Can my parents buy a co-op in NYC for me?

Asked by Young Home Buyer, New York, NY Sun Dec 2, 2007

I currently have a job that does not pay alot, and my new job will not be starting for about 6 months. I found a great apartment that I would like to buy and even though the bank would qualify me for a mortgage, I do not think the co-op board would approve me because of my low income. My parents have offered to buy the apartment for me. I know it probably varies from co-op board to co-op board, but in general would they allow my parents to buy the apartment for me even though they will not be living with me? Their financials are great and they can afford the apartment without my income.

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Mitchell Hall, Agent, New York, NY
Sat Dec 8, 2007
Many coops will allow parents buying for children, co-purchasers and guarantors. The listing agent or the building's managing agent can tell you the buildings policy. Usually if a coop allows parents buying for children it will say so in the listing data.
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2 votes
Aileen-Manha…, , New York, NY
Sun Dec 2, 2007
You're correct in your assumptions about the co-op board. However, I have encountered some co-ops (great buildings) that will allow the parents to purchase for their children. It's important for you to work with a Realtor who is knowledgeable and can guide you through the process of searching for the co-op and inquiring about financial requirements.
1 vote
Ronnie Shuma…, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Feb 13, 2008
This is very tricky depending on the board. In certain buildings in Manhattan, this is NEVER allowed. In others (especially in a sponsor situation as mentioned below) this can happen fairly easily.

Areas in the boroughs are less strict when it comes to co-op boards, the best bet is to take your time as that will only increase your financials, work with someone who will SPECIFICALLY search for these types of co-ops and be flexible on location due to this scenario.

Feel free to contact me anytime if you have further questions as I am looking to help.
0 votes
Joseph Ferra…, , New York County, NY
Wed Jan 30, 2008
Mitchell is right-- call the managing agent and ask. Your parents may also be able to buy under their name , jointly with you. Buying unsold shares from a Sponsor is another way to go since no Board approval is necessary.
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Diary Of A R…, , New York, NY
Mon Dec 3, 2007
A really uptight building would say no. A really easy building would say yes.

For the buildings in the middle (and there are a lot of them) you probably want to do a co-purchase with your parents.

That's a lot of hassle up front -- it means three separate board packages, and your parents would have to show up, even if it means flying in, for the interview.

But on the other hand, it will allow your parents to put as much cash down as they would like, and it would allow you to get a preferential mortgage rate based on your parents' superior credit.

The board will want to see that your new salary will cover the maintenance on the apartment, and will probably want a verification letter from your new employer as part of the package.

I would also make sure that some of your recommendation letters are from people who know all three of you --"I am have known the Jones family for a decade, and have been impressed with their character, and applaud Jane's decision to become a social worker" . . . that sort of thing.

I have some pretty great NYC real estate stories in my book, you might find it entertaining.

Alison Rogers
author, "Diary of a Real Estate Rookie"
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0 votes
Ginger R., Home Seller, Massachusetts
Mon Dec 3, 2007
A minor point but: If you have a new construction co-op, or a new conversion of an existing building to co-op, there is usually no board review. If you can afford to buy the apt, with or without parental help, the sponsor (developer) is usally quite happy to sell to you.
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Joseph Ferra…, , New York County, NY
Mon Dec 3, 2007
Yes. Although some Boards require guarantees, prepayments of maintenance and other security, they will usually allow your parents to buy for you. I have done many of these transactions over the years.
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Henry Cunala…, , Bayside, Queens, NY
Sun Dec 2, 2007
I actually have a similar situation of 2 children purchasing for an elderly parent and the board had no problem as long as the person holding the loan can show ability to pay. They are in contract now. I can keep you posted is you wish. The property is in Woodside, Queens.

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Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Sun Dec 2, 2007
Very rarely (almost never) will a co-op or condo board allow an apartment to be purchased for another. You have to not only show ability to purchase the property, you must have in visible reserves sometimes as much as 1 year in finances to cover your payments...usually 3-6 months will do.
0 votes
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