Fort Greene co-op, 2BR, with low do we get financing?

Asked by Fortgreene_adelphi, Brooklyn, NY Sat Sep 4, 2010

We are subleasing a two-bedroom co-op apartment on Adelphi Street near Greene. It is the top floor of a 4-unit brownstone, 2 bedrooms, new $25k bath, seriously dated kitchen, and nice private terrace. Working fireplace, decent closets and condition. We've been renting it for one year, and the owner has decided to sell it. He is currently in Africa, and wants to move there permanently. Monthly maint. and taxes = $760. We know we love the place, as we've lived here for a year.

He bought it in 2005 for $456k and put in the $25k bath. He's asking $550k. We paid for a bank appraisal before starting negotiations, and it came in at $470k. We can afford it at $550k, but thought $525k was more reasonable. Is $550 still a decent price? We're not looking to flip it, just live here and make a little profit when we sell in the distant future. Also, if we move forward, and get another bank appraisal after agreeing to $550, will that appraisal be 470, too? will the bank lend for 550?

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Yitzchok Moe…, , Brooklyn, NY
Wed Sep 8, 2010
As a licensed appraiser I believe there are many reasons why the property appraised at that value. First off it could be that the owner is throwing a number ou there to test the market. I can look the numbers over for you

feel free to contact me at
0 votes
Manu Kapoor, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Sep 8, 2010
Banks appraisal is the answer to many financing questions now days.
Check with a bank you can work with and your needs.
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Charles D'Al…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Sun Sep 5, 2010
The bank will loan you a percentage of the appraised value. The bank appraisal is key if you want to buy with a mortgage. Does the owner have an existing mortgage and maybe it's assumable. If he does not have a mortgage maybe he can hold it.
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Jack Menashe, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Sat Sep 4, 2010
Call Larry:
718-339-5700 x-103
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Mitchell Fel…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Sat Sep 4, 2010
Dear Fortgreene _adelphi:

Most people do not do an appraisal before they make a deal. If you have an appraiser come in before hand he does not have a target to aim at. When the bank hires the appraiser the sales price in the contract becomes the target and the appraiser has something to aim for. You can have three different appraisers come into a property and get three very different opinions of value, especially when they do not have a target.

With the bank appraisal, if there are any comparable sales out there with an equal or higher sales price then the property will usually appraise. The only time if really becomes an issue is if there are no comparable sales out there in the same price range.

Here are my suggestions to you:
1) Look up comparable sales on web sites like, and and see if you can find some similar co-ops that sold in the same price range.
2) Have a real estate agent look up some comparable sales for you (if you like I can help you with that and/or show you other co-ops currently on the market that may interest you, it is a good idea to shop around so as to get a better feel for what type of deal are out there).
3) Try to negotiate the price down, tell the seller that the market has gone down since 2005 and you want to make sure you will be able to recoup your investment down the road just like he did.
4) If you do strike a deal the bank will do an appraisal after you go to contract, if the appraisal comes up short, you may be able to get the seller to give you some consideration on the price at that time. Just bear in mind that he does not have to do anything and if the appraisal comes up short the bank will not lend and the deal will falter.
5) If you are putting more than 20% down the appraisal may not be a factor anyway as long as the mortgage amount is no more than 80% of the appraised value.

If I can be of further assistance please let me know. Good luck!

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
0 votes
, ,
Sat Sep 4, 2010
First of all, one of your issues is going to be that it is not easy to get financing for a 4 unit co-op. The other thing is that you have to get the current owner to be more realistic about where prices have gone since he purchased. He has been away for a year, and because the drop in prices in the city dropped later than they did elsewhere, he needs to be realistic. if you love the apartment and don't want to move, and have the money to put down extra, don't waste it on another appraisal. That is just pointless because a bank will not use it. You will be able to finance based on the lower of the contract price or the appraised value. As far as the $25,000 bathroom goes, whether it is a $25,000 bathroom or a $100,000 kitchen, the appraised value does not vary by the amount that it cost. You are saying that the kitchen is seriously dated, so you are going to get more minimal value from the new bath. They may give you $5,000 for the new bath over one that has an older bath. You will get alot more out of the terrace as far as value goes.
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David Rogoff…, , Brooklyn, NY
Sat Sep 4, 2010
First, what is the amount / percentage of the downpayment? Assuming you pay the high end price of $550K with conventional 20% down then you require financing for $440K.

There have been several postings on Trulia dealing with the issue of inaccuracies of bank appraisals. Some appraisers may give a higher appraisal value for specific features or improvements than other appraisers. We would suggest you have an additional appraisal performed prior to making an offer or negotiating into a contract. If there is a big difference in the appraisal amount (i.e., let's say the 2nd appraisal is much higher) ask your 2nd appraiser to explain the difference. Location means alot when it comes to value, too. We note a downward trend north of the park at St. Edwards Street and also on S. Oxford St. BTW, appraisals are based upon recently sold homes and currently on the market and go back about 3 - 6 months.

That said, the location of Adelphi near Greeene and Lafayette is a prime area of Fort Greeene. Right now, there is a 2 BR 1 bath Fort Greene listing on Trulia at 143 Lafayette Avenue and it is priced at $595,000 and is 1,000 sq. ft. and near all.

We strongly suggest you also engage a professional Realtor to work as a buyer's agent on your behalf. He/she can obtain comps showing what has sold recently and what is in contract. In the end, the value of any property is determined by the marketplace what you, the buyer, are willing to pay for it. Price is only one factor. If you really like this co-op and you are not buying it as investment property, you should probably buy it if you can afford it.

Best regards,

David Rogoff and Bonnie Chernin
Real Estate Sales Associates
Fillmore Real Estate - Branch 19
917-593-4068 - David mobile
646-318-5031 - Bonnie mobile
0 votes
Shai Megiddo, Agent, Astoria, NY
Sat Sep 4, 2010
The bank will lend only according to their appraisal. normally on co-op's you can get 75% or maybe 80% at lender's discretion.
if the guy bought for $456 back in 2005, $470 seems like a very fair appraisal....could of been less......why would you pay $550? or even $525??
0 votes
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