Filter: NYC version or competitive real estate market.
I am trying to understand the time table for each step of the process.
I have talked with a friend about the process of buying real estate. I have also read previous previous ask me questions about this and found useful info, such as this article about buying property in NYC
However, even though I have read through this information, there are still many unknowns. If someone could explain more details, then I think that I could figure this out and move forward.
Most of my questions revolve around timing and anxiety with the whole process (anxiety because to me this is a lot of money, and I could potentially pick the wrong place).
Some of the questions that I have and that I can't understand after having read these articles are as follows, so if you have gone through this process, could you explain this to me in very basic terminology?
I have broken this down into specific questions, but a longer version: I am not familiar with what the process means and I have anxiety around the unknowns, especially the timing.
-I did read that after a potential buyer expresses interest in the property, it proceeds onward to contracts and reviews by a lawyer, etc., review by a coop board/condo board, etc. My main concern is: How long does this generally take? So if one wants to move into a new place a few months from now or a year from now, when should the person ideally start looking with anticipation of (a month, 2 months, 3 months?) the lag in time to review the material. In general how long does this take? Is there an average time or does it vary wildly (ie, some people will take a month, whereas others will take 6 months).
-Is there any additional info about a tight real estate market that I should know that will make this process even more challenging (ie,I should add in another month to the review process, or I should anticipate that 10 pple will bid on a property, or I should make an offer that same day?) My challenge is that I plan to go on the low end of the market, probably $150 to 250 K max, even if I qualify for higher loans. My fear is that this will mean tons of competition at this end of the market.
-General anxiety about the entire process. Another part of my anxiety about this is that I currently live in a neighborhood that I enjoy (UWS), but if I want to buy property in those price ranges it will mean moving to Inwood/Washington Heights/Astoria, and I do not know much about those areas and buying is significantly different than renting. So if you moved to a different neighborhood to buy, what was that process like? (ie, you checked out the neighborhood for a few weeks/walked there every other week/spent X hours there/week). The gap in my mind is that even if I see something that I want to buy, it would be better to spend time around that neighborhood, too, and I am wondering if I should add time to do this, too (ie, does this mean getting to know a neighborhood for a month or so, and then looking at places and making an offer).
Apologize in advance, if I can understand these steps, then I can wrap my head around it and plan accordingly.