Top Five Things to Know Before Purchasing a Co-op
by Jacques Ambron
Nov 08, 2017 | 6497 views | 0 0 comments | 293 293 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jacques Ambron is executive director of sales for Halstead  Forest Hills LLC.
Jacques Ambron is executive director of sales for Halstead Forest Hills LLC.
Q. I’m starting to look for a co-op to purchase. What are the top five things I should know when searching?

A. Aside from liking the apartment, here are five questions to ask in no particular order:

Is there a flip tax? A flip tax is an amount paid to increase the co-op’s capital funds. This is paid either when you sell, or when you buy, depending on the building.

What is the sublet policy? While most people will usually sell before buying their next home, there are some occasions when you might have to move away temporarily, or the market might not be favorable to sell at that moment. On the other hand, most co-ops discourage subletting because they want owners to occupy the units.

Some co-ops will allow a limited period to sublet your apartment once you have lived there for a certain amount of time, usually two years. Some buildings don’t allow it at all. This may or may not make a difference to you.

What does the maintenance include? Most maintenances include heat and hot water. Some include gas, electric and/or central A/C.

Is there parking in the building? Even if there is a garage, you might have to wait several years before a spot becomes available.

Are there any assessments? Many boards opt for an assessment in order to make improvements or repairs to the buildings. If you are on a budget, you should find out if there are any assessments added to the maintenance. Assessments are not always a bad thing if your maintenance stays the same once they expire.

Q. I am about to move into a rental unit, and they tell me I am must have 80 percent of the floor carpeted. Is this normal?

A: Almost every building in New York City, whether a rental, co-op, or condo, will require you to have the apartment floors covered. Enforcement varies from building to building. Some buildings will make you leave a carpet deposit until your apartment is inspected for compliance.

Having said that, a lot will depend on your lifestyle, construction of the building, and your downstairs neighbor. I’ve seen apartments that weren’t carpeted at all, if very little. Because there were not children, and the residents were very quiet, there was never an issue. You don’t need wall-to-wall carpeting—area rugs are acceptable.

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