The first step in the NYC buying process is to decide whether you're a better fit for a co-op or condo.
NYC apartments come in two flavors: Co-op (short for "cooperative") and condominium.
Older buildings (pre-1980s) tend to be co-ops, while pretty much everything built from the 1980s onward is condo. Beyond that distinction, your personal or financial circumstances, along with your lifestyle preferences and past experience, might guide you toward one or another.
Or, like many people, you may simply decide to look for the best apartment you can afford in a financially sound building, be it co-op or condo.
Here's a quick overview of the key differences and considerations.