Home Buying in Harlem>Question Details

Josh, Home Buyer in New York, NY

I am thinking of purchasing an HDFC apartment in Harlem, are there potential pitfalls by going down this

Asked by Josh, New York, NY Thu Feb 14, 2008

route? I could afford a 350k condo, but they dont seem that attractive.

Help the community by answering this question:


The biggest drawback that I can see is that the same rules that are keeping the apartment affordable for you to buy might keep the apartment affordable on resale, too.

So you might be giving away some price appreciation if there's an up market.

Let 's say you bought a free market property in Harlem, and real estate in Harlem overall went up, The value of your property would probably go up.

Now let's say you bought a restricted property in Harlem, and real estate in Harlem overall went up. Your property would probably go up too, but not necessarily by as much.

So if you then want to sell and trade up, you will be in a relatively worse position -- you got in on the ground floor and climbed up one flight of stairs, whereas your competition who bought free market apartments got in on the ground floor and took an escalator up two flights.

Depending on your finances, I think that's a reasonable risk to take, but it's worth talking over with your lawyer/accountant.

author, "Diary of a Real Estate Rookie"
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 4, 2015
House owner at Puerto Rico, can buy a aparment in New York City by the HDFC?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 8, 2014
If you qualify based on the income restriction and you plan to live there. you will be in very food shape in a few years. getting in the right Coop is important but its hard to go wrong with these as a long term purchase and hold.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 9, 2010
Pitfalls? There are income restrictions buyers will face in a HDFC but this is to be expected. These homes are not to be money makers for the share holders. As an agent I've found well performing HDFC coops for first time home owners.
I must go now because Community Board 10 where I serve as Treasurer is holding a Town Hall meeting for HDFC's this evening at the Oberia Dempsey Center in Central Harlem.
Web Reference: http://www.cb10.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 9, 2009
Dear Josh,

I sincerely believe, that from the answers to your question that have been posted, you already have received more or les good advice. but if you are looking to buy a three (03) Br HDFC Co-op apartment in Harlem(Hamilton Hts.), I have one available for you. Thanks.


Silverio Martinez
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 22, 2009
The upside is no HDFC will let you buy something you could foreclose on if the going gets tough. In fact, of the HDFCs under our (UHABs) review, we don't know of any where buyers got in over their heads. A condo, especially a newer, desperate building, could wind up selling you little more than a bill of sale - after its occupied and the owner is out, the common fees can soar, and you as new owners are stuck with it - and worse, as owners who didn't want a coop, you're forced to act as one just to make good decisions for your financial futures.

In a coop, the screening all takes place in the purchase. You won't end up over your head, because the loans are too laborious to issue for that.

However, the other poster is correct: You will not be raking in the cash after an up market. But overall, you'll be in a good position if you intend to live, work, and stay in New York City. When neighbors are paying mortgages in the high thousands, you'll be paying a nice, comfortable, steady payment, and can stash the extra dough into whatever dream fund you want. Even in situations where HDFC shareholders wind up facing crisis, organizations like your board and UHAB offer solutions, and yes, Section 8 is issued for use even in coops.
Web Reference: http://www.uhab.coop
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 11, 2009
If you are a speculator, an HDFC is not for you. But HDFCs are a relatively affordable option to NYC home ownership. If you're considering, do the due diligence to assess the financial health of the co-op and the condition of the building. Do the shareholders get along and work cooperatively? Are there any major assessments looming? Is there a stable and functioning board in place?

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009
I own an HDFC apartment in Harlem and it has been great, but it does depend very much on your situation. Check out UHAB for great resources and information. A lawyer is great too, but if they don't know much about HDFC's they won't be of much help to you.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://uhab.org/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
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