Buying an apartment for the first time is an important milestone in your life. You’re finally gonna get a little place to call your own and take the first step on to the property ladder. It’s a big decision to make, however, and there are many important factors to consider. These can be aspects of the building, the location, and amenities. You also need to bear in mind the current real estate market and financing options. Here are seven things to consider before buying an apartment. 

Location

Whether you’re buying an apartment on the Upper West Side, or out in the sticks, the location is everything. You need to factor in how you’ll get to work, and make sure you have access to transport connections. Research the neighborhood and find out about local schools and shops. Prioritize any other factors that are important to you. Perhaps you want to check out the nearest fitness centers, or restaurants and nightlife options. Think carefully about the location before you decide on a place. 

Floor plan

It’s important to consider the best facing direction for natural light, views, and noise. If you work from home, perhaps you’ll want as much light as possible during the day, if not then it might be less important. Consider the floor plan and the proximity of the bedrooms to each other and the bathroom. Try to picture yourself living there, and if you think it would feel comfortable and convenient. Find out as much as you can about the building as well. Are there elevators? Is there a storage room or basement you can use? Is it convenient to take out the trash every week? 

Amenities

It’s a good idea to ask about which amenities are included. Some of them might be pay-to-play options. These often include leisure facilities such as gyms or other sports areas. Prioritize which amenities are the most important for you and whether you’ll realistically use them or not. You might find nearby amenities in the local neighborhood to a higher standard anyway. Find out about recent safety inspections on the building as well. 

Current market

The real estate market has been affected by the pandemic so it’s advisable to do your research. If you’re selling a property in order to move, find out whether it’s the best time to put your home on the market. Seek professional advice and get as informed as possible. Look at the average prices in the location you want. Do some research into the neighborhood and find out whether it’s likely to see a boom in the next few years. Buying an apartment is a complicated decision so you want to make sure you’re confident you’re taking the right one.

Financing

There are different types of mortgages for homebuyers. Find out which you are eligible for and what best suits your situation. First-time buyers can also file for certain benefits, so look into this if it’s your first property. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your own financial situation. You can check your own credit score online for example if you’re unsure. You’ll be surprised how much official information you can find out online. Otherwise, it might be an idea to meet with a financial advisor, realtor, or mortgage advisor to discuss your options.

The board

If your building has a board, find out more about them. Is the board liberal or conservative? The board’s personality could affect your day-to-day living situation. Ask to see a copy of the house rules and see if they align with your general values ad lifestyle. There are plenty of other tips and suggestions on how to buy a home online. It might be a good idea to prepare a list of questions to ask your realtor about the board, the building, and the neighborhood.

Pets and other policies

Last but not least, you need to review all the policies of the building. If you have a pet, would this be allowed? If you prefer not to live in a building that allows pets, find out the situation beforehand. Is there a smoking policy? What about noise from the street downstairs, or the noise policy in the building? There are lots of little questions to ask which will help you get a feel for what everyday life will be like in your new apartment. Ensure you do your research and find out whether the place suits your lifestyle. If in doubt, you can always ask your real estate agent.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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