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  • Writer's pictureBrody Lluis

Understanding Co-ops in NYC

Cooperative apartments, or co-ops, in New York City come with their own set of rules and qualifications that potential buyers need to navigate. Here's a step-by-step guide to understanding and successfully buying into a co-op.

Know Your Finances

Understanding your financial landscape is crucial. Detail your income sources - base salary, bonuses, commissions, dividends - and map out your expenses, including potential mortgage payments, maintenance, credit card debt, and student loans. A REBNY Financial Form is a requisite for submitting an offer to a CO-OP building in NYC.

Debt to Income Ratio

CO-OP buildings in New York typically accept buyers with a Debt to Income (DTI) ratio below 25%. Using the formula (Debt/Income), ensure your ratio meets this criterion, as a higher percentage could lead to rejection by the board.

Post-Close Liquidity

Another board requirement is "Post-Close Liquidity," calculated as (Mortgage + Maintenance) × 24 Months. This figure needs to be held in liquid assets like stocks, cash, bonds, and treasuries, minus your deposit. Demonstrating a substantial margin above this number bolsters your financial eligibility.

House Hunting

With a clear understanding of your financial standing, delve into your house hunt. CO-OPS are more abundant than condos in NYC, offering a more affordable housing option for residents. Prioritize understanding the CO-OP rules specific to each building to align with your preferences.

Offer Accepted - Board Package

After submitting your offer along with the REBNY Financial Form, prepare for the board package. This comprehensive dossier outlines your financial and personal background. Boards have varying requirements, necessitating supporting documents such as tax returns, bank statements, and employment letters. Precision in completing this package is key to avoiding delays or additional inquiries.

Board Interview

The board interview, a critical step, signals you're 95% there. Present yourself as succinctly as possible; clarity trumps complexity. Some interviews are relaxed, akin to friendly conversations, while others might feel more like interrogations. A meticulously prepared board package helps streamline this process.

You've Been Accepted!

Upon board approval, the apartment is yours. A closing date is set, and you'll receive keys and a transfer agent will transition you to resident status within the CO-OP.

In conclusion, partnering with an experienced agent familiar with the intricacies of CO-OPS is invaluable. A misstep in the board approval process can derail your efforts. I prioritize a meticulous approach, mimicking the board's scrutiny in reviewing financial statements. For guidance or further information, feel free to reach out at

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