Articles on Home Financing

6 Pieces of Advice to Homebuyers

New Construction Manhattan Buying a Home

You’ve finally decided it’s time to give up apartment living. You did some soul searching and you’ve dropped in on a few open houses. You found your dream least, you think you have. According to Forbes, as many as a quarter of homeowners wish they had never purchased their place at all. Here are some additional considerations to make before you make a regrettable decision. The name of the game: attention to detail.

Things That Make Sense: Fewer Interest-Only Mortgages Out There. (Thank Goodness)

Interest Only Mortgages Of all the ridiculous ideas that precipitated what people are apparently calling The Great Recession, junk mortgages -- "subprime" is somehow too kind a word, here -- have to rank among the worst. Real estate in general, and New York apartments and condominiums in particular, have long ranked among the smartest and safest investments out there, but the rise and sad popularity of junk mortgages such as "interest-only" mortgages during the real estate boom did much to unmake that. Sure, the right NYC condo is still a terrific investment, but the market in general was damaged seriously by all the homes and apartments (generally not in New York City, of course) that were sold to people via frankly crappy means such as interest-only mortgages.

The New 'Good Faith Estimates,' Mortgages and NYC Condos: What You Need To Know

Good Faith Estimates and New York City CondosBuying an apartment or condo is a big decision, wherever said apartment or condo is located. But when we're talking about NYC condos, both the level of investment on your part and the competition on the lender's part are amped up considerably. The New York City real estate market can be a tough place, of course, but choosing to work with a trustworthy real estate agent and educating yourself on the rules of the mortgage game are good ways to make buying a Manhattan apartment that much simpler. The New Construction Manhattan Broker Network is a good way to ensure that you'll find a knowledgeable agent, of course; reading Ken Harney's piece at The Real Deal on the importance of the government-mandated "Good Faith Estimate" (or GFE) is a good way to get started on the educating-yourself thing.

A Closer Look at Manhattan's Fannie Mae-Approved Condominium Developments

Fannie Mae approved condominium developments in New York CityWe've discussed the Federal Housing Administration's new set of guidelines for new construction condominium buildings here and here. And while we don't know yet what kind of impact the government's new standards will have on a roughed-up housing market, we now know -- thanks to Fannie Mae's list of approved condominium buildings in New York -- which new condominium developments in Manhattan have been granted Fannie Mae approval. Why does this matter?

Good News, Bad News in New FHA Condo Guidelines

FHA Condo GuidelinesConsidering the housing market's collapse in late 2008 -- you've probably heard something about this -- it was pretty much inevitable that the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Federal Housing Administration would do a thorough revision of their condo-financing policies. The fact that big changes were certain, though, didn't necessarily mean that anyone was certain of what those changes might look like. With the FHA's implementation date of December 7 looming closer, the shape of the FHA's new policies is becoming somewhat clearer. The results offer good news and bad news for both new condominium buildings in New York City and those looking to buy (and sell) apartments in New York.

Mighty Healthy: Understanding FHA and Fannie Mae Condo-Financing Guidelines

keyThe current real estate market is all the more frustrating for how tantalizing it is -- the market for new condominiums and apartments in Manhattan (and elsewhere) is full of great deals, but the still-struggling credit market has made it harder than ever to get financing for condominium purchases. New guidelines issued by the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae clear things up somewhat, though, and are good news for home buyers in New York -- very friendly financing and government-backed loans are available for those buying condos in FHA-approved developments. The question, then, is this: what makes a Fannie Mae/FHA-approved condo project an FHA-approved condo project?