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Look Inside: This Colorful Co-op in Manhattan Offers More Than Meets the Eye for $780K

published Jun 22, 2020
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Credit: VHT Studios and The Corcoran Group

The Details

Why we have a crush on this property

While it’s not that uncommon to come across a place as sleek and chic as this one in Manhattan, this apartment stands out for its bold blue cabinets, graphic tiled backsplash and floors, and an open layout with plenty of natural light that lets all those colors and patterns work together without feeling overwhelming. But despite appearances, it’s not a newly built condo. It’s actually a co-op that’s had some serious upgrades. We found it on StreetEasy, which offers the biggest selection of vetted and verified listings in NYC.

Credit: VHT Studios and The Corcoran Group

Number 4C is a bright corner apartment with 9.5-foot ceilings and north- and east-facing windows, so it gets plenty of morning sunshine and indirect light throughout the rest of the day. Its layout maximizes both sunlight and space, with an open concept in the kitchen and living space, and two bedrooms that are each big enough to fit a king-size bed and have spacious closets. The bathroom was just updated with brand new fixtures — including a rainfall showerhead.

As part of a complex called Morningside Gardens, whose notable residents have included Thurgood Marshall and Fiona Apple, this apartment comes with some unexpected amenities. Convenient laundry rooms, 24/7 security, and parking are all part of the package, but whoever moves into number 4C will also get to enjoy the complex’s landscaped gardens, in-house ceramic studio, and fully-equipped woodworking shop. These aren’t your typical amenities.

Credit: VHT Studios and The Corcoran Group

What makes this one special

When you buy a co-op, as opposed to a condo, you’re actually not purchasing the unit itself but rather buying shares in a corporation (the “co-op”, or “cooperative”). The size of the unit determines the number of shares you’re investing in. There is a multitude of pros and cons between co-ops and condos, but one major pro of co-ops is that they’re generally priced lower than their condo counterparts of the same size in the same neighborhood.

Credit: VHT Studios and The Corcoran Group

The reason behind that price differential is multifaceted, but inevitably has something to do with the approval process buying a co-op entails. Closing on a co-op apartment like this one can only happen after the buyer undergoes a thorough approval process overseen by the cooperative’s board. While acing that co-op interview can feel like a hurdle for any potential buyer, there are some good ways you can prepare for it. Also keep in mind that the approval process is in place to help ensure the financial stability of the co-op in the long term, which will ultimately benefit you as well.

In a competitive market like NYC, the stricter co-op approval process also excludes any potential buyer who is just looking to invest in an apartment to use as a place to park some cash and not actually live in. As a result, those types of buyers tend to go for condos instead, driving up prices for newer condos that typically have a more lenient approval process. That trend keeps co-op prices lower for the rest of the market—potential buyers who will also be the unit’s actual tenants.

Credit: VHT Studios and The Corcoran Group

The special thing about number 4C is that it combines the design and amenities (and then some!) you’d be just as likely to find in a similar condo with the financial structure of a co-op. In the end, the decision to go co-op or condo all comes down to an individual or family’s housing needs, but for any potential co-op buyer, this apartment is a great find. Whether you’re looking for a co-op or a condo to call your own, StreetEasy has it in their listings.