New York has been an attractive place for buyers from all over the world. It may be one of the most expensive cities to live in, but it’s also one of the most desired places to call home and make an investment in. Condominiums have sprouted as the city’s popular answer to that demand, however, condominium buyers and sellers in New York City’s highly competitive real estate market face unique legal challenges.
If you are interested in buying or selling a condominium in New York City, it is important to have the help of an experienced Manhattan condominium real estate attorney. An attorney may be able to walk you through the process of purchasing or selling a condominium while making sure to make the most out of your real estate transaction. Our skilled New York City real estate lawyers at Sishodia PLLC are available for a free consultation at (833) 616-4646. Call us today. We serve the areas of Manhattan and Dutchess County.
A condo is an individually owned unit within a multi-unit building. With a condo, you pay monthly fees to the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) for the upkeep of the complex and its common areas. This fee is called “common charges” in New York. Because you will be paying HOA fees, you do not have to worry about maintaining the building yourself, as the building management hires staff to handle this. Property taxes are not included in your monthly maintenance payment and are billed directly to your unit. If you are planning on financing your purchase, your lender may escrow for the real estate taxes and pay those taxes as they are due on your behalf.
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There are many different properties and property types available to prospective buyers in New York City. Aside from standalone housing choices, the main choice for apartments is co-ops and condos.
The vast majority of private apartment housing in New York City consists of co-ops. Although co-ops are less expensive compared to buying a condo, they tend to be more restrictive. Some of these restrictions include subletting and pet ownership. Also, holding a title in a trust or an LLC and selling your co-op can trigger higher closing costs to unit owners due to New York’s flip tax.
As of October 2022, condos continue to be a popular choice for homebuyers in New York, with features like amenity floors clinching the choice for buyers. Due to the economic challenges brought by the pandemic, supply chain issues and management flexibility have made condominiums more appealing to buyers compared to co-ops. Although condo purchases are subject to the waiver of right of first refusal by the condo Board of Managers, the approval process is significantly less stringent compared to the co-op board approval process and interview required when purchasing a co-op.
Another significant difference between a co-op and a condo is that owning a co-op apartment is not considered having real property. Rather, owning a co-op means having shares in the building corporation. Instead of a title, co-op buyers are given a stock certificate with co-op shares and a proprietary lease that allows them to occupy the co-op apartment. Ownership of a condo follows the more traditional form of property ownership in that condo buyers are given a deed to their property that is recorded after closing.
Based on market division, there are more co-ops than condos available in the New York City real estate market with 70% being made up of co-ops and the remaining 30% by condos. However, different boroughs of the city may lend to different market breakdowns with the Financial District having a larger percentage of condo units compared to the more historical parts of the city, like Upper West Side, Upper East Side, and Gramercy Park being made up of co-ops.
Regardless of the property type, our qualified Manhattan real estate attorneys at Sishodia PLLC may be able to assist you in your real estate transaction. We may be able to help you explore your financing options and assist you in determining the right type of property and ownership to meet your real estate goals. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at (833) 616-4646.
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A Condo Unit purchase usually starts with pre-approval (in case of financing) and making an offer with the help of an experienced real estate agent. Purchasers in New York do not have to pay real estate agents in New York: the agent’s commission is paid by the Seller out of the Sale proceeds. A Real Estate agent is considered to be the buyer’s fiduciary who studies the market, looks for comparable sales in the area and the building, and makes recommendations on the best possible offer. Your Real Estate agent will also help you with negotiating concessions and the most favorable deal terms.
Once the offer is accepted, you will need to select your real estate attorney. Working with experienced, highly rated, caring and responsive real estate attorneys can make your purchase experience smooth and less stressful. As your real estate attorney, our team at Sishodia PLLC reviews and negotiates terms of Contract of Sale and also drafts additional rider (a supplement to a contract of sale protecting your interest as a buyer). For example, in our purchaser’s rider we ask the Seller to make representations about past leaks, hidden defects, past and present pest issues which can include bed bugs and mice, toxic mold, and other related issues regarding the condo. Through years of experience, we have built a comprehensive rider based on the real estate issues we faced representing our clients over the years.
Simultaneously with a contract review and negotiation, we conduct detailed due diligence. Due diligence usually includes a reading of the board minutes, reviewing the condo offering plan with all amendments, by- laws, house rules, condo policies (pet ownership, subletting, alteration policies), reviewing the last two years of financials and building budget, submitting our condo questionnaire to management and a follow up on unclear findings. At the end of due diligence reading and discussing your attorney’s findings, you should have all the insides on the building, prospective expenditures, projects, increase in common charges or prospective assessment and your condo’s financial state that all together will help you to make an educated decision as a buyer. For buyers, our due diligence procedures may be able to help avoid any unplanned expenses. We can also help you understand your obligations under your contract when it comes to paying utility bills and common charges and ensure that any fees they are charging are in line with legal requirements.
Once due diligence is completed and the contract is fully negotiated, it is ready for the purchaser to sign. In New York, the purchaser signs first and provides a 10% contract deposit, then the seller countersigns. Contract down payment is kept in a seller’s attorney trust account through the closing. As the contract is executed by both parties and deposit receipts are acknowledged by the seller’s attorney and a fully executed contract is circulated to the parties, this is when the contract legally takes effect and you are in a binding transaction.
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As new constructions and high-rises sprout all over the city, more and more options are available to prospective buyers who are looking for the perfect home for themselves. You may be able to find a home that fits your budget and lifestyle among the many condominiums in New York City.
Although it is already expected that condominiums in New York City differ in size, location, and price points, another factor that condominium apartment buyers can look forward to differentiating their prospective purchases on is building amenities. Whether it is a green space, swimming pool, rooftop, gym, in-unit laundry, or a doorman, new condominium builders are scrambling to provide amenities to attract the attention of unit buyers.
It’s important to have a clear idea of what you are looking for in a home purchase and what kind of amenities you would like to see in your condo purchase. More amenities can mean higher additional fees for upkeep and higher common charges. An experienced Manhattan condo real estate lawyer may be able to help you weigh your options and find the right balance.
At Sishodia PLLC, our skilled New York City condo attorneys have helped match prospective buyers to the right condominium for them in terms of price and preference. We provide skilled legal counsel and representation. Call us today at (833) 616-4646 to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Sponsor Condo units become favorites among foreign investors and first-time home buyers. A sponsor unit is a unit purchased from the original owner of unsold shares, developer, builder or new construction project. Some of the main advantages of purchasing in a new development are brand new buildings with attractive architectural designs and high-end amenities, a simplified purchase process without standard purchase application and waiver of right of first refusal, and some of the new developments have tax abatement. Some disadvantages would be higher closing costs (in a standard new development the buyer pays NYC & NYS transfer taxes, sponsors the attorney’s legal fees, working capital fund, and in some buildings a percentage that is allocated to common elements for the resident manager’s unit.) Purchasing a sponsor unit differs from a purchase in a regular resale and can raise legal challenges in case of oversight. Your attorney should also be able to explain what to anticipate during your final pre-closing walk-through and manage your expectations on the punch list completion.
At Sishodia PLLC, our experienced New York sponsor unit purchase attorneys will guide you through special risks, timeline for the purchase, explain how to limit potential issues with financing, and pre-closing walk-through involved in a particular sponsor unit purchase so you can make an educated decision as a buyer if this purchase is right for you. Call us today at (833) 616-4646 to schedule a Sponsor Unit Purchase consultation.
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A title search is usually ordered by your condo purchase attorney through a Title Company and includes an examination of public records and other documentation to confirm rightful ownership and ensure that the property can be properly transferred. A title search usually consists of a legal description of the property, tax assessor’s records, recorded deeds and mortgages, covenants and restrictions, liens, UCCs, open violations and permits, and a name search.
As your condo purchase attorney in New York, we review the title search, advise on the risks with said title, and facilitate the title’s company in obtaining the required documentation to clear the title for the closing.
Title insurance is a type of insurance that provides indemnification for loss as a result of defects in the title to real property or to an interest therein that is insured. Although title insurance is not required in all cash transactions we strongly recommend all condo purchasers obtain one.
Title insurance is different from most other types of insurance coverage in that a title policy protects future claims or future losses resulting from title defects that are created by some past event. Also, the insured makes only one premium payment for a lifetime of coverage.
Some examples of risks and rights that can cause loss of title or create an encumbrance on title include:
These are only a few examples. There are many other scenarios that without title insurance, owners would have to pay for their own defense for any claims.
The complicated legal aspects of real estate transactions also apply to condominiums. Whether you are buying or selling your condo, having the help of a skilled condo real estate attorney can be beneficial to ensure your rights are protected.
At Sishodia PLLC, our experienced condo purchase attorneys are here to assist you in navigating your transaction with the following:
For sellers, we may be able to help you avoid legal action from your condo association through careful study and compliance with any protocols set forth by your contract. We may also be able to help you determine whether a buyer would meet any criteria predetermined by the condo association.
As your condo sale attorney in New York, our team at Sishodia PLLC helps with:
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Sishodia PLLC, headed by top-rated Manhattan real estate attorney Natalia Sishodia, has helped many clients navigate the competitive New York City real estate market. We assist in both commercial and residential real estate transactions. We have dedicated our practice to helping our clients meet their real estate goals with as few hassles as possible and with their best interests in mind.
Call us today at (833) 616-4646 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation with one of our skilled New York City condo real estate attorneys. You may also visit our law firm offices in Manhattan and Dutchess County to learn more about how we can help you in your condominium sale or purchase.
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