- What is a co-op? How does it differ from a condo?
- How are the shares in the co-op corporation allocated to each apartment?
- I’m interested in one of the apartments available for sale in the co-op. Can I make an appointment to see it? How do I go about purchasing shares in the co-op?
- Do you have any apartments for rent in your co-op?
- What is included in the monthly maintenance fee of an apartment?
- Is the co-op planning any major repairs or renovations in the near future? How will they be paid for?
- Can I take a look at your rules and regulations and any financial information about the co-op?
- Is there a fact sheet with all the relevant information that I can give to my attorney to evaluate?
- Do you allow pets?
- Is there a parking garage in the buildings?
What is a co-op? How does it differ from a condo?
When you buy a house or a condominium, you are getting real property. When you buy a co-op apartment you are not actually purchasing the physical apartment. You’re buying shares in the cooperative corporation that owns the building in which the apartment is located. You will own the number of shares allocated to that apartment. Instead of the deed you receive when you buy a house or a condo, with a co-op you get a stock certificate and a proprietary lease. The lease spells out the rights and obligations of the co-op and the shareholder for the use and occupancy of the apartment. The shareholder becomes part owner of the building and has a proprietary lease for a specific apartment. A more detailed explanation of what a co-op is and the benefits of living in one is available on the website of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives. There are also several books that can teach you practically everything you need to know about how to buy shares in a co-op and how to live and thrive as a co-operator.
How are the shares in the co-op corporation allocated to each apartment?
The shares were allocated when our buildings were converted to a co-op back in 1982. The number of shares allocated to each apartment depends on its size and location within the buildings: larger apartments and apartments in higher floors are considered more “desirable,” so they were allocated comparatively higher numbers of shares. The co-op corporation has a total of 12,120 shares allocated among 111 apartments as follows:
|2-BR||Larger 1-BR (W line)||Standard 1-BR||Smaller 1-BR (R line)||Studio|
|Floors 1 & 2||130||105||100||85||55|
|Floors 3 & 4||135||110||105||90||60|
|Floors 5 & 6||140||115||110||95||65|
The number of shares determines the voting power of the shareholder as well as the proportionate share of the operating expenses of the co-op that will be charged to the shareholder (the maintenance fee).
I’m interested in one of the apartments available for sale in the co-op. Can I make an appointment to see it? How do I go about purchasing shares in the co-op?
The process can be distilled pretty much as follows:
- Contact the owner of the apartment you’re interested in or the owner’s real estate agent.
- Visit the apartment and check it out carefully.
- Ask questions about the apartment and the co-op and determine whether the co-op community would be a good fit.
- If you decide to buy the apartment, make an offer to the owner.
- If the owner accepts your offer, then you can start making formal arrangements to purchase.
- Get a real estate lawyer to handle all the paperwork and protect your interests (highly recommended).
- Shop for and apply for a mortgage with a financial institution.
- Fill out the application material, which includes a copy of the Proprietary Lease. (This material will be forwarded to you by the owner from the co-op.)
- Once all the paperwork is ready, including the mortgage commitment letter from the financial institution, submit it to the co-op’s managing agent.
- The co-op Board will review the application material and invite you for an interview.
- The co-op Board decides whether to approve the sale.
- If the co-op Board approves, then the closing can be scheduled.
- After you close, the shares in the co-op corporation are yours and you can move in.
For more information, see the Cocoran Group’s Buyer’s Guide and Timeline for Purchasing. Read also The Purchasing Journey: An Overview of the Home Buying Process, an article in The Cooperator.
Do you have any apartments for rent in your co-op?
Unfortunately, the co-op does not keep track of sublets or rentals while they’re being advertised for rent. Sublets and rentals are usually listed by the owners with rental or real estate agencies. The co-op Board gets involved only at the end of the process, when a shareholder seeks approval for a sublessee or tenant.
You should be aware that our co-op is trying to encourage purchases rather than rentals.
Since the sponsor gave up control of the co-op to the shareholders in 1997—read a history of the litigation—we have increased the proportion of shareholder-occupants from 38% to 95.5% (this number includes co-op-owned apartments, which financial institutions count as “occupied by shareholders”). The sponsor is no longer in the picture since 2002, when they sold their remaining apartments to the co-op.
The current occupancy statistics (as of 01/30/2017) are as follows:
(as of 01/30/2017)
|14 Bogardus||31 Nagle||37 Nagle||Total||%|
We are aiming for an even higher proportion of owner-occupants—we dream of 100%. Owners tend to care more about the welfare of the buildings and their neighbors than do renters, and the presence of tenant-shareholders in the building make for a vital, exciting cooperative community, and a viable investment. To reach this goal, we will continue to pressure investors and sublessors to sell their apartments to bona fide tenant-shareholders, and the co-op will sell its four apartments (which are currently occupied by rent-stabilized tenants) to shareholders as they become vacant.
What is included in the monthly maintenance fee of an apartment?
The maintenance fee for an apartment is the apartment shareholder’s share of the costs associated with the upkeep of the buildings. These charges include payments on the buildings’ underlying mortgage, real estate taxes, water and sewer fees, heating fuel costs, utilities for the common areas, salaries for building employees, insurance, and other expenses of operating the co-op. (The portion of the maintenance fee that constitutes the shareholder’s portion of the underlying mortgage interest payments and real estate taxes can be declared as a tax deduction on IRS Form 1040.) The maintenance fee is calculated proportionately according to the number of shares allocated to each apartment, and it applies whether the apartment is occupied or not. The current monthly maintenance fee schedule is as follows ($6.7446 per share per month as of 01/01/2017):
|Standard 1-BR||Smaller 1-BR
Is the co-op planning any major repairs or renovations in the near future? How will they be paid for?
At the moment, we do not have any major capital improvements scheduled.
Can I take a look at your rules and regulations and any financial information about the co-op?
The following legal and financial documents about the co-op are available on our web site: the Proprietary Lease, the House Rules, the Co-op Handbook, and audited financial statements for the past three years. It is recommended that you hire a real estate lawyer to help you evaluate these documents. A good lawyer can help protect your interests in a real estate transaction.
Is there a fact sheet with all the relevant information that I can give to my attorney to evaluate?
Yes, there is. Click here to view it and print it out. You should also give your attorney copies of the following documents: the Proprietary Lease and audited financial statements for the past three years.
Do you allow pets?
Is there a parking garage in the buildings?
Yes, there is a garage in one of our three buildings: 31 Nagle Avenue. The garage is leased by an independent garage operator. Shareholders receive a discounted monthly rate of $200 (regular rate is $290). In addition, residents are entitled to the Manhattan Resident Parking Tax Exemption.