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11 reasons why that apartment is too good to be true

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Rather than cause for celebration, a below-market price for an apartment in NYC is actually a red flag.   Exactly why the price is low can depend on whether you're renting or buying.  

If the RENT is too good to be true, here are a few possibilities as to why:

  1. Bed bugs.
  2. Mice.
  3. Scaffolding is about to block the window side of your apartment for the entire term of your lease.
  4. It was recently learned that the alcoholic super is also convicted arsonist, but the union won't let the building fire him (pun intended).
  5. Upstairs neighbor is a metal sculptor.
  6. Next door neighbor boards and sells illegal exotic pets that occasionally escape into the hallway.
  7. The spectacular pool, roof deck, library, spa and screening room in the co-op/condo building you would be renting in are not actually available for use by you, a dirty little renter.
  8. Bordello is being run out of apartment below you (it is apartment A, you are 1A and the customers often get confused and buzz you).
  9. The "owner" subletting you the space actually rented it for the weekend off of AirBnB.com and you will be the 12th person to put down a $1,500 cash deposit.
  10. That other door in "your" bathroom actually leads to the neighbor's apt, not a linen closet. 
  11. Previous tenant hung himself in the bathroom after he realized it would probably have been a smarter move to buy in '85 when the place went co-op.

If the ASKING PRICE seems too good to be true, here are a few reasons why:

  1. Bed bugs
  2. Mice
  3. Three words:  Second.  Avenue.  Subway.
  4. Two words: Subway. Sandwich. (Downstairs, but permeating your apartment with its uniquely sour aroma.)
  5. The apartment is only shown during the two hours per day it receives natural light.
  6. Next door neighbor is a hoarder
  7. A $25,000 assessment and  $1,025/mo maintenance increase will go in to effect 6 months after you close.
  8. The upstairs terrace leaks.
  9. The previous owner died in the kitchen after accidentally ingesting rat poison (this actually counts as 2 reasons).
  10. The area directly adjacent to the west-facing windows will soon become the east wall of a hospital expansion project.
  11. Close to half of the alleged square-footage belongs to the monstrous common spaces you will never use.


Related posts:

Anatomy of a Craigslist scam

Craigslist scam buster: Check Airbnb.com before handing over the cash

BrickUnderground's Renter's Survival Kit

BrickUnderground's Buyer's Survival Kit

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