Chapter #8 – How Do I Find Out if the Apartment I Buy is in Good Shape?
You don’t want to make a Brooklyn real estate investment only to find that the property isn’t up to scratch – that would be any new home buyer’s worst nightmare. Since real estate investment is such big money, you need to know what pitfalls to look for – but you’ll be pleased to know that making sure the properties you’re considering for purchase are in good shape is one of the easiest and most pleasant parts of buying a home. At least, that’s what we’ve found.
You can do an amazing amount of Brooklyn real estate research online and it’s really kinda nice tucking up with a glass of wine, viewing images of your potential future home – plus, it costs nothing to look. Online research gives you a good starting point, but one thing to be aware of is the possible use of stock photos. There’s nothing wrong with stock photos; they’re professionally taken and are representative of the property you’re purchasing – but that’s where problems can arise. The photos don’t have to be exact replicas of the building for sale.
This stock photos issue is usually more common within the rental market, but it’s worth being aware of when purchasing, especially with brownstone and older construction buildings where there can be updates and work needed. Many Brooklyn real estate agents will ensure that the photos are a 100% match, so getting their advice is always useful.
You can also find out a lot of info about your potential purchase over the phone, but it can be difficult to schedule appointments with sellers and there are certain questions that it’s tricky to ask. For instance, how do you just come out and ask if the place is a dump? Or if the neighbors are decent?
A property being in good shape isn’t just about how it looks on the surface, it’s all the other things that come with it: functionality of appliances, noise levels, the people you’re living near, violation history. Of course, your real estate agent of choice in Brooklyn will be more likely to find these things out for you but then you’re still relying on someone else’s perspective which might not match your own.
Unexpected violations are something you should definitely check for if you’re purchasing older property like brownstones, because it can affect your ability to lend the finances you need. Also, once you buy a property, you buy the violations too so any outstanding costs are yours to pay. If this could be relevant to your choice of home, look into getting a report from a licensed inspector to save any unexpected upset or costs.
The best way to check out your investment is through viewing and the best way to do this in Brooklyn is through a real estate agency. This is the part we really loved but you have to remove the rose-tinted glasses when you’re taking a peek, as this is your future home you’re trying to imagine. Thankfully, a real estate agent will help you stay grounded as you picture your cocktail parties and Thanksgiving celebrations.
But of course, there’s also the incomplete new construction building to think of if that’s a route you might take. What can you do if you’re going pre-construction? Often, real estate agents will have similar Brooklyn condos for sale, or even show condos, for you to view – they’ll be based on the same model and a good comparison. Alternatively, you can use modern virtual reality technology to view a pre construction real estate property building that doesn’t even exist yet, to get a feel of what you can expect.
But the biggest piece of advice I can give you is, enjoy it! Know what you expect and take all the precautions you can, but enjoy the viewing and take your time – buying a property could be a once in a lifetime event. Make the most of it!