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it is a shame that there are so many unanswered discussions on Streeteasy. A new poster comes on board, posts, then it finally gets approved and is several pages in, no one responds because it isn't seen. The new poster can't bump it back up because each post from the new poster has to be approved.
How did your search go?
I have decent financials: pre-approved mortgage just based on my income/zero debts/net worth/credit score. We are 40, have no kids/pets, and frankly are a bit introverted - so we rarely have guests. I think that we are pretty much the perfect tenants. Our only concern is that my wife plays the violin - often for a few hours a day. I'm hoping that this will be less of an issue because we are seeking an apartment in the upper west side where musicians seem to be more common. (The brownstone we've rented in for 5 years now has a professional saxophonist as well as a singer in addition to my wife) But is this something that would be of concern for a co-op board approval?
Thank you for your input.
Wow, the powers that be are truly determined to kill the board. You go streeteasy.
cooper square is now first service residential, and they will milk you until your udders fall off, in so many ways.
Grogans behave in my opinion in thuggish unprofessional manner
Machinery is only 7 years old when Grogan staff just patches and hides the real issues only makes the situation worst in the long run that is why possible so many people are selling more than 60 percent in such a short period of time many board members sold so at a major loss
Also the building and the machine is only about 7 years old 10-30-14 930 pm went out super pops out in dark he was spray painting the rusting rails in the dark patch and hide Grogan at his worst by the way that was our super lucky someone did not call the police laying in the dark like that
My question is such. If there are no rules regarding deliveries, fines or fees in the condo by-laws (no amendments), can the mgmt company impose rules, fees and fines? What would regulate those fees and fines? Can they be any number the mgmt company wants?
If there are fees and fines, do they go back to the building or the mgmt company keeps them? Can the mgmt company restricts the move in/out days (mon-fri).
We bought a new condo in a building in which the developer chose to exercise their right to (fully) control the board for five years (I know, it sounds crazy that offering plans with this option exist, even when as in our building all units were sold very quickly, but apparently this is not that uncommon during and since the bubble years, our lawyer told us... the developer seems to exercise this option to make it harder for unit owner to discover all the things that they screwed up...).
We now want to do some renovations, and approached the board to provide us with an alteration agreement form, the charge to review the DOB drawings etc. The architect the board chose wants to charge us a minimum of 30 hours at $160/hour -- you do the math. This is on the order of what our architect charges us for the actual design work in the first place!
This seems insane. Our architect, who has gone through this many times, thinks it should take them about 2-3 hours to review the DOB drawings.
We pointed out to the dev/board that their (architect's) charge seems unreasonable and they have ignored us since then.
Any suggestions as to what we can do would be greatly appreciated!
On a more helpful note, has this changed? Have you been there more than two years? Fuel has been so expensive the last couple of years, particularly given the low temperatures. Oil costs have plummeted recently, but don't expect the results to get better the first year. They may or may not. GL.
Or you could just be our resident SE ass and see how that works for you.
Attorney, why use an attorney when you can have a wife of an attorney?
I don't know why people think that an attorney can solve their problems. You can't be the only one not getting enough heat.
Saul Goodman and Associates.
two months is the typical time. you will not know in advance
There is no standard behavior for all boards.
On my closing, I went to contract @ 1st week of January
Submitted my board package @ 1st week of february.
Was interviewed by the 1st week of march and closed around the 3rd week.
I could have probably submitted my board package faster but I committed to my rental through april anticipating it would take 90 days for any emergencies. Once things looked smooth I actually slow played it and ended up with only a week of an empty rental apt.
I would be sitting on your broker.
I shouldnt judge your broker based on him/her not assembling/making copies of your board package, but if your broker is not from a boutique agency counting all it's pencils and staples, Im guessing they are not a good one.
A buyer's broker should be proactive on the package, it's the major part of the real work they'll do for the transaction.
Once on a unit I almost bought with a crappy broker, I went to an open house of another unit they were hosting.
When they saw I was still looking at other apts, that lit the fire under their azz.
(My board def goes darker in summer, we have foregone July and August meetings. But we are a small co-op)
Just wanted to comment that I have never heard of a buyer's broker not assembling or at least substantially assisting his/her client with the Board Package. Crazy. Keeping my fingers crossed for you! Keep us updated!
"This idea that Boards go dark for the summer is exaggerated." I'm the Treasurer of my board, and I agree. General life intervenes, that's all.
Once your package is submitted to the broker(s), the broker(s) is/are the one(s) who should put it all together and submit it to the management company. Then the management company generally gets it set up for the board to review, with all the "math" on the front page (income to debt ratio, financing percentage, etc.). Then the package is submitted to to board (or sent back to the brokers if incomplete). Then the individuals on the board review the package as their own time permits. Could be a day, could be a month. Most have full-time jobs (and many have families), and none get paid for being on the board, so review to them is not as pressing as it is to you.
A majority of the board need to approve for financials, and except in rare circumstances, if you're invited to an interview, you're in (unless you really blow the interview, which is difficult to do.)
So time-wise, depending on whether you're financing, depending on a host of other things, it could be a GOOD two to three months before you hear back from the board that you're invited to interview. The length generally means nothing, other than the board members have regular lives like everybody else.
Hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck!!
I agree. Say you pay off your credit cards in full and if they need more explanation or ask for more documentation, you can do so accordingly. If you were carrying large balances every month, your credit score would probably be horrible anyways and you wouldn't be pre-approved for a mortgage, etc.
agreed - they are looking for your contractual financial debt obligations, not your monthly living expenses (e.g. no line for your cable bill or your seamlessweb orders)... the question is how much debt will they be competing with in a personal bankruptcy situation
Write in "Credit cards paid off in full every month." The long form credit report often shows a balance and this sentence clarifies your real situation.
"Credit card debt" under monthly expenses is the fixed figure you pay each month for the sole purpose of paying down revolving debt. "Outstanding credit card debt" means the total balance of how much you owe.
In your case I'd put "0" in both columns.
Put 0 for both. You have no credit card debt since you pay off the balance before incurring interest.
Ali, If you are requested not to redact, can you request to receive all copies of the package back after the deal is completed, accept or reject? Not that someone can't be a low life and copy the numbers down but I would be more concerned with the package being thrown out in a non-secure manner. When I joined the board of my previous co-op, my first action was to purchase a shredder. I felt it was my risk to be sloppy with my own info but having the most intimate details of other's financial lives required that I respect and secure their disposal.
Check with the managing agent before you redact: last deal I did (rental in a GV co-op, representing tenant) I was specifically asked not to redact.
All great advice by everyone, and yes, your broker should be helping you with that. He/She should be corresponding with the co-op's managing company for preferences.
I would like to add, do diligently blackout the last few digits of your ss number and account numbers on every page.
This information will touch several hands.
Pay special attention to your tax returns, your ss # is on every page.
And of course do it BEFORE you make the several copies :)
I'm a binder-clip-and-rubber-bands girl myself. Remember that the managing agent is possibly going to take the package apart while reviewing it, and then reassemble it, so you don't want sections to get lost. (This happened to us when we were buying -- the managing agent put the package together minus our commitment letter; that agent was subsequently replaced.) Because paper does go astray, you might want to keep a spare copy of your package that you can bring to the board interview, if you are called to one.
Your broker should help you with that. Usually they make the copies and layout the documents in the format the particular board likes.
I closed on a sponsor unit this summer, and just learned of an assessment of over 10% of my annual maintenance to be paid over the next 4 months. The board states that it is for higher than expected heating costs, and an increase in real estate taxes. The letter implies that the tax increase was known about as of January 1st, 2014. So I am wondering: (1) Should I be responsible for costs related to heating that were incurred well before I closed, and (2) Should I be responsible for the portion of the real estate tax increase that applied before I closed? I am also curious to know why this assessment is only happening now, when the board has evidently known about these extra costs for some time. The sponsor is renovating many of the units, most currently in contract, and still owns a majority of the shares.
So you imagine me as a certain pre-embalmed, recently deceased loudmouthed comedienne? HMMPH!!! The noive!
That's it - our engagement's off!!!
Well hello Fieldchester (what, no new screen name yet?!?
All great replies that have helped me sort out a lot of confusion about just wanting to do the right thing. Thanks!
Hey, Walpurgis! Streeteasy automatically capitalizes Walpurgis . But not c0lumbiac0unty or ab0utready. Hmmm... Hope your throat surgery is successful.
Thank them when/if you happen to meet them by chance; avoid any further contact (other than incidental) thereafter.
Wonder whether a co-op board (rather than a condo association) would have had better luck keeping them out?
Oops - spelling error in title. I meant "renovation."
Back in January I bought an HDFC co-op and had, at that time, an architect who submitted plans to the board. They agreed to almost none of the items we proposed initially, but eventually allowed me to have a washer/dryer. That, I believe, is the only significant change I made to the apartment (besides demo of a on-structural wall and moving the kitchen sink a few inches.) I paid for expediting, drafting and several inspections. My architect was way too optimistic about what permitting would cost as I went forward.
I should note that my wages as an adjunct professor are shockingly low. My whole reno was done with a licensed contractor who came to his profession via an 80s diy community. In memory of that spirit, he was able to work within my budget by using salvage materials and creativity. But I did run out of savings.
In March the architect had still not filed with the city. He told me it could cost another $2000 to complete the filing and I told him to hold off. Now he is saying that I have an outstanding bill with a structural engineer for $750. But that is perhaps for another conversation.
My question is this: If I don't complete the filing, what kind of trouble can I get in? Others have more recently told me that filing was kind of unnecessary for this project. I have begun to regret the $4000 or so that I had put toward this end. And yet I worry that, having begun the filing, and leading the board to believe I will file, could lead to problems at some point, at resale etc. Does anyone have any insight on this? Sorry if any of it sounds naive.
Anon: I'm afraid you are on the way to official insanity. Try NOT to perseverate so much on this issue or it will truly drive you to the nuthouse.
Go to bedbugger.com and read the forums check out what pesticides other do it yourselfers use. Delmethrin may not be effective since most have immunity. I have to say if the tenants above have it, they will keep coming back in and infecting your place.
I'm feeling increasingly more optimistic about self treating these days. The insecticide and steaming binge from this weekend seems to really be paying off. Slept on the floor last night and didn't get any new bites. I found something unmoving in the bed that I'm not sure was even a bed bug and that's it. I bought lavender and a squeeze bottle for de yesterday.
That said I was scheduled to have another professional treatment today. Then the board president sent me a letter stating that it would be the last treatment they would pay for. I love the way they put it, in the language of "courtesy" treatments and some kind of implied addiction ('hey- we're cutting you off!') Since the unit upstairs is still delaying inspection, I opted to cancel and postpone my treatment until the situation upstairs becomes clear. And that led to a flurry of verbal abuse from my exterminator, who happened to let it drop that he is hurting for work right now. All of which leads me to wonder whether his results are not that great or more people are self treating.
Thanks to both of you for giving the most useful advice and support yet. :)
Wow, and I thought I was/looked antiquated because I still carry my suitcases! Good point, Matt.
"If you self treat you will only spread the problem to surrounding apartments until they come back to you."
Um, this is the essence of life in New York City.
Even "qualified professionals" cannot keep bugs (of any kind) out of a building permanently, because there will always be at least one tenant in the building who's not as scrupulously clean as you are.
I find it amusing that over the past 20 years since we've gone from CARRYING our suitcases (http://image1.masterfile.com/getImage/846-05648104em-1950s---1960s-MAN-SALESMAN-BUSINESSMAN-WITH-TWO-SUITCASES-RUNNING-JUMP.jpg) to dragging them all over God Only Knows Where, we're only know wondering why we have a problem with bedbugs.
We are a boutique building in LIC (21 units). we currently have First Management (chosen by sponsor) and we are fed up with it. We are looking to replace our management company. Any recommendation of companies that specialize in small buildings will be really helpful.
issue well covered here: http://streeteasy.com/talk/discussion/17818-80-carpet-rules
I have heard in many instances that a building requires 80% of the floor covered. I have never heard of anything else that a person would have to do. If the person complaining about the noise can't love with it they probably should move or do some sound proofing to their ceiling. Just my opinion.
It's so tricky -- floors conduct sound differently. It could be something as simple as the hardwood was laid improperly. Or you could be walking with a heavier foot than you realize. Do you have pets? Dogs in particular make more noise than their owners realize. And it's not about barking; it's about running. A little guy running about overhead can sound like a bowling ball. A big guy can sound like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. One of the quickest and easiest fixes is to stop wearing shoes in the house (I don't know why people would want to wear their street shoes in their homes in the first place).
I suppose it's possible something was done incorrectly when your floor was replaced. If that is the case you will be responsible for whatever 'fix' is needed, even if the mistake was made by previous owners.
Something else to think about before things get that extreme, though--even with 80% covering if you are clomping around in heels or have kids running around excessively you will probably disturb the downstairs neighbors. Perhaps try to do what you can to keep noise in check a bit more and perhaps this issue will go away on its own.
Go to this book from the government: http://www.nonoise.org/epa/Roll10/roll10doc26.pdf
It explains the mitigation for all types of noises. Remember, noise abatement has to consider BOTH apartments. It may be that your neighbors may have to make some changes to their home also. It may be that your neighbor is overly sensitive to noise. Also try to see whether this neighbor complained about the prior owners too.
I lived in a rent controlled apartment and the downstairs neighbor complained so much about me that I was put on notice. (The managing agent was also trying to dump the rent controlled tenants.) I asked the managing agent to come out to both apartments and see what type of remediation we could do. Good thing. The downstairs neighbor told the managing agent that I was intolerable since she heard me walking in the foyer when I entered and left the apartment. (That was because I switched I wore soft soled slippers in the house and changed to street shoes in the foyer. ) Also I took a shower every evening when she was watching TV. He asked her whether there was anything else and she said no. The managing agent came up to see my apartment and found everything in order. He told the neighbor that she was unreasonable to complain about less than 30 minutes of normal "noise" a day and suggested she move to a nursing home.
Thanks for the responses. My latter question stemmed from NYCMatt's doomsday prediction. Nothing more.
Right. Leaving it to the managing agent forces the board to codify just what the requirements are. It really boils down to meeting the financial criteria and not being a litigious crackpot. That can easily be verified by the managing agent.
On the other hand, it's the board's responsibility to vet buyers, so just blowing it off seems to be going too far.
Stop overanalyzing this. There isn't enough data recorded or even data to be recorded for non-traditional co-op approvals. A managing agent doing it is likely to give approval because none of the emotional aspects are involved.
NYCMatt, I understand that a MA may have less of an interest (i.e- it is not a shareholder and doesn't have to live/pay for a deadbeat or a "crazy" neighnot) in keeping out questionable candidates but I presume that they review the financial documentation fairly close, do DTI calculations and generally follow some sort of approval model that has been adopted by the Board. Further, from what I read on here, unless you are drooling or insult someone pretty badly, if you are brought in for an interview, you are generally good. I understand that 5 minds are usually better than 1 but do you think there is a real statistical difference between co-op defaults for shareholders who gain entry in non-alternative means such as MA approval only or purchasers of Sponsor units? And again, from what I was told, all other issues, capital improvements, finances, etc. are decided by the Board. Anyone else have any thoughts?
Lz, the fact that you're even asking that question frightens me. Stick with buying in New Jersey.
Is this building self managed? This could be the problem. Hire a managing agent and offload the work to a super and managing agent. The board should be over-seeing the process and not turning unit owners into porters and engineers.
The board should be accessible by email or in person at reasonable hours.
"Would a NYC apartment president/super even take these calls?" ... NO!
"are going to have to be small and incremental" ... NO!
Who has leverage if you decide to change the rules and do something shocking like telling people to communicate complaints via email - Them because they can say you've violated some weird by-law or you because you can just say there is no written rule and you can cite market convention as justification. I suspect it's the latter.
@Alan - To *some* extent they expect non-conformity. But what they *want* is for me to do things exactly as they have previously been done. (Exhibit A: the 2003-vintage phones that we carry around.) So any changes I want to make, either for just my term or for future presidents, are going to have to be small and incremental.
I've already set up a web-based e-mail address for the building (which I will pass down to the future president) so that I can answer e-mail using a proper PC and keyboard rather than the outdated telephone number pad. I've got the monthly meetings moved from 1 PM to 4 PM. I've eliminated the need to physically greet the cleaning staff when they arrive at 7:10 AM each morning, and am having them place their daily report copy in the mailbox.
Really it's just the phone calls at arbitrary times from other residents who expect me to always be at the ready. Would a NYC apartment president/super even take these calls? A paid super probably would. But an unpaid board president?
>I should add that this isn't in NYC.
What city is this in?
I am about to place a bid on what my broker has termed a "liberal coop" (20% down, unlimited subletting) on the UWS. My housing DTI is 22% and total DTI is 28% (no CC debt, just student loans). Credit score is over 800, I have been employed at the same job for 11 years and have been consistently promoted so I believe all that is solid. However, I have a question about post-closing liquidity requirements: is there a rule of thumb for "liberal coops"? I ask b/c after down payment/closing costs, I will only have about 20 months of "liquid assets", cash/stocks (401K adds almost 250K but I know that doesn't count as liquid). Is that generally sufficient?
Matsonjones: in another thread, someone mentioned that the building has had large maintenance increases the last couple years. Is this true? And can you please explain why the maintenance has been increasing? In general, is the building financially sound, with big reserve fund? Thank you very much for any insight.
I (somewhat) recently moved into 225 East 57th Street.
I like the fact that the hallways are clean and clear, and doorways are not surrounded/cluttered with personal ephemera. It's common space, not an extension of your unit. I've lived in other co-op/condos in the past where it felt like an bootcamp obstacle course just to navigate the hallways.
Now I hope my building board and Wallack Management will look kindly upon the renovation plans I'll be submitting soon (*fingers crossed*)...
Board prez here (but not Mr Paget)... The placement of boots, umbrellas, doormats, bicycles, etc is the common hallways and fire stairs is not only against board rules but moreover against the NYC fire code. It is the same reason that these items are not permitted in rental buildings of well managed buildings. If management is aware of these issues and does not remedy, it creates potential liability to the building if someone were to be injured. This is NOT a co-op issue! This is an issue for all multiple dwellings with shared common areas.
The board president should probably keep his yap shut:
"[...]the Midtown East co-op where Dennis Paget is the president of the board, and where the `no umbrellas and boots in the hallways' rule is also in place. `I tell the staff people to confiscate them,' Mr. Paget said."
that question is more dependent on the submission timeline of the package and the speed of management companies turnaround/review.