Robert, Home Buyer in 08002

I'm looking to buy a place in NYC but overwhelmed at where to start. I visit the city regularly and try to "get the feel" of

Asked by Robert, 08002 Tue Aug 9, 2011

different neighborhoods. Looked at crime rates and they appear similar. I generally understand the condo setup but still trying to figure out what a coop is about, the good and bad. If you readily use a website for such search, please advise. I've googled what I could for some help. Thanks.

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Hi Robert,

Think of each neighborhood as a small town where people know each other. Visiting one neighborhood at a time is less overwhelming and you will "get the feel" of it's personality. Before you come to love Manhattan, you must understand our peculiar housing market. Manhattan is a unique place in the real estate universe.

The link below is my relocation package. It s a series of blogs I've written about relocating and purchasing a home in Manhattan. It includes neighborhood guides, pros and cons of coops and condos, Apartment terminology and links. I hope the information is useful.

I'm a certified relocation specialist and buyer's agent. If I can be of any service feel free to contact me.

Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
Mitchell Hall, Real Estate Pro in New York, NY
Robert, I just sold a coop to a buyer from Australia, who was extremely pleased with working with me and he bought sight un seen.... Here's a link to the article and I would be happy to start working with you if you so wish and discuss all your options with you...

The link to the article is:…

Feel free to email me or call my cell 917 399 5954.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 12, 2011
Jenet is right, each neigborhood has a different feel in Manhattan. I would recommend that you write down what you are looking for. Do you want to be within a few blocks of a train? parks? shopping and type of shopping, what about restaurants. How do you do in crowds. Some neighborhoods are very crowded all of the time. Is a doorman a requirement? Live in super? Elevator?
After you write this down, give it to your realtor.
Another difference between a condo and coop is closing costs. Since in a coop you are only buying shares in the building therefore it is not considered real property. That means no mortgage tax (a savings of 1.8% of the mortgage). The other difference is cost. A condo is more expensive then a coop.
You should speak to a mortgage office who is familiar with coop and condo to see where your comfort level is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 10, 2011
I think visiting different neighborhoods to see how you like them is the best approach. Neighborhoods have character and personality just like people. You are also doing the right thing by checking into crime stats.
Regarding the differences between co-ops and condos, please feel free to look at my previous answers to very similar questions. In short, in a co-op you own shares of the corporation that owns the building and the board makes rules on subletting, pets, etc. In a condo, you own actual real estate, so you have more freedoms.
Another thing to do at this stage is to get prequalified by a lender so that you know what your price range is. That will narrow down neighborhoods.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 10, 2011
My name is Erika and I work for Diversified. Please give me a call at 917-335-8569 and I will be happy to assist you. Best of luck in your search!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 10, 2011
Hi Robert,
The reason why many buyers choose to work with a knowledgeable and competing broker is to actually have a better understanding of neighborhoods, trends and to make the best decision. In the same way you would not prescribe your own medicines, a competent real estate broker can definitely help with your choice. Feel free to contact me. My name is Sofia Falleroni and I am a real estate broker at Brown Harris stevens.
Sofia Falleroni
445 park ave
New York Ny 10022
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 10, 2011
Steering" is the practice of directing prospective purchasers toward or away from certain neighborhoods to avoid altering the racial/ethnic make-up of these areas.

The public has no conception of the Fair Housing laws. "steering" is a violation of federal, state and city Fair housing laws.

Fair Housing means that you have the right to live wherever you choose and be treated according to the same rules as everyone else. Fair Housing laws promote equal opportunity and prohibit discriminatory practices that can unfairly limit the housing choices of numerous groups.

An agent that understands the intent of the law can give you valuable informtion about the neighborhood. If you ask "discriminatory" questions about the ethnicity and racial make-up of a neighborhood or building or "subjective" questions agents are prohibited by law to answer.

NYC is more diverse and tolerant than most places in the country. Multi ethnicities and socio-economic demographics can be found on almost every NYC block. NYC's ethnic, racial and social diversity is one of it's greatest assets.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 10, 2011
Mitchell Hall, Real Estate Pro in New York, NY
1 downside of working with an agent is they have this idiotic rule about steering. So they can't give you valuable information about a neighborhood even if you ask. W/O that info though its hard to tell if something is a good deal or not. They can set u up with stuff to see though which is handy once you know what areas you want which is relative to how much you want to spend.

