Buying a house or an apartment is a tricky business. Realtors can lie, and you can get a very expensive place but at the same time it will turn out to be a pretty bad choice. Before you give them your money or even take a mortgage there are some factors you should take into account. I am going to speak about some of them here [please remember these are for people who wants to get an apartment in a city].
First of all, you should take into account the year when it was built. If it is 20 years old or more (which seems not long ago) there still can be some problems with the building: the elevators are old, they may break, and the technology that was used to build the apartment is probably obsolete.
How far is it from the subway? When you live in a city it is pretty important. If you drive, you have to face traffic jams, and subway sounds like the best choice. Besides, if you have children, they obviously can’t drive. Giving that most people who live in a city don’t have / don’t need a car, an apartment near subway is a great solution. It doesn’t matter how far you have to go to work, if you live close to the subway you are all set.
How big is the apartment? In huge cities people sometimes choose to live in shoebox apartments (like 78 or 90 ft), which doesn’t seem like a very happy place. Choose the proper size apartment.
Pay attention to how good the central heating works. If you buy an apartment and forget to check it, you may end up in a very cold place in winter, and in my opinion it is the same as to live in a cave.
Do not pay attention to the wallpapers. Wallpapers are the easiest thing to fix. Some apartment owners change old wallpapers hoping you will not notice all the shortcomings of the apartment if the walls look pretty enough. See if the walls themselves and the floor are not crooked; see if the doors and windows need to be changed.
Check if the water pipes and other plumbing equipment work properly. This one is very important.
If an apartment has a balcony, see if it is open or not, does it need repairs, or how much repairs it needs.
Of course you should make sure that the neighborhood is good, the air is clean enough. Learn if there were any disasters (especially if there are plants nearby). See if schools, hospitals and supermarkets are close. What are the crime rates in that place?
If you choose an apartment taking into account all this, it may seem expensive, but you should remember: if you take a cheap one, it is going to need much more repairs (which is also going to be expensive), and if it is far away from the subway, think about all the money you will have to spend every day to go to work.