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Is Now a Good Time to Buy?: Co-op vs Condo in NYC


Shopping for Your New Co-op vs Condo NYC Home

If you are looking to buy a new home in NYC, you probably have a lot of questions. Is now a good time to buy? Should you buy a co-op vs a condo in NYC? And how do you go about purchasing the right unit at the right time? On this page, we will talk you through everything you need to know to answer all of your NYC real estate questions.

First, you need to understand the differences between the two main types of housing units in NYC: co-op vs condo.

Co-ops in NYC

Co-ops are a common type of apartment building found throughout NYC. Co-ops are not just buildings—legally, they are also corporations. So, when you purchase a co-op unit, you are not actually buying the property itself. Instead, you are buying shares in the corporation that is your building.

These shares give you the right to live in your apartment unit. Instead of getting a deed to the property, you sign a proprietary lease, also known as an occupancy agreement. The number of shares you own corresponds to the square footage of your apartment, as well as a proportionate amount of the shared spaces (hallways, stairwells, etc.).

There was a huge boom in co-ops in the 1960s and 1970s. Many buildings that were once unincorporated underwent the conversion to become co-ops. Since then, conversion has really slowed. Although you are not too likely to find many new buildings becoming co-ops, individual units within co-ops go up for resale all the time.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Co-op

Oftentimes, when comparing co-op vs condo in NYC, co-op units are less expensive. Why is this? Well, one of the contributing factors is that co-ops are usually older buildings with fewer amenities. These buildings have a wonderful historic charm, but they also tend to have fewer of the features prized by more and more New Yorkers, such as gyms, recreation centers, and lounges. Another reason for the lower price tag on co-ops is that their real estate taxes are deductible.

A major downside to co-ops is that they tend to require a long, involved application process. Since co-ops are corporations, they have boards. When you apply to purchase a co-op unit, you will have to submit lengthy, in-depth financial disclosures. You will also have to interview–and even shmooze–with the board. At the end of the process, the board can reject your offer for any reason, leaving many would-be home buyers frustrated and confused.

For those who manage to snag a co-op unit, the board’s influence does not end once the purchase has been made. In fact, boards often enact bylaws that dictate the ways in which units can be used. Many co-ops limit and regulate things like subleasing and remodeling your new apartment. After all, you do not technically own the apartment–it still belongs to the co-op.

New Co-op Units Available in NYC

You can search for co-op units available for resale online or through your real estate agent. However, if you are looking for a new construction development, then your best bet is to search for condos.

Condos in NYC

Condos, also known as condominiums, are a type of apartment unit where you purchase the real property itself. When you buy a condo, you own the apartment, not just shares like you do in a co-op. This gives you a lot more freedom to do what you want, when you want inside your own home. But this freedom does come at a cost–higher prices.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo

In general, condos are more expensive than co-ops. Many condos are luxury buildings, set up with all of the latest and best amenities the city has to offer. These amenities not only up resident’s quality of life, but also their monthly common charges bill. These charges go to keeping up the pool, landscaping, building staff, gym, etc., and they can quickly add up to a significant sum.

However, there are definitely still many reasonably priced condos for New Yorkers looking for a great value for the price. Condos in New York range from high skyscrapers to inconspicuous buildings with just a few units. If you can imagine it, a developer in NYC has probably built it–or is going to build it. This makes condos great for home buyers looking for flexibility. Together with your real estate agent, you can set your budget and must-have amenities, and forget the rest.

Additionally, since there is no co-op board, the application process for buying a condo is much simpler. Many condos are sponsor units, which means that they have never been sold on the market before. If you purchase one of these units, you are buying straight from the developer or original building owner, which streamlines the buying process.

Once you live in your new condo, you will have greater control over how you use your own space since you own it. If you want to rent out or sublease, you have one less hurdle to worry about. The same goes if you want to renovate your space. As long as you follow the building’s basic rules and New York law, you will likely be free to tailor your apartment to best fit your needs. No co-op board interference here.

New Condo Units Available in NYC

New developments are going up all around the city. With the help of a knowledgeable real estate agent, you can find a great condo for sale in your dream neighborhood. Learn more about some of the most exciting new condo developments in NYC by clicking here.

Should You Buy Now?

Now that you have a better idea of what type of apartments are available, you can start thinking about what is right for you. The question is: should you buy now or wait? The answer will largely depend on your particular circumstances. However, here are some things to take into consideration as you begin planning out your home search.

High Mortgage Rates and Inflation

You have probably read it on the news or felt it when you go to the grocery store or buy gas. At the moment, inflation is high. Inflation is the rate at which the cost of goods and services goes up; this includes the cost of housing. For New Yorkers, both rents and home prices are high because of this inflation, as well as the high interest rates on mortgages.

However, there is hope. Home prices in the city fell last month, showing that the housing market may be starting to right itself after the intense crunch caused by things like rampant inflation, increased demand, and disrupted supply chains.

If you have been holding off on buying right now because you have heard that the market is bad, then keep a close eye on developments in the coming months. The tide may finally be turning.

Exciting New Constructions

Demand has been high for new developments since the city re-opened, post-pandemic shut down. While this put a squeeze on the housing market, it also helped to drive new construction across the city.

There are not only plenty of new buildings already available, but also many more that are still undergoing construction. Check out our database to find out if there are any developments that are right for you. Our listings include data on how many units are still available, so if your perfect building is almost sold out, you will want to act fast instead of waiting.

Start Looking Early

Even if you do not feel that now is the right time for you to buy a co-op vs condo unit in NYC, start looking now. The more you research, the more prepared you will be when everything is right for you to make the big purchase.

If you begin your search now, you can stay aware of trends in the real estate market and in new developments. You can also build relationships with real estate agents who can be invaluable in your hunt for your NYC dream home.

Find Your Perfect New Development

A great first step if you want to start your search now is to keep reading NewDevRev. We have a ton of listings for new developments throughout the five boroughs. You can find detailed information on the hottest new developments, like prices, dimensions, and percentages of units sold in the building–important information when considering when to buy a home.

But that is not the only thing we have to offer. While you are at it, take a look at our neighborhood pages to get a better sense of the diverse and exciting neighborhoods that make the city so great. Or check out our news page for more reading on everything from the latest interior design trends to new building permits being filed.

Make NewDevRev your one stop for help finding your perfect new development.