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Buying Rentals

Buying a New York City Co-Op

New York City has one of the most complex and expensive real estate markets in the world. Co-op housing or cooperative housing is the most common alternative in NYC (over 75% of apartment buildings). If you are looking to invest in your first co-op apartment successfully, there are certain things you need to understand before taking this giant step. Below is s a short guide on everything you need to know about buying a co-op in NYC.

What Is A Co-Op vs Condo?

A co-op is a form of residential housing whereby buyers do not own a housing unit in the building but rather buy shares in a corporation that owns the building. Unlike a condo, you do not get a property deed after purchase. What you get is a propriety lease which gives you access to a specific apartment.

This form of investment is considered a personal investment rather than a real estate investment as you are buying shares in a company and not real estate property.

Are you wondering if this form of investment is worth it? Worry not! We will outline both the advantages and disadvantages of Co-ps in the paragraphs below.

Advantages of Buying a Co-Op

  • Low Cost: Compared to condo units and houses, co-ops are 20 -30% cheaper. That is what makes them such a go-to option for those looking to settle or invest in NYC real estate.
  • Security: Co-ops are run by boards that carry out thorough background checks on individuals before agreeing to sell. Once in, you have an assurance that your co-op neighbors are safe.
  • Low Closing Cost: As mentioned above, co-ops are considered a personal investment. Therefore, you will incur lesser fees if you decide to sell. Selling your property involves a transfer of shares; therefore, it will not be subject to any mortgage recording tax, and you won’t need an insurance title.
  • Price Stability: Co-ops have strict requirements that contribute to the stability of the real estate market in NYC. Usually, not less than a 20% down payment (each co-op sets its range) is requested. Potential buyers equally need to have a debt-to-income ratio higher or equal to 25%, nothing less (a few go up to 30%). 
  • This system prevents banks from making aggressive loans. It preserves the value of a co-op building from reducing in case one owner has to sell.
  • Combined Property and Maintenance Costs:

With co-ops, both your shares of maintenance charges and property taxes are billed together and paid to the corporation. It is then in charge of settling the building’s property tax with the state.

On the other sides of things, here are a few considerations to have before making your purchase:

Disadvantages of Buying A Co-Op

  • Limiting Subletting Rules: While they cost less to acquire, co-ops have strict renting rules. Most prefer owners to occupy their premises over renters who could cause damages. The board may equally restrict the number of years you are allowed to sublet your property.
  • High Flip Tax: If you decide to sell your coop shares, you will be subject to a flip tax. This is a fee you pay to the co-op. They average 2% of the total sales price. This fee is less costly with condos.
  • Board Application Approval: Unlike houses and condos, buyers are screened and approved by the co-op board. This limits room for negotiations and the procedure can be invasive. Some boards may reject co-applications or gifted contributions to the down payment.
  • Post-Closing Liquidity Requirement: In addition to your down payment, the board equally requires you to disclose how many months of payments you can afford to have in cash, stocks, and any other liquid assets after you close. This excludes retirement savings and property investments. Most buildings demand 12 or 24 months of post-closing liquidity.

After looking at the advantages and disadvantages of this housing option you are willing to invest in, your next step will be to place an offer. For this, it is advisable to find a real estate broker to help review your application to be sure you meet all the criteria. Once your offer is accepted, all you need to do is wait for the board’s approval to close and move in.

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Buying Guide Rentals

New York City Housing Lottery [2021]

Finding affordable housing is a near-impossible feat in New York City, where the average price for a one-bedroom apartment is $2,980. Therefore, debates have sprung up to determine ways to provide affordable housing in New York City. One way is through the New York City housing lottery (NYCHL). The idea is to provide affordable housing that costs individuals a third or less of their household income as rents. It only applies to buildings whose developers are getting tax breaks for setting aside some affordable apartments.

As we move forward, we’ll discuss the New York City housing lottery guide.

