Updated 06/01/2012 12:01 AM
Real Estate Buyers Should Rely On Investigation, Rather Than Emotion
Whether shopping for a home or apartment, real estate buyers should rely on more than just their gut-level feelings. NY1's Real Estate reporter Jill Urban filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Buying a home is a very emotional process. When buyers attend a showing or an open house, they often look for a gut feeling that the property could "be the one." Teri Rogers, the founder of BrickUnderground, says buyers need to take the emotion out of it and for not-too-obvious clues as to whether the property is a good investment.
"People go to look at a home at an open house and tend to really look at the surface of it, as opposed to peeling back the layers and seeing what kind of story that apartment is telling," says Rogers.
She has some advice on how to get the full story about a listing. First, buyers should judge the building. Checking the condition of the lobby, the elevators and the hallways could give insight into the how well the building is maintained and if one can expect any surprise assessments after purchase.
Once inside the home, look behind anything that may be in the way. Peek behind furniture and wall coverings, lift up rugs and look inside cabinets, anything to get a full picture of what’s for sale.
"Look in places you might not think to look. Look under the sinks for signs of water damage or pests problems. Look at the electrical outlets and if you see a two-pronged outlet instead of a three-pronged outlet. You may need to be upgrading the electric in the apartment," says Rogers. "Also, just to double check on when that renovation was really completed, open the microwave or refrigerator and find the manufacturer date stamp and that will give you an idea when that kitchen was overhauled."
She says buyers should rely on their senses. Do they smell smoke or food from a neighbor? Can they hear noise from the street? Also, they should not always rely on a broker says.
"Be skeptical. Don’t take the broker's word for anything, whether you can install a washer-dryer, or whether dogs are allowed or when that renovation was completed," says Rogers. "Ask for documentation. You may not get the documentation you want at that moment, but the broker’s reaction could give you a good clue as to the answer."
She also suggests chatting up a doorman or neighbors, because they can usually tell more about the building than the broker can.
Don’t forget to look at the amenity spaces, as they can share a lot about the upkeep of the building and maybe even offer some clues to its demographic breakdown.
To see more tips like these, visit www.brickunderground.com.