Now. Find me house. Here comes a lot of work. In NYC, Sunday is Open House day. Mrs. Robot would spend the week looking at Streeteasy, Trulia, and seemingly a zillion other sources and mapping our plan for Sunday. Put on your comfortable walking shoes, pack a few energy bars and a bottle of water, and print out your list. Go. I made a point of taking photos of every unit (which those folks who follow me on Orkut are all too familiar with) so that we had some sort of notes. That said, very often there would be a deal-breaker element that we'd realize pretty quickly and we'd be on to the next listing. Usually size or price. Or having a swimming pool outside the living room window. Or no light whatsoever. Or being a land lease.
You'll become a pro "What the hell is a land lease?", we asked. We had just seen an apartment that we still kind of adore. Top floor and corner unit. Lots of window. View of the harbor. A land lease is when the building condo board doesn't own the actual land. They are paying the owner rent every month. The issues are: Your maintenance will be a tad higher because there is this ‘rent' involved If the land lease is for 100 years, no worries. But, if it will expire in 10 years, then that's the problem. You have no idea what could happen when the lease is up. Jack up the rent higher? Knock the building down?
Make an offer We put in about three offers before we bought. The first one was a huge 1BR that needed a ton of work (+$100K?) but had spectacular views. Like, you'd get nothing done because you'd be staring out the window the whole time. The maintenance was tad high and our asking price just wasn't enough. It was sold for a good amount more than we offered, renovated, and then featured in the NYT Real Estate section. This offer stuff is where your realtor will come in handy. They will put together the package and recommend/advise on asking prices and all that.
All Cash Offers F---- you. The worst. A few times we'd think about putting an offer in and we'd find out that an all-cash offer was already on the table. Who the f*ck is putting all these all cash offers in? God bless America, I'm happy that you can afford to buy an apartment with your available funds, but it's killing us middle-class Brooklyn people. Apparently, if you are a seller, the all-cash offer makes things much quicker and smoother as I'd imagine.