Lashara Pratt • Helping Couples Buy Their First New York Home
September 1, 2018
“It’s all a matter of what you are spending on rent,” says Bold agent Lashara Pratt, regarding the age-old New York question asked by new couples: should we rent or should we buy?
Lashara says, “Most couples right now are spending over $3500 renting an apartment. So if you think about that — with mortgage, maintenance, down payment and the savings that you do have — you can find an apartment in Manhattan or the outer boroughs that will give you that same price point, but you own it.”
Sounds simple enough, if you let Lashara show you how to do the math. The common perception (not the reality) is that buying a home in New York is an impossible dream. Not so, if you sit down with Lashara.
“It’s just a matter of educating renters,” she says. “They usually think that buying is so expensive and they won’t be able to afford it. But once you sit down with a salesperson who is knowledgeable, they can guide you.”
Lashara is a native New Yorker; she’s focusing on sales, but she can get you started with a rental too. She would love to work with you, but advises that, whomever you choose, try to stick with just one agent rather than many. And definitely use an agent — don’t try to do this all yourself.
“You want someone who has the connections, the resources, and the knowledge of the market,” she says about your choice of agent. “You would be just running yourself crazy trying to do this all yourself. You have no idea what you really need and what your budget can get for what’s available. It’s better to work with someone who is knowledgeable and who knows what they are doing as opposed to calling 50 million different brokers who will just take you wherever and just waste your time.”
According to Lashara, when it comes to the New York real estate search, it’s all about quality, not quantity.
“One agent can give you their undivided attention,” she says. “They know your needs, what you want, where you want to be. They can hone in on what works for you, as opposed to meeting five agents at five different apartments, and wasting your time and wasting their time. But a lot of people want to find something very quickly and they wind up calling as many people as they can. If you do it that way, you don’t find the time to develop a relationship.”
Lashara currently resides in Midtown West, but she has a soft spot in her heart for the Upper East Side.
“It’s more family friendly and you get a lot of space for your money,” she says, “The Upper East Side is most affordable, even though it has that stigma of being the richest neighborhood. You actually get the most bang for your buck there.”
She’s currently been working with many young couples — formerly renters — many of whom are expecting their first child and looking for their first real estate investment. It’s definitely a buyers’ market right now, she says, and she likes the opportunity to build relationships with buyers.
“There are tons of inventory and lots of new developments,” she says of current sales opportunities. “With sales, you can work with someone a long time — maybe even a year — to find their home because there is so much that they can see. With sales, you develop and cultivate a relationship.”
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