Moving and living in the city is expensive. Purchasing your first home or apartment is a lot like paving an NYC road. Many people have traveled the path before, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t potholes and other obstacles to overcome. Unfamiliar territory and confusing requirements can make it feel like you’ve driven yourself right into a foreign land. Add your furry family member to the mix, and the process can be a little bit stressful. But there are ways to make sure your journey to homeownership in NYC remains a smooth ride. P
NYC Cash flow
When it comes to buying a home in NYC, the first thing you need to do is calculate how much you can afford and be realistic in your figures. Keep in mind that New York City and the surrounding suburbs aren’t cheap, and even with an income of $100,000 or more you’re going to need plenty of money saved if you don’t want to devote your entire paycheck to a mortgage. A modest two-bedroom apartment may cost $800,000 or more. Even with a $200,000 down payment, you’re looking at a mortgage of more than $4,500 each month including principal and interest, taxes, and homeowners insurance. You will also need to consider any HOA/COA or other fees associated with your building, such as parking if you own a vehicle, as well as any pet fees if you’ll be moving into a condo or townhome. Make it easy to total up your budget by using an online home cost calculator.
An apartment isn’t the only option, but you may have to go outside of Manhattan to afford a townhome or single-family home. In addition to dwelling, you must consider schools, access to public transportation, proximity to dog parks and dog groomers/daycare and other amenities you and your family require. This will also include being in close proximity to doggy amenities such as dog parks and dog-friendly restaurants, parks, and hiking trails. For a quick way to find dog-friendly activities and places nearby, use BringFido.com.
Who’s moving with you?
Unless you’re single, you will also need to consider your housemates. Discuss with your spouse or partner what home features are most important to each of you and know that you will each have to compromise. Moving with kids and pets is a little trickier. Dogs require room to roam and socialize and a backyard to relieve themselves and get fresh air. Further, having kids means you must pay attention to the quality of the schools in your chosen home zone. Niche.com offers a rundown of the best public and private schools in New York. And the kids aren’t the only members of your family that need a space to stretch out. Make sure you have access to green space so that you and your dog can enjoy at least a 30 minute walk every day. If you’ll need someone to stop in and take your dog for a walk while you are away at work or out and about, go ahead and find a trustworthy dog nanny that provides services in your area. This established relationship will come in handy when moving day arrives — more on that below.
Avoid moving day blues
When moving day finally arrives, you can take stress off your entire crew by outsourcing the heavy lifting to a moving company. Have your home packed and ready to go and don’t be afraid to let the kids lend a hand. If possible, spend a day or two prior to the move letting the kids say goodbye to their friends and neighbors. On moving day, keep your dog in an out-of-the-way bedroom and locked securely in his crate with his favorite toys, a few snacks, and a cuddly blanket. You can put an older child in charge of the family pet to help ease worries for them both or board your dog or hire a pet sitter for the day. Bekins moving company offers more information on how to get through the move with children and pets with your sanity intact.
Moving day doesn’t have to be a train wreck. Like any good road trip, it requires lots of preparation and planning. By setting your course ahead of time, you and your family can make it to your destination – your new home – without taking a wrong turn.