“There’s always an underlying number of lawsuits about defects, but about a year ago the number started to increase. And over the next two years there’s going to be an explosion, because of all the buildings that were built at about the same time.”
So Stuart M. Saft, a real estate lawyer and the chairman of the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums, told the New York Times in a story that led the real estate section on Sunday.
Many people who moved into new buildings in 2007 — when about 7,000 condos came on the market — are realizing that they will soon run out of time, according to the Times.
Lawyers at several firms said that the volume of condo defect work had doubled in the last year, adding up to dozens of buildings with construction problems.
Water leaks and climate control problems top the list of complaints. Many of the recently built glass towers are especially prone to temperature issues, because air-conditioning units are too small to combat the punishing summer sun and heating systems can’t make up for a lack of insulation during the cold months.
But lawyers and engineers said that they had also come across buildings with more serious defects that violate the New York City’s building code.
When I was real estate broker in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland before moving back “home” to Manhattan, home inspections were the rule, not the exception. In fact, most brokers advised their buyers that an inspection was even more important in new construction than in a re-sale.
Yet the inspectors were far from infallible. I often heard after the fact that serious building defects surfaced after buyers became the owners and moved in. There were accounts of structural issues as well as other signs of cost-cutting that could be annoying, financially draining or even dangerous.
When the market was white-hot, most buyers omitted home inspections as contract contingencies. And they paid the price.
Here in New York City, home inspections are ordered infrequently. And guess who is paying the price.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022