Buyers enticed to purchase apartments by New York’s white-hot real estate market having only viewed floor plans are finding the finished properties do not match always match their expectations. The New York Times asks, “were they deceived?”
Not necessarily. In many cases, neither they nor their lawyers read the offering plan carefully. Buyers often must hand over a $200 deposit for the thrill of getting three days to review the plan, sometimes 500 pages or more. It includes floor plans; tables that provide square footage, estimated taxes and common charges; and detailed descriptions of construction materials and apartment finishes. But it is also filled with technical and legal language that would be indecipherable to anyone other than a real estate lawyer.
The Times has several pointers for buying an unbuilt property:
•Above all, retain a real estate lawyer to explain jargon and defend your interests.
•What is past is prologue. Research the building’s developer. Would you want to live in their other developments?
•If all else fails, make the fine print work for you. Loopholes may allow a penalty-free escape from disappointing properties. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER