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How to Buy

A New York City Apartment

STEP 7: Considering New Construction

Buying “preconstruction” units: Rely on the offering plan, not the renderings

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Buying “preconstruction” means relying on renderings (which may be deliberately distorted) to depict everything from the view outside the window, to the spaciousness of the master bedroom, to the finishes in the bathroom.

See How to Analyze a Rendering and How to Buy Preconstruction Smart for some common trouble spots, and always remember that the sponsor is only legally obligated to deliver what’s specified in the offering plan; the pretty pictures are irrelevant, and so is the model apartment.

There are two main advantages to buying off of a floorplan: Securing a unit in a hot market like this one, and typically lower early-bird pricing.

Sponsors release units for sale in several batches, raising prices each time. The spread between the first group and the last is usually 5 to 20%.

Note, however, that while you may get a cheaper apartment if buy early, you won’t necessarily get a better one. Sponsors include a number of the most desirable units in each new batch of units and often save the best for last, when they expect to receive the highest price.