10 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before Buying an Apartment

April 3,2018 | By Hillel Realty Group

10 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before Buying an Apartment

After touring countless apartments in New York City and spending hours researching neighborhoods, you’ve finally found “the one,” your dream apartment. Before you make an offer to buy, it is important to ask questions about the apartment, building, requirements, and the neighborhood. The last thing you want to do is sign a purchase agreement, only to discover that the apartment isn’t what you expected or is more than you can afford.

  1. Is this a Condo or a Co-op?

There are two types of apartment buildings in New York City, Co-ops, and Condos. In most cases, buildings constructed pre-1980 are co-ops and after are condos. They are run very differently, so it is important to understand the differences before buying an apartment.

  1. What is the pet policy?

Even if you don’t have a pet today, there may be a day that you want to adopt a cat or dog. Some buildings are pet-friendly, while others are not. If you see a dog or cat in your future, plan for it today by buying an apartment that allows them.

  1. Is there a sublet policy?

Some apartment buildings frown upon subletting your space and prohibit or limit in the building’s by-laws. Many buildings charge apartment owners a monthly fee if they choose to sublet their apartment. Look at your current lifestyle and future possibilities such as a temporary assignment for work that requires you to relocate.

  1. Can I add a washer/dryer?

Unless you want to make the weekly trek to the local Laundromat, this is a valid question. If the apartment doesn’t already have one installed, ask. If the response isn’t promising, you’ll want to ask about the nearest Laundromat so you can better understand logistics and the time commitment.

  1. Are there any monthly association fees?

In addition to your monthly mortgage, are there any additional fees you need to be aware of? Most buildings charge a monthly maintenance charge in addition to amenity charges. These additional charges add up and may take the monthly payment out of your budget.

  1. If yes, what do they cover?

If there are additional fees, make sure you know what you are paying for. Does the money pay for a doorman, snow removal, maintenance, and upgrades? Are all of the fees mandatory or can you opt out of certain ones?

  1. Who owns the appliances?

If you’re thinking about buying an apartment, make sure to ask if the appliances come with it or if they are the current owners. Avoid unexpected surprises like no refrigerator on moving day to make the process less stressful.

  1. How many units are owner-occupied?

Some banks won’t lend money to purchase an apartment in a building with too few owners present.

  1. Are there any pending assessments?

Assessments are requested by buildings when they can’t afford to fund repairs or a project with their current budget.

  1. Is there any pending litigation?

If a building is involved in ongoing litigation, some banks won’t feel comfortable in lending money to purchase an apartment. Ask about litigation, the circumstances, and the projected timeframe for settlement if necessary.

Buying an apartment in New York City is exciting. Ask the right questions to avoid unwanted surprises and make sure you get it right the first time. Hillel Realty’s experienced team is here to anser any questions you have while helping you find the perfect space!