Property Types

Co-ops

A phenomenon that's limited almost entirely to Manhattan, cooperative apartments have been the traditional form of owning an upscale apartment for close to a hundred years. In fact, in New York City, 85% of all apartments available for purchase - and almost 100% of the grand pre-war apartments on Fifth, Park and Central Park West - are in co-operative buildings. Co-ops are owned by an apartment corporation. When you purchase within a co-op building, you're purchasing shares of the corporation that entitle you, as a shareholder, to a "proprietary lease." Generally, the larger your apartment, the more shares of the corporation you own. Co-op shareholders contribute a monthly maintenance fee to cover the building expenses. The fee covers such items as heat, hot water, insurance, staff salaries, real estate taxes and the mortgage indebtedness of the building. Portions of the monthly maintenance fees are tax deductible due to the building's underlying mortgage interest. Also, shareholders can deduct their portion of the building's real estate taxes.
A co-op Board of Directors has the ability to determine how much of the purchase price may be financed and minimum cash requirements.Subleasing a co-op can be difficult. Each co-op has its own rules and they should be carefully reviewed prior to application to purchase.

All prospective purchasers must interview with the Board of Directors. Prior to the interview, prospective purchasers prepare a detailed "Board Package" which usually contains personal and professional letters of recommendation as well as a great deal of personal information concerning income and assets. The experience of your broker is invaluable. Your broker can help you find an apartment in a building that suits the needs of you and your family. In addition, your agent will help you prepare a package that you can confidently present to the Board of Directors once you've found the home that is right for you

Condominiums

As more and more new buildings are constructed in New York, condominiums are fast gaining in number and popularity. It's not surprising. As opposed to a co-op, a condominium apartment is "real" property. A buyer receives a deed just as though he or she were buying a house. Each individual apartment in a condominium receives its own tax bill. There is still a monthly common charge similar to the maintenance charges in a co-operative. These charges don't include your real estate taxes and are not tax-deductible. They also tend to be lower than in co-ops because there is no underlying mortgage for a condominium building. The straightforward nature of buying a condo coupled with the fact, that in some cases, you can finance up to 90% of the purchase price and sublet them at will, makes condominiums the number one choice for flexibility.

In recent years many condominiums have implemented a procedure whereby purchasers must submit an application to purchase. Unlike in a coop, the board of managers must either approve the applicant or exercise the condominiums "right of first refusal" to purchase the apartment from the owner. Although this is not a common occurrence, it is an option for the board should they choose to exercise it
In most condominiums, the owner has the right to sublet or sell their apartment with either no board approval or with a minimum board review. In either case, the board must either approve the applicant or exercise their right of first refusal to match the purchase price. For this reason this form of ownership is very appealing to investors, foreign buyers and parents purchasing for their children

Cond-op

By definition, a Cond-op is a residential Cooperative where the ground floor (typically commercial units) is converted into a separate "condominium" which is either owned by an outside investor or the original sponsor of the building. Thus, although the residential units are a coop, the commercial units are owned as a condominium by an entity other than the coop. Thus, the coop does not receive the benefit of the income from these units.
Many times, people will refer to Cooperatives that operate under Condominium rules as "Cond-ops". This is not accurate although you will hear this quite often. A Cooperative that operates under condominium rules is just that but may be inaccurately referred to as a "Cond-op".

Townhouse

This form of ownership provides the owner with a "fee simple" ownership of Real Property. The owner is responsible for payment of all Real Estate Taxes, maintenance and repairs of the property. The sale of the property may be conveyed to any party without prior approval by anyone other than the homeowner. There are two typical types of Townhouses; single family and multiple family. In a single family the property may only be occupied by one family although the entire house may be rented to another single (or family) user. In a multiple family residence, the owner may occupy (or lease out) one of the units while leasing out the other units as income producing entities.