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Real Estate Question

Old 08-06-04, 04:04 PM
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Real Estate Question

My girlfriend had an interview with a Co-Op board last night, and this morning they told her that she has their approval to close the sale on an apartment that she is "in contract" to buy. This is her first time buying property, and she has made a lot of mistakes so far...

Biggest mistake: She didn't ever hire an independent assessor/inspector, and she never looked at a floorplan. The seller listed the place as being 800 square feet. Today, after the board approved her, she went and measured it and by her reckoning it is only 500 square feet. She still wants the place, and does intend to buy it, but the contract that she signed is basically a promise to pay a certain amount. Is there *any* way to get the price of the apartment reduced at this point? The bank that is going to give her the mortgage said that their inspector rated the apartment's value at about 1.1x what she has already agreed to buy the place for, but I really don't see how that's possible- many places that are a true 800sf sell for about the same as what she's paying. Any help or advice?
Old 08-06-04, 04:08 PM
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Re: Real Estate Question

Originally posted by Five Cent Deposit
Biggest mistake: She didn't ever hire an independent assessor/inspector, and she never looked at a floorplan. The seller listed the place as being 800 square feet. Today, after the board approved her, she went and measured it and by her reckoning it is only 500 square feet.

Out of curiosity, did she measure the size of the rooms and add them up, or did she measure the size from outer wall to outer wall and do one calculation? If she did the rooms, tell her to try doing the other method. She may find that the 800 came by that type of measure, which is fairly common.
Old 08-06-04, 04:11 PM
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Does the contract describe the property at all? If it says she agrees to pay $X for the aparment described below...a XXX sq. foot apt at yyy address, then I'd think she'd be able to do something.

But, and I really don't mean to be sexist here, but I've noticed that women have a tendency to not be very good at estimating distances, so unless she actually used a tape measure to measure each room, I might be a bit suspicious of her estimation.

Oh...In before KvrDave!
Old 08-06-04, 04:12 PM
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Re: Real Estate Question

Originally posted by Five Cent Deposit
...The seller listed the place as being 800 square feet...by her reckoning it is only 500 square feet...
Maybe there's a hidden "panic room".
Old 08-06-04, 04:13 PM
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This may seem trivial, but ... and im not sure if this place has these... but, if there is a garage, and or a deck, they will include those in the overall sqrft.
Just something to keep in mind.
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Old 08-06-04, 04:32 PM
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She probably just measured the rooms and not the outer dimensions.
Old 08-06-04, 04:36 PM
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See, what you want is a girlfriend who looks at something small and thinks it's bigger than it really is. When they do it the other way around, it doesn't really help you.
Old 08-06-04, 05:05 PM
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Re: Real Estate Question

Originally posted by Five Cent Deposit
My girlfriend had an interview with a Co-Op board last night, and this morning they told her that she has their approval to close the sale on an apartment that she is "in contract" to buy. This is her first time buying property, and she has made a lot of mistakes so far...

Biggest mistake: She didn't ever hire an independent assessor/inspector, and she never looked at a floorplan. The seller listed the place as being 800 square feet. Today, after the board approved her, she went and measured it and by her reckoning it is only 500 square feet. She still wants the place, and does intend to buy it, but the contract that she signed is basically a promise to pay a certain amount. Is there *any* way to get the price of the apartment reduced at this point? The bank that is going to give her the mortgage said that their inspector rated the apartment's value at about 1.1x what she has already agreed to buy the place for, but I really don't see how that's possible- many places that are a true 800sf sell for about the same as what she's paying. Any help or advice?

Legally a seller can include his share of the common area in the square footage of the apartment. Say there is 10,000 square feet of lobby, hall space, basement, etc. The seller's shares include his weighted percentage of that space depending on how many shares he/she has. And maybe she didn't measure it properly. The square footage will include the rooms, bathrooms, closets and every nook and cranny.

An inspector isn't that big of a deal when buying a co-op since the board is responsible for anything building related. If you get water damage from water inside your walls, it's the boards responsibility to fix it.

The big thing to look for is to look at the original plans and description and make sure the seller had permission for all alterations. For instance I know someone that made a hole in their wall so they can see outside the kitchen into the living room. When he sells it, the board can make the new owner pay to revert it to it's original condition since it wasn't done with permission.
Old 08-06-04, 05:11 PM
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500 and 800 square feet are big enough of a difference that it should be pretty noticable when you walk into the place.

Old 08-06-04, 06:18 PM
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Originally posted by icondude
500 and 800 square feet are big enough of a difference that it should be pretty noticable when you walk into the place.

Agreed. She suspected that it was less than the advertised 800 and did nothing about it. She also never looked at any other places. The whole story might be kind of hard for you to believe.

To the others: there isn't much to measure beyond the actual rooms. Only two smallish closets, no "foyer" to speak of... it is a small NYC apartment. As far as the contract, it doesn't seem to say much about the actual apartment. It basically says "I am buying X shares in the building for Y dollars."

(Yes, she used a tape. Yes, she was insulted when I said I didn't trust her measurement.)
Old 08-06-04, 06:21 PM
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where is she buying- i take it in NYC?
awesome that you're still together-it's Kate, right?
Old 08-06-04, 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by Cool Kitten
where is she buying- i take it in NYC?
awesome that you're still together-it's Kate, right?
She's buying in Brooklyn, right around the corner from The Brooklyn Museum & The Botanic Garden. It's a nice little place, and I'm going to move in with her. I am actually thrilled to be leaving my apartment & my neighborhood. The area is great during the day. A few years from now it will be nice at night too. Heh. Maybe we'll sell then. What's your whole situation?
Old 08-06-04, 06:35 PM
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whoa, you guys are moving in together? AWESOME!!!!
what's your e-mail addy?
Old 08-06-04, 06:39 PM
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Originally posted by Cool Kitten
where is she buying- i take it in NYC?
awesome that you're still together-it's Kate, right?
Oh, does she own Katie.com ?

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