Did You Know About These Brownstone Hidden Costs?

Brownstones are an absolute dream for many Brooklyn residents. The historic details and perfect locations make them well worth the price for their residents, but if the monthly mortgage will eat up most of your take-home pay, you may want to think twice. Because brownstones come with a number of unknown costs — read on to discover the most common ones.

You’re Responsible for Maintenance and Repairs

You may already know about leaf and snow removal, taking out the trash, and the more obvious required tasks. But did you know that brownstone owners are completely responsible for building repairs? Unlike co-ops and condos, brownstones have no maintenance team or reserve. You’ll need to repair roof leaks, plumbing problems, electrical work, landscaping requirements, pest control, and more. You’ll also want to keep up with preventative maintenance in each of these areas to avoid larger costs down the road.

Sidewalk Specifics

Brownstone owners aren’t just responsible for their lawn. They also need to care for the sidewalk in front of their house — even though the public are the main people who use it. You’ll need to keep sidewalks clear, and if damage occurs, you’re responsible for the repairs.

You’ll notice specific rules about trash and recycling, too. If you don’t set it out neatly and correctly, you may wake up to extra fines on garbage day.

Historic Districts Have More Requirements

You love the history of brownstones, but you may not enjoy paying to upkeep the centuries-old materials. You’ll need to keep the exterior of your home in good and original condition. This costs more than regular home repairs as you’ll need to pay contractors who have experience restoring the existing stone and other historic details.

There will also be rules regarding how you repair or replace gates, windows, doors, and even central air installation.

Renovations Almost Always Lead To Additional Projects

In older buildings, you’ll almost always uncover a new problem when you decide to tackle the first one. For example, fireplace repairs may lead to plaster needing to be replaced. You’ll also need to obtain permits from the Department of Building for the work you complete, which can lead to the discovery of un-permitted work in homes that have been through several rounds of repairs. You will be responsible for back-permits, repairing work that isn’t up to code, and potentially removing entire spaces in your home that weren’t added safely the first time around.

Insurance Can Be Expensive

Insurance companies know that brownstones cost more money to repair, so they also cost more money to insure. If there are high-end details inside of your home, you’ll need to make sure your policy will cover them, too. Better policies may also cover associated repairs, like replacing that knob and tube wiring your contractor finds while he’s working on water-damaged walls. These circumstances make it worthwhile to pay for the most expensive insurance plans when you purchase a brownstone home.

All in all, brownstones are incredible places to live. They’re just more expensive than the average Brooklyn home, so it’s important to keep each of these factors in mind. And if you’re thinking of searching for your own Brownstone soon, feel free to reach out to our team at any time. Our friendly and knowledgeable team would be thrilled to walk you through each step of the process.

Share Page