Submitting a condo or co-op board application package and interview can be a rigorous and stressful experience, with success far from guaranteed. An integral part involves preparing a REBNY financial statement. Virtually all condo and co-op sales require disclosing your assets and liabilities as part of the condo or co-op package you submit.
The financial statement is essential in the purchasing and board approval process. An offer to purchase a co-op requires a financial statement and, at times, a condo too. Applying for a condo or co-ops approval, you should expect it to be needed. Understanding how to prepare it is essential and could mean winning an offer or failing a co-op interview.
What is the REBNY Financial Statement?What is the REBNY Financial Statement?
The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is a trade association. The financial statement is the industry standard to evaluate the financial strength of a buyer’s financial condition by agents, sellers, management companies, and condo and co-op boards.
The financial statement is two pages. A substantial amount of information is required. There are two columns, the applicant and the co-applicant. Sellers do not want to entertain an offer that the management company or board might reject, and that may never close. Sufficient assets, income, and reserves are required. The process is such to protect buildings should you fall into financial hardship in the future.
Financial distress can lead to homeowners not paying standard common charges or maintenance fees. Homeowners’ economic hardship could force a sale for less than previously sold properties in the building.
How to Prepare the Statement?How to Prepare the Statement?
Monthly Income and Estimated ExpensesMonthly Income and Estimated Expenses
The first two sections are in regards to your balance sheet. The board wants to see that you have sufficient income to afford the apartment. They include your wages and dividend/interest income.
The board can now access a critical ratio, debt to income. Building board members; requires a maximum of 30% of your income; are applied to your housing expenses. Expenses considered are a mortgage, real estate taxes, maintenance, and homeowner’s insurance. The board may have more stringent requirements, with a 25% debt/income not uncommon.
Projected monthly expensesProjected monthly expenses
This section of the financial statement would include costs if you owned the apartment. These expenses would consist of standard common charges or maintenance fees, financing/bank loans, etc. This changes depending on the condo or coop you are bidding on.
The first section of the REBNY financial statement; requires a list of assets. The board carefully examines your liquidity. Boards have different requirements, but many want to see that you not only have the down payment and closing costs covered but enough post-closing reserves.
The form starts with your most liquid assets, cash in bank, and money market deposits in the first two lines. These are pretty straightforward. Next up is the contract deposit.
The board wants to see what you own and owe. This section applies to your debt. Examples would be mortgage balances, real estate taxes, credit cards, and any other loans owed to banks or others.
Schedule B – InvestmentsSchedule B – Investments
Page two of the financial statement is for stocks and bonds, with a schedule that needs to complete. List the number of shares held, description, and market value.
An example would be; 1,000 shares of Microsoft have a market value of $66,000 for each security owned. If you have non-liquid investments in a private company, this is more challenging. If you have these types of investments, do your best to depict their value accurately.
It would be best if you reflected on the fair market value of each other asset categories accurately. Investing in your own business; (if applicable) any real estate you own (there is a separate schedule on page two to provide details).
Retirement funds are straightforward. If you have more than one plan, aggregate the total. Retirement funds do not qualify as liquid assets. Boards typically like to see reserves of a year or two. If you draw funds before reaching a certain age, prepare to pay the penalty on any gains.
Supporting DocumentationSupporting Documentation
With an accepted offer and countersigned contract, the next step would be preparing the board application. As part of the form, the financial statement must be confirmed; by providing supporting documentation for each entry. Documents include bank and brokerage statements etc.
Moving ForwardMoving Forward
You may feel sharing personal information with strangers through the REBNY form is too much. It is a standard process in buying a New York City co-op; no offer should be without a financial statement. A well-completed financial statement will give you an advantage in the competitive process of purchasing an apartment. A well-packaged lessor offer could be the winning bid based on more robust financials and more exceptional ability to pass the board’s requirements.
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts
The REBNY financial statement, along with reference letters, is key to being approved for a Co-op. Necessary for a Condo purchase as well. The stronger your economic history, the more leverage you may have in negotiations and greater certainty in being approved for your purchase of Condo or Co-op. Download the financial statement below and start planning for your purchase.