How to Find Brownstones in New York City for Sale

Are you wondering how to find brownstones in New York City for sale? Brownstones and townhouses have long been synonymous with New York City living, providing everything from traditional architectural styles to vintage charm. Whether you’re looking for an iconic landmark or just a place to call home, the options in this amazing city are endless! But finding and purchasing the perfect brownstone can be a daunting task to complete. To make sure your real estate adventure is successful and stress-free, we’ll provide some useful tips on how to find brownstones in New York City no matter where they are located. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up an armchair, and let’s get started on our journey into NYC real estate!

Research the Neighborhoods

When searching for a brownstone in NYC, begin by finding the neighborhood that best fits your lifestyle & budget. Researching certain neighborhoods can help narrow down your search & find the perfect property.(e.g, Upper East Side, Brooklyn heights) Be sure to consider public transportation, school districts, and proximity to restaurants & shopping when visiting potential homes. Taking time to research surrounding neighborhoods will give you a few tips & tricks so you’re on track to choose your ideal brownstone.

Additionally, it’s important to do your research and get a feel for pricing as well. Platforms like StreetEasy, Zillow, and Crexi are great resources to look into what brownstones and townhouses may cost in the area you’re interested in. Not only can you browse listings but many of these platforms also provide helpful insights around what kind of prices to expect – helping pave the way for a smoother experience once you start your hunt for the perfect brownstone!

Find a Realtor

Finding the right realtor is key to making the process of purchasing a new home smoother and more successful. When searching, look at reviews, their portfolio of properties they have sold in your desired area, and any additional certifications or degrees related to residential real estate. Interviewing a few different agents will also help you determine who has the expertise and knowledge you need. Selecting a broker who understands the unique complexities associated with finding and buying brownstones ensures success.

Brownstone Renovations

When it comes to finding brownstones and townhouses for sale in New York City, determining up front if you’re willing to do a renovation can be key. Before starting your search, take time to examine what kind of budget you have available for a renovation, how you want things configured and plan accordingly.

Research contractors, get estimates on the kinds of projects that need to be done, and keep tabs on brownstone amenities and renovation costs when making the decision to move forward. Knowing these factors in advance will help ensure that you find the right property for your needs.

Brownstones in New York City for Sale

Brownstone Tenant Issues

One of the most important things to consider before searching for brownstones that have apartments in New York City is determining your willingness to deal with tenant issues. If you are buying a property with apartments currently occupied, there are certain procedures and legalities that need to be observed to ensure a smooth transition for all involved parties.

Ensure that you have an understanding of the relevant laws and have the patience and dedication necessary to properly manage any tenant meetings or negotiations if needed. With an open mind and thorough preparation, you can be confident that you’re taking the right steps towards finding the perfect new home or investment property.

Brownstones in New York City for Sale

Brownstone Regulation Issues

Deciding if you’re willing to deal with city regulations upfront is an important part of the process when looking for brownstones for sale in New York City. In spite of its convenient lifestyle, the Big Apple has stringent rules that all buyers must adhere to before settling into their new homes. Any modifications to a building’s structure must be approved by the New York City Department of Buildings, and any outstanding violations must be addressed no matter where you are located. This can add unexpected costs and paperwork to your purchase which could cause a delay in closing. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to review any existing violations on the property prior to making an offer.

Brownstones in New York City for Sale

Brownstone Preapprovals

If you’re looking to buy a brownstone in New York City, the best way to proceed is to start by getting preapproved for a mortgage. Start by gathering essential financial documents such as credit reports, bank statements and paystubs. This will help your lender determine how much you can afford when house hunting. It’s also important to speak with a mortgage advisor who can answer any questions and discuss options such as rate types or down payment size. Once you have taken care of these steps, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect brownstone!

Off-Market Brownstones

When shopping for real estate in New York City, it’s essential to connect with a reputable and experienced realtor who is familiar with the neighborhoods you’re interested in. Realtors often have access to off-market deals that are not publicly listed, which can make all the difference when searching for a brownstone.

