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co-ops, rent stabilization

Posted by Cory on June 16, 2001 at 01:14:26:

In a few months I will be looking for an apartment in NYC as a student. I don't really understand how common rent stabilization actually is. If I were seeking an apartment in a low income area, say, Washington Heights or East Harlem, or in the Bronx, is it very rare for there to be rent-stabilized apartments? Rarer than in upper-income Manhattan? I am a very low income student and will be getting by on financial aid. I would like to find a place where I would not have to worry about extremely high increases of rent. My budget right now is about $650 maximum/mo for a furnished room or studio. So finding a rent stabilized place is very important to me.
Secondly, I've looked into co-ops as an alternative. I wonder what steps I should go to in making sure that a co-op is a wise investment. I've seen co-ops go for as low as $14k before in places like Inwood and Washington Heights. But in addition to this base price I assume there are extra things such as taxes and maintenance fees. What are typical maintenance fees for co-ops? What would I need to have as a down payment? I don't know where to start, but prices like $15-25K spread over as short as 10 years sounds like pretty affordable rent to me. There has to be a catch somewhere.

And finally, if someone could recommend a rental agency or company, or bulletin board, etc. where I could look into co-ops as an option.

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