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  • Writer's pictureCorey Cohen

Why Homebuyers Often Look to Cooperatives

Why Homebuyers Often Look to Cooperatives? Purchasing a home in New York City is a major investment, and it's important to consider all the options available. Two popular choices for homebuyers are cooperatives and condominiums. While both options have their advantages and disadvantages, purchasing a cooperative may be the better choice for many buyers.

One of the most significant benefits of purchasing a cooperative is the lower acquisition cost compared to a condominium. This is because when you purchase a cooperative, you're not buying a physical property, but rather a share in the cooperative corporation that owns the building. There is no mortgage recording tax paid for a cooperative which can result in substantive savings of 1.80-1.925% based on the borrowed amount.

Furthermore, due to lower competition from investors the typical price-per-square-foot cost of a cooperative can be 10-20% below the costs of a condominium. Catering to primary homebuyers limits the pool of homeowners which gets reflected in the price.

There's also building types which play into the benefits of cooperative living in Manhattan. Many of the prewar buildings along Fifth Avenue and Central Park West are cooperatives so if there's the desire to live in the most prestigious parts of New York City there will be vastly more choices under the cooperative realm. Condominiums weren't established until the 1980's in New York City and they're often newer construction in less desirable areas.

Another advantage of purchasing a cooperative is that the buyers are more vetted to live inside the building, and the co-op board will look into the financial background of each buyer. This ensures that the building is composed of financially stable individuals who are invested in the community, which can lead to a stronger sense of community and a safer environment overall. The co-op board may also require potential buyers to have a minimum amount of liquid assets to ensure that they are financially stable enough to maintain their ownership in the cooperative. This results in a more financially stable community.

A cooperative also tends to have fewer renters than a condominium, which can be a desirable trait for many homebuyers. This is because the co-op board has the power to set restrictions on renting, making it a more exclusive community with a stronger sense of ownership and commitment to the building.

Before purchasing a cooperative, it's important to review the building's financials to understand any potential risks or opportunities. Since buying a cooperative means owning shares in the corporation, it's important to understand the financial health of the corporation, including any outstanding debts or ongoing maintenance projects. Reviewing the financials can also help buyers identify any areas of the building that may need improvement or renovation, giving them the opportunity to plan for any future expenses.

In conclusion, purchasing a cooperative in Manhattan can be a smart investment for those looking for a financially stable and exclusive community. The lower acquisition cost, strict vetting process, better area, and reduced number of renters make it an attractive option for many homebuyers. By reviewing the building's financials before purchasing, buyers can ensure they are making an informed decision and understand any potential risks or opportunities.

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