Author Topic: Buying a coop  (Read 4918 times)

serpentstooth

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Buying a coop
« on: November 07, 2014, 09:37:45 AM »
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« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 10:18:50 PM by serpentstooth »

Seņora Savings

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Re: Buying a coop
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2014, 02:30:25 PM »
I don't see any red flags.  I'm also looking to buy my first house, and am wondering about anything I might not be thinking of.

Make sure that you have a really good understanding of the HOA.  I assume that you've included their fees in your calculations, but if not, do that.  Also, make sure that they don't have the power to up your fees ridiculously.

lhamo

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Re: Buying a coop
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2014, 04:35:18 PM »
If you are sure you are staying, then a co-op can be a good investment.  Ours turned out to be as we bought at a great price ($120k for a 2+ BR 1000 sq ft walkup in Jackson Heights that we eventually sold for $280k a couple of years later), but it did sit empty for nearly a year because we got relocated to China and couldn't rent it out. 

Be sure to look over the association meeting notes and the underlying financials before you buy -- preferably before you make an offer.  The thing about elderly residents wanting to keep costs down sounds great at first, but the reality is that those people are keeping necessary maintenance from being done on the building and that can have HUGE costs down the road.  We knew when we were buying that the building needed work -- windows all needed to be replaced, roof replacement, repointing.  Since we were told so clearly to anticipate those costs, we were prepared for them.  What we weren't prepared for was how long it would take to get the older tenants in the building to agree to actually getting the work done.  Eventually we got it moving, but not until after there were enough new people in the building to override the old tenants.  It created a lot of tension.  In our building, one lady had been co-op president for over 20 years, and had taken over from her husband who had the role prior to that.  She thought she owned the entire building and had the right to make all decisions.  Nobody had ever questioned her or stood up to her before.  Until our downstairs neighbors moved in.  They were the first to challenge her, and we supported them.  Along with some of the other new owners.  It ended up practically like a civil war.  10-unit building, split pretty much down the middle.  Do not underestimate how much drama there can be about this kind of thing.  Read the meeting notes -- even if they are written diplomatically, it will give you a sense of whether these kinds of problems already exist, or are brewing. 


lhamo

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Re: Buying a coop
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2014, 02:08:27 AM »
We were on 80th street, in the Greystones.  MUCH more expensive now, unfortunately -- the people who bought our place from us for $280k sold for $560 two years later!  But that was before the crash, so maybe things are back to more reasonable levels.

Edit:  Holy crap -- I think this might actually be our old apartment!  The people who bought it from us renovated the kitchen and bath, so I can't be totally certain, but the rest of it sure looks like our place.  Now going for $749k.  Seems a bit high as the last sale was in the $400s, but that one was actually the crazy old board president's unit and probably needed lots of work.  The one that sold pre-crash for $649k was our friends' apartment downstairs -- he was a contractor and had renovated it to top-notch level.  Much nicer than this one. 

http://realestate.nytimes.com/sales/detail/2007-501921536EABB/35-47-80th-Street-QUEENS-NY-11372

Sounds like the place you are looking at has good bones and solid financials. A 100 unit building would have a bigger pool of people to draw on for the board.  Good luck and hope you end up getting it!  We loved living in Jackson Heights -- if we ever moved back to NYC I would look there first for housing.  The grocery options ROCK.  Patel brothers is heaven if you love south Asian food/spices.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 02:22:04 AM by lhamo »

dragoncar

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Re: Buying a coop
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2014, 12:58:39 AM »
Is this a joke?  Nobody can live in NYC on less than $250k

stripey

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Re: Buying a coop
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2014, 05:20:07 AM »
Ah, from the title, I thought you were purchasing a coop, like a chicken coop!!! (Rather than a co-op). My mistake, and bowing out of the thread! :D

dragoncar

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Re: Buying a coop
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2014, 08:43:10 AM »
Is this a joke?  Nobody can live in NYC on less than $250k

Well, joke's on the buyer then. They accepted our offer at $232,000.

Lol, aren't you the buyer?  Seriously though, congrats!

Ah, from the title, I thought you were purchasing a coop, like a chicken coop!!! (Rather than a co-op). My mistake, and bowing out of the thread! :D

Haha that's what I thought too... At least I wasn't sure before I clicked the thread.  Mustachian people problems where it's equally likely someone is buying a co-OP or a chicken coop

lhamo

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Re: Buying a coop
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2014, 02:19:33 PM »
Congratulations!  Hope you love the neighborhood.   

And you guys got a co-op for what some people might pay for a chicken coop in the city.