In co-op applications, honesty is the best policy

There is a one major reason New York City has fewer homes in foreclosure than most cities in the nation: co-op boards. The level of scrutiny to which potential buyers are subjected when buying a co-op is far more intense than anything a bank could conjure. But how can buyers navigate the increasingly intrusive application process to buy a co-op apartment? The New York Times suggests one simple notion: be very honest.

With some co-ops paying over $3,000 per applicant to screen a prospective buyer, they are likely to find anything an applicant hopes to hide, the Times said. So if there are skeletons in any closets — lawsuits, bankruptcies, criminal convictions — best to state that on the application.

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“Once you hide it,” Michael Wolfe, president of property manager Midboro Management, told the Times, “the board thinks it’s worse than it is.”

Lastly, if the co-op is small, a buyer should probably be willing to serve on the co-op board, the Times said. [NYT] –Guelda Voien