Author Topic: seeking advice about buying in jackson heights  (Read 2352 times)

Offline McNabb

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seeking advice about buying in jackson heights
« on: May 06, 2014, 08:41:07 PM »
hi everyone,
though i'm new to the forum, i've lived in JH for around 8 years now, and i like it here but this whole time i've been renting. i think it's time for me to settle down or at least begin to think of building some equity. problem is though i lost my job some years back and have been an independent contractor in that time. i don't make much at all, and only last year was able to make a decent living. i've contacted many real estate people, but once they hear of my situation, i never hear from them again. my question is simple, and i hope someone here can help me, i just need the truth. if the odds look like it's going against me, then i won't even bother, but if it seems like i have a chance, i'll go for it. so here's the situation - i work independently, i make around 50k a year, i have around 30k for a downpayment. can i get a one bedroom co-op in the JH area? will any co-op board approve me, or should i just not even bother with the financial stats that i have? i don't mind continuing to rent, but i'm very curious as to my chances of owning. any advice would be greatly appreciated. thank you everyone!

Offline Superclam

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Re: seeking advice about buying in jackson heights
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2014, 10:11:56 AM »
Usually, you'll have to show your tax returns for the last few years to prove your income. I live in Southridge, and they looked at our financials very closely when we bought. Let me put it this way: if the real estate agents aren't calling you back, that's a bad sign, as their whole motive is to sell.
Also, it's gotten much harder to get a mortgage.

Sorry to be so pessimistic, I wish you the best.

Offline EricaS

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Re: seeking advice about buying in jackson heights
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2014, 11:13:54 AM »
In general, a bank won't consider you for a mortgage with less than 20% down (unless you're willing to pay for private mortgage insurance, which is not a good road to go down), and most co-ops allow won't allow more than 80% financing, so what you have in the bank would need to be equal to 20% of the price of the home (+ another 2-3% for closing costs).

That said, money in the bank isn't the only thing considered when banks are evaluating a loan, and there are programs out there for folks with not a lot of $ to put down. If you have a good credit score and little to no debt, you could be an attractive borrower regardless of how much $ is currently in the bank. And given your income situation, you likely qualify for any number of programs that exist for first-time homebuyer assistance. See these links:
There are additional programs out there if you are a military vet.

All that said, NYC co-ops tend to have stricter financial requirements than lenders, so even with assistance you may still have difficulty. You could look at condos, which cost more up front but tend to not scrutinize finances as heavily.

Another option is to look for city sponsored affordable condos/homes:
Again, given your situation, you seem to qualify for this program, and if the Mayor's new housing plan is pushed forward, you could see a LOT of affordable condos popping up around town (perhaps not in JH, but certainly other parts of Queens). So there's some waiting involved, as well as some luck (if there are more qualified purchasers than units, there is usually a lottery), but something to put on your radar.

I'm not a realtor, lender, or government employee with any expert knowledge of any of the above, just someone who, like you, is wanting to purchase a home and see what options are out there. The above is a bit of what I've come across in my research so far.

Good luck!

Offline agentarmen

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Re: seeking advice about buying in jackson heights
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2014, 12:00:49 PM »
Hi McNabb

I think that any first time home buyer can benefit from a comprehensive consult, to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their candidacy and have a point of reference as to what they may need to do to strengthen their buying position if need be. No two files are alike, and individual attention is required for each one.

McNabb – I am a Licensed Associate Broker and a former loan officer of 8 years. I am happy to do a consult with you.  There is a wealth of information on our site for first time home buyers also. You may want to start with these two links:

I can be reached at 917-848-6928


Armen J. Meschian
Associate Broker at Exit Realty Landmark
Armen Meschian
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker

673 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10065
t:     212-612-9694
c:     917-848-6928
f:     212-612-9650

Offline McNabb

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Re: seeking advice about buying in jackson heights
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2014, 01:19:58 AM »
thank you everyone for your feedback. i appreciate it. it does sound like the odds are stacked against me. my rental lease is up at the end of this year, so i was thinking summers end i'll check with my bank to see if they would even give me a pre-approval. odds are i'll just continue renting until i can maintain a consistent yearly income or if by some miracle i find a full time job. i mean, is it me? or is it the economy? i don't ever recall it this being difficult to find a job before. i was thinking of Jersey City though, but then i got reminded of Sandy. turns out Jersey City and Hoboken tend to get flooded often. but the prices are good though, and it's relatively easy to get into the city from there, and the apartments there are all almost entirely condos and not co-ops. i like it here though, it just kinda sucks that i feel like im gonna be priced out. maybe it'll be good to wait another 4 to 5 years and see how things pan out. i don't mind renting for a couple more years.

Jackson Heights Life

Re: seeking advice about buying in jackson heights
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2014, 01:19:58 AM »