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Union-Built or Bust: The Crucial Factor NYC Real Estate Shoppers Are Overlooking

Purchasing union-built construction is the best way to ensure you don’t end up with a severe case of buyer’s remorse.


When searching for real estate in New York City, a crucial consideration is too often overlooked by prospective buyers. While investors heavily weigh factors like the location, amenities, and how recently the bathrooms and the kitchen were updated, an obvious question gets ignored: who built the building?  The best way to ensure you avoid costly issues that could drastically devalue your investment is to buy a building built with union labor. Union construction workers are the most highly trained in the world and union contractors use cutting edge methods and materials. 


To give you a sense of the headaches you are at an increased risk of running into when you buy non-union, here’s a list of just a few common issues— you don’t want to deal with any of these in your new home. 

Pictures taken by a resident of the non-union luxury condos at 2 Blue Slip in Brooklyn show repeated plumbing and mold issues. The resident has since moved out.

Plumbing Problems 

Sewer backups, faulty fixtures and burst pipes— welcome to the world of water damage. Plumbing repairs can drain your budget faster than you might think.


Roof Woes

Shoddily built roofs don't just leak, they hemorrhage money. Costly water damage and mold cleanup can quickly turn your new home into an unlivable money pit. 


Electrical fires caused by faulty wiring hidden inside the walls can be hugely disruptive and deadly.

Electrical Nightmares

Shoddy wiring and faulty installations don't just dim the lights, they can spark fires and lead to massive repair bills. Buy union-built and ensure your investment doesn’t go up in smoke. 


Structural Time Bombs 

Cracks, sloping floors, sinking foundations and buildings that lean eight centimeters to the north. These potentially dangerous issues are best avoided by purchasing sturdy, union-built construction. 


Soundproofing Slip-ups 

No one wants to hear their neighbors arguing at 2 am. Poor soundproofing means noise complaints and pricey upgrades.


Drafty Insulation

Poor insulation is like throwing money out the window. Your energy costs may soar if you buy non-union construction


The question of 'who built the building?' is too often overlooked in the NYC real estate market. The union-built stamp on a construction project means you're investing in properties built by highly skilled labor using the best methods and materials in the world. This gives you the best chance of avoiding the costly headaches laid out above, and many more. Be sure to ask your real estate agent: who built this building?


Mark Colangelo is a writer and blogger.

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