Category Archives: Condos

How is a Manhattan co-op different from a condo part 3?

In this continuing series we will take a look at a couple more differences between co-ops and condos.

1- Co-ops tend to be located in prewar buildings while condos tend to be newer, shinier and more full of amenities. So if you love prewar lobbies, crown moldings and other details of prewar buildings, you probably will be looking at more co-ops. Almost all new offerings in the last 10 years plus are condos so condos tend to satisfy the wants of Manhattan buyers who are looking for newer buildings with amenities like swimming pools, roof decks, bowling or golf simulators. Some co-ops will have nice amenities as well but very few co-ops have been built in the last 20 years or so.

2- If you are a foreign national or US based investor, condos will most likely be your choice. Co-ops tend to examine a plethora of documents as previously mentioned including US credit. Since a co-op can turn down someone without providing a reason, if you are foreign national purchasing as a primary residence or a pied-a-terre, your safer bet will be a condo. Also, if you are purchasing for investment, almost all co-ops will require you live there first then there will be restrictions for how long you can rent.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Manhattan co-ops versus condos part 2

There are many differences between Manhattan co-ops and condos and in this series we take a look at a couple at a time.

1- Condos typically let you rent your apartment out without limit. So if you experience a job change and do not want to sell, you can rent out the apartment without an issue. In a co-op typically, you can rent out 2 of 5 years and then need to move back or sell.

2-Co-ops normally have higher monthly carrying charges than condos but lower prices. For example a 2bd/2ba co-op on the upper west side of about 1100 sqft might cost you  $1.5 million and have monthly charges of about $2900. A similar condo might run you $2.1 million but the monthly charges might only be $2000.

Price differences, and ability to rent out are just two differences of the many between co-ops and condos in Manhattan.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

What are the main differences between a NYC co-op and condo part 1?

This is the first in a 3 part series of the differences between Manhattan co-ops and condos. 

There are many differences between a Manhattan co-op and condominium and in this first installment we will explore 2 of them.

1- Co-ops can turn down the application of a prospective purchaser without any reason given and that’s it, the buyer can not complete the purchase.  Any fees or costs incurred are not reimbursed and that’s it. A condo grants a waiver of the right of first refusal when they take an application from a prospective purchaser. The only time that they may exercise the right of first refusal is when an apartment is being sold far below market. Instead of letting the sale go forward, they can purchase the apartment.

2- Co-ops more closely scrutinize the financial wherewithal of prospective buyers than condos. So you need to have a down payment of 20-25% plus a debt to income ratio of no more than 28% plus stable job history, and excellent credit. A condo may run credit but they are satisfied with you obtaining a loan commitment or purchasing cash. They are not going to turn you down because you do not make enough money.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

382 Central Park west 4Y Just listed

A convertible 1 bedroom has been listed in the Olmstead condominium at 382 Central Park west. The apartment is a north facing 648 sqft, with a renovated kitchen and bathroom. The monthly charges are very low at $910 for a full service building with a gym, parking(waitlist), and an exercise studio which features classes for residents. See VR Tour below.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

Is a renovation necessary to sell your Manhattan property?

Many times, prospective sellers ask if a full or partial renovation will help them to sell their Manhattan apartment? It really depends on several factors.

1-What is the competition like at your price point,neighborhood and building?

2-What is the age of your kitchen, bathrooms and flooring.

3-How long will the renovation take?

4- How much will the reno cost?

5- What is your current market value completely as is?

Let’s look at each one by one.

Competition- If there are several properties for sale that are similar to yours and many of them are renovated, you might have no choice but to do some work in your Manhattan pad before selling. However, if there is a shortage as can be the case for 2 bedroom/2 baths under $2 million for example,  the prospective buyer probably will be willing to do the work themselves.

Age of kitchens and bathrooms. If it’s been 30 or more years since the last renovation, you probably will benefit by doing the renovation. If it’s only been about 10 years then the answer is not as clear. Talk to your real estate broker to get an idea of how the apartment will be perceived by a prospective buyer given the age of the renovations.

Length of time for renovation to be completed-If it’s going to be a one year process due to building approval and contractor availability, it might be wise to forego it or scale it down a bit so that it can be completed in less time. Also, timing is an issue here. If the renovation completion date puts you right in the middle of the December holiday season, it might not be the best time to start marketing.

Cost of renovation- If you decide to complete a 6 figure renovation, it might or might not lead to a dollar for dollar return. It most cases it does not. For example if you have a studio apartment of 600 square feet with a value of around $800,000, a renovation of the kitchen, bathroom and flooring of around $50,000 may return dollar for dollar and also lead to a quicker sale. However, a $100,000 reno on the same apartment probably will lead to a quicker sale but not return dollar for dollar.

