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  • Dillon Ross

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Condo in NYC

NYC Condo
Copyright: © 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

Buying a Condo in NYC

Buying a condo in New York City is not easy. There are many condos for sale and so many different neighborhoods to choose from that it often becomes overwhelming. The more you know about this bustling city, the better decision you'll be able to make when buying a condo.

Because of how competitive the NYC real estate market is, it's always best to contact and work with an NYC real estate agent, and they will help you throughout the entire process, from the initial search to closing day.

This guide will give you all the information that you need to find your perfect NYC condo. From deciphering if buying or renting is right for you, to knowing which neighborhoods are best, and what amenities are offered by different condo buildings, here's everything you need to know about buying a condo in New York City.

Condo Living in New York City

Living in a condo is different from living in a single-family home. Instead of living on private property, a condo is a privately owned space within a building.

Condos are not the same as apartments because an apartment is typically rented rather than owned. Residents of condos pay HOA fees or common charges to ensure that all communal areas, like pools or gyms, are maintained well. A condo can be a townhouse, loft, or highrise.

While there are alternatives to condominiums in NYC, condos tend to be the most popular form of ownership for residents in NYC.

Buying a Condo in NYC

New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the United States, but it's also one of the most popular, and rightfully so. There is so much to do in NYC, and you will never be bored.

There are so many different condo buildings and neighborhoods to choose from, but if you want to buy a condo in NYC, there are certain things you need to know before you start looking.

The first thing you need to find out is whether buying or renting is better for you. It may seem like purchasing a home is always better than renting, but that might not be the case when purchasing a NYC condo.

If you figure that you can't afford a monthly mortgage payment with taxes and maintenance charges or if you're planning on living in your condo for less than five years, maybe renting would be a better option for you at this time.

If not, and your finances permit, buying a condo in NYC might be the best option for you!

Choosing the Right Neighborhood

New York City consists of five boroughs. For this guide, we're going to focus on Manhattan.

One of the first steps when buying a condo in NYC is to decide which neighