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Old 11-07-2013, 12:59 PM
 
14 posts, read 55,305 times
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Hi,

I've been doing a lot of reading regarding HDFC Co-Ops. I've read how you need to do a lot of due diligence regarding investigating a potential HDFC Co-Op's financial, the Board of Directors, etc. I also read that I'd want to have an attorney that specializes in HDFC Co-Ops. I've read about the income restrictions and how there can be other financial rules around flip tax and what you can and can't do, etc, which vary from Co-Op to Co-Op. All of that sounds great and I think I understand most all that I've read.

The one thing that I'm still uncertain about, though, is, on average, how long it could/would take (beginning to end) to actually buy such an apartment? I guess what I'm looking for are experiential stories from others that have gone through the process. How long did it take? What was your experience? What were the steps in the whole process? These kind of things.

Thanks so much for any help! I really appreciate it! I know that there are some shady HDFC Co-Op Boards out there, but if my family and I were able to actually buy an HDFC Co-Op apartment in a legitimately upright Co-Op, I don't think I would ever stop grinning!
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Bergen County, NJ
9,855 posts, read 24,358,914 times
Reputation: 3607
You should get in touch with someone over at UHAB. They could definitely answer at least some of your questions.

Home | UHAB | Urban Homesteading Assistance Board
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:15 PM
 
14 posts, read 55,305 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by NooYowkur81 View Post
You should get in touch with someone over at UHAB. They could definitely answer at least some of your questions.

Home | UHAB | Urban Homesteading Assistance Board
Thanks! I will do that.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:10 PM
DAS
 
2,532 posts, read 6,609,097 times
Reputation: 1113
Quote:
Originally Posted by rashiki View Post
Thanks! I will do that.
They are the experts I'll agree, and they can tell you all the ends and outs and pitfalls of HDFC's. But I caution don't buy one of their renovated apts, unless you can do a lot of re-renovation yourself. Their apts are the worst ever in terms of construction.

Here are some things to look out for in case you decide to go with them.

Realize if the buiding doesn't have things like laundry rooms, storage rooms, roof decks etc. it's for a reason. Like they didn't renovate the plumbing to accomodate laundry rooms, the basement cannot have a storage room per the dept of buildings, the warranty on the roof won't cover roof decks. Check out the architecture of the building to understand why. Some of their buildings have one or some of these things.

Also know that you will live with the original tenants and they are not moving. These shareholders are used to living together for years and do things a certain way. Make sure you visit buidings day and night on Saturday especially to see how things are. Trust me I know from friends that this is sometimes very hard to deal with.

UHAB promises a lot of things to get people that can buy straight out without loans, and that have good credit. It is hard to get a loan or mortgage for their housing. UHAB will tell you that you and the other shareholders run the building but you don't. They do. The longer you live there you will figure this out. There is also a lot of tension between new and old shareholders. Mainly because of poor insulation and resulting noise.

I also recommend Met Council on Housing metcouncilonhousing.org they are not into real estate development like UHAB they just give legal advice and can also tell you the ends and outs of all types of NYC Housing that you can rent or purchase.‎ They would be more objective than UHAB.

On a positive note about UHAB. UHAB monitors a majority of NYC HDFC's they do good work, because most of what they rehab was deteriorated city owned properties. They want to sell the vacant units after rehab to low-middle income people that are financially stable, while protecting the original tenants housing.

The drawbacks are what the new shareholders have to deal with. If you go with them look for buidlings with more vacancies than occupied apts. You will have more financially stable people that have had background checks, good credit etc.

The old former tenants that are now shareholders also have to deal with a brand new apt. that was poorly renovated. Before they could not hear music and the slightest noise from another apt now they can.

I actually heard this at CB (Community Board) meeting. Many long term tenants say that they hear things that they never would have heard before, and don't want to hear, so they turn the music up in their apts to block out the noise. Then the couple in the apt making the noise complains that it is late and this is waking up their children. People claim that they can hear people brush their teeth in the next apt.
Don't move into a top floor apt either. Leaking roofs are another major complaint.

This is heard all the time at CB meetings where complaints against UHAB are heard. UHAB has been called in to defend themselves at many meetings. I have seen UHAB people almost in fist fights with shareholders.

There is another grass roots organization that is trying to get funds to help coops repair poor construction performed by UHAB contractors. Try searching it I can't think of the name but they are about poorly constructed former HPD renovations. Currrently UHAB are the only ones that will give funds and make repairs in exchange to monitor buidlings that are already HDFC's and are in need of repairs.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:28 PM
 
Location: West Harlem
6,885 posts, read 9,469,101 times
Reputation: 3058
Quote:
Originally Posted by NooYowkur81 View Post
You should get in touch with someone over at UHAB. They could definitely answer at least some of your questions.

Home | UHAB | Urban Homesteading Assistance Board
I second this, or should say, I would have - did not know about the contentions.
I had always heard good things.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:47 PM
DAS
 
2,532 posts, read 6,609,097 times
Reputation: 1113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlem resident View Post
I second this, or should say, I would have - did not know about the contentions.
I had always heard good things.
Yes would have only heard the good things if you don't know people that live in their buildings. Met council is in the LES they have many buildings their, and you will hear many stories from residents. Met however only states good things. So does the City Council.

The good thing and the best thing is that they take the buildings from the city and give them to the residents to run. They train the residents. However that training is for the residents to keep abreast of the building and themselves, so that UHAB can work on the bigger picture. Nothing wrong with that. UHAB hires the management, and supers etc. They monitor the buildings forever.

Because the main objective has been reached to get the property that was losing money off of the City's hands it will always be a good thing. Also the second objective is accomplished in that if a residents moves they receive the amount that the share is worth. They cannot sell to whomever they would like. They cannot give it to a relative. UHAB will basically pick the next shareholder. Good credit and stable finances are the main objective for that.

My own personal prediction is that the buildings won't last more than 20 years if that long. Many are walkups and they will be torn down for something taller and more modern. When UHAB started in many of the neighborhoods that house their buildings about 15 years ago (Yankee Stadium area, Harlem, LES Bed Stuy, Crown Heights) no one could have predicted the gentrification and resulting changes to the areas.
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:08 PM
 
Location: West Harlem
6,885 posts, read 9,469,101 times
Reputation: 3058
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAS View Post

The good thing and the best thing is that they take the buildings from the city and give them to the residents to run. They train the residents. However that training is for the residents to keep abreast of the building and themselves, so that UHAB can work on the bigger picture. Nothing wrong with that. UHAB hires the management, and supers etc. They monitor the buildings forever.
I know a few TIL buildings that might have benefitted from that. They are basically going under, could not do the management, many good low-income people and a few losers but they spoil things for everyone. I am interested because people frequently ask me for advice.

With the TIL buildings, the city often just leaves them to their own devices, failing to give the support they need - rather callously I think. Now that the lower Convent area is developing a bit, or is poised for that in any case, buildings that have been mismanaged are being taken out of the program. It does create the sense that the city used the TIL program until there was a demand.
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:20 PM
 
14 posts, read 55,305 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAS View Post
They are the experts I'll agree, and they can tell you all the ends and outs and pitfalls of HDFC's. But I caution don't buy one of their renovated apts, unless you can do a lot of re-renovation yourself. Their apts are the worst ever in terms of construction.

Here are some things to look out for in case you decide to go with them.

Realize if the buiding doesn't have things like laundry rooms, storage rooms, roof decks etc. it's for a reason. Like they didn't renovate the plumbing to accomodate laundry rooms, the basement cannot have a storage room per the dept of buildings, the warranty on the roof won't cover roof decks. Check out the architecture of the building to understand why. Some of their buildings have one or some of these things.

Also know that you will live with the original tenants and they are not moving. These shareholders are used to living together for years and do things a certain way. Make sure you visit buidings day and night on Saturday especially to see how things are. Trust me I know from friends that this is sometimes very hard to deal with.

UHAB promises a lot of things to get people that can buy straight out without loans, and that have good credit. It is hard to get a loan or mortgage for their housing. UHAB will tell you that you and the other shareholders run the building but you don't. They do. The longer you live there you will figure this out. There is also a lot of tension between new and old shareholders. Mainly because of poor insulation and resulting noise.

I also recommend Met Council on Housing metcouncilonhousing.org they are not into real estate development like UHAB they just give legal advice and can also tell you the ends and outs of all types of NYC Housing that you can rent or purchase.‎ They would be more objective than UHAB.

On a positive note about UHAB. UHAB monitors a majority of NYC HDFC's they do good work, because most of what they rehab was deteriorated city owned properties. They want to sell the vacant units after rehab to low-middle income people that are financially stable, while protecting the original tenants housing.

The drawbacks are what the new shareholders have to deal with. If you go with them look for buidlings with more vacancies than occupied apts. You will have more financially stable people that have had background checks, good credit etc.

The old former tenants that are now shareholders also have to deal with a brand new apt. that was poorly renovated. Before they could not hear music and the slightest noise from another apt now they can.

I actually heard this at CB (Community Board) meeting. Many long term tenants say that they hear things that they never would have heard before, and don't want to hear, so they turn the music up in their apts to block out the noise. Then the couple in the apt making the noise complains that it is late and this is waking up their children. People claim that they can hear people brush their teeth in the next apt.
Don't move into a top floor apt either. Leaking roofs are another major complaint.

This is heard all the time at CB meetings where complaints against UHAB are heard. UHAB has been called in to defend themselves at many meetings. I have seen UHAB people almost in fist fights with shareholders.

There is another grass roots organization that is trying to get funds to help coops repair poor construction performed by UHAB contractors. Try searching it I can't think of the name but they are about poorly constructed former HPD renovations. Currrently UHAB are the only ones that will give funds and make repairs in exchange to monitor buidlings that are already HDFC's and are in need of repairs.
Thank you so much for all the heads-up tips! I think I might be a little confused, now, though. Regarding UHAB. I'm not interested in buying an apartment through UHAB, through their lottery process, but I would plan to buy an HDFC co-op apartment through a broker. So regarding your comments about bad UHAB construction. Don't all HDFC co-ops go through the hands of UHAB? That was my assumption, but I think maybe I've misunderstood. Because if that was the case, then that would mean that all HDFC co-ops are of shoddy construction. Am I totally not understanding correctly?

When doing all of my reading regarding HDFC co-ops, it sounded so fantastic. I mean, really fantastic. The idea. The concept. Preserving affordable housing prices...a sense of serious pride in owning your own apartment in NYC. And I understand that you REALLY need to do your homework and hire an attorney to do investigation to protect yourself before buying.

But then there's the "real" side of it, it seems. Corrupt board of directors. All of the construction issues you mentioned and the tension between old and new tenants. I just wonder if there are any people out there that really love living in their HDFC co-op...where they feel so lucky to actually be able to an apartment in NYC. I'd love to hear encouraging stories like that. At least some.

(Side note. I just had a wonderful realtor call me back to let me pick her brain about a couple of HDFC co-op sales she did. That was helpful!)

Thank you for the link to the Met Council on Housing too! I'm definitely going to read through their site and see if I can ask them any additional questions I might have.

I think I'm going to start another thread asking if anyone would be willing to share their good HDFC co-op experiences. I really want to see if any out there exist. This would be a big decision for my family and I want to see if this can really work, or not. Thanks!
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:44 PM
DAS
 
2,532 posts, read 6,609,097 times
Reputation: 1113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlem resident View Post
I know a few TIL buildings that might have benefitted from that. They are basically going under, could not do the management, many good low-income people and a few losers but they spoil things for everyone. I am interested because people frequently ask me for advice.

With the TIL buildings, the city often just leaves them to their own devices, failing to give the support they need - rather callously I think. Now that the lower Convent area is developing a bit, or is poised for that in any case, buildings that have been mismanaged are being taken out of the program. It does create the sense that the city used the TIL program until there was a demand.
I totally agree with your assessment. TIL allowed the shareholders to manage themselves and their finances. They also were responsible for the rehab. There are many reasons why this failed. From allowing people to get away with not paying rent because you knew them for 50 years, to do it yourself rehabs that were improperly completed.

They now have what UHAB helped to develop, TIL2. UHAB takes over the rehab and the management. This is promoting I think the word you used in another thread reurbanization. UHAB chooses the candidates for the vacant apt. People with good credit, stable incomes, from jobs or small businesses, and the ability to buy the apt with cash. This is usually a young person with an inheritance or savings that makes little cash. Many are educated but paying back huge student loans which is taken into consideration. They may also have a cosigner if the credit rating is not good. Or they are middle aged people forced to move from rent controlled apts that a recently deceased parent had in UWS or similar neighborhood. Many applicants originally from the neighborhood feel that they were turned down for apts in favor of some of these people, even though they also have the same solid jobs and good credit.

Ive heard horror stories on UHAB's choice of management and their accounting trickery in an effort to force residents out in favor of the reurbanizers. Many court battles with that.

The failing HDFC can also get into UHAB's recovery program, where they basically come in and do the same things except the building is already cooped.

The ones thrown out of the TIL program can contact UHAB to go into TIL2.

The apts are relatively cheap and the construction is poor. The maintenance is also low. You may have to put up with a lot of ghetto behavior. The kinds of things that are regularly complained about on this forum. You get what you pay for.
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Manhattan
24,727 posts, read 34,713,518 times
Reputation: 12245
Quote:

All of that sounds great and I think I understand most all that I've
read.
Well you've got a leg up on me. I cannot make head nor tail out of these things. Things I don't understand that involve lots of money scare me away.
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