Home Buying in New York>Question Details

Enrico Gatti, Home Buyer in 10002

What are the top questions I need to ask when visiting an apartment I want to BUY? (from maintenance fees, to taxes, etc. -- I know nowthing!) - thx!

Asked by Enrico Gatti, 10002 Sun Aug 4, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Enrico,

The first thing you need to find out is whether you are looking at a a Condo or Co-Op - two totally different types of apartments in New York.

Co-ops are essentially owned by corporations and you are buying shares in the corporation, which entitle you to an agreed-upon unit in the building. The corporation is basically governed by the tenants in the building - something that some people prefer because it gives them control over their building, but others despise because of the rules they sometimes set. While more rare throughout the rest of the country, the actual majority of apartments in New York are co-ops.

With a Condo you own the actual apartment outright.

With Condos, you're going to want to look at Common Charges for upkeep of the building and services and Monthly Taxes. Co-ops have a combined Maintenance Charge that includes taxes.

All of the other surcharges and assessments others have mentioned in the comment section are the reason you want to use a broker to help guide you through the sometimes complex world of New York Real Estate. And the best part is, our services as real estate agents are totally free to you as a buyer, because its the seller that pays our fees!

Pick one good broker you trust and stick with them.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you'd like to take a look at some apartments.

Good luck!

Jacob Fine
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Bond New York Properties LLC
25 Hudson Street
212 792 9258
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 8, 2013
Hello Enrico,
Aside from the obvious:, the price, the square footage, the maintenance,
you should ask
-if there is any assessment and when was the last time there was an increase in the maintenance
- most of all for the financials of the building.
-You can also ask, when was the last sales and
- how much.You can ask
if there is anything special you should know about the building.
You should always consult with a buyer's broker since a good buyer's broker will be a good consultant.

Best of luck.
Fern Hamberger
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 7, 2013
Another key question particularly with condo's even more so with co-ops is to ask if there are any assessments or surcharges. These extra fees are always in addition to any regular maintenance or common charges and can be a key indicator that the building's financial outlook is not that great.

Assessments can last a year or more and can even be renewed and increased . Always get the last 2- 3 years of financials and check out how the management is spending the money that is received by all of the units from the monthly maintenance. Check to see if the cash reserve funds are strong. Your attorney can help you with this and/or your accountant.

Again the agent inside the unit when you go to visit does not represent your best interest , look into getting a buyers agent who can represent you when looking to purchase real estate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 5, 2013
Hi, If it is a coop or condo look at the building bi-laws. Find out the monthly fees, restrictions, and what is expected of you in order to secure the property. In a coop you are not responsible for the interior of the home because you don't technically own it. You own shares in a corporation that entitle you to a proprietary lease. With a condo you own the unit and are only responsible for the interior, plus you pay monthly common charges and property taxes.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 5, 2013
Hi Enrico,

Most questions are answered in the listing data and description such as Price, maintenance financing terms, square footage, tax deductability, features and amenities.

Many questions will be answered by viewing the apartment and building with your own eyes such as condition how well apartment and building have been maintained.

Keep in mind, the listing agent represents the seller and seller's interest. It's always a good idea to have a buyer's agent represent your interests and to answer your questions. It's best do your own due diligence with help from your own agent and attorney rather than relying on answers from the seller's agent.



Mitchell Hall
Lic Assoc RE Broker
The Corcoran group
Web Reference: http://nycblogestate.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 5, 2013
Mitchell Hall, Real Estate Pro in New York, NY
I agree with Alajuwon and would also ask about amenities. For example, is the gym and storage included in the maintenance?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 4, 2013
Make sure to ask how much of maintenance / common charges are tax deductible. Hope this helps! Best, Alajuwon.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 4, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer