free web stats
Dynamax: Resources - Buying An Apartment


Buying An Apartment

The steps to purchasing a co-op or a condominium in Manhattan are very similar. Let us assume that you have found the property on which you wish to place an offer and that you have spoken to a bank or mortgage broker (if financing) to determine a comfortable financing price level.

  1. Determine how much you can afford. Speak to a bank's loan officer or mortgage broker for assistance.
  2. Get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage. You can either do this in a few minutes online or your bank's loan officer or mortgage broker can help you. A pre-qualification is not as beneficial as a pre-approval where you have to go through a more rigorous process which includes verification of your credit, income, assets and liabilities. It is highly recommended that you get pre-approved before you start looking for a house.


    • Find out the maximum house you can buy, so you don't waste time looking for properties you cannot afford.
    • Puts you in a stronger position when you are negotiating with the seller because the seller knows that your loan is already approved.
    • Speeds up the closing process since your loan is already approved.
  3. Determine in which neighborhood you would like to purchase your new home. Your Dynamax agent can assist you in finding the right neighborhood for you.
  4. Find and visit as many properties in your preferred neighborhood(s) as you can until you find several properties that you would like to submit offers for. Your Dynamax agent can assist you in finding the properties that match your specific needs and preferences (pricing, location to transportation, neighborhood cultural attractions, convenience to shopping, etc.,.).
  5. Submit your offer. Your Dynamax agent will submit a bid or offer on your behalf to the seller's agent. A seller may "counter" your offer. This will begin a negotiation process that will eventually lead to a "meeting of the minds," at which point price, terms, and closing date have been agreed upon.
  6. If an offer is accepted, contact a real estate attorney. Your Dynamax agent can assist you in finding an experienced attorney to represent you. The attorney will prepare/review the contract of sale and will examine the financial condition of the building in which you wish to purchase an apartment.
  7. After your lawyer concludes that the financial condition is satisfactory, that the by-laws of the building are acceptable to you, and that the contract of sale is also acceptable, your attorney will allow you to sign the contract. At that time you will usually be required to present a deposit of 10% of the purchase price. The contract plus the deposit will then be forwarded to the seller for signature. This money will be held in the seller's attorney's escrow account until closing. It is important to note that until all parties have signed the contract, and it has been delivered, the seller can still entertain and accept other offers.
  8. If financing, you should move forward with your loan application. You should shop around as loan programs and rates vary from lender to lender. As a first time home buyer you may also qualify for preferential loan programs and rates. If you have not already done so, your Dynamax agent can assist you in finding a mortgage broker or bank that can help you obtain financing.


    • Think about how long you plan to keep the loan. If you plan to keep the house for a long time, you may want to look at fixed loans. On the other hand, if you plan to sell the house in a few years, you may want to consider an adjustable or balloon loan.
    • Understand the relationship between rates and points. Points are considered to be prepaid interest and are tax deductible. Each point is equal to one percent of the loan. For example, 1 point on a $150,000 loan is $1,500. The more points you pay, the lower the interest rate you will get.
    • Compare different programs. Shopping for a loan can be difficult. With so many programs to choose from, each of which has different rates, points and fees, it's hard to figure out which program is best for you. That's where an experienced loan officer can help you make a decision that's best for you.


    Once your loan application is received by the bank, the loan approval process begins immediately immediately. The following must usually be submitted and verified in conjunction with your loan application.

    • Credit history
    • Employment history
    • Financial assets, including your bank accounts, stocks, mutual fund and retirement accounts
    • Property value
    • Based on your specific situation, additional documents or verifications may be required.

    To improve your chances of getting a loan approval:

    • Fill out the loan application completely.
    • Respond promptly to any requests for additional documents. This is especially critical if your rate is locked or if you plan to close by a certain date.
    • Do not make any major purchases, such as a car, furniture or another house until your loan is closed. Anything that causes your debts to increase might have an adverse affect on your current application.
    • Do not move money into your bank accounts unless it can be traced. If you are receiving money from friends, family or other relatives, please advise your loan officer or mortgage broker promptly.
  9. Soon after signing the contract of sale, your Dynamax agent will present you with the co-op/condo's Board requirements and application materials. The application materials can be similar for a cooperative and condominium. However, the actual process is quite different.


    • If you are salaried: provide two years W-2 and one month of paystubs.
    • If you are self-employed: provide two years tax returns and a YTD profit and loss statement.
    • If you own rental property, provide rental agreements and two years tax returns.
    • Provide three months bank statements for each bank, stock and mutual fund account that you have.
    • Provide recent copies of any stock brokerage or IRA/401K accounts that you may have.
    • If you are NOT a US citizen, provide us with a copy of your green card (front & back) or, if you are NOT a permanent resident provide us with your H-1 or L-1 Visa.
    • If requested, provide letters of personal and financial reference and letters of professional reference.
    • Provide bank documents (if financing) indicating that your loan is in place (i.e., a loan commitment).
  10. When your "package" is complete, it will be reviewed by a Dynamax manager, and then, assuming it is complete, it will be forwarded to the co-op/condo's managing agent. If the managing agent determines that the application is in order and that credit checks were acceptable, the application package will be forwarded to the co-op/condo's Board of Directors for review. Managing Agents will not accept any applications unless they are complete.
  11. In the case of a cooperative, if your application meets initial approval, the Board will invite you to be interviewed by the Board's interviewing committee. This is a serious matter that should be treated as a formal business meeting. Thoroughly review and familiarize yourself with all of your application package materials before attending the Board meeting and be prepared to clearly and concisely respond to questions.
  12. In the case of a condominium, there is generally no formal interview. Your application will be reviewed, and if all required materials are included and in order, an approval is typically granted. The entire process can move quickly in a condominium, and assuming a loan can be secured in a timely fashion, one can move from contract to closing in about 60 days. However, the cooperative process is more involved, and 60 to 90 plus days is not unusual.
  13. If the Board approves your application, you can begin planning for the closing!
  14. Your attorney and bank will ensure that all necessary documentation is prepared and that all parties are scheduled to appear for the closing.


    • Bring a cashiers check for your down payment and closing costs if required. Personal checks are normally not accepted.
    • Review the final loan documents. Make sure that the interest rate and loan terms are what you were promised. Also, verify that the name and address on the loan documents are accurate.
    • Sign the loan documents.
    • Get your keys and enjoy your new home!