Rachael, Both Buyer and Seller in Bay Village, OH

Are Co-op's in Manhattan fairly standard?

Asked by Rachael, Bay Village, OH Mon Aug 27, 2007

We are in the midst of purchasing a Manhattan apartment (we are from Ohio), and are blown away by the process..i.e. completion of an enormous "application packet". Now we await a board interview and approval, having nothing to do with financing. Is this par for the course???

Help the community by answering this question:



Yes, it is. Coop boards hold great discretion in whom they select to be their neighbors. Not only are the financial viability of the applicants considered, but the relative close proximity and interaction each neighbor has with each other is taken into consideration. I've heard rumors of applicants being turned down for having large pets, for social reasons, because the applicant is purchasing for investment only, or because the applicants gave the impression that they'll be difficult or have horrible personalities. Each board is different in their standards, but the interview process is "par for the course". Condos are an attractive alternative for many first-time home buyers, buyers with a sketchy credit history or buyers that don't want the intrusion into their personal and financial lives. The benefit of coops are that that a buyer tends to (generally) get more square footage for their money and the coop community is stable and financially viable.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 27, 2007
Legislation is being worked on to standardize the coop process in Manhattan at the moment. They are all run differently and yes the application process is par for the course. Unfortunately the boards can deny you for any reason and not have to disclose why either, legislation has been in the works to change this for a very long time.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
Happy Holidays Rachael,

Most Co-ops follow the same procedure with the application and the board interview, BUt they are not all the same. Some are stricter than others. Unless you are buying a sponsor unit or a condo, the process can take longer since your neighbors, people on the co-op board, would like to know if you can fit within their community. Good luck on the interview and relax it's just a formality in many co-op boards.

Have a Happy New Year!

Fern Hamberger
Vice President Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
In Manhattan 80% of the entire building stock are coops and preparing Board Application package is part of the process and should be taken very seriously and with patience. There is no way to get around this step and it can be critical to get you to the closing. If you are concerned about privacy and confidentiality issues, you can request your broker to sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement with you, although by default they owe duty of confidentiality to clients. Every coop has its own "formula" as to assets and liquidity they would like to see post-closing and debt to income ratio (standard is no more than 25%) - you have to check with your broker on that to make sure your documents support their requirements. Also 3 business and 3 personal references are standard and they should address issues that are imprtant to the board - that you will be a good neighbor and that you are financially stable and responsible. Good luck with the Board and please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Elena Ravich
Rakita Realty
646 593 7207
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 15, 2012
Co-Ops in NYC are not only standard they’re approx 80% of the market. Don’t let the so called board interview or the process scare you. If you have a good agent/broker and they walk you through it and you have all your recent statements, tax returns in place you’ll be surprise how smooth it can go. A good agent/broker will certainly inform you of the debt to income ration, the liquid assets after closing that a buyer must have before hand. Once both of you determine that you are financially strong and qualify it’s a matter of searching for a good unit and having the agent/broker ask all the right questions to the listing agent. You need to also consider “sponsor units” which are no board approval, along with condos and “condops”. If I may be of service feel free to contact me anytime. If you are searching for a good mortgage broker feel free to contact Patricia Lavigne of Manhattan Mortgage she’s at 212-745-9012 or plavigne@manhattanmortgage.com. Please note that I do not receive any compensation for referrals. Best of luck and I’m here if you need anything.

Tony Lara
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Rutenberg Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 23, 2011
Yes. Buying a co-op is like buying shares in a corporation except the Board of Directors has to approve the purchase and require detailed financial info from you in order to give their consent. A good attorney and agent should help you through the process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 28, 2007

Unfortunately, co-op boards wield a tremendous amount of power, and have the freedom to reject people at their discression regardless of whether or not the person is financially qualifed. It's a terrible system. I went through it myself when I sold a co-op in Manhattan years ago. What you're going through is not at all unusual, just annoying and frustrating.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 28, 2007
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer