To achieve a successful purchase, as a buyer you must first have a base knowledge of the marketplace. From there, you should find a broker to help you navigate and negotiate that successful purchase. Your broker should be able to garner information, disseminate data and provide an informed platform for you to make a decision.
However, though it is extremely important to work with a strong buyer’s broker you must also be aware of the right questions to ask to determine if a property is right for you. Questions can range from how the apartment lays out to the economics of the building- all of which should be on your “checklist” of items needed for a successful purchase.
Take a look at the standard questions and items you as a buyer should know in order to determine that the “right” property is truly the “RIGHT” property for you:
Find a good buyer’s broker. Your broker should walk you through the process of buying, show you properties that fit your needs, negotiate the deal, prepare your board package and bring everything to a close.
- Fill out REBNY Financial Form. Filling out this form will give you and your broker a clear idea of where your finances stand to purchase your new property.
- Know your timeline- Communicate your purchasing timeframe to your broker. From there, you can determine how long it will take to get you into the new property you desire.
- Get pre-approved for a loan by a bank or mortgage broker.
- Once you find a property that you like, make sure bank will approve the building. Have your bank or your mortgage broker give you an estimate of the closing cost.
- Layout: Look at the room sizes, wall space and closets carefully to make sure your furniture will fit and that you will have enough storage space.
- Maintenance cost: Ask what the maintenance costs cover.
- Taxes: Make sure to confirm taxes given are correct.
- Views: Ask the broker and research on your own to make sure your views will not be impacted by surrounding development. Noise: Take time to listen when you’re in the apartment to make sure the noise level is acceptable. Both from outside the building and inside the building.
- Garbage disposal: Find the location of the refuse room. Make sure it is easily accessible and clean.
- Smells: Pay close attention to any odorous smell coming from inside or outside the building. You want to make sure they will dissipate and not be a consistent nuisance.
- Cellular Service: make sure that your mobile devices get service throughout the apartment.
Services and Amenities:
- Staffing hours/duties: Check the number of staff members, their hours and duties. Resident Manager: Ask if the resident manager lives in the building.
- Amenities: Confirm the hours of operations for the amenities and see what the rental policy is for private events.
- Service elevator: Check the dimensions of the elevator to make sure it accommodates your furniture and art.
- Building upkeep: Look at the condition of the back stairwells and basement. It will give you a good idea of how well the building is kept.
Building By Laws:
- Pet policy: Find out what the breeds, sizes, and number of pets allowed. Rental/sublease policy: Ask if renting and subleasing are allowed and for how long. Use policy: See if you can use the property for anything other than residential use.
- Guest policy: Know if there are any restrictions on amount of guests and the length of time they can stay.
- Management Company: Know the management company and what other properties they manage to determine how attentive they will be.
- Mortgage: Find out whether or not there is an underlying mortgage, and if so, the terms.
- Insurance: Make sure the building has up-to-date insurance.
- Reserves: Confirm the amount of building reserves available to pay for building-related issues.
- Special assessments: Ask if there are any special assessments planned and how they will be rolled out.
- Flip tax: See if there is a flip tax or other building-specific closing cost and who pays them.
- Work rules: If you plan to do renovations of any kind in the future, review the building work rules and alteration agreement.
Note: For many older buildings, you should know when the building was last repointed, when the roof was replaced and when the mechanicals were updated. These can become very expensive improvements that could be passed onto the residences as a special assessment if there is not enough in reserve or the mortgage does not cover the expense.
Jarrod Guy Randolph