Buying a Starter Apartment

Starter apartments can be found in pretty much every neighborhood of New York.


Upper Manhattan is a great fit for first-time homebuyers because of factors such as finances, budgets, and personal preferences. First, remember that a starter apartment is not meant to be your ‘forever’ home. It’s a launching pad that will be upgraded as major life events unfold.

Prepare yourself: starter apartments are typically studios, alcove studios, or one-bedrooms and often have small layouts, small kitchens, and simple appliances. Once basic needs are met, budget permitting, you can then look for additional amenities such as space, light, choice views, or a balcony.

It’s all about affordability and untapped potential. Choosing the right neighborhood is everything: with the equity, starter homes accumulate over time, buyers can often use them as a stepping stone to a larger home.

Making a profit on the home is contingent upon a number of factors, including how long you hold the apartment for, what kind of market we’re in when it comes time to sell, and what kinds of upgrades were made to the unit.

If you want to make your money back, do not spend more than 10% of the purchase price on renovations.


Check out Pedro Paredes, Licensed Real Estate Agent at The Bizzarro Agency, with some advice on what to consider before your renovate.


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Securing a Co-op Mortgage

Finding the right financing to purchase a New York City co-op can be tricky.


Traditional mortgages cannot be issued to apartments within cooperative buildings. Avoid costly mistakes by making sure your mortgage lender understands the uncommon process.

An experienced bank will know to review your finances AND the finances of the cooperative as well. They may even keep a list of ‘approved’ buildings that can expedite your financing.

A co-op board’s standards can also be quite different and/or stricter than your bank’s… Including the types of mortgages allowed, down payment restrictions, and debt-to-income ratio caps.

So make sure your real estate team includes a hyper-local buyer’s agent and an experienced mortgage lender.


Pedro Paredes, Licensed Real Estate Agent at The Bizzarro Agency, has some pressing info on what you need to know about obtaining a mortgage.


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