4 Things To Consider When Purchasing A Brownstone Apartment

A brownstone apartment is a specific type of building that is made from a dark sandstone known as brownstone that is popular in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maine areas of the country. Brownstones are generally row homes and are found in major cities. You can purchase an entire brownstone or an apartment within a brownstone. However, there are a few essential things you need to understand about buying a brownstone apartment.

#1: Responsible for Upkeep

Buying a brownstone is different than purchasing a regular home. With a brownstone, you are responsible for the entire property. You will not have a building manager or supervisor to call to fix any issues with the home. 

That means you need to be prepared to take care of all the upkeep that comes with owning a home. For example, you will be responsible for dealing with leaking pipes, water heater issues, pest control, and other associated responsibilities that come with owning a home.

You will be responsible for routine home maintenance, so be sure you can afford routine home maintenance in your budget.

#2: No Amenities

When you purchase a brownstone, you will have to go without some of the amenities you may be used to living in an apartment. You will no longer have a doorman or concierge who can take your deliveries and assist you. In addition, you are not going to have a built-in security system like you do in many apartment complexes.

You will need to install your own security system and arrange for someone to be there when your packages are delivered. 

#3: Landmark Status

When it comes to purchasing a brownstone, you will want to check and see if the brownstone is in one of the coveted landmarked districts. If it is, you will have to go through the Landmark Preservation Commission whenever you want to do an exterior renovation on the brownstone. Many brownstones are located in what are considered historic districts, which means you have to follow specific rules and regulations and always get approval before making changes to the property.

#4: Break on Property Taxes

In many areas, you will get a break when you purchase a brownstone on property taxes, as a brownstone is considered a one- to three-family home, which means it doesn't fall into the higher tax bracket that condos and co-ops fall under, allowing you to save money on your monthly property taxes.

When it comes to purchasing a brownstone, you need to be ready for the responsibility of taking on homeownership. Check to see if your brownstone is located in a historic district; if it is, that will increase its value and mean you will have to go through a more complicated approval process when you want to upgrade the exterior of the structure. A significant positive with brownstones is that they generally have lower property taxes than co-ops and condos.

Contact an agent to start looking at brownstone apartments for sale today.