We specialize in representing buyers in pursuit of New York City Condos through-out Manhattan and Brooklyn for all budgets, from charming village studios to the finest luxury Condo Residences.
We begin by assessing your specific needs, finding the ideal condo, performing a comparable market analysis, negotiating on your behalf and finally consulting you through the board application in the case of a condo resale. When purchasing a condo in a New Development no board application is required.
While condominiums can be found around lakes and golf courses in many parts of the country, New York City condos are situated in high-rise buildings, one atop another. But these condominiums are still considered real estate, and generally, the same laws on sales, financing, and taxes that apply to other properties also govern them.
Before purchasing a condo in NYC, here are some things you need to know. In Manhattan, each condo unit in a multi-dwelling building has its block number and tax lot. Those parts of the building that are not part of your particular unit are called common elements. These include the outdoor areas and the land the building is on, as well as inside areas like the lobby, hallways and utility and laundry rooms.
When you own a condo, you also own a specified percentage of these common elements. Accordingly, the whole building is collectively owned by the unit owners. Each unit owner pays a monthly maintenance fee called common charges which go to the operating expenses for the building. However, each unit owner is required to pay his or her own real estate taxes.
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In accordance with when a building is put up as a condominium or converted into this type of property, the developer or owner of the building has to provide an offering plan to the state attorney general’s office giving the specifics of how the building will be run. He or she must also provide other documents including the condominium bylaws and declaration. The latter document will detail the percentage of common elements for which each unit is responsible. It will also specify where a unit ends and the common elements begin.
This can vary from building to building. In some condos, the unit owned includes the surface of the interior walls and everything that that surface wraps around, while in others, units can extend as far as the center of any in accordance with the building’s bylaws, New York City condos are run by a board of managers that are elected by the condo owners during a once-yearly meeting. In some buildings, each condo gets one vote, but in many others, the number of votes is dependent upon the percentage of common elements that are owned, which is assessed according to such factors as unit value, location, and size.
Unlike with co-ops, the condo board does not have the power to reject a prospective buyer and the only way the board can head off deal is to step in and buy the property themselves. This right of first refusal is seldom employed because it requires a vote from all of the other unit owners, in addition to the fact that the board must come up with the money to buy the unit.
There have been some court cases which have revolved around the actions of condo boards. The courts have held that the board cannot be held personally liable for the operating decisions they make as long as their members are operating in good faith. Still unresolved in the courts is whether or not the board can assess a flip tax on those who are selling their units.
It’s important to approach buying your first condo as if you were buying your first home. There’s no reason to stretch yourself financially, and it is acceptable to put only 20 percent down, so you do not put yourself in jeopardy of owing more than your condo is worth. It’s also advisable to obtain a fixed-rate mortgage so that you have monthly housing expenses that remain stable.
If you want to be conservative, don’t spend over 35 percent of your pretax earnings on a mortgage, property tax and home insurance combined. If you are a first-time buyer in your 20s or 30s you may feel tempted to extend yourself financially because you expect that your job income will grow quickly in the years ahead, but keep in mind that you may have children, and that can change your mindset when it comes to working and boxing yourself into a large mortgage. To plan for the future, it’s best to come up with a budget incorporating the proposed mortgage and different variables like both spouses working full-time, one employed part-time and one remaining at home for a couple of years.
Even if you don’t have or plan on having children, it’s advisable to be cautious. Who is to say that unemployment won’t spike in your industry, or that you won’t have a mid-life crisis that prompts you to change careers? Even professionals and government workers who feel their income is protected need to plan for the possibility of being financially derailed by unexpected circumstances.
Contact an experienced and knowledgeable buyer agent that specializes in Condos for a free consultation.