It’s not just four walls! The client calls and says that they have finally found the apartment they have been searching for. The broker is sending the deal memo today and by the way, since there is another buyer lurking, can the contract be signed by the end of the week?
The answer is simple. Yes we can BUT. Do you really want to buy an apartment in a building you know nothing about?
Would you like to know if there has been a bedbug problem? Leaks in your apartment line? If the co-op or condo is embroiled in litigation? Are there major capital improvements required or underway? Can the building afford them? Are there thefts in the building? Crazy loud neighbors? Does that seemingly quiet restaurant on the ground floor turn into a raging club on Friday and Saturday nights? Does the smell of hamburgers and fries from the restaurant on the ground floor vent onto your rooftop terrace? Will your maintenance or common charges skyrocket? Will there be unexpected assessments? Can the co-op’s maintenance cover its operating expenses or does it depend on the flip tax and assessments to meet its current obligations.
If you will be buying regardless of these and other issues, then, by all means, sign the contract as delivered by the seller, show up at the closing with your checkbook, and pay and pray.
Oddly enough, most buyers don’t realize that when they are buying a co-op or a condo they are effectively buying into a business. In a co-op it’s a bit more obvious because they are buying shares in the co-operative corporation but it is essentially the same thing for a condo.
So, its not just the four walls of the apartment you are buying. It is the financial and structural integrity of the co-op or condo. It is how the place you are going to live in operates. Does it allow pets? Big ones? How does it handle sublets? Are there a lot of non-owners living there and how will that affect your quality of life?
So, if you are concerned about knowing these things find a lawyer who will take the care, attention and time it takes to discover problems or hopefully, the absence of anything too serious.
Every building has issues. No place is perfect. But it’s nice to know just where the imperfections are so you can make an informed decision and not one simply based on the four walls that will be surrounding you.