Home, Apartment Buyers Need To Do Thorough Research
While emotions can play a part in buying homes or apartments, a local expert says you need to take that part of the equation out and do thorough research before a purchase. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.
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Buying a home is a very emotional process. When buyers attending a showing or an open house, they often look for that gut feeling that this could be the one.
Teri Rogers of BrickUnderground says you need to take the emotion out of it and for unobvious clues as to whether it’s is a good purchase or not.
"People go to look at a home at an open house and tend to look at the surface of it as opposed to peeling back the layers and what kind of story that apartment is telling as to what they will be buying," Rogers says.
Rogers has some advice on how to get the full story about a listing. First, when you show up, judge the building. Check the condition of the lobby, the elevators and the hallways. This could give you insight into the how well the building is maintained and if you can expect any surprise assessments after purchase.
Once in the home or apartment, look behind anything that may be in your way. Peek behind furniture and wall coverings, lift up rugs and look inside cabinets. Do anything to get a full picture of what’s for sale.
"Look in places you might not think to look," Rogers said. "Look under the sinks for signs of water damage or pests. Look at the electrical outlets. If you see a 2-pronged outlet instead of a 3-pronged outlet, you may need to upgrade the electric in the apartment. Also, just to double check on when what renovation was really completed, open the microwave or refrigerator and find the manufacturer date stamp. That will give you an idea when that kitchen was overhauled."
Rogers also says to rely on your senses. Do you smell smoke or food from a neighbor? Can you hear noise from the street? Also, don’t always rely on a broker tells you.
"Be skeptical," she says. "Don’t take the brokers word for anything, (on) whether you can install a washer-dryer or whether dogs are allowed or when that renovation was completed. Ask for documentation! You may not get the documentation you want at that moment, but the broker’s reaction could give you a clue as to the answer."
She also suggests chatting up a doorman or neighbors. They can usually tell you more about the building than the broker can.
Also, don’t forget to look at the amenity spaces. Those, too, can tell you a lot about the upkeep of the building and maybe even offer some clues as its demographic breakdown.
For more tips for home or apartment hunters, you can view a checklist compiled by BrickUnderground at www.brickunderground.com.