I plan to buy a co-op all cash. What do co-op boards like to see as a ratio of monthly income to monthly maintenance fee?

Asked by HSG, New York, NY Wed Jan 9, 2013

I'm new to Manhattan apartment shopping and wonder if someone has insight about whether I would be attractive or unattractive to co-op boards.

I'm 58 and retired. I'm selling my home in the suburbs next year and should clear about $550K after closing. (It's in a desirable suburb and should sell fairly quickly.)

I want to buy a one-bedroom Manhattan co-op in the $450K to $550K range with monthly maintenance of about $1K to $1.5K. I would pay all-cash. I will also have $800K more in liquid assets (mostly blue-chip stocks) as so-called "show money."

My income after taxes is about $5K per month, I have zero debt, and I have a very high credit score.

Would my monthly income be considered too low for a $1.5K monthly maintenance fee? (I pay nearly that now in utilities and real estate taxes.) Would escrowing several years worth of the maintenance fees alleviate a board's concern or would they still not like me?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Fajardo Dela…, Agent, Flushing, NY
Thu Jan 10, 2013
There will be a full financial disclosure, debt to income ratio
requirement and board interviewing process. Each Co-Op building
has their own financial requirements and criteria, some are more flexible
than others. Get a great agent on your side to get you the best negotiation
result you can.

Fajardo Delacruz
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Century Homes Realty Group
Direct Line: 347-932-0609
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Thu Jan 10, 2013
Hi, The boards do like to see good income as liquid cash can be spent quickly. If you show consistency and maintain a good balance that should be good along with the income. They typically like to see that won't become a financial liability down the road and can actually afford the apt. From what you tell us you are a great candidate but keep in mind all boards are different. Unfortunately, a coop board can deny you for any reason and not have to disclose why. We have been working on legislation to get that changed for many years.

Good luck.


Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
0 votes
Thank you Christopher. Another alternative I would consider are condos and co-ops that are sponsor units, but the available listings are far fewer in number. I would also consider Inwood as it's less expensive but being in downtown Manhattan would be preferred.
Flag Thu Jan 10, 2013
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Jan 10, 2013
Each coop is different, therefore you really should consider working with an agent of your own who can provide any necessary information....
0 votes
Thank you Anna. I would definitely work with a buyers agent but wanted to see if I was a viable candidate before approaching any of them. No sense wasting their time if co-op boards would look askance at me.
Flag Thu Jan 10, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more