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Looking for New Developments in Manhattan and Brooklyn can be overwhelming, particularly if you haven’t chosen a buyer’s agent and if you have little knowledge of the recommended builders. Buyers often opt for off-the-plan new construction properties, but new developments have their set of challenges.
The New York, real estate market, is unique for several reasons. Due to a steady high demand for condominiums and cooperatives, analysts often rank New York as a significant center for real estate investment. Over the last five years, sale prices in Manhattan have appreciated by about 30 percent, even as properties in the $10 million plus category have seen significant pricing pressure over the past 12 months.
If you buy a well-built new construction developed by a reputable developer in an excellent location, you can count on a good return when you decide to sell. Buyers have a relatively broad set of options for purchasing properties in New York including off-the-plan purchases, and with the help of a qualified buyers agent, new construction can be an extraordinarily strong investment thanks to New York’s market.
However, the competitive nature of the market doesn’t always work in buyers’ favor. Many buyers have trouble scheduling a showing or getting accurate information on new developments.
First-time purchasers might not understand the advantages of condominiums versus co-operatives or vice-versa, which can lead to confusion during the purchasing process. Off-the-plan properties have some distinct features and sales can fall through under certain circumstances, leaving buyers frustrated and confused. Finding and buying a new property can take a tremendous amount of time and energy.
Fortunately, the qualified buyer’s agents at Elika can help buyers handle the challenges of finding and purchasing high-quality properties, and educated buyers stand a much better chance of securing the right New Development for the right price. If you’re considering a home or real estate investment in New York City, here’s what you need to know about buying in new developments resales.
New York City New Development Guide
1. The Basics of New Developments: Condominiums and Co-Ops
To make wise investments, you need to know the advantages of the two major property types in New York City and how these advantages relate specifically to new properties.
Most buyers are already somewhat familiar with condominiums. By purchasing a condo, you take ownership of the physical property. New off the plan condos can build value quickly depending on their size, location, and some other factors.
Coops work differently; you do not own the property, but instead, you own shares in a corporation comprised of the other residents of your building. You will usually need to apply to a cooperative board of directors in order gain the right to purchase shares. This application process is often more involved than the petitioning process for condominiums. However, new developments do not have this requirement. Like condominiums, cooperatives can build value quickly depending on location and other factors.
Regardless of whether you choose to restrict your search to one type of property or another, you will need to decide whether to consider off-the-plan properties and research your options appropriately before making an offer.
2. Understanding Off-The-Plan New Construction Properties
Off-the-plan properties are not entirely built at the time of their purchase. Many New York buyers and in particular foreign investors prefer off-the-plan properties for a maximized return on investment or to purchase a property without the board approval requirement of some resales.
Off-the-plan condominiums often provide an excellent investment While new developments have higher prices initially than resale properties due to high-quality amenities and finishes, buyers who act early see quick gains in property value.
3. The Advantages of New Developments include
Versatile Floor Plans – If you want to design your floor plan, you will have more options and will save money off of a remodel by purchasing property off-the-plan. While most developers do not allow for customizing your floorplan, you will have a selection to choose from thus finding the ideal floorplan is easier in a new development if you get in early. Buying off the plan can be scary but having the foresight can yield great results.
Better Value Overall – Although you will need to pay higher closing costs and a down payment of about 10% sometimes 20% for an incomplete apartment if you invest early, you may have already offset the higher costs with capital appreciation by the time your building is finished. Generally, on average 3-5 pricing amendments are filed before a development is sold through thus the earlier you by preferably from Schedule A you stand to make the most profit prior to completion.
First-Time Residency – As the owner of an off-the-plan property, you will be the first person to live in the space. For many buyers, this exclusive benefit is well worth a premium, although this advantage apparently does not translate if you decide to sell your property.
Of these advantages, the tremendous long-term value of off-the-plan properties is undoubtedly the most compelling for most buyers. Incomplete apartments quickly appreciate as they near completion, and as a result, buyers looking to invest often consider off-the-plan properties before considering resales.
4. The Potential Complications of Off-The-Plan Apartments
There are several risks and additional costs associated with off-the-plan developments. For instance, buyers might have to wait as long as two years to move into their properties after the date of purchase. This apparently means additional temporary housing costs, which can quickly add up in the city. Some buyers also have trouble finding financing during these wait periods, mainly if the development is below occupancy.
Perhaps most importantly, you do not know exactly what you’re getting with an off-the-plan construction. You will receive an offering plan and demonstrations that detail the builders’ plan for each space and room, so you will have the basic information that you need to visualize your apartments specifications, but you may have trouble gauging less tangible qualities.
For example, you will not know exactly how the view will look from your 12th story apartment or how natural sunlight will affect your bedroom. You can make accurate estimates, but unless you’re working with an experienced professional, you may still have a few surprises when you walk into your completed property for the first time. Other important considerations include:
Building Sales Numbers – If your building’s units do not sell, the building developer may abandon the project. Even if they sell, you may have a more terrible time getting financing if more than half of the units are still available. You may need to obtain a certificate of residency from the developer.
Certificate of Occupancy – You may not be able to close on the apartment unless a local government agency issues a certificate of occupancy or building department certifying a building’s compliance with applicable building codes and other laws and indicating it to be in a condition suitable for occupancy.
5. When buying new, you can also expect to pay additional fees Closing costs for new developments include
- Contributions to the working capital of the building.
- A 1% New York City mansion tax for properties over $1 million in value.
- NYC Property Transfer Tax of 1 percent of the purchase price for homes costing up to $500,000 and 1.425 percent of the purchase price for over $500,000.
- A state transfer tax of $4 per $1,000 of the developments purchase price.
- A sponsors attorney fee, typically $1,500.
Buyers who finance must pay closing costs of five or more percent of the purchase price.
Because of the taxes and closing costs associated with new properties, buyers should always work with experienced attorneys and buyer’s agents. As is the case with resale purchases, many prices are negotiable, mainly if the buyer has to wait to move in.
6. Are New Developments Right for You?
In the minds of some buyers, the potential complications of new properties are easily offset by their distinct advantages. If still in the pre-construction phase sellers at times are willing to offer lower prices to attract occupants, and these low property prices make new developments an excellent choice for investors willing to do adequate research to assess risks.
For some buyers, however, the higher closing costs of new developments make them an unrealistic option. You will need to decide whether you are willing to take on the potential risks of off-the-plan properties by assessing your tax responsibilities, looking at pre-construction figures and taking other steps to determine whether your investment makes sense.
New properties can fulfill your goals and provide excellent investment potential, but you need exclusive buyer representation to carry through with an off-the-plan property purchase.
7. Why Buyer’s Agents Are Essential when purchasing New Developments
We recommend dedicated buyer agents when buying properties and especially when researching new developments.
Because buyer agents represent buyers exclusively, they have no conflicts of interest. Our experts work directly with our clients and negotiate on their behalf to achieve the best overall investment value for each property.
Buyer agents are especially valuable resources when purchasing properties in new developments because they know how to assess the analyze those that are built to outperform the broader market. Elika agents also work with an established network of real estate industry professionals to offer appropriate referrals when necessary. This includes referrals for experienced New York attorneys who have worked extensively with new developments—a must-have when purchasing a property, especially considering the offering plan, contract, and closing costs.
An experienced Elika buyers agent primarily offers you a more straightforward means of finding, reviewing and purchasing all types of new properties. Our experts draw from the most extensive, most up-to-date inventory of real estate in Manhattan, so you waste less time reviewing properties that do not meet your goals or needs.
8. Find accurate building information
You will know whether each property is in a converted commercial building or a newly built residential building, which can quickly give you an idea of what you are buying. Knowing the history of your building is an essential part of making a purchase, and a qualified buyers agent can quickly generate an accurate report to bring your up to date.
9. Learn about the reputations of the businesses behind the construction and sale of the property.
Some off-the-plan purchases fall through, leaving buyers without any options. By learning about the companies behind the development, you will understand whether there is a severe risk. Elika buyer agents will also review construction claims and time frames for accuracy. When you know the renovators’ reputation, you will know what to expect in the completed property.
10. Access & Visiting your potential property
Elika Associates has dealt with all major developers in New York City and can extend timely preferred access. Real estate is a major investment, especially in Manhattan, and visiting the property and or sales office is an essential part of making an off-the-plan purchase. Your agent will schedule viewings, saving you the time of trading phone calls and setting up on-site appointments.
11. Find financing
As mentioned above, many buyers have trouble finding funding for new developments. A buyers agent can provide necessary referrals and advice for keeping the purchasing process on track.
Elika buyers agents also research the location of your property, create risk assessment reports and take other steps to keep you informed every step of the way. By understanding every aspect of your property and by drawing on the experience of an experienced agent, you can make better decisions for smarter investments.
12. Choosing A Buyer’s Agent
If you are seriously considering a new condo development in New York, you need an experienced buyers agency with strong industry relationships. Elika Real Estate has direct experience with many new developments in numerous New York City neighborhoods. We are uniquely qualified to represent buyers and to keep them informed, especially during potentially complex off-the-plan purchases.
Whether you choose a resale or a new development, we can help you maximize your investment potential while avoiding the casual mistakes that can cost you time and money. New Yorks booming real estate market has fantastic options for every buyer, but you quickly find that you prefer certain neighborhoods, amenities, and property types.
Also for those seeking investment properties, Elika Real Estate provides a full suite of property management services to make the entire process seamless.
By working with a buyer’s agent who understands your goals, you will have the resources that you need to identify the properties that make sense for you.