For KWNYC ALC member and agent Peter-Charles Bright, working as a buyer's broker requires patience, knowledge, and understanding, especially with first time homebuyers financing in a competitive seller’s market. He understands product, process, and protocol and is always looking to multiply his successes at KW. Here are his Top 5 Tips for Buying in Brooklyn.
1) There is no such thing as a Brooklyn Budget and a Manhattan Budget. Your budget should be based on your financials and desired lifestyle. Don't make the mistake of undervaluing the Brooklyn market, you will lose time if your broker is not familiar with Brooklyn and spends their time trying to source deals 20% under market.
2) Focus on the neighborhood attributes that you desire in the general. Parks, commute, and entertainment. Do not take neighborhood reputations and stereotypes at face value! You may be looking where everybody else is looking, setting yourself up for unnecessary competition, when the perfect apartment for you is actually having a modestly attended open house 10 minutes outside of your expressed boundaries.
Many Brooklyn neighborhoods have new retail corridors, new Brownstone owners, and morphing identities as a result of recent development. Pick your soft requirements, then compare them against neighborhoods that meet your hard requirements, i.e. your commute.
3) Be prepared for competition. Brooklyn properties may be less expensive than their Manhattan equivalents, but the competition may be fiercer. Many units will have multiple offers, over ask, with cash deals on the table within a week. People looking for homes, in my experience, are fiercer than people looking for passive income on an investment.
4) Cash is king, but rarely factors to a substantial discount unless the seller is in financial distress. Lowballing with a cash offer is a great way to fumble your leverage and open the door for a non-contingent financed buyer to snag the deal. I know, I factor this in when working as a buyer's broker.
5) Make it a point to hang out in the neighborhoods you are considering before hitting open houses. Yes, there is a plethora of information online, but it's best to try on a neighborhood before you start bidding on the abstract concept of a borough.