Check If You Qualify

To know if you qualify for lottery programs, check each building’s guidelines. Generally;

  • Your age is a crucial factor as you must be 18 years old.
  • Have a good credit score and a history of paying your debt and taxes in time. If your credit score is low, you can start working on it immediately.
  • Your household income has to lie within a specific range depending on the total number of people in your house.

Apply for The Lottery

You do not pay a broker or developer fee to apply for the lottery. You can either apply online through the NYC Housing Connect portal or offline through the mail. Note that developers will discard incomplete or fraudulent applications online or offline. Make sure you sign the application mail before sending it back. Developers may discard your application if you apply more than once for an apartment in the same building. Also, they will not consider your application if you submit it after the application deadline.

Although your chances of winning the lottery are higher if you have a small log number, there’s a way to improve your chances. Each building has preferred groups of people in the selection process. Some of which include:

  • Current community board residents
  • Veterans
  • Some disabled applicants
  • Municipal employees

If you fall within any of these groups, include this in your application to increase your chances of winning.

Getting The Results

Generally, applicants are contacted roughly 2 to 10 months after the application deadline. A developer may reach out to you for one of many reasons.

  • In case there was a flaw in your application for a lottery.
  • If you submitted more than one application for the lottery, and they have disqualified you.
  • The developer will contact you if you are selected to move on to the interview stage.

In some cases, qualified applicants do not go to the interview stage because of the enormous number of people who apply for this housing lottery.
If the developer randomly selects you after the interview, you may sign some more documents and wait for the HPD’s approval before signing the lease. Or you may be put on the waiting list until there is a vacant apartment. Within the waiting period, you have to write to the developer twice yearly to show your continual interest in the apartment.

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Rentals

Manhattan Tenant Rights

People’s rights and democratic freedoms are topics that are on the lips of almost everyone in the 21st century. They range from basic fundamental rights like the right to play to more advanced ones like tenant rights. New movements and protests spring up ever so often to ensure the preservation of individual rights. The goal is to live in a comfortable environment and grants you access to what you deserve. Nobody likes knowing another person has infringed their rights for any reason, tenants inclusive. Therefore, landlords have to make life pleasant for their tenants by ensuring they are safe and comfortable. In this article, we’ll discuss Manhattan tenant rights.

Pest Control

Pests and vermins are such a nuisance to tenants. They ruin clothing, destroy documents, worsen tenant’s health conditions, and spread diseases.

Manhattan tenants have a right to live in a vermin and pest-free environment. Landlords have to ensure they do not breach this right. Landlords ought to fix all leaks, cracks and have an excellent way of containing garbage.

They ought to work only with pest control professionals licensed by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation. Their job is to inspect the property, identify where pests and vermins hide and use pesticides that are not poisonous to humans to eradicate the pests. They also have to do regular follow up to see that the vermins have not returned to create new breeding grounds.

Tenant Safety

  • To keep children below six years safe, landlords have to hire professionals to reduce lead-based painting hazards. This rule applies to buildings constructed before 1960 and those that have lead paint.
  • Manhattan tenants have the right to request window guards in writing, after which landlords must install them.
  • Tenants have the right to remove double cylinder locks from apartment entrance doors since they are illegal and unsafe.
  • Tenants have the right to request stove knob holders.
  • Landlords must install smoke detectors in every apartment. Also, they have to install carbon monoxide detectors a few feet away from the main entrance of every bedroom. The carbon monoxide detector must have an alarm that signifies when it is almost out of use. Furthermore, they have to give tenants a manual to let them know how the carbon monoxide detector functions and maintenance.

Tenant Heating

  • Tenants have a right to constant hot water supply all year round. Hence, landlords have to make sure it is always available.
  • Landlords have to provide Manhattan tenants with heat from October to May regardless of what temperature it is outside. However, they are only obliged to do so from 10 pm to 6 am daily.

Additionally, tenants have the right to privacy, and landlords can only enter their apartments with their consent. They also have a right to join or form tenant organizations to protect and promote their rights. Disabled tenants have the right to request modifications that will ease their discomfort. However, this will be at their expense.

