Brooklyn’s new construction condominiums may cause real problems

By: Daniel Gershburg, Esq.

First the good news from this Brooklyn Real Estate attorney:  Many new condominiums in downtown Brooklyn are realizing that the Real Estate market is not what it once was and are offering a myriad of concessions including paying transfer taxes, saving potential purchasers thousands of dollars in closing costs.

Now the bad news:  The worksmanship of many of these new constructions leave much to be desired.  Brownstoner.com covers many of these buildings, and their problems, in depth, but suffice to say that the builders were looking for profits and as such have skimped on traditional worksmanship as a result.  In english…some of the buildings stink. Again, we’re not talking about all of them, but many of them have some issues.  An example:  Two clients purchased a brand new construction in the heart of Park Slope about 6 months ago.  They chose a unit that was above the garage.  The building, realtor included, had promised to use noise dampening materials to cut down on any noise the garage door would make when opening and closing.   And they did.  Except the materials they used weren’t the best and weren’t doing the job.  Now you might think that these potential purchasers should not have gone ahead with purchasing a unit above the garage, but when you have numerous people from the building explaining in detail all the steps they would take to make sure the noise was not an inconvenience…and they dont…you begin to realize that there is a problem going on.

There is no easy solution to this problem, but there are certainly proactive steps that you, the purchaser, can take when deciding whether to purchase a new condo in Downtown Brooklyn.  First hire an engineer to do an inspection before making any concrete offers.  While the building may have their own inspector, you should definitely pay a seperate inspector, who has experience dealing with new construction buildings, to come in and take a look at the premises.  She/He may find problems that the inspector for the building didn’t or couldn’t find (cough cough).  Furthermore, it will give you additional piece of mind when you plunk your security deposit down.

There are also certain contractual provisions that your Real Estate attorney can put into the contract that can compensate you in the case of bad workmanship.  Lastly, you should contact the sales agent frequently if you find something is wrong with the new unit after you sign a contract to purchase.  The agent can be incredibly helpful in eliciting a response from the building, especially if you keep at it.

The lesson  from this Brooklyn Real Estate attorney is: caveat emptor, or “Let the Buyer Beware” when you are purchasing a new condo in Downtown Brooklyn.  You can take certain steps to make sure the building you’re purchasing into is structurally sound, and the unit you are purchasing is ok.  Ultimately the decision is yours, but taking proactive steps with all parties involved will go along way towards minimizing any stress you may suffer during the purchase process.

Daniel Gershburg Esq., is a Bankruptcy & Real Estate attorney serving  clients in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester.  Mr. Gershburg has given lectures and presentations to both attorneys and the community at large surrounding Bankruptcy and financial advocacy in the New York City area. He is a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.   Currently he is working on his first book giving practical advice about repairing troubled credit and how to improve credit post Bankruptcy

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