Tips on buying condo in New York?
April 10, 2009 4:41 PM   Subscribe

For purchasing a 1- or 2-bedroom condo in NYC: tips and links to how to search effectively, evaluate wisely, and get a great deal and wondeful home? Ideas (or links to forums) about which neighborhoods and types of condos are the best values, broker recommendations, etc.?
posted by Malad to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
which neighborhoods and types of condos are the best values

neighborhoods: you can spend a week reading through the archives of curbed (far and away the best site on nyc real estate, which will basically point you to everything you need) but neighborhood value is totally subjective and depends on what you desire in your surroundings. do you want to live near club-style nightlife/are you gay? then chelsea. do you want to be walking distance from a zillion good restaurants? then you should live in the east village or lower east side. want to live in a beautiful brownstone on lovely tree-lined streets with lots of good restaurants and tiny cafes? then it's the west village or upper west side for you. do you have a baby and/or a dog? check out park slope. etc, ad nauseum.

types of condos: what does this mean? doorman/non doorman? elevator/walkup? condo/coop? all this is, again, subjective except for condo/coop—condos cost more but tend to increase in value more, because you have to get approval from the building's coop board to buy into a coop, and in manhattan it's terribly hard and becoming even harder to get approval. many people don't even consider coops during their search.

really, the most important thing to figure out first is your budget—what sum can you get a mortgage? average price for a manhattan apartment is $1.5 million. the recession is pushing prices lower than the insanity of recent years but they'll never be low low, thanks to the law of supply and demand.
posted by lia at 5:33 PM on April 10, 2009

Any reason why you are focusing on condos? Why not co-ops?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:13 PM on April 10, 2009

Response by poster: Lia, great questions. I guess I'm leaning towards upper west side or perhaps Soho, but wanted to know if other neighborhoods might have been disproportionately hit by the recession.

For a 1-bedroom I'm probably looking at a max of around $500 or so, maybe $100 more for a 2-bd. The 1-bd at least seems highly doable, if I go by Craigslist approximations. Or will this only get me a really crappy setup? If so, does a studio make a lot more sense?

I don't need a doorman or elevator. It would be awfully nice to have a a) dishwasher and b) washer/dryer. I don't know how hard that is to get, though (especially the latter).


Computech, I'm focusing on condos because of the co-op approval process and the often high down payments required for co-ops. Or is that exaggerated? I don't want to have to put 20-25% down.
posted by Malad at 6:38 PM on April 10, 2009

Here's a fairly reliable survey that will tell you what neighborhoods you should select. It's limited to Manhattan, which means you miss out on the awesomeness of living in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx or... Staten Island.

If you were in another city, you would begin with But it's afraid of NYC, so go with something like zillow or trulia which aren't as helpful.


Check out all the local realtor websites, like Corcoran and Brown Harris Stevens.

Finally, buy a share in a co-op that will let you sublet.
posted by billtron at 6:38 PM on April 10, 2009

For a 1-bedroom I'm probably looking at a max of around $500 or so, maybe $100 more for a 2-bd.

those are coop prices for those neighborhoods, not condo. and even for coops, you'll be looking at studios and small one bedrooms. you should probably start going to open houses this weekend to get a feel of what's out there and what you can realistically afford.
posted by lia at 11:08 PM on April 10, 2009

You really need spend some time on Follow their forums. It's also in my opinion totally worth the $10/month for the premium membership to get comparable reports and history. It's probably my favorite resource out there for nyc real estate.
posted by Jemstar at 10:44 AM on April 11, 2009

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