This is from About.com -
P.S. 234, 292 Greenwich St: One of Manhattan's best public elementary schools.
P.S. 150 Tribeca Learning Center, 334 Greenwich St.: Small class sizes and a homemade lunch.
H.S. 475 Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers St.: Manhattan's most competitive high school.
Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St.: Offering associate degrees in more than 20 fields.
New York Academy of Art, 111 Franklin St.: Established in 1982 by a group of artists and patrons, including Andy Warhol.
It sounds like you need a Buyer's Agent to represent you - try Loft Industrie. I refer many buyers to them.
Loftindustrie.com - they are on Varick.
It's good that you want to be as informed as possible when buying your first home. To determine what the best schools are in District 2, you should speak to parents in that district, I think. I would feel uncomfortable answering that question as issues of "steering" may come up.
I would be happy to work with you or to provide you a referral to a reputable loan officer in Manhattan. Feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.
DOM PASCUAL, J.D., ESQ.
ASSOCIATE REAL ESTATE BROKER
"Your Experts in NYC Luxury Apartments & Lofts"
304 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010
Cell: (631) 741-2764
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Fewer people can qualify to purchase in co-ops, so in general their prices are lower, and they take longer to re-sell -- also because there is a board package to prepare and a co-op board review process that slows down the sale. Co-ops can and do require significant disclosure of one's financial assets, as well as reference letters, and they often require enough cash in the bank after closing to cover 1 to 2 years of maintenance fees.
Condos do not require any of this, usually. Their prices are higher per square foot. Often you have more responsibility as a homeowner because your heating system (furnace, boiler, combo heat/AC unit) is in your apartment and is yours to fix if it breaks; many co-ops include heating costs in their maintenance fees.
Many, if not most, pre-war construction buildings are co-ops. So if you love old buildings and period details, and decide to move to the Upper West Side or the Upper East Side of Manhattan, odds are you will need to buy a co-op to get that architecture. New buildings almost always opt to follow the condo organization. In Tribeca there are a number of new buildings with lovely apartments with all the latest amenities.
As for loans, I ask all my buyer-clients to obtain a pre-approval letter from a lender. Please visit my blog for details:
Karla Harby, VP
Charles Rutenberg Realty
Real estate pros in NY are not allowed to answer questions about schools..strange as that may seem..
There was an article about this in The NY Times recently:"Questions Your Broker Can't Answer"
The best loan iin general is the one with the lowest interest that pays off your principal the quickest.
(There are resources for first time buyers that other pros have posted on Trulia)
A condo is easier to sell and rent because of the rental restrictions on co-ops and the coop board approval..
There are many more co-ops and you do get more bang for your buck in a co-op, but on the other hand you can lose the money for the co-op board application and other expenses (like for lawyer and appraisal fees) if you get rejected by the co-op board, which often demand: multiple reference letters, complete financial disclosure, credit & background checks, a large net worth and more...
What size place were you looking for?
I'm posting a link to the NY Times Article below