coop board interviews

Started by tamaressner
over 13 years ago
Posts: 21
Member since: Apr 2007
Discussion about
anything to know in advance? what might i expect (though i gather every board is different). my broker keeps saying that the interviews are tricky and that i will need her help in preparing for them, but i'm beginning to mistrust a lot of things that she tells me, so i thought i'd pose the question here. i don't have an accepted offer yet, but if this makes any difference, i'm mostly looking at prewar buildings on the uws - studio apartments. thanks for any advice or insight!
Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 2841
Member since: Feb 2007

Make sure your paperwork is in order and I would suggest just be open and honest with them.

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 2841
Member since: Feb 2007

Usually the broker knows about the Boards reputation so he/she might be of help

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 371
Member since: Apr 2007

our board generally conducts interviews in latin or ancient greek. They focus on philosophical/ethical questions, but sometimes they'll venture into string theory.

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 2841
Member since: Feb 2007

#4 it's too early in the morning for stupid comments.

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 380
Member since: Apr 2007

Ahahhaaha, #4's comment is funny........ its one of the best stupid comments I have read so far. Better to focus on philosophical questions than liquid assets, so dont complain #5.

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 380
Member since: Apr 2007

Do big tits or a nice ass count at a board interview?

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 371
Member since: Apr 2007

They could count. However, you have to keep in mind that board members are self selected to have, shall we say, unusual sexual interests. Show up with a tee saying "I REALLY love animals."

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 104
Member since: Jan 2007

usually if you are accepted to interview level; you are generally accepted. Many times what we want to check in the interview is use of the apartment or pets. Other piece of info as a current board member are that brokers are completely clueless. They will try to make you dress a certain way or say unnatural compliments. This is generally a negative to the board rather a positive.

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 21
Member since: Apr 2007

i've heard stories (don't know if they're actually true) of board members rejecting people for completely non-sensical reasons - e.g., this one buyer was in his early 20s and the money for the apartment was being gifted to him by his parents. so he didn't need a mortgage - was paying all cash, and would have had sufficent funds in his name post-closing. apparently, the board felt that he was too young to be buying a studio and they rejected him. now, this sounds completely crazy, and i personally don't believe it either...i'm just throwing it out there to see what others think. my broker had told me this story when she was trying to tell me that there are just some buildings for which i "don't qualify" - because i'm also a young buyer.

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 214
Member since: Feb 2007

#10--totally true--there are crazy stories out there about board turn downs

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 29
Member since: Mar 2007

Yes #10 these things do happen - that's probably a somewhat garbled version of the story, but boards can have strong feelings about financial commitment / long-term stability; "youth" is a way of judging relative job security, for instance, which is important for the monthly maintenance payments. If someone is unemployed or insecurely employed those payments might become an issue. Read the "parents buying for children" threads ("Now I get it...") for more commentary on this issue.

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 214
Member since: Feb 2007

#9--well you sound like you are part of a very forthright, uncomplicated board. But there are many who discriminate on the basis of numerous reasons that some of us might find nonsensical. One of the ways in which a broker can help is to find out what the board is looking for so that a buyer who will end up being rejected will never waste their time energy and money trying.

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 104
Member since: Jan 2007

#13, in response. A broker (unless a building resident) are always off base in our experience. They get their info from the managing agent who are always keep out of the pre interview discussions/review.

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 21
Member since: Apr 2007

#13 -- can you elaborate on anything else that the board might look for -- either as something positive or something negative that might lead the potential buyer to be disqualifed? any advice/things us buyers should know or avoid?

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 104
Member since: Jan 2007

#15, a few topics we as well other UES/UWS I know boards address,

financial:
Debt/Equity ratio: Some boards use these; some don't though brokers tell the applicant they do. If used, can range from 24% to 28%. Most boards I know really eyeball this. (managing agent tells them otherwise just to sound professional)
Liquidity after close: Many times this is eyeballed but some can calculate this to include 2 to 5 years maintenance/mortgage after close.

These financial ratios are used when people feel like discriminating and bypassed when they like something about you. If you are granted an interview, financials are generally accepted.

Generally boards have old people from a different era who scrutinize young people more (b/c they are young). Look at the format of the primary application. They are from the typewriter era as are many board members. Some look at pets (despite building policy), partier potential, and type of job. Also, make sure application is presented as complete. Recommendations are BS, but make them seem detailed and lengthy. (write yourself and have them sign it).

And yes, despite being on a board, the approval process is ludicrous/random and I hope for our building to turn condop one day so we can make an extra 30% on our apartments. Hopefully you can get onto your building's board one day and try to do the same. I was in your boat years ago and trying to do something about it now.Good luck.

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Response by anonymous
over 13 years ago
Posts: 631
Member since: Sep 2006

Some more advice -

Accuracy: Make sure you have back-up support for EVERY item you list on your financial statement (i.e. bank statements, brokerage/IRA, etc). And make sure the balances match EXACTLY.

As for the interview, it really depends on the board. My coop board 'interview' was more of a 'welcome to the building' meeting, as they were more interested in my financials than whether I liked the color blue or voted republican.

For really good advice, check out www.urbandigs.com. They had an excellent article a while back on preparing a coop board package. Good luck!

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