4 Things You Didn’t Know About Buying a Co-Op in NYC

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Buying a co-op in NYC is a little bit different than buying a condo. When you buy a condo or an apartment, you’re basically buying a physical part of a building. When you buy a co-op, you’re buying into the corporation that owns the building.

Instead of owning the real estate outright, you own as many shares of the corporation as your co-op condo is worth. That’s not the only thing that’s a little bit (or a lot) different from buying a normal condo, apartment, or house, though. Check out these four things that you probably didn’t know about buying a co-op.

You Can’t Just Make an Offer and Buy the Co-Op You Want

First of all, the weirdest thing about buying a co-op is that you can’t just buy it. When you buy a house or a condo, you find a property you like that’s in your price range, and you make an offer. Then there may or may not be some negotiations before the seller accepts your offer, and you close. While the process can get fairly involved, the basic idea is simple.

That’s not the case when you’re buying a co-op in NYC. When you buy into a co-op, you have to be approved by the co-op’s board. Not only that but when you sell you have to find a buyer whom the board will approve, as well. This isn’t as restrictive as it sounds, as most boards will approve most qualified buyers, but it is definitely something you’ll want to keep in mind.

Expect Serious Subletting Restrictions

A lot of condo associations have rules about how many units can be rented out at any one time, but they’re a little bit more lax about these rules than co-ops. Buying a co-op in NYC means that you’re going to encounter some very strict restrictions on subletting. So, if you’re planning on using your co-op apartment as an investment property instead of selling it when you move out, you might want to think again.

Co-Ops Foster Like-Minded Communities

These restrictions aren’t just randomly put in place to make life hard on co-op owners, though. In fact, if you want to live in a building where you’ll live amongst like-minded people, and you’re very likely to get along with your neighbors, a co-op could be the perfect choice for you. Basically, by having a few restrictions on who can buy these properties and who can live in them, co-op corporations are able to regulate their buildings’ communities for a more enjoyable experience for their residents.

You Probably Won’t Spend As Much as You Would on a Condo

Finally, one of the most attractive things about buying a co-op in NYC is that it’s generally going to be cheaper than buying a condo. You likely won’t have as many amenities as you would when buying a condo, but you’ll be a part of a tightly knit community, and you won’t be spending nearly as much money on your mortgage.

There you go – four things you didn’t know about buying a co-op in NYC. In a lot of ways, buying a property like this is a lot like buying a condo, but there are some key differences that you should keep in mind. These could make the idea of buying a co-op more attractive to you, or you could decide that you’d rather have the luxuries and amenities of a condo, as well as the freedom to sell to whomever you choose instead of finding an approved buyer for the community. What do you think? Are you more of a condo person or a co-op person?