Manhattan Co-op Buildings

Written By Jonathan Tuason | August 10, 2011
2019%2f09%2f13%2f12%2f08%2f44%2f079fd52d e668 4413 9d52 8133e2efcc8e%2ffile

Most Manhattan apartments for sale—and most apartments in Manhattan, period—fall under the category of “Manhattan co-ops.” And for all the familiar complaints about co-ops—and every New Yorker has heard these, from the implausibly demanding co-op boards to the arcane building rules to the high monthly maintenance fees—there’s a reason why co-op apartments dominate the Manhattan real estate scene. Well, two reasons, really—one is that many of Manhattan’s elite apartment listings (and almost all of Manhattan’s pre-war apartment buildings) are co-op. The other reason is that the co-op system works.

Here’s how co-ops work. Real estate corporations own co-op buildings, and sell shares in the company that allow buyers and shareholders to purchase proprietary leases—so when you buy a Manhattan co-op, you’re really buying shares in a larger endeavor that entitle you to that co-op apartment. Shareholders pay a monthly fee that helps to pay monthly maintenance fees like water, heating, insurance, staffing, and taxes. The extent of these co-op fees varies widely from one Manhattan co-op to the next—and it can be considerable at some of Manhattan’s blue-chip co-ops—but a portion of that maintenance fee is tax deductible.

Of course, those aren’t the only rules that NYC co-ops feature. And this is where the complaints come from: co-ops generally have a stricter set of rules for would-be purchasers (and residents) than do condominiums. Co-op boards, which are elected by shareholders, decide on the specific standards for buying into the co-op, and can (and do) mandate strict guidelines regarding down payments, financing, and other, broader financial requirements. Because of this, closing on a Manhattan co-op can be notably more complicated—and take months longer—than buying a condominium. Living in a co-op offers a uniquely community driven —and democratic—experience, and Manhattan co-ops tend to be long-term investments. Once you buy a Manhattan co-op, in other words, they tend to stay awhile. It’s the getting in part that represents the challenge, generally—but membership does have its privileges.

Blog Archive


This information is not verified for authenticity or accuracy and is not guaranteed and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. © 2021 REBNY Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved. RLS IDX Data display by Elegran LLC. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non- commercial use and that it may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

Elegran LLC may or may not be the exclusive listing agent of the properties being displayed on All data displayed on is presented for informational purposes only and should be independently confirmed by all customers. All Information is compiled from both public and private sources including, but not limited to the RLS, MLS and ACRIS; each of which is assumed to be reliable. All information displayed is subject to errors and omissions regarding apartment specifications and final sale prices, and further, any unit listed may have had its listing withdrawn without notice subsequent to such information being compiled. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description (ie: listing, close sale data, and/or building description) of any building or individual unit. All measurements and square footage are approximate and all information herein should be confirmed by customer and/or their attorney. Elegran LLC, its members, affiliates, and contributors adhere to New Your City, New York State, and United States Fair Housing Laws.