New York City Apartment for Sale
Find the right NYC apartment at the right price.
Many buyers deal with stress when buying New York City apartments. That’s because the purchasing process in New York City can be confusing and overwhelming without the right help. But by taking some time to learn the buying process, you can make it a lot easier. Even better, Elika buyer’s agents make this process much less stressful by providing advice and assistance to our clients. We’ve represented hundreds of buyers in New York, both local and international. Best of all, since we don’t offer any seller’s services, all potential conflicts of interest and avoided. With us by your side, you can be sure of receiving the best possible service and knowledge.
Before buying a property, buyers should understand the different types of New York City apartments available. For instance, most for sale in New York City are co-operatives. Unlike other types of properties, a cooperative building owned by a corporation, which consists of the building’s residents. Our guide to the home buying process below will discuss and outline all crucial considerations.
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Table of Contents
Considerations before buying
Finding the right home can be a daunting task for even the most financially-savvy person. After all, your choice of a New York City apartment will have to suit your needs and finances for years to come. Following a game plan and working with an Elika agent can simplify the process. If you’re a foreign buyer, you may want to visit our dedicated international buyer’s guide. To get started, consider each of the steps below.
So you’re ready to leap. After living as a renter in the Big Apple for a decade or more, you’re finally in a position for buying an apartment in New York City. No matter how much you can afford or in which neighborhood you plan to live, heed these first-time buyer’s tips to ensure your initial home-buying experience goes off without a hitch.
Long term considerations
Buying an apartment is rewarding and requires a long-term commitment. You need a professional team that can handle the buying process without losing sight of your individual needs.
Although many people assume that they’re going to purchase a resale, there are quite a few advantages to buying new. Some of those advantages include energy-efficient appliances, green buildings, fire-retardant floor covering, lower replacement costs, and custom financing options.
Prioritize your wish list
- Choose your preferred neighborhood(s).
- Prioritize the facilities and services you would like in your area. (schools, transportation, fitness center)
- How much space would you want and need in your new home? Which type of space? (dining room, closet)
- Is your priority the neighborhood or size of an apartment?
- Would you prefer to buy a ‘fixer-upper or a ‘move-in-ready’ home?
- How much importance do you place on home value appreciation?
- Do you value neighborhood stability?
- Would a condo or coop be a possible choice?
- Would you prefer a high floor apartment with sweeping views or more square feet on a lower floor?
- Which features and amenities (essential and luxury) would you expect in your home or building?
Tip: Preferences may change as buyers go through the process of purchasing a new home.
Steps to Buying a New York City Apartment
Finding a property is only that start in what can be a long process. In general, buying a home in New York City involves the following steps:
- Select a New York City Attorney
- If you plan to finance, pre-qualify for a loan
- Decide on your desired neighborhood(s) and begin your search for a Condo or Co-op
- Research and perform a comparable market analysis to estimate fair market value for the property
- Make an oral offer for purchase
- Make a written offer which serves to formalize the intention to buy
- Wait for the seller to respond with a counteroffer
- Negotiate with the seller until the sales price and terms accepted
- Due Diligence is performed by your attorney reviewing the contract, building financials and minutes
- Pay the down payment (typically 10%-20% or more of the purchase price) and sign the contract
- Submit a purchase application to the co-op or condo board (Resales only)
- Receive an invitation to an interview (co-op buyers only) – Upon approval
- Order a home inspection
- Upon building management approval, your attorney will coordinate your closing
- Walk-through the apartment to confirm you are purchasing as advertised
- Closing day: Your real estate attorney will handle all at the closing
Documentation Required When Financing
- Personal and Business reference letters (Original Copies)
- A pre-approval letter from your mortgage bank or broker.
- Most recent checking and savings bank statements
- Previous two years tax returns
- List of other liquid or non-liquid assets
- Most recent 401K or retirement fund statements (if applicable)
- Most recent asset portfolio statements (if relevant)
- Employment verification letter confirming your start date, annual salary including bonus
- If self-employed – letter from your CPA or attorney verifying your salary and net worth
Condo or. Co-op: What is the difference?
To help decide, it is essential to understand the differences between them. In Manhattan, there are two primary apartment options to choose between condo and co-op. Before buying a New York City apartment, you’ll want to fully understand these two options and what each has to offer.
The most crucial distinction between condo vs. co-op is that with a co-op, you do not own the property. The corporation owns the property, and you are considered a shareholder. You own shares in the corporation, much like you would in a business venture.
When you purchase an apartment in a coop, you’re buying shares in the corporation. You don’t legally own the co-op apartment in New York City, but you do own shares in the corporation that owns the co-op apartment. Each apartment’s value in shares is calculated, according to rules set by the Board of Directors. The more prime; the real estate value, the higher the number of shares.
The Board of Directors runs each cooperative building, paying for its mortgage, taxes, and upkeep. The money that you pay for your shares goes towards these costs. However, to join the co-operative, you’ll have to be approved by the Board. Condominiums are another popular option.
A condo is a more traditional type of property since buyers purchase the real estate itself. Therefore, the buyer needs to pay real estate taxes on the property. Unfortunately, there are fewer condos than coop apartments for sale in New York City. Different property types carry various advantages for buyers depending on their goals, financial resources, and other factors.
New York City co-op apartments have several advantages, such as being less expensive than condominiums. Taxes also included in the cost, which makes for more straightforward billing arrangements when buying this type of property. However, a co-op’s Board of Directors may require a sizeable down payment. Co-ops are also very well-maintained. As the building’s owners are its tenants, there is a strong incentive to keep all apartments in good condition. Doing this increases the value of all of the building’s shares.
About 75% of the New York City apartments available are cooperatives, as well as 20% – 30% approx less expensive. Therefore, buyers who consider co-operatives have a broader array of choices when working with a qualified buyer’s agent.
Another point of fact to consider is that in New York City, there are fewer condos vs. co-ops. About 70 percent of the apartments in New York City are co-operatives. Co-ops, however, are less expensive than condos. The good news is that the gap between the two is narrowing. Currently, the ratio of cooperatives to condos is 75 to 25 percent. In the 1990s, the rate was 80 to 20 percent.
In the 1980s, it was 85 to 15 percent. This gradual shift has been taking place because apartments in newer buildings tend are sold as condos. In areas with more modern developments, there are higher numbers of condos available for purchase.