Considering taking the 'one and done' approach to buying an apartment? Read this first

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While some folks love spending Sundays visiting open house after open house in search of a new place to live, others would love nothing more than to purchase the very first condo or co-op they see and avoid a lot of the (literal) footwork.

But if you do decide to go the "one and done" way, know that it’s not without its risks. Here are some ways to minimize them:

Know your stuff:

  • Research the building’s litigation history, repairs, pest complaints, and more on Revaluate, a start-up real estate information site.
  • Look up the neighborhood’s restaurants, and subway and bus stops using these maps.
  • Read the latest market reports to get an idea of the trends in the overall market, not to check prices necessarily. For that, instead:
  • Check out comparable properties on StreetEasy or UrbanDigs.

Get the most out of your (one) visit:

  • Ask specific questions about the property and don't take the broker's word on anything.
  • Explore every inch of the unit—open the closets, look under the sink, explore all the nooks and crannies so you’ll really know what you’re getting yourself into if you do decide to buy the place.
  • Has the lobby been updated in the last decade? Are the elevators shabby-looking? Make sure to check out the condition of the common areas, too. After all, you wouldn’t want to buy into a building that’s falling apart.

Show the sellers you’re serious:

  • Try writing a love letter to the owner to convince him that you’ve genuinely fallen for the apartment in that single visit. Describe what it was exactly that drew you to the place. Can you picture yourself enjoying waffles with your little ones at the breakfast bar? Or do you simply love the view from the terrace? Be specific so they know you mean business.

For more, read “Buying the first apartment you see? How to do it right.”

In Case You Missed It: Every so often, BrickUnderground digs through the archives to find the best advice our experts have shared through the years.


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