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Chatham Towers
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For the benefits of potential buyers, I would like to share my experience with the board in this building. To be fair, I think this is one of the premium building in Civic Center/China Town, and if you like the neighborhood, the location is perfect. We were attracted to this building and so we made an offer on a small unit. After short negotiation, our offer was accepted and everything is just fine. Then we proceed with the board application - the application, in my opinion, is quite and a lot of information is unnecessary. For example, it asked for 3 year of tax return, 4 friends reference letters, rental reference letters, bank reference letters, proof of insurance, multiple bank statements, perform a credit check, employment verification letter and more. So after spending nights and nights with my wife and broker to prepare those materials (I think the whole process took me about 1 month), and the board came back in 2 days and would not consent to our purchase with no reason given. We were quite annoyed at the black box operations and with all the time spent on the application, we were not even granted a chance for the interview!! Worst of all, accompany the application are a bunch of fees - application fee, document production fee, move is deposit, move in fee (not the same as deposit), credit check fee etc.. of course, for the fees that are non-refundable, they are gone. Even for the refundable fees (e.g. move in deposit), I still haven't got it back after 2-3 months.

I am not sure if it is only me, or it applies to everyone interested in this building. But I found the application process a little unreal and I am not sure what the board is looking for. If you are considering buying in this building, I would suggest first consult with your broker to get some color about the board to get a sense whether your chance of approval is high. If not, then I would not recommend going through all the troubles and frustrations on the application. In the end, we felt a little lucky that we got rejected, as I imagine it would be an extremely difficult process to go through if at any point in the future you want to sell your place.

Any thoughts?

It's not you, and it's not the building. With the exception of requesting the move-in deposit upon application, what you've described is a very typical application package for coops in NYC.

It's a lot of work, there is much privacy invasion, and the initial fees are steep. Unfortunately, coop boards may legally reject applicants for any reason, and are under no obligation to disclose why.

I'm sorry you had to go through that.

Welcome to the club - wear the badge with honor.

Right - I have moved on. I decided to buy a condo, and will avoid coops in the future.

Chatham Towers

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