Looking at Townhouses
We advise clients who are considering townhouses to take these five important steps.
Get an engineer’s inspection before a signing contract. Structural soundness, HVAC mechanicals, electrical, roof, facade and more need to be tested, and can impact negotiations.
Have an architect pull the certificate of occupancy. The C-of-O will show if the house is legally used as a single or multi-family, and will tell you if amendments are required to convert from one to the other, or to add a rental unit.
Have an architect or expeditor confirm the property’s FAR, or floor-to-area ratio. This will tell a new owner if they can legally add or extend a floor, or if they may be buying air development rights they can sell down the road.
Have a title company get their hands on a physical survey. For houses with rear gardens or yards, this will tell you exactly where your property ends, and what may be encroaching that a seller should resolve.
Have your attorney make sure there is clean title and a true deed. Seeing building violations, open permits, tax liens and more up front will save you time, and put the ball in the seller’s court for renegotiations and fixes.