Real Estate Lessons from The Novogratz: 10 Wise House Hunting Tips

published Mar 23, 2016
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(Image credit: J. McHugh – Courtesy Robert Novogratz)

Cortney and Robert Novogratz have famously successfully navigated the choppy waters of high-end residential real estate in New York City and Los Angeles for years. Through market ups and downs, multiple renovations and redesigns — not to mention raising seven kids while they are at it — they’ve always managed to find great deals. And now, they’re sharing their secrets with us.

Robert Novogratz shared a few factors that he feels are central to finding a good value, whether you’re buying a big home in Los Angeles or a starter home anywhere in America:

1. Scope out nearby amenities

“Proximity to a grocery store, shopping, and Starbucks is good for a property’s value. If you see a Whole Foods being built in the neighborhood, it’s a good sign.”

2. Renovations reveal a lot

“Other renovations in the neighborhood are usually a good sign.”

3. Buy on the fringe

“Buy on the fringe of booming neighborhoods, as they usually catch up to the more expensive ones.”

4. Fixer uppers for sure

“We always buy wrecks rather than jobs that require less renovation, as the deal is usually better and you can make the space your own.”

5. Start small

“Buy the cheapest house on a good block.”

6. Migration favors cities right now

“We love urban cities; the youth of America is moving to them.”

7. Understand zoning

“Zoning is important. Make sure you understand what can and can’t be built.”

8. Be patient

“Don’t chase a house at a high price. You’ll find your dream house if you are patient and look at as many as possible.”

9. There’s a ceiling

“Remember that trees don’t grow to the sky. Prices won’t go up forever yet rates will.”

10. Shop around with Realtors

“Go out with several brokers (not just one), but also take the lead. Of the nine houses we bought in NYC, only one was shown to us by a broker – the rest were all properties we found.”

Check out the Novogratz’ web series about designing their new home.

Re-edited from a post originally published 3.23.2016 – TW