Call 311 to report right violations to the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

Categories
Rentals

NYC Rental Laws [2021]

People’s rights and democratic freedoms are topics that are on the lips of almost everyone in the 21st century. They range from basic fundamental rights like the right to play to more advanced ones like tenant rights. New movements and protests spring up ever so often to ensure the preservation of individual rights. The goal is to live in a comfortable environment and grants you access to what you deserve. Nobody likes knowing another person has infringed their rights for any reason, tenants inclusive. Therefore, landlords have to make life pleasant for their tenants by ensuring they are safe and comfortable. In this article, we’ll discuss Manhattan tenant rights.

Pest Control

Pests and vermins are such a nuisance to tenants. They ruin clothing, destroy documents, worsen tenant’s health conditions, and spread diseases.

Manhattan tenants have a right to live in a vermin and pest-free environment. Landlords have to ensure they do not breach this right. Landlords ought to fix all leaks, cracks and have an excellent way of containing garbage.

They ought to work only with pest control professionals licensed by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation. Their job is to inspect the property, identify where pests and vermins hide, and use pesticides that are not poisonous to humans to eradicate the pests. They also have to do regular follow up to see that the vermins have not returned to create new breeding grounds.

Safety

  • To keep children below six years safe, landlords have to hire professionals to reduce lead-based painting hazards. This rule applies to buildings constructed before 1960 and those that have lead paint.
  • Manhattan tenants have the right to request window guards in writing, after which landlords must install them.
  • Tenants have the right to remove double cylinder locks from apartment entrance doors since they are illegal and unsafe.
  • Tenants have the right to request stove knob holders.
  • Landlords must install smoke detectors in every apartment. Also, they have to install carbon monoxide detectors a few feet away from the main entrance of every bedroom. The carbon monoxide detector must have an alarm that signifies when it is almost out of use. Furthermore, they have to give tenants a manual to let them know how the carbon monoxide detector functions and maintenance.

Heating

  • Tenants have a right to constant hot water supply all year round. Hence, landlords have to make sure it is always available.
  • Landlords have to provide Manhattan tenants with heat from October to May regardless of what temperature it is outside. However, they are only obliged to do so from 10 pm to 6 am daily.

Additionally, tenants have the right to privacy, and landlords can only enter their apartments with their consent. They also have a right to join or form tenant organizations to protect and promote their rights. Disabled tenants have the right to request modifications that will ease their discomfort. However, this will be at their expense.

Call 311 to report right violations to the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

Categories
Rentals

How to Get a No Credit Check Apartment [Post Covid]

If you are a New York City resident, you probably already know that excellent credit history is required when applying for most city apartments.  It maximizes your chances of getting the right apartment for you and your family.

What if you don’t have credit? This could be because of several reasons. You may never have possessed a credit card for personal reasons. You could also be a student, a recent graduate, or a foreigner. Fortunately, your lack of credit can’t stop you from landing your dream apartment in NYC.

Below are a few things you can do to get a no credit check apartment in NYC.

Finding a Guarantor for Your Apartment

This is one of the things you should do when you don’t have a credit check and still need one of NYC’s classy apartments. Getting a guarantor assures your landlord/landlady that they will get paid even if it’s not by you. Your rental guarantor could be a parent, relative, or close friend, and they must cosign the rental apartment agreement. They must also meet the qualifications set by your landlady/landlord. In most cases, they are required to earn at least eighty times your monthly rent.

If you are a foreigner, ensure that your guarantor is a New York City resident. NYC landlords/landladies don’t accept foreign-based guarantors.

References

To land a no credit check apartment in NYC, you could also ask your previous landlords to write reference letters for you; they should preferably be located within New York City. With them, the apartment owner might be willing to let you rent their property. Each reference letter should state that you always paid your rent in full and on time, even though you don’t have credit. It could also emphasize your other great traits, such as reliability.

