If you're ready to invest in a new home, and you want to buy a brownstone, take the time to avoid common mistakes. Any home purchase can lead to some stressful situations, but that's especially true when it comes to buying a brownstone. However, once you overcome those situations, you can enjoy the benefits of owning your own piece of historic real estate. Here are four tips that will help you navigate the purchase of a brownstone apartment.
Insist on a Top-to-Bottom Inspection
If you're in the market for a brownstone, make sure you know what you're buying. Whenever you purchase an older home, there's always a chance that there will be some problems lurking below the surface. The best way to identify those problems is through a home inspection. A top-to-bottom inspection will identify issues such as lead paint, mold growth, and asbestos. However, it will also identify issues with outdated wiring and plumbing. To make sure you know what work will need to be done, insist on a top-to-bottom inspection before you sign any contract.
Don't Go Without the Title Search
If you're ready to buy a brownstone, don't move ahead with a title search. A brownstone might have changed ownership many times over the years. A title search will ensure that each change of ownership was completed correctly. Not only that, but the title search will also identify existing liens, open permit requests, and existing code violations. This is all information that can affect your ownership of the brownstone. However, the title search will give you the information you need to work through those issues.
Know the Landmark Status
If you have plans to purchase a brownstone, you'll need to consider the landmark status. Many brownstone homes have been granted landmark status, which means they're protected property. If you have plans to renovate your brownstone, you'll need to know the landmark status before you can begin work. If the brownstone you plan to buy is a recognized landmark, you won't be able to do any renovations without prior approval from the local landmark commission.
Identify Existing Tenants
Finally, if you want to buy a brownstone, and you plan to live there on your own, don't forget to identify any existing tenants. If the brownstone has current tenants, you may need legal assistance before you can ask anyone to vacate their units. The best way to avoid tenant complications is to have your broker show you vacant brownstones. That way, you know there are no current tenants to deal with.
For more information about brownstones for sale, contact a local real estate agent near you.