Sell as is? When you sell as is, you do not complete any renovation and just sell what you have. What you see is what you get and in some cases this might even be the best strategy depending on the above factors and your personal situation. Consult with your real estate broker.  Normally, they can recommend a good contractor to do work if that is needed as well as advise you as to what will yield a return and what will not.

If you examine your current market value as is, then you can see if it makes sense to do a renovation, knowing the cost and time involved. For example if the current market value is $2,500,000 and you want to do a $500,000 renovation that will lead to a $3 million sale, it obviously does not make sense. But also consider the time of the year now, market conditions and the time of the year when the renovation has been completed. The purpose of any renovation, large or small prior to selling your Manhattan property is to widen the buyer pool, and make it easier to sell and this has to lead to at least a dollar for dollar return, otherwise save your money and sell as is.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

400 Central Park West Building snapshot

If you are thinking of buying on the Upper west one of the most desired building is within the postwar Park West Village. It is located at the corner of Central Park west and 100th street. The building features studios to 2 bedrooms (540 sqft(50m2) to 1140 sqft(105m2)). There are 1 bedrooms and 2 bedrooms with balconies. Apartments face either north or south due to the building being sideways on Central Park west and the 2 bedroom apartments have a second exposure either west or east.

Inside the building, there is a full time concierge, live-in-super, on site property manager, exercise room, children’s playroom, and laundry. Bike storage, storage and parking are also available on a wait list basis with parking in the outdoor parking lot going for only $204 per month! It takes about 1 year to get a space in the 400 Central Park west parking lot as of this time.

Best of all, 400 Central Park west has very low monthly charges. A 2 bedroom/2 bathroom which might sell for between $1.6-$1.9 million will have a common charge of about $900 and taxes around $400. For this reason, there are a limited number of apartments for sale in 414 unit building. Owners tend to purchase and stay or hold their properties long term.

The building also shares a playground with the neighboring buildings plus there is another playground inside Central Park at West 100th street. Many of the southern facing apartments have wonderful views of the Park and a Citi bike station is located across the street at Central Park west and West 100th street on the park side of the street.

400 CPW Lobby

Listings in 400 Central Park west

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

Understanding buyer due diligence on a Manhattan residential purchase

Once a contract is sent out, the buyer’s attorney and associates do their due diligence. What exactly happens?

The buyer in the purchase of a Manhattan condo or co-op will examine the last 2 years financials, the original offering plan, any amendments to the offering plan, board application package, house rules and may even read the minutes of the Board of Directors meetings.

When I almost purchased a co-op on the Upper east side, my CPA actually reviewed the building financials and told me that the building was losing money and my maintenance will increase over time sharply and advised me not to buy. So your attorney or even your CPA will try to steer you clear of any building with finance issues at the least.

Also when they look through the rest of the building documents they are looking for any hint of a major expense on the horizon or perhaps a troublesome neighbor. They may even send their own questionnaire to the building management. I have seen this done by one attorney.

If you were buying a townhouse, they would look at the certificate of occupancy to see if it is consistent with the current layout as well as any inspections that you may have conducted that would turn up any major potential expenses that you may incur like a roof, or mechanical systems.

During this period of time, they will review the contract sent by the seller’s attorney and will also make comments or add a rider to the contract to best protect your interests.

Typically, the due diligence period will take about a week or so, and once completed the lawyer will give their approval/advice to you as the buyer so that you may sign.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

As Manhattan new development sales slow, developers offer incentives

Developers do not like to lower prices in their Manhattan offerings so when sales slow, they offer incentives. A TriBeCa condo with an unsold penthouse is offering a free parking space to go along with their nearly 5000 sqft penthouse. At 71 Laight street, the only unsold unit is offering a 12 by 24 spot below the lobby as an enticement.

At 1 West end avenue (1WEA) 80% of the units are sold and the developers is offering $25,000 in custom closets for potential buyers on the remaining units to entice buyers. 1 WEA launched about 1 year or so ahead of the Waterline Square development just to it’s west which has a shared amenity space called the Waterline Club, a starchitect pedigree, and better views of the Hudson due to it’s location.

At the Beekman Residences downtown, the condo connected to the famed Beekman Hotel, the sponsor is offering $10,000 towards services in the adjacent hotel.

Developers in buildings with unsold units prefer to offer these incentives (instead of reducing prices) which are not recorded on a deed so that it will not affect the future sales of other units in the building.

Read the NYT article

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.