Buy Buy Buy

Harlem’s real estate market is hot! With more quality entry-level
inventory than most Manhattan neighborhoods, Harlem properties
are a great value. People love Harlem homes because of their size,
character, and price. With multiple subway lines, new establishments
opening every week, proximity to parks, recreation and
major institutions such as Columbia University not to mention art,
culture and entertainment, Harlem attracts buyers from all over the

According to, the median sales price in Harlem is $645,000. That’s an increase of 155% from July 2012. In comparison, the Upper Westside’s median is $995,500 and the Upper Eastside’s median is $1,244,044. Downtown prices are over $1,500 per square feet.

Harlem properties allow many first time buyers the chance to purchase a home they can afford. There are over 350 homes for sale right now in Harlem with an average price per square feet of $500. Prices start as low as $80,000, making homeownership a real reality.

Staying in the game and getting to the closing table does have its challenges as many buyers have lost properties due to bidding wars or stringent mortgage contingencies from banks. However, patience, preparation and market knowledge will help buyers immensely.

As for financing, mortgage companies have tighter lending policies than they did 5 years ago. They are looking for applicants with strong financials, good credit and steady employment. Typically, buyers should have a debt to loan ratio of 40%; meaning that no more than 40% of income goes towards servicing debts.

The first step to obtaining a mortgage is to get prequalified. Based on information you provide during your initial conversation with a mortgage broker, you can qualify for a specific loan amount, once you finalize certain documents.

The second step is to get preapproved. After your initial conversation with the mortgage broker, you provide information for a detailed background check and financial check (tax returns, credit check and income history). You will then receive a letter from a lender stating how much they would be willing to lend you, valid for approximately 60 days.


Not only do buyers need to consider the purchase price, they must also take into consideration the closing costs. The Condo Vs Coop Guide (above) is a helpful tool for determining closing costs. (Courtesy of Citi Habitats Marketing)

Now is a great time to take advantage of low prices and low interest rates. If you have any questions about purchasing a new home, please feel free to give me, Deondra Carter, a call at 917-882-8718. Happy Hunting!