Why is this Co-op deal so good?

3 Replies

I have been offered the opportunity to buy an unlisted 2 BR co-op in Manhattan for $80,000.  It's under a government program that pegs prices to nearby rents, keeping prices artificially low. However, I was told that in a short time the building's debt will be paid off and prices will float to market level, it will no longer be under the government program (HDFC). Nearby listings show co-ops for about $150k. My friend said he got his unit (in this building) appraised when he bought it and it was worth twice what he paid, which matches my research so far. They are only accepting cash offers and buyers need to be earning less than a specified amount. Because the building was mismanaged until recently, monthly co-op fees are $750/month but are expected to go down (so they say) once a few more units are sold. If I get permission from the co-op board to get a roommate, I could easily get $1100 or more a month in rent from my roommate. 

I'm trying to figure out if there's anything I'm missing. I'm familiar with co-ops; boards can be a headache and the investment might not appreciate. It's a share in a company, not a deed. This building has about $300k in debt, so that doesn't seem like a huge problem to me.

What else should I look into for my due diligence? I've been told a couple factors to look out for, but do you have any thoughts on why this deal might be so cheap other than what I discussed above? 

Your biggest concern here would be profit sharing when its time to sell, as well the income restrictions (need to show less that 70K income annually. When you sell its likely you would have to give up to 70% of your profits to the government and the building. Thats why the sales price is low. However if you fit the requirements and intend to live there for a long time I think it can be a great deal.