Buying a New York City co-op or condo requires substantial money. It is also not enough to save cash for the down payment and closing costs. You will also need enough money to meet the co-op or condo board’s post-closing liquidity requirement. Requirements vary depending on the building. Also, your lender has their thoughts on the matter, and the question becomes complex. However, there are general rules that you can use to help guide you.
What is Post-Closing Liquidity?What is Post-Closing Liquidity?
After closing your unit, this is the amount the board of directors and your lender want you to have. You need to confirm what the board considers a liquid asset; this can vary by building. Indeed, cash and money market funds will qualify, while government securities, corporate bonds, and stocks typically count since you can readily convert them into cash.
It gets murkier when it comes to your retirement accounts, such as your 401k. Generally, the board counts these as illiquid assets, although they may decide to give you a certain amount of credit. Additionally, the board of directors will likely not consider any real estate you own in their calculation.
Post-closing liquidity is quoted in months or years. Typically buildings and lenders want to see 1 Year to 2 Years of post-closing liquidity. Calculated by taking your liquid assets after subtracting your planned down payment and estimated closing costs and comparing it to your combined monthly maintenance charge and mortgage payment.
Co-ops and CondosCo-ops and Condos
As you might imagine, co-op boards are typically more restricted than their condo counterparts. For a co-op, you should expect a board will want to see that you have liquid assets totaling one to two years following your closing. In our experience, two years’ post-closing liquidity is more common.
Post-closing liquidity requirements are commonly found in co-op apartments rather than condo buildings. This does not mean you should not have a reserve fund or that your banks won’t ask you to have one. The only way to avoid a building requires purchasing a condo in a New Development or a sponsor.
Do Banks Require Post-Closing Liquidity?Do Banks Require Post-Closing Liquidity?
Your lender also wants to make sure you have a reserve. Depending on the bank, they like to know that you have enough liquidity to cover at least one year of the mortgage and monthly maintenance fees after your down payment and closing costs are paid. After all, if you do not have anything saved up in a rainy day fund, you could face a potential foreclosure if something happens, such as a job loss. Therefore, while your condo may not require you to have a reserve fund, the bank will almost surely want to see one.
Your lender will likely allow this money to come from elsewhere, such as a relative’s gift. However, a bank will want to make sure you have some post-closing liquidity on your own and that you meet its other requirements, such as its debt-to-income ratio.
Why do I need Post Closing Liquidity?Why do I need Post Closing Liquidity?
It is good to have a safety net if you run into financial difficulties. Hopefully, it would help if you never had it, but it will help you sleep better at night. Co-op boards want to see minimized distressed sales, which hurt comps in the building. Lenders want to ensure you can pay back the borrowed funds, even should you experience an unexpected and unfortunate event.