The Co Op Debate

Dated: 12/02/2017

Views: 305

While out house hunting with a client recently, I noticed all of the properties we were viewing were townhouses or condos. So it occurred to me to ask " Is there any particular reason there are no co-ops on any of your lists?" Her answer to this question was  " because EVERYBODY told me co-ops were no good ". Upon prying a little more, the " no good " meant, to restricting, to controlling and my client stressed that nobody was going to tell her how to live.  I thought that those were all valid points but are they actually the case? 

What exactly is a co-op?

     A cooperative is " an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly- owned and democratically- controlled enterprise". The best way for me to break that down would be to compare it to owning a piece of a company. In said company people are working for the same cause, in this case, a roof over their head. In that same company when taking on partnerships ( in this case-other unit owners) you would normal conduct interviews and would want to see the financials of the applicant before making a decision on if you should or shouldn't take on this person as a partner. That is the same purpose of the board that would have to give approval for you to buy a unit in the building.  The financial health of the group as a whole needs to be sound in order for everyone to get their needs met and to keep the housing development solvent. Financials are very important because of unexpected problems or repairs that could arise and in some events be very costly. Most, but certainly not all, co- op units will require a certain credit score proving that you are responsible with bill paying and debt obligations. They may also require a minimum down payment, and will usually conduct a background check. All of these searches will give them an idea on what kind of partner ( unit homeowner) you will be thus helping them to decide on approval or not.

I have found throughout my house hunting that the ownership of a co-op is one of the most economical ways to be a homeowner in Westchester County.  In many cases, the people I have taken to view the co-ops are often amazed that the cost of ownership is much less then the rent that they are paying! Jumble that in with the fact that most ( not all ) HOA fees include heat, hot water, taxes, snow removal, property ground maintenance, common area maintenance and any operation fees for gyms or pools,  you have very few monthly expenses left with regards to housing costs. Another upside to co-ops is that most of the time your HOA fees are around 50% deductible. What more could you want? The one final statement my client made to me was...." but you can't rent" well, to her surprise we were able to find many units that give you the right to rent out your property should your housing needs change and you are not ready to sell your unit. Be sure that when you are looking at these options you always view the house rules. Requirements and options vary from co-op to co-op and just because buildings are in the same complex, that does not mean that the HOA'S are the same for each building.

There are plenty of Co-ops on todays market and if I can interest you in viewing any of them please feel free to let me know. There are some amazing units up and down the riverside with incredible views , units that are laced along the beautiful Aqueduct walkway to units that would lead you to believe you are somewhere other than a 45 minute train ride to NYC. Below is a 2 bedroom co -op unit in Ossining  that I have listed. If you are interested in seeing this unit or one in another area, feel free to contact me.Image title

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Tana McGuire

Leaving behind an extensive past in the hospitality business, it has enabled me to persevere through any difficult situation that may occur during the home buying or selling process. Hard work and ded....

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