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Buying/Selling Homes
Jack Stern
associates
New York real estate law

Jack Stern
Attorney at Law
1189 Forest Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10310
Ph: 718.448.6767
Fax: 718.448.4509

The Home Buyer Guide

Jack Stern Real Estate Law is a respected firm proficient in the laws and regulations governing real estate transactions in the State of New York, New Jersey, and the surrounding area. Our trusted legal expertise in real estate law will provide you with all you need to guide you in all your real estate transactions in the New York Metropolitan area, including Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, Long Island, and Westchester County.


Buying a home is one of life’s most exciting times and important purchases. Below you will find a number of important helpful tips and answers to questions concerning all aspects of home buying and real estate law help in New York. If you do not see the answer to your question or questions, feel free to contact us and we will help you with whatever real estate buying or legal question you may have.

1. HOW DO I KNOW WHEN I AM READY TO PURCHASE A HOME? 
Below are some important questions that will help you answer this question:

    * Is my source of income, usually a long-term job with a good history, reliable?
    * How much have I saved for a down payment on a new home?
    * Do I have an excellent record of paying my bills and other debts?
    * How many outstanding debts, such as car payments, if any, do I have?
    * How long have I currently been employed? Has it been at least 3 years?
    * Do I have the financial ability to pay a mortgage and other home-related expenses (insurances, taxes, etc.) every month?

If you answer, “yes” to these questions, you are probably ready to buy your own home and begin your quest for information on New York real estate and real estate law.

3. HOW DOES ONE BEGIN THE ADVENTURE OF BUYING A HOME?
Start by asking yourself if you are you ready to buy a home.  How much can you afford in a monthly mortgage payment? How much space do you need? What parts of town do you like? What about schools and other considerations such as possible commutes to your job? Once you answer these questions and you are in the financial position to invest in a new home then you will have a better idea of how to start. The best way to start from a legal point of view is to contact us at Jack Stern Real Estate Law so we can begin by answering any legal questions you may have that will help you make your decision.

3. WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BUYING AND RENTING A HOME?
There is no comparison! The one advantage of renting is being free of most maintenance responsibilities. With buying a new home you create equity for your future. A new home purchase is an investment that is one of the most reliable and lucrative you can make. By owning your own home you are free to decorate it as you wish, use it as equity for other investments, and build a life of independence that renting cannot give.

4. HOW DO I DETERMINE MY EXACT HOUSING REQUIREMENTS?
Your home should fit way you live, with spaces and features that appeal to the whole family.  Before you begin, look at other homes for sale in the areas you would like to live. Make a wish list of priorities such as size, cost, location, schools, yard, amenities, etc. Once you make this list and prioritize it then look at homes that fit the description of how you want to live. From there you will see what the costs are for those homes and whether or not your budget is suitable.

5. HOW DOES THE MORTGAGE LENDER DECIDE THE LOAN AMOUNT?
Lenders decide on a loan amount by considering your debt-to-income ratio. This figure is a comparison of your gross income to expenses, both related to housing and those not related to housing.  Non-housing expenses include long-term debts such as car payments, student loans, alimony and so forth.  Monthly mortgage payments should be no more than 29% of gross income, while the mortgage payment, combined with non-housing expenses, should total no more than 41% of income.  Also taken into consideration is the amount of cash available for a down payment along with your equity and other forms of investment.

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Jack Stern, Attorney at Law 1189 Forest Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10310 providing quality legal service for 25 years