How to Buy an Apartment

By | June 2, 2012

For most, buying an apartment will be the largest financial transaction that they will ever do. Despite that fact, many people are unequipped with the right knowledge to help them make the right decision, and so they base their decision on many irrelevant facts.

Take for example, that old trick that many realtors use, when throwing an open house: smells that sell. While a bad smell can make people not give proper consideration to an otherwise attractive property, it turns out that if a house is smelling of freshly baked cookies or wild flowers, this can help attract potential buyers and create a more positive point of view of the property.

Obviously, a nice, clean, fresh smelling house will be more attractive, but it is important to be able to think about this decision calmly and rationally. People who “fall in love” with a certain property are much more likely to overbid for it.

For starters, keep in mind that people often stay in apartments longer than they initially planned. So if you are starting a family, and thinking you will move once the family grows, you should make an effort to find an apartment that is bigger than what you currently need. In this event, it will be easier to stay longer than expected.

Finding a realtor that you can trust is another important factor. There are many honest realtors out there, but there are also those who are looking to make a sale, and won’t hesitate to manipulate potential buyers in order to do so. While you should always double check any facts that the realtor tells you about a property,

Hiring an inspector/remodeling contractor that will evaluate the condition of the apartment and provide an assessment for any needed remodeling work is something you should do before submitting an offer. This is sometimes hard to do, if the property is attractive and you run the risk of someone else coming in and making an offer before you finished checking all the details.

However, it is far better to know all the facts before you bid, because unexpected fixing can cause you to go way over budget.

Last, you need to take all the following factors into consideration:

  • Condition – When was the apartment built and when was it last renovated. A contractor can help you assess the quality of the work done, which might help you predict what you will need to do in the future to maintain the property
  • Location – Neighborhood and closeness to shopping centers, schools and hospital are all factors that influence the cost of an apartment
  • Floor – A higher floor is better, if you have an elevator. If not, then apartments in higher floors
  • Size – Larger apartments are more expensive. Sometimes an extra room can significantly increase the value of an apartment.
  • Market condition – Supply and demand determine much of the apartment’s price. Make sure to check the area and know what are the prices of similar properties, so you can better assess the market price of the one that you are looking to buy