Buyers Guide

Buyers Guide

Closing Costs

Regardless of market conditions, everyone needs a place to call home. And now is the perfect time to buy an NYC apartment. Planning for the future now can save you time and money. Owning a property in NYC gives you the power to sell when the time is best, thus capitalizing on your investment. 

New York City Cooperatives and Condominiums 

Cooperatives

In New York City approximately 75% of apartments for purchase are Cooperatives. With so many options to choose from, co-ops come in an array of prices to match your budget. Co-ops are owned by an apartment corporation where individual tenants own shares of the corporation, not simply the apartment itself. The size of the share is based upon the apartment size and floor level. The mortgage and real estate costs are paid by the tenant-owners; the portions are divided unequally. The more shares you own, the most of the expenses you will pay.

When looking to purchase a co-op, the Board of Directors reserves the right to reject any potential owner. The board consists of tenant-elected officials who rigorously screen every buyer; looking for the most qualified candidates.

The amount of money needed for the down payment varies but usually varies between 20 and 50% of the purchase price. Furthermore, should you decided to sublease your residence for any reason, it must be approved by the Board of Directors.

Condominiums

Unlike a co-op, a New York condominium is an owned property. Harder to come by, they make up only 25% of apartment available for purchase. Due to their scarce nature, they are usually more expensive than co-ops, but without the scrupulous approval process.

The financing of a condo is much more flexible than that of a co-op. Typically, a buyer can finance up to 90% of the purchase price. This is due to the fact that the financing is not governed by a board a directors, which is the case with co-ops.

The approval process for a condo requires application packages with full financial disclosure. A board meeting may or may not be required. The length of time from application to acceptance varies but is not as long as a co-op.

If you choose to sublet your condo, the guidelines regarding the process are much more flexible than that of a co-op.

Lastly, condos are ideal for diplomats or non-US citizens. This is in sharp contrast to co-ops, who generally have a strict policy against diplomat residency and/or tenants with monetary funding outside of the United States.

Timeline

In order to find the apartment that best suits your needs, it is first necessary to have a realistic timeline. So here is a breakdown of how much time you can expect to spend on each part of the process.

Consultation with an agent: 1 day. This is the time where you want to speak openly and honestly about your needs. Things to consider are budget, area, accessibility to work, pets and schools (if applicable). Being clear with your real estate representative will enable him/her to search for spaces tailored to fit your lifestyle.

Searching for an apartment in NYC: up to 3 months. Choosing where you are going to live for the next years of your life is no small task. Make sure you are completely comfortable with the New York apartment, the area, and the price. Typically, a client sees approximately 30 NYC apartments before settling on one.

Negotiations: up to 2 weeks. Okay, so you've found your dream NYC apartment and are ready to say, "I'll take it!" Then you realize there are a couple things you would like to see fixed (i.e. cracked floor tiles, non-functioning electrical outlets). More often than not, the agent will be able to talk to the landlord or management company and get the repairs made for you, prior to your move-in date. Keep in mind, you cannot ask for everything to be changed, just those things that are critical. Requesting too much may lead the management to pass on you as a prospective buyer.

Signing a contract: up to 3 weeks. When you agree to take an apartment, usually lawyers are called in to close the transaction. The attorney for the property draws up the paperwork and sends it to the prospective buyers' attorney. That attorney, in turn, draws up his/her own paperwork to return to the seller's attorney. Once all disputes, if any, have been settled, fees are exchanged and the contracts are signed by both parties, the contract is executed.

Mortgage: 6 weeks. Once the contract is completed and signed, the buyer must apply for a mortgage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should a prospective buyer enlist the help of a broker?

Brokers find homes for people everyday - it's their job. They have years of experience in the New York City real estate market and are knowledgeable about the types of NYC apartments and areas you are interested in. Moreover, brokers have access to New York real estate databases, systems that are updated daily showing New York City's availabilities. Because these databases are not open to the public, your broker can search hundreds of listings not yet on the market, saving you time and effort. Lastly, a broker will be the person to whom you can bring your questions and concerns, a security blanket through the buying process instead of going at it alone.

How do I choose just one broker?

Usually, brokerage companies in New York tend to work in tandem with one another on open listings and can get information on almost any property you wish to see. If the instance arises where you want to view another broker's exclusive property, don't worry. Your broker can arrange to speak to the broker offering the space in NYC and agree on a co-broke deal. This is when one fee is paid by the prospective buyer and the two brokers involved split it. In this instance, you as the client get to see every property and still pay just one fee!

What about open houses?

As the buyer you have a lot of freedom in what you can do. You can view a wide variety of spaces at open houses in NYC but make sure to sign in! Giving your name as well as your broker's information ensures you will be able to make a bid later, should you choose to do so.

ESTIMATED CLOSING COSTS FOR PURCHASERS

For the Condominium Purchaser

  • Buyer’s Attorney: $1700+
  • Application Fee: $350
  • Processing Fee: $330
  • Credit Report Fee: $50-$100/applicant
  • Lead Paint Based Disclosure Fee: $0-$50
  • Move-in Deposit: $500-$1,000 (usually refundable if no damage)
  • Mansion Tax (if prices over $1 million): 1% of purchase price
  • Real Estate Tax Escrow: 2 to 6 months
  • Recording Fees: $250-$750
  • Municipal Search: $350-$500
  • Fee Title Insurance: approximately 0.5% of purchase price

MORTGAGE ASSOCIATED FEES (If Applicable)

  • Origination, Points: 0-3% of loan
  • Application, Credit Check: $500+
  • Appraisal Fee: $300-$1,500 (depending on sales price)
  • Bank Fee: $750
  • Bank Attorney: $650
  • Mortgage Tax: 0.8%
  • Mortgage Title Insurance: Approx. $130 per $100,000

For the Cooperative Purchaser

  • Buyer’s Attorney: $1700+
  • Credit Report Fee: $50 - $100/applicant
  • Lead Based Paint Disclosure Fee: 0 - $50
  • Move-In Deposit: $500 - $1,000 (usually refundable if no damage)
  • Mansion Tax: 1% of entire purchase price where price is $1,000,000 or more.
  • MORTGAGE CLOSING COSTS
  • NYC Mortgage Tax: 
    - If mortgage < $500,000: 1.80% 
    - If mortgage > $500,000+ on 1-3 family residential dwelling: 1.925% 
    - Mortgage on all other property over $500,000: 2.80%
  • Bank Fees: $350-$750
  • Application Fee: $350
  • Processing Fee: $330
  • Appraisal Fee: $300-$1,500 (depending on sales price)
  • Bank Attorney: $650
  • Lien Search: $250-$350

Fifth Avenue Office

212.353.2003

184 Fifth Avenue
Third Floor
New York, NY 10010

Lexington Avenue Office

212.850.0940

369 Lexington Avenue
Suite 1202
New York, NY 10017

West 36th Street Office

646.484.5111

255 West 36th Street
Suite 406
New York, NY 10018