Buying an Apartment? Here are the Questions You Should be Asking

Buying your next, or first, apartment comes with a lot to consider. When it comes time to start looking into where you might like to live, deciding factors don’t just stop at your apartment’s amenities or natural sunlight. Read the following Q&A with experts from Douglas Elliman’s Property Management group to find out which questions to ask when on the hunt for the new building you’ll be calling home.

How do I know if a building is managed well? 

The Woolworth Tower Residences

Start with the basics: how does the building look? Is the landscaping well-maintained and the décor in the lobby up-to-date? Is the staff professional, friendly and helpful? Next, talk to the doorman, the super and the residents, and ask how they like living and working in the building. Find out if the building offers online services, such as package notifications and repair requests. And finally, make it a point to know which company manages the building and look into their reputation.

Douglas Elliman Property Management was just ranked #1 among New York City property management companies, and oversees more properties than any other company in the industry.

— Jim O’Connor, President, Douglas Elliman Property Management (DEPM)

Is it possible to use an online application service in the buying process?

Once your broker has helped you find your dream apartment and the seller has accepted your offer, you can visit to see if a building allows online applications (simply click on Properties & Applications). Digital applications expedite the process and free you from the cost and hassle of paper forms. They also enable the building board to review your application from any location, making apartment buying as easy and painless as possible.

— Ian Mayglothling, Director, DEPM Closing Department

What about building safety?

365 Bond St.


New York City has very strict rules in place to help prevent dangerous situations caused by elevators, terraces, rooftops and even loose bricks or decorative stonework on building facades. Our property managers and on-site building staff receive ongoing training to stay up-to-date on all laws and regulations, ensuring that every property under our management adheres to the New York City Building Code.

—Tom Usztoke, Vice President and Senior Property Managing Director, DEPM

How do I know if a building is energy efficient?

Starting in 2020, the Buildings Department will give every building in New York City a Letter Grade based on energy consumption. The grades will offer boards, residents and potential buyers a clear way to understand how each building performs. The Letter Grade is also designed to put pressure on owners and boards to make their properties more energy efficient.

— Peter Lampen, Vice President + Architect, DEPM

Find your next apartment in New York City today.

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