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3 Questions to Ask When Narrowing Down Your NYC Apartment Selections

So many factors come into play when deciding on an apartment, particularly in New York City, to the point that it can be easy, at times, to overlook crucial details. Here are three questions you should ask yourself before you decide to move forward with a choice.

What is the monthly maintenance cost for each of the units?

Monthly maintenance are the monthly fees you pay to the co-op or condo, and in a well-run building, they typically increase 1-3% per year, and even upwards of 5% as of late, due to inflation. On sites like StreetEasy, you can check the history of a property's maintenance fees under "Past Sales," which could help with negotiation.

What do maintenance fees include?

In order to compare apples to apples when reviewing your finalists, look into whether the monthly maintenance fees simply include heat and hot water, which is typical, or utilities as well. Furthermore, what amenities does each building offer for that monthly fee? In a co-op, for instance, your monthly maintenance includes real estate taxes; this wouldn't be the case for a condominium rental.

Have you reviewed the "House Rules"?

Prior to putting in an offer, ask your broker to collect a copy of the building rules for your review. Familiarizing yourself with these rules, which can range from pet allowances to noise restrictions, could be a make-or-break factor.

Deborah Miller, a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Brown Harris Stevens, writes from Harlem and is a great resource for savvy real estate pointers. Find Deb and her Senior Broker, Ariela Heilman, online at

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