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Re: co-ops, rent stabilization

Posted by renting and owning on June 17, 2001 at 11:04:15:

In Reply to: co-ops, rent stabilization posted by Cory on June 16, 2001 at 01:14:26:

You are on the right track in searching for an apartment in a low income area such as Harlem or the Bronx. You might want to broaden your search to Queens as well, which has many quiet neighborhoods with cheap basement apartments. There are apartments available at the rent you are seeking, start your search early so you have plenty of time to consider all your options.

Don't waste your time looking for rent stabilized apartments with ridiculous low rents. Those apartments exist, but mostly for old-timers who have lived there for years. You can bet a newly vacated rent stabilized apartment would be quickly taken by friends of the landlord or guarded by brokers charging huge fees. You can't get something for nothing.

Buying a condo or coop is an excellent idea. It is absolutely cheaper in the long term, and sometimes even the short term, to own rather than to rent. You can find a few coops for that price, but watch for the monthly fees, restrictions on use, and solvency of the coop board. You'd probably want to rent first and then look into buying.

: 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.
: Thanks.

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