyers pay cash in the real estate market. Therefore, you will have to go through banks to obtain a loan adapted to your profile and contribution. By calculating your borrowing capacity, notary fees, and debt ratio, you will be prepared to negotiate your loan request. You can use an online estimator to simulate your real estate loan. A solid and well-prepared file will be a guarantee of confidence for the bank. You will then have access to more interesting rates.
Negotiation can often be frightening and cause some sleepless nights. It is indeed a risk to take. What if the offer is too low and the property is sold to another interested party? Negotiation must therefore remain reasonable but is quite possible. By knowing the real estate market and the property perfectly, you will be able to know if there is room for negotiation.
It’s up to you! For example, the realization of works or the detection of certain defects during the visits could play in your favor during the negotiation. Finally, try to obtain information on the demand for this property: are there several people interested? A property that has been on the market for a long time generally indicates a low demand. Your negotiating power will therefore be stronger.
You need to take stock of your financial capabilities by asking yourself a few questions: What is your net monthly income? Do you contribute from your savings or a share of your company’s profits? But you will also need a precise idea of your fixed charges (other outstanding credits, possible alimony payments, etc.).
Indeed, it is from these two elements that you can define your borrowing capacity. To do this, you need to deduct your expenses from your net monthly income to define your living expenses. On this basis, you can then calculate what a banking institution can lend you, i.e., a maximum of 35% of your monthly income. This ratio between expenses and net income is called the effort rate.
Don’t hesitate to go to an online simulator to calculate your borrowing capacity more easily on different loan durations and thus optimize your purchasing capacity free of charge and without commitment. Attention: do not only take into account the selling price of the property. Don’t forget to add the notary fees and the cost of loan insurance, which must be included in your budget. Also, consider the property tax and allow for a safety margin for possible work.
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