Avoid Hidden Surprises When Inspecting a Property
When shopping for a potential new home, real estate experts say paying attention to even the tiniest details can actually save you money in the long run. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.
When visiting a listing, many buyers first look at the space to see if their couch or favorite painting will fit. But if you are really interested in a home, Michele Conte of The Corcoran Group says you need to look beyond the obvious to tell if that home is really for you.
"After you 'ohh' and 'ahhh,' if you decide to buy that apartment, become a detective," recommends Conte. "Check it out. Make sure that you’re not going to close on this apartment someday, walk in really happy and then find surprises that are going to cost you a lot of money to fix."
Conte says potential buyers should find out everything they can about the apartment and the building. For example, check things like water pressure and windows. Are they old? Will they need replacing? Are there drafts that will need to be resealed? These are the types of simple things that could cost you money down the line.
Also, check the floors.
"You want to know what's under that rug. I’ve seen buyers on move in day find that under the rug there was no wood, it was concrete. The carpeting was laid right on the concrete. So you want to know is there wood under this carpet or rug and what condition is it in," says Conte.
Also, find out how old the appliances are and check to see how well they work. If you’ll be renovating, investigate the space first especially if you plan to remove a wall.
"Find out is that a load bearing wall? Can you remove it? And is there floor under the wall?" says Conte.
Also, find out what kinds of projects are allowed. Can you install a washer/dryer? Can you move a gas line? Ask all the questions up front.
If you are planning to do work in the apartment, you need to find out the building's policy on renovations. Some limit the time you have to get the job done or you could be fined. Others won't let you start until other projects in the building are completed, so find out all the rules before you start making plans.
Lastly, find out if the building rents the land under it. If there’s a land lease ask when it expires because that renewal could significantly affect your maintenance.