Since you visit often, you must have friends...I'd say ask them which neighborhoods are good, and which ones have more or less crime.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
If any of you brokers/agents want to entertain switching firms and coming and working at Keller Williams NYC, the splits are amazing amongst all the other great things at KW....Email me

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
You need an experienced and patient Buyer's Broker!...please read my Testimonials on the website TOPAGENTGUIDE....a Zagat-like resource! I have worked mostly as a Buyer's Broker and would be Happy to be your guide...ever how long it takes for you to get a comprehensive viewpoint!!!
Christopher Stokes Moseley
Senior Vice President
Licensed RE Associate Broker
212-203-8722 mobile office!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
Robert, I agree with my colleagues that you will need a help of professional, especially to purchase a co-op for the reasons mentioned below. I just want to add however that co-ops are usually 10% cheaper then condos assuming if it is a equal properties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
Hi, my name is michele and am actually selling my apartment in nyc. i'm located in murray hill in a fabulous building. it's a one bedroom apartment, condo, 725 square feet, fully renovated. neighborhood is outstanding! if you are interested please email me and i will be happy to take a few pics and send them to you. :-)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
NYC is one of the most complicated property ownership markets in the US. Co-op, condop, condos, buildings with income limits, white glove, luxury doorman. .. Any agent would be happy to explain the differences. Probably the most important understanding is the freedom of which you can rent your property - this is many ways is one of the biggest differences, other than what you actually own. In a co-op, you receive stock, and the corporation (the co-op) leases you an apartment with no right to sub-lease. They interview you, kind of like interviewing for a job in a way or membership in a college fraternity, to make sure that you are a decent human being. So technically you don't own the physical apartment, and you become a member of the team/co-op. In a condo, you technically do own the property under your feet, and they can't restrict you from purchasing if you meet the financial requirements to buy. Therefore, as you don't technically own your apartment the co-ops have the right to determine if you can rent your apartment or not, whereas condo's can't stop you from renting your own the physical apartment. Co-ops in general will permit renting for 2-3 or every 5 years, and then condos have no restrictions. In both cases, the board may charge fees to have a renter (and condos are starting to increase fees). Other than that mentioned below, this is the biggest differences between those two types of ownership.

I am sure any of us would be happy to help.
Kelly Killian
Bond New York
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
Hi Kelly, I have been following the NY real estate for the longest time. I enjoyed reading your post. I found it to be very informative. Thanks.
Flag Wed Nov 6, 2013
Robert, your best bet is still to find a broker you trust and like. A good broker can go a long way in trying to navigate and learn the market as well as the city. We do a lot more than simply locate the right property, and an experienced New Yorker, with years of real estate experience as well, can save you time, energy, and in all likelihood money as well. Let me know if this answer helps at all. I can be more specific if need be. Best of luck.
Chris Trunell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
you should find a buyer's agent you get a long with to help you with the process. a co-op is similar to a condo only instead of getting a deed at the closing you get a stock certificate. in a co-op you don't own the actual unit but shares in the building which gives you the write to use that particular unit. at the closing you will also sign a 99year lease for the unit. co-ops have more restrictions when it comes to what work can be done and how you are able to rent the place out. if you are looking for investment purposes it would be better to go with a condo bc there are no restrictions on the condo. you own the actual apartment and not shares in the building. with most co-ops you have to live in the unit for 2 years before you can rent it out to someone.

if you would like more help or information i can be reached: 908-246-8472 or
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
Hi Robert,

I would love to assist you in purchasing a condo here in New York City...Coops require you to be financially "liquid" going in, before purchasing and after purchasing. They typically look at financials, no debt (credit card debt) and there is an entire board package that must be accurately filled out along with a financial statement, CPA letter, bank statements, credit card statements, reference letters, employment verification, and often other things are required too. They usually require more cash down as well. You then don't actually own you unit you own shares and get a stock and lease certificate vs the actual deed....also when you go to sell it can be tougher as you need to find a fully qualified buyer. Also if you ever wanted to rent it out, there's usually terms of how many years or how often you can rent it vs a condo you can rent it whenever you so choose......

Please feel free to email me at as I'd be happy to answer anything I didn't cover or that was unclear.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
Hi Robert,

My website breaks down the difference between co-ops and condos in both video and text. This should help you understand their differences much better. There will also be nuances between different co-op buildings which can be explained by your chosen broker when you have narrowed down your choices of units.

You now have the opportunity to search approximately 20,000 exclusive listings, representing the ENTIRE database of residential listings available through the membership of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

These are the most accurate listings you can find in NY because they come from the brokers themselves; there is no bait and switch, no duplicates, and no opens; and are updated every hour.

Jennifer A. Chiongbian
SVP/ Associate Broker
Rutenberg Realty NYC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
Consider working with an agent of own, he/she will be your best guide--“co-op” involves the formation of a corporation for the purpose of acquiring title to a multi-unit building and, in turn, leasing individual units (apartments) to the shareholders of the corporation; whereas condominium ownership involves acquiring title to individual apartments or units. Condominium ownership is, for most practical purposes, only one form of cooperative housing and, like the “co-op”, must include provisions for management and maintenance of the building(s) and “common” areas, usually dictated by an elected Board of Managers, in the case of a condominium, and a Board of Directors in the case of a “co-op”. The “condo” advantage of individual unit ownership can be compared to the benefit of being able to “choose” your neighbors in a “co-op” setting, where the application process is very often quite selective. In the sale of a “condo”, once a price is agreed upon, the deal is done; whereas the “sale” of a “co-op” requires approval by the Board of Directors—which can be (and often is) withheld based upon arbitrary selection criteria—with no recourse to the buyer or seller if the “sale” is not approved. Co-op” ownership represents an “interest” (i.e. stock) in realty; “condo” ownership is actual ownership of realty.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
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