Depending on their network and connections, they may be able to show you properties that other buyers can’t access. Be sure to ask your realtor if they are aware of any deals that might suit your needs and budget.

Brownstones in New York City for Sale

Brownstone Pre-foreclosures

Navigating the New York City real estate market can be a difficult and deeply confusing process, but if you are interested in finding brownstones for sale, one option is to have your realtor contact owners of pre-foreclosure properties and make an offer. This strategy may help you get into the home of your dreams quickly, since owners in pre-foreclosure are generally more motivated to sell. However, it’s important to fully understand the legal processes associated with this approach before moving ahead with any offers. Make sure that you have done your research and considered all potential drawbacks before attempting to purchase pre-foreclosure property.

Brownstones in Probate

If you’re looking for a brownstone in NYC, one of the best strategies is to have your realtor contact probate owners and make an offer. Probates are often underpriced and don’t typically have many people vying for them, making it easier to get a good deal. Additionally, probate owners may be motivated to sell quickly which could lead to them accepting a lower offer. It is important that your realtor is knowledgeable and experienced with negotiations with probate owners, as well as being familiar with local laws surrounding these transactions. Doing your research ahead of time will give you the best chance of finding your dream brownstone at an affordable price.

Brownstones in New York City for Sale

Brownstone Evictions

Finding brownstones for sale in New York City isn’t as difficult as one might think, especially with rent stabilization policies and tenants facing financial strain. To find a good deal and help tenants dealing with eviction, have your realtor contact owners in such circumstances and make an offer – potentially saving thousands of dollars. Note that for such an agreement to go through, the tenant must be willing and able to vacate their premises quickly.

Stale Brownstone Listings

Looking for a brownstone in NYC? To expedite your search and stay informed on potential listings, enlist the help of a reputable realtor. Ask them to keep an eye on ‘stale’ listings – homes that have not sold within their allotted sale timeframe – as sellers of these homes may be willing to negotiate. Having your realtor reach out with an offer can help you uncover a great opportunity.

Brownstones in New York City for Sale

As you can see, finding a new home for the right price is a lot of work. It takes time and research to really get a good feel for the market and what’s happening. However, once you have gathered the information detailed above, it is much easier to make an educated decision when looking at properties. With the right knowledge and advice, finding that perfect brownstone doesn’t need to be a daunting task. It is possible to find a home within your budget with great amenities that fit all your needs no matter if its listed on or off market. If you still feel overwhelmed by the process or need help with any of the steps mentioned here today,  schedule a call with me here.

About the Author
Since the start of the pandemic, Stanley Montfort has played a crucial role in facilitating over one billion dollars worth of brownstone sales in New York City. He is a recognized expert in the city's brownstone and townhouse market, with extensive experience in both sell-side and buy-side brownstone transactions, thanks to his military and law background.

Stanley honed his real estate skills at Leslie J. Garfield, where he established the Harlem Townhouse Market, and has assisted in numerous co-ownership transactions, including more complicated deals involving SROs, seller financing, negotiating with tenants, and leaving all parties satisfied.

With a vibrant and diversified career spanning the legal, banking, and technology industries, Stanley brings a wealth of experience to help his clients achieve their real estate objectives. He applies innovative marketing strategies, strategic thinking, and utmost professionalism and integrity to every deal. As a savvy negotiator with strong analytical skills, Stanley has successfully navigated even the most challenging real estate deals to deliver the desired results.

Moreover, Stanley provides a personalized and engaging real estate experience marked by complete transparency, data-driven financial decisions, and honest conversations. He strives to earn his clients' trust and is committed to ensuring that their needs are fully understood and executed without compromise.

Originally from New Jersey, Stanley is a graduate of Fordham University, where he earned his JD and Masters in International, Political, Economy, and Development. Whether you are looking to earn top dollar for your property or find your dream home, Stanley is the no-brainer choice to help you achieve your real estate goals.