How to Successfully Woo a Co-Op Housing Board

If you’re looking for co-op housing in New York City, you’re probably already aware that in order to have your application approved, you’re going to tick off the items on your checklist. Following are a few tips about how to nail that list.

If you’re planning on buying co-op housing in New York City, you’re probably obsessed with figuring out how to go about impressing the heck out of the building’s co-op board, and … wait, what? You didn’t know you really, really had to impress them? Next to winning the heart of the love your life, winning your co-op board’s affection will be the most important wooing you’ve ever done in your life. Think about it: You want to move into a space owned by a large group of people — who are also living there! In order for them to allow you to live in their midst, you’ll have to prove that you’re financially worthy and that you’ll be a good neighbor.

Prove You Can Afford It

Money talks, walks and sings in New York. Even though it may seem like there’s a lot of media coverage about the unaffordability of NYC real estate, the fact remains that loads of people with ample resources are able to buy here and buy here every day. Co-op boards can afford to be picky as they choose the applicants that they believe will be the best financial fit for the building. Older buildings need s a lot of repairs so assessments will be higher, so the board will want to make sure that you can handle the costs. (The amount you pay toward your mortgage, if you have to carry one, should be no more than 30 percent of your yearly income.)

This means that if you’re intent on purchasing a co-op, you’re going to have make sure that the financial package you put together is the most brilliant package you’ve ever put together in your entire life. You’ll need to make sure that every single bit of your digital footprint paints you in the best possible light. Make sure that your package is filled with every piece of paperwork that’s needed — and is as clearly and neatly labeled as possible — to make things as easy as possible for the board.

Gather All the Documents

What does this list include?

  • Your salary, bonuses, and any other earnings
  • Your bank statements
  • Your tax information for the past two years

Prove That You Really, Really, Really Want to Live There

Many people buy property in NYC purely as an investment. They purchase it to hold it so that they can reap substantial financial rewards as it increases in value, or they rent it out to tenants to offset the cost of owning. For many co-op buildings, the ideal tenant is the one who actually lives in the building.

If you’re planning on living in the building, prove it. Make it clear that you’re looking for a home for your family and that you’re looking forward to being a part of the co-op community. Make sure that your personality shines through. Include personal references from former landlords and professional organizations that show who you really are. Do you consider yourself a friendly person who’s good with others? Get people who will say so in writing.

Leave Them Wanting More

You want to leave them wanting more (and we don’t mean wanting more paperwork!). You want the board to leave its meeting with you feeling warm and fuzzy — well, as warm and fuzzy as a board can feel. You’ll have to approach it with the same care and dedication you’d devote to the most important job interview of your life.

Follow these tips, and you should be on the way to landing the co-op housing of your dreams.

Image Source: Flickr/Richard Rutter


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