Resources & Guides

The first step to buying apartments in Manhattan is to know what type of accommodations you are looking for. There are three main types of housing available for purchase: cooperatives, condominiums and a handful of townhouses and brownstones.


One option when buying apartments in Manhattan is a cooperative (better known as a co-op). A co-op is owned by a group collective or corporation, rather than an individual. When you purchase a co-op apartment you are actually purchasing shares in the corporation that owns the building. (The larger the apartment the larger the share you own.)

When buying apartments in Manhattan it is essential to know that 80% of homes for purchase in Manhattan are Co-ops (almost 100% of pre-war buildings are co-ops), so there are a great deal to chose from. Because of the vast selection prices are often lower in comparison to condos. Most co-ops charge monthly fees for maintenance, security and utilities, and many times these fees are tax deductible.

The co-ops board of directors, who are responsible for the upkeep of the building and protect the other shareholder in the co-op, must approve of a candidate before they are allowed to purchase shares. The approval process often takes longer than the typical condo purchase, but also allows access to some of the most beautiful buildings in Manhattan. Most co-op boards also have rules that govern them. These regulations can vary greatly. It is important that you know your rights as a future tenant.

Co-ops also usually require from 20-50% of the full purchase price upfront, and I some cases will ask for 100% of the full purchase price.


Another option to look at when buying apartments in Manhattan is a Condominium. Unlike co-ops, condos are 100% owned by the purchaser and are becoming more popular in Manhattan as new developments grow. Condos offer more flexibility than co-ops, but are often more expensive due to limited availability and high demand.

Unlike co-ops condos allow the purchaser to finance up to 90% of the cost, and ownership approval is not as detailed. Similarly though, owners usually must pay monthly maintenance fees and utilities.

What You Need to Do

Urban Sanctuary will help you from the beginnings of your search to your move in day. Typically, negotiations begin when the buyer makes an offer to the seller, who then in turn makes a counter offer.

You will then decide on the final price. You will obtain a real estate attorney, and if the attorney agrees to the terms of the contract, he will advise you to sign. At signing you are usually required to put down 10% of the purchase price, the rest may be financed.

Urban Sanctuary will provide you with the rest of the materials needed to complete the transaction. Once all the paperwork has been finalized your Urban Sanctuary representative will give the paperwork to the board, or current owner.

Buying real estate in Manhattan typically run 60 days from contract to closing, and co-op boards frequently take up to 90 days to reach a decision.