Attach the reference letters to your cover letter. In the latter, you could explain your current credit situation. Additionally, state what you do and why you are confident that you can afford the apartment you are applying for.

Work With a Broker

A trusted real estate broker in NYC may also help you get a no check apartment situated in the city. They can advocate for you and tell the landlords they know that you deserve their vacant rental apartment despite your lack of credit. You should be comfortable with your broker. This allows you to explain your current situation with ease since they might be hesitant to vouch for you if they don’t know what you’re going through. It’s best to pick a broker who focuses on the NYC neighborhood you wish to live in. They know the landlords who accept clients without credit, and they’ll point you in their direction.

NYC is a great place to live. You can still get an apartment you like without credit, but you have to be smart when looking for it. The tips above should serve as a guide to those looking to rent their dream apartments without credit. However, it would be best if you carried out extra research to avoid embarrassment.

Categories
Rentals

The Most Expensive NYC Rental Neighborhoods [2021]

New York City is the US’ most populous city. It is famous for its state-of-the-art facilities, excellent infrastructure, diversity, and beautiful neighborhoods. Undoubtedly, this city is a fantastic place for renters. If you’re looking for a rental apartment in NYC, consider the best ones available in the city’s five boroughs.  Here we will discuss the highest rent neighborhood in NYC.

Renting in NYC’s most expensive neighborhoods is definitely an upgrade every affluent individual should consider. Of course, you have to determine the amenities and services you need. This helps you to narrow down the perfect apartments for you.

To make the right call, you should know the most costly NYC neighborhoods for luxury renters. Below are some that you could take into account.

Union Square, Manhattan

The median rent in Union Square is around $4,637, making it ideal for renters looking for houses in the most expensive NYC neighborhoods. There are several posh shopping locations in the area; you’ll have plenty of options whenever you are looking to buy gifts, clothes, foodstuff, or household items. Another alluring thing about Union Square is the year-round greenmarket that gives luxurious apartment renters the chance to sample local farmers’ produce.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Williamsburg’s median rent is about $3,500. If you crave a somewhat dense suburban feel, this neighborhood is for you. The public schools in the region are some of the top-rated ones in NYC. The fancy restaurants, bars, and coffee shops here are countless. There is also a long list of parks you can visit whenever you need to relax or hold picnics with family and friends. Easy accessibility is another thing that makes Williamsburg convenient for renters. Feel free to use the L train, the East River Ferry Service, Uber or Lyft, and personal cars or bikes for transport to different parts of Brooklyn or within the neighborhood.

Long Island City, Queens

This affluent neighborhood, whose median rent is approximately $3,270, welcomes luxuriant apartment renters all year round. It boasts an ever-developing art community and fascinating nightlife. The neighborhood is also home to magnificent waterfront parks and museums. Hence, you’ll never run out of exciting places to visit while living in your classy rental house.

Additionally, the transport system in Long Island City is pretty impressive. There are eight subway lines, countless bus routes, a few Citi Bike stations, and two NYC Ferry stops.

Riverdale, Bronx

Riverdale (Median rent – $2,295) ranks high with regards to the most expensive and beautiful NYC neighborhoods. It is ideal for renters looking to live a quiet life near NYC’s most urban regions. This attractive quasi-suburban enclave offers scenic jogging trails, elegant eateries, and picturesque parks. Safety is another thing that draws renters to Riverdale. Also, the neighborhood hosts top-notch educational facilities. When you secure an elegant rental apartment in this neighborhood, you’ll also get the chance to view some pretty famous mansions such as Greyston, Stonehurst, and Alderbrook.

As seen above, you have many options when looking for luxury apartments in NYC’s most expensive neighborhoods. Note that the four provided in this article are our top picks as there are numerous luxurious neighborhoods in New York City. It would be best if you took explored the other neighborhoods and widen the scope of your search. This will undoubtedly help you land a fantastic apartment that’s worth your money.