For the first time buyer or my clients who have experience purchasing property it seems that it is important for me to help them understand and point out the nuances of what they are considering purchasing.
It is my belief that it is critical for them to know what makes for an excellent resale and the upfront issues that may affect the property when it is time to sell, especially in a down market.
The first thing to notice is the difference between a duplex down unit in a 3 flat vs a 6 flat. The 3 flat is typically on a 25 ft x 125 ft lot while the 6 flat unit is on a 50 ft x 123 ft lot. Given that there has to be space for stairs you will notice that the six flat has a wider unit, hence, more space and value for resale.
The next thing to notice is the actual construction of either type of building. Nearly all these types of buildings have brick construction on the front, however, most resales have block Recently, many builders are now doing their entire buildings in brick thus eliminating the chance that there can be water leakage into a unit.
It is important to note, if you decide on a unit in a building with block, the building should be sprayed with a water retardant every couple of years. It is advisable for an inspector to check the block out carefully and inform you when this procedure should be done.
For duplex downs it is also important to check on the pitch of the water drains and check to see what pro-active approaches the builder has taken should there be a major rain storm given that part of the unit is below grade. In addition, has the developer installed any stump pumps should there be any torrential downpour?
Height of the ceilings and light factors also play a role in the resale of these types of units. In a duplex down, pay attention to the ceiling heights and how the windows are architecturally done in the lower portion of the unit. Units with real high ceilings and lots of windows make you feel you are not below grade and for resale this is a plus.
Another critical point to consider is where the master bedroom is in comparison to the other bedrooms. I have found that a buyers should carefully consider lifestyle as well as their future plans about having a family. Most new Moms want their newborns on the same level as their master bedroom . If an additional bedroom is not on the main level, if it is a problem for you, it will probably be an issue when you decide to resell the property.
The duplex down is the perfect type of property for clients who want to max out on space and keep their assessments costs down. Typically, a duplex down has approximately 2300 square feet in the unit while the assessments are usually below $250 per month.
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