For many outsiders, they view New York City as filled with towering skyscrapers. While the city’s skyline is littered with these tall buildings, there are many smaller co-op or condo building options. There are advantages and disadvantages, both financial and personal to consider, however.
While you may have an initial preference, it is good to decipher between the pros and cons for you to make a fully informed decision.
You could very well find it easier and more profitable to sell your unit in a small building. We have seen an attraction for many buyers to boutique buildings, creating a scarcity value. Your apartment also faces less competition from sellers than it would in a larger building. This adds up to a higher price and faster sale, all else equal. Of course, you need to look out for overpaying, mainly since building comps could be stale.
A small building affords you a modicum of privacy. There are also those that appreciate the character that comes from a small building.
You may also experience lower monthly maintenance if your small building is a self-managed co-op or condo in which there is not a management company and hence lower expenses.
A small building may also mean fewer restrictions, including house rules that govern everyday behavior. In the event of a rule change or a major building renovation, this likely will get done quicker in a small building due to the lack of bureaucracy. If you appreciate this type of living, which extends to seeing your neighbors more regularly, a small building will appeal to you.
A bank may approve your mortgage quicker in a larger, well-established building that it knows since your lender approves both you and the building.
In a smaller building, you may face a special assessment should the building need a major repair. A larger building may have stronger finances and reserves. But, if that is not the case, the assessment is spread over a larger number of owners, easing your burden, even if the total cost is higher.
The maintenance staff is typically larger, and the building could have its own, dedicated superintendent. This should translate into having any issues repaired quickly.
It is not unusual for a bigger building to have more amenities. If you prefer the knowledge of knowing there is a 24/7 doorman, a large building is more likely to have one. Other facilities could include a pool, gym, and many other more luxurious elements. The cost for each tenant is typically not markedly higher.
While financial considerations are necessary, the decision often comes done to a personal one. Are you the type of person that enjoys interacting with your neighbors? Or, would you rather not bother?
A bigger building likely has more significant financial resources and oversight, but a smaller one typically offers more flexibility in your day-to-day living. You may also want a higher voice in your building’s management, which comes in a small building. If you prefer to leave the management decisions to others, a larger structure is more suitable.