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How to Buy

A New York City Apartment

This guide to buying a co-op or condo apartment in New York City will help you navigate one of the most complicated and expensive real estate markets in the world. In Brick Underground's typical no-nonsense fashion, we take you through each step of the buying process, including information that many real estate agents may be reluctant to share. Throughout our guide, you'll also find links to dozens of useful Brick Underground articles to further your understanding of the nuances—arcane and strategic—involved in buying a co-op or condo apartment in New York City. 


Table of Contents

Deciding between buying a co-op or condo

Downpayment and asset requirements for buying a co-op or condo

Co-ops vs Condos: Lifestyle and other considerations

How to get a mortgage to buy a co-op or condo

The difference between mortgage contingency and funding contingency clauses

Deciding whether to work with a real estate agent when buying an apartment

When to work with a buyer's broker

How to hire a good real estate lawyer

A guide to NYC apartment building types: Prewar, postwar, white glove, full-service, elevator and walk-ups

Essential questions to ask about the building before you buy

Guide to attending open houses

How to evaluate an apartment's location in a building

Buying a co-op apartment from the sponsor

A guide to lot-line windows and illegal bedrooms

Common problems with buying new construction

Tips for buying "preconstruction" condo

Getting a mortgage to buy a brand new condo

A guide to buying a condo with property tax abatements

How to negotiate with a developer when buying a condo

How to make a successful offer to buy an apartment

How to win a bidding war

Getting approved by a co-op board

What to expect on closing day


Now, onto the first step of your search:  Determining whether you, your finances, and your lifestyle are better suited to a condo or co-op.