SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

How to (Actually) Buy Your First Home in New York City

You have to earn the right to call yourself a New Yorker, and one of the ways you can do that is by suffering through the challenge that is finding housing in New York City. It’s a badge of honor you can wear with pride once you do—I mean, New York is one of the only cities in the world where people willingly pay over $1,000 a month for an apartment that has a shower in the kitchen.

But even as one of the most expensive cities in the world, it may make financial sense to buy sooner rather than later in this city. You only need to stay put for three years to make buying in Queens worth the price, four and a half years for Brooklyn, and seven and a half years for Manhattan, according to a study done by StreetEasy.

The desire for space and affordability sends some first-time homebuyers to New Jersey, Long Island, or quaint towns along the Hudson River (all of which still come with steep price tags). But for those committed to staying within the five boroughs, the question remains: Just how the heck do you navigate being a first-time homebuyer in New York City?

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What Homeowners and Homebuyers Need to Know About the Fed Rate Hike

If you’re in the market to buy a home, or you recently became a homeowner, you’ve probably noticed that mortgage interest rates are ticking up. And just this past March, the Federal Reserve increased the Federal Funds rate by one-quarter of a percentage point for the second time since December. Coincidence? Probably.

We’ll get more into what the Fed rate hike is all about below, but the burning question is: What impact does it have on mortgage rates? Most importantly, how will it affect home affordability and your monthly budget?

To help you make major mortgage decisions going forward—ones that have the potential to impact you for the next 30 years—we’ve broken down what the Fed rate hike really means for current and future mortgage borrowers, and the actions you should consider.

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The (Truly) Ultimate Guide to Buying a House in the San Francisco Bay Area

As anyone who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area will tell you, it is truly a place like no other. The tech industry beckons with its surfeit of good paying jobs, the restaurant scene rivals that of any world capital, oh—and where else can you ski in the mountains one weekend, and then kayak with sea otters the next?

So while it’s not hard to understand why so many people are clamoring to buy a home in the Bay Area, those incredible perks are offset by one major drawback—a sky-high real estate market.

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Making an Offer on a House: What You Need to Know to Close the Deal

When you’re in the home-buying game, especially in hot markets, you’ll discover a process that is both multi-layered and time-consuming—and, at the end of the day, designed to take you from writing an offer to holding the keys in your hand. Understanding each part, your role in it, and how to maximize your participation in each part will save you time and money, and keep you ahead of the game.

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How to Use Tech to Buy a House (and Take Your Hunt to the Next Level)

We use tech for just about everything these days. If the need exists, as they say, “there’s an app for that”—whether it’s food delivery, laundry service, or borrowing a car.

So for the complicated process that is searching for your first home, it’s no surprise that a few innovators are giving it a tech upgrade. Apps and online tools simplify the more labor-intensive parts of house hunting, from learning real estate lingo and weighing mortgage options to finding new listings and investigating neighborhoods.

Here’s a tour of some of the most useful house-hunting websites and real estate apps to use on the path to buying your dream home.

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