Last Updated on Mar 13, 2020 by James W


New York is a prime location for those professionals who are looking for the best combination of employment opportunities, cultural experiences and diversity. In fact, there are few places in the United States that offer everything a young professional could want including housing opportunities.

One of the primary challenges a potential property owner will face in New York is understanding the unique real estate options that are available.  If you are going to consider purchasing, you need to know what to look for when buying an apartment in New York if you are not looking for a single family or multi-family home.


Understanding the cooperative market

New York apartments are available as either condominiums or as cooperatives. New York cooperatives are among the oldest established in New York, dating back to the late 1800s. These New York apartments have some unique characteristics including:

  • Building ownership – unlike other facilities, a cooperative is generally owned by a corporation. When you purchase the right to live in the unit, you are buying shares on the overall corporation along with the rights to occupy a specific unit.
  • Board of directors – as a shareholder in the corporation, you will take part in electing the board of directors who will set the rules for the cooperative.
  • Right to buy in – one of the most unique factors of a cooperative is that the board of directors must approve any potential buyers. This can lead to some abuses but the use of a sponsor can avoid this issue.
  • Down payment and liquidity – generally speaking, a cooperative has the right to ask for a significantly higher down payment and require those who are buying in to have larger reserves. This is often a drawback for first time buyers.
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Understanding the condominium market

Condominiums are often a good solution for those who do not wish to deal with the restrictions they may face with a cooperative. Condo buyers need to know what to look for when buying an apartment in New York. Here are some of the features you can expect:

  • Ownership – you will own your unit as well as a proportional share of the common property that is associated with the development
  • Board of directors – you will still have the right to vote to elect the board of directors who govern the actions allowed in the complex.
  • Right to buy in – as a general rule, the board of directors will not have a direct say in who can purchase a condominium. However, they can engage in stalling techniques until buyers are no longer interested.
  • Down payment and liquidity – the liquidity and down payment requirements are much less stringent though you may be required to escrow as many as six months of condo association fees. In addition, most condos will require 20% of your down payment as most banks will not finance more than 80% of the purchase price.

When considering buying in one of the five boroughs of New York, there are a lot of considerations. Location can be very important if you have to travel to work. Public transportation is a must for most New York residents and those who live more than five or ten minutes walk from buses may need to have an automobile to get where they are going.

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If you know what to look for when buying an apartment in New York, you can have some great options available to you with the help of professional real estate agencies like Prestige International. Understanding whether your lifestyle is most suited to a condominium or a cooperative, finding the right transportation options for your needs and finding the right neighborhood can make all the difference in your happiness.



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