Tips for house hunting in Queens in 2021
So, you are on the hunt for your dream home somewhere in Queens. However, before you start dreaming about DIY projects that will transform your new house or apartment, you first need to find a perfect Queens home for you and your family members. Considering Queens is the second most populous neighborhood in New York, finding the perfect home here can be quite a feat. Especially if you are not as experienced when it comes to real estate. For this reason, we have noted down a few useful tips for house hunting in Queens in 2021.
The earlier you start your home searching process, the better. This is especially true if you currently live far away from New York. So, if you are a Californian looking for a house in NYC, you will have to search for your home remotely. This can slightly slow down your progress, but don’t worry. When you know what to pay attention to, your house hunting will be successful. So, let’s dive in.
Get your mortgage pre-approved for house hunting in Queens
Looking at every single property listing online can be exciting, but it is ultimately useless if you do not have a fixed budget. This means that you first need to determine the type of financing you can apply for. In this way, you will be able to shortlist the square footage, the area, and the type of housing you can afford.
So, getting your mortgage pre-approved is your first step towards initiating the house-hunting process. This pre-approval will let you know which banks are willing to grant you a loan. In turn, you will be able to contact house-sellers with a serious offer.
Be financially prudent
Just note that you do not necessarily have to spend the entire amount of money a lender approves. Essentially, the price of the property will not be your sole expense. You will also have a number of other financial exigencies such as home renovations, real estate agent’s fees, the relocation… So, be wary when you are considering which Queens homes you are getting excited about.
Another thing that can help you acquire the property of your liking is to pay a larger down payment. In this way, your monthly mortgage payments will be lower since you are borrowing less from your lender. This will give you an advantage in a competitive real estate market such as Queens. Another way to reduce your expenses is to pay the property mortgage insurance at an amount that is less than than the optimal 20% for a down payment.
Determine the Queens area where you want to live early on
Depending on your lifestyle and family structure, different Queens areas will be more or less suitable for you. Luckily, housing in Queens is quite diverse. It ranges from high-rise buildings in the western and central parts to low-rise buildings in the western part. High-rise structures are mostly found in neighborhoods such as Ozone Park, Astoria, and Long Island City.
Naturally, different pricing structures apply depending on the Queens neighborhood you choose to move to. If you already reside in Queens, be sure to research which local moving companies are considered reliable as well as affordable. Many Queens tend to completely overlook moving expenses while they are house hunting. Hence, timely consultation with a local Queens moving company such as TB Moving & Storage NYC will make planning for your relocation much more organized.
If you are preparing to move with your kids, you should inform yourself about available housing in areas such as Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Little Neck… These neighborhoods are suitable for raising a family in that they have low crime rates, good educational institutions, parks, various entertainment venues…
Some people prefer to live in safe gated communities, whereas others prioritize proximity to parks and nature. Be sure to set your criteria right from the start in order to make your house-hunting in Queens easier.
Of course, if you are moving for work, the length of commute should enter into the equation. Other important factors include the proximity to grocery stores, pharmacies, schools, and other such practical considerations.
Delineate the must-haves of your future Queens home
However, it is not only the characteristics of the location that you should take into consideration. Home features are also important when you are comparing properties. So, compare the benefits of the location to the features of the home you are looking at.
For instance, consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, number of stories, parking space or garage availability, the age and condition of the property… Some people are excited about purchasing a fixer-upper as they have the opportunity to renovate it to suit their needs. In contrast, others who have to move to Queens on short notice may have to look for a property that is move-in ready. Hence, make sure you find an efficient local moving company that can help you transfer everything just around the corner within a short time frame.
So, once you hone in on neighborhoods that suit your lifestyle, you can narrow your selection further by considering the mentioned home features.
Go on a walking tour around the chosen Queens area
Before you definitely set the house buying process into motion, it helps to get a first-hand impression of what the area actually feels like. So, if you have the opportunity, be sure to take a walk around the area and test out if it is to your liking. Going to showings once you have shortlisted a few properties is also extremely helpful. No matter how many pictures of the property you see, it can hardly compare to actually seeing the place. All in all, your house-hunting in Queens will be much more efficient and realistic if you find the time to check everything out in real life.