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10 Questions to Ask When Buying a Co-op in NYC

by | Apr 6, 2023


If you’re considering buying a co-op in NYC, congratulations! Co-ops, short for cooperative housing, can be a great option for those looking to own property in the city while still enjoying the perks of communal living. However, there are a number of important factors to consider before making your purchase. To help you navigate the process, we’ve compiled a list of ten key questions to ask when buying a co-op in NYC. From financial considerations to building rules and amenities, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know to make an informed decision. So, let’s get started!


Financial Considerations


What are the building’s financials like?

Before buying a co-op, it’s important to assess the financial health of the building. This can help you avoid any unexpected expenses or surprises down the line. You can ask for the building’s financial statements and budget to get a sense of its overall financial situation.


How much are the maintenance fees?

Maintenance fees can vary widely from building to building. Make sure you understand what you’ll be paying and what it includes. In some cases, maintenance fees may cover utilities and other expenses, while in others, you may need to pay for these separately. Maintenance costs can be compared between buildings on a per square foot basis.


Are there any assessments?

Assessments are additional fees charged to co-op owners to cover unexpected expenses, such as repairs or upgrades. Make sure you know if any assessments are planned or ongoing, as they can significantly impact your overall expenses. Assessments can be a red flag because the building may not have the reserves to cover necessary capital improvements.


Building Rules and Amenities


What are the building’s rules and regulations?

Each co-op has its own set of rules and regulations that govern what you can and can’t do in your unit. Make sure you understand them before you buy. This can include everything from pet policies to noise restrictions, so be sure to ask for a copy of the building’s rules and regulations.


What amenities does the building offer?

Co-op buildings can offer a wide variety of amenities, from doormen and fitness centers to rooftop gardens and swimming pools. Make sure you know what’s available and what you’ll be paying for.


How much storage space is there?

Storage space can be a precious commodity in NYC, so make sure you know how much storage space comes with your unit. This can include closets, cabinets and other storage areas.


Potential Disruptions


Are there any upcoming renovations or construction?

Renovations and construction can be disruptive to your daily life, so make sure you know if any are planned for the building. This can include anything from facade repairs to interior upgrades.




What is the sublet policy?

If you plan to sublet your co-op, make sure you understand the building’s sublet policy. Some buildings may not allow sublets at all, while others may have strict rules about subletting.


What is the pet policy?

If you have a furry friend, make sure you understand the building’s pet policy. Some buildings may not allow pets, while others may have strict rules about size or breed.


What is the board approval process like?

In co-op buildings, the board has the final say on who can buy and live in the building. Make sure you understand the board approval process and what it entails. This can include anything from submitting financial statements to attending board interviews.

The board will review your financials, including your income, assets and debts, to ensure you can afford the co-op. They may also request personal and professional references and review your credit history.

In some cases, you may be required to attend an interview with the board. This is your chance to make a good impression and demonstrate that you’ll be a responsible and respectful member of the community.

It’s important to note that the board approval process can be lengthy and involved, so make sure you start early and have all your paperwork in order. Working with an experienced real estate agent can help streamline the process and ensure that you’re well-prepared.


In conclusion, buying a co-op in NYC – especially if it’s your first property purchase in NYC – can be a complex and daunting process, but with the right preparation and guidance, it can also be an incredibly rewarding investment. By asking these ten key questions and working with a reputable real estate agency like The Agency, you can feel confident that you’re making an informed and well-informed decision. Our experienced agents have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through every step of the process, from finding the perfect co-op to navigating the board approval process and closing the deal.

So why not reach out to us today and let us help you find your dream co-op in the city that never sleeps? We’re here to make your co-op buying experience as smooth and stress-free as possible! You can also search NYC co-ops here.

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