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Old 10-31-2011, 08:41 PM
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Of course, older buildings are more likely to have wear, tear, and never gonna leave roaches. Newer buildings however may be made with cheaper materials. Anyway, any other comparisons as tho which would be better assuming that prices are generally the same?
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:57 PM
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I think that in general, older buldings are thought to be likelier to be quieter, and have larger rooms with more interesting layouts, and possibly more plumbing problems.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:18 AM
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In older buildings the tenant cannot regulate their own heat (either you have it on full blast which might be too hot or completely turn it off making it to cold).
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:16 AM
Location: NY,NY
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Well, prices are NOT the same.

Except for older, excellently maintained luxury buildings, newly built buildings have higher rents for comparably sized apartments.

Newer buildings are quieter, because the expectation of low noise is greater today than in yesteryears. In prior decades people were more aclimated to living in close quarters with all the commensurate noise from proximity. Today, people have a greater expectation of privacy and low noise levels, while still living in close proximity.

Consequently, building codes have changed as well as improvements in technologhy which allow newly build buildings to be quieter. You are less likely to be disturbed by the clump clump of a women walking in high heels across a wooden floor in an apt above you. Newer buildings have effective noise dampening.

Older buildings built to a lessor code standard and containing inferior or no noise dampening at all. Older buildings also suffer from plumbing noise, water and steam radiated piping systems. Newer buildings are greatly less bothered by such issues.

Also, newer buildings tend to have a more attentive management, on average; or, I should say have highly professional management, and are generally hirilings. They are usually managed by the company that built them. Though from the tenant's perspective such management is usually somewhat detached and less personal. While older buildings are most often managed by the owner, or those who report directly to ownership, even if it is managed by a management company.

Newer buildings have a more corporate management structure, with supervisors, managers, etc. As a result it is often difficult to get someone to take 'ownership' of an issue. In an older building, either the owner or his agent has direct responsibility. Rarely will you get the runaround or play telephone tag. Though, sometimes the owner/agent are not as corporately professional.

Also, in older buildings, very often you get more *space* for your money. Newer buildings, generally, come with a premium cost for less space, but modernity and amenities. In building parking is one, but generally at an extra cost. Most older buildings do not have garages.

Another thing, arguably, on average, newer buildings may, subjectively, have a higher class of residents. A part consequence of the higher non-stabilized market rents that newer buildings can command. In newer market rate buildings LLs have greater control over the quality of their tenants.

Older buildings with lower stabilized non-market rents, naturally, attract a greater mix of social and economic classes. Newer market rate buildings tend to have a more socially and economically homogenuous tenant mix.

Most new buildings tend to have a minimum standard of 'luxury' or amenities commensurate with market rates. New buildings almost exclusively rent at the top of whatever market they occupy. Older buildings tend to have a significant if not greater portion of stabilized apartments.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:00 AM
Location: Brooklyn
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The older buildings also tend to have larger rooms.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:49 AM
Location: Manhattan
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I've lived in pre war building and currently live in a newer building. Loved the high ceilings and style of my pre-war apartment but hated the radiator heat and drafts at times. On the other hand, I love the views from my modern co-op and I'm never too hot or cold.

I think the perfect blend would be a fully restored pre-war building with a modern heating and cooling system. Kinda rare and very expensive but perfect.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:30 AM
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You can get the best of old and new by finding those "completely" renovated old buildings. Some fully upgraded old buildings look really nice. They keep the high ceilings, large rooms, and often fire places. Everything else are replaced. New windows, pipes, wires, sinks, tubs, central heating, central A/C, also elevators. Only one catch, the price is not cheap.

Here is an example, 1212 5th Avenue.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:39 AM
Location: Pelham Parkway
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I can tell you - I just moved into a coop built in '53 - I can hear EVERYTHING But my place is HUGE - So im ok w/ the tradeoff

- Im a writer, & a quiet neighbor. And when I want to blast my music or video games I use my wireless headphones, so most of the noise (footfalls, slamming dors , etc.) is liveable. Im sure my 21 month old's sporadic shceeches are heard in a 360 degree radius. But shes pretty quiet *most* of the time.

The blasting radios from the Woodhaven ghetto I just escaped was making me crazy. I can handle "life noise".

I will say I always believed (with no exp) that older building would be quieter. Thicker walls, higher ceilings, etc. But I think that may be pre-war buildings. This co-op has very short ceilings, which may be part of the reason I can hear every heel strike from my 750lb (thats what it sounds like) neighbor

also to my absolute DELIGHT - NO ROACHES!!! I cant beleive it!
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:46 AM
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I think it really depends on context. If you're looking to rent, then it comes down to general comfort and quality of life issues: aesthetic appearance, heat regulation, central air, noise insulation, window quality, appliances, etc.

In newer buildings, most tenants can regulate their own heat and air conditioning. The trade-off is that most new apartments are individually metered for (or contain the infrastructure in unit) for heat & hot water, so no common utilities paid for by your LL. In cheaper units, they have those under the window units which are highly inefficient, take up a huge amount of space and are very noisy. Higher end buildings will have wall and ceiling ducts with thermostat zones. Noise from neighboring tenants ABOVE is arguably better given that these "floating" floors are big in new construction -- wood is set atop a foam layer that is on top of solid concrete. Noise from neighboring tenants next door however, can be arguable worse than pre-war apartments, depending on construction quality, insulation, etc.

As for buying, you really have to consider the quality of construction of some of these newer condos. During the building boom, these things went up in a matter of months. We looked at some terribly constructed condos with sagging floors, walls that weren't plumb, cheap doors, cheap fixtures, etc., yet the asking was at a premium compared to pre-war on a per square foot basis. Sure, it looks shiny and new, but how are these building going to age?! If you consider how old some of these pre-war condos in NYC are, some are in very impressive condition and you simply can't mimic those construction techniques anymore (for better or worse).

Also, from a buying perspective, it may ultimately be cheaper to get into a new construction condo for a few reasons, including: (1) financing: most new condos will qualify for FHA financing which means that you can put as little as 3% down depending on your situation; (2) maintenance - the common charges in pre-war buildings can be very high (years of inflation and creep).
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for all of the info. guys and gals
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