The Verrazano Bridge

    Home Again Realty Inc.

Serving Staten Island Since 1981

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  Buyer's Tips

bulletGetting started
bulletHow much house can you afford?
bulletWhy should you work with  Realtor?
bulletChoosing a Realtor
bulletLet us help you find a home

Getting Started

    Before you start looking for a home you should ask yourself a few questions.

    What town do you want to live in?  Do you need public transportation, or will you drive to work? 

    What kind of home would you like?  Do you need a big yard, or no yard? Are you looking for a particular style? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Do you want a one family or do you need the income a two family can provide?

    How much house can you afford? Have you consulted with a Realtor or a Mortgage Lender to determine the size of the mortgage you would qualify for? 

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Here are a few tips to help you get organized.

  1. Pull a credit report on yourself and make sure the information is accurate. You can use this link to get your report now. www.experian.com/consumer/index.html  If you find any errors, take steps to correct them immediately.
  2. Start saving money - you'll need to have cash on hand for a down payment and for closing costs.
  3. Don't incur any additional debt. Pay down your credit cards. and don't apply for any new ones. Don't make any major purchases on credit, buy the car or the furniture later
  4. Contact a Realtor. We can help you determine how much you can afford, and we can provide you with information on homes that may interest you. We will help you find a good Lawyer, and a mortgage lender. And get you through all the paper work.

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How much house can you afford?

    Simply put, you can afford a house that costs as much as the largest monthly mortgage payment you can qualify for.

    A quick way to estimate the size of the mortgage you qualify for is to take your gross monthly income (that's before taxes and other deductions) and multiply by .28 This works out to just over 1/4 of your gross income.

   Mortgage companies use something called a 28/36 ratio or a 25/33 ratio. The first number in each pair is the percentage of your gross income that the lender would consider acceptable as a monthly mortgage payment )i.e. if you make $3,000 per month, 28% of $3,000 is $840 per month). The second number in each pair is used when all debt payments are considered, not just the mortgage. (i.e. if you make $3,000 per month but also have a $250 a month car payment, 36% of $3,000 is $1,080 minus the $250 car payment, equals $830). As you can see the numbers work out to be almost the same. Obviously if you have more debt you would qualify for less.

    These calculations are a useful way to get an idea of were you stand. But before you can make an offer on a property you must have a Pre-qualification letter from a reliable, professional financial institution.

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Why you should work with a Realtor

Working with a professional Realtor to buy your home is a good idea for several reasons:

  1. They're familiar with the process of buying a home and can explain things to you.
  2. They can easily access information on all properties listed for sale by Realtors in the aria.
  3. They can answer questions about the aria, schools, shopping, transportation, cultural and recreational facilities.
  4. They can set up appointments for you to see homes that interest you.
  5. They'll help you complete all the necessary paperwork when it comes time to make an offer. 
  6. They'll analyze your financial situation to help you determine how much you can afford.
  7. They'll help you arrange financing.
  8. they'll help you chose a lawyer.
  9. They'll be there at closing to answer your questions and make sure everything runs smoothly. 

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Choosing a Realtor

    Searching for your dream home can be a time consuming experience. working with al professional Realtor will make the process much more efficient.

    Since most people spend a fair amount of time with their Realtor, it's important to choose a Realtor you feel comfortable with, and one who is responsive to your needs. The following questions will help you decide if a Realtor is right for you:

  1. Do they use the latest technology to help you find a home?
  2. Do they have access to an MLS (multiple listing service)?
  3. Do they ask questions to determine what you want/need in a home?
  4. Do they return your calls/e-mail?
  5. Do they explain things clearly?
  6. Do they seem knowledgeable about the community?
  7. Do you feel comfortable spending time with them?
  8. Do they suggest competent lawyers and mortgage lenders for you?

   If the answer to most of these questions is "Yes"- you've found a great Realtor.

   If you find yourself answering "No" to many of these questions, or to any individual questions that are important to you, you should keep looking until you find a Realtor you feel comfortable with.

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Home Careers Our Community Company Information Contac Us Real Estate Tips View Listings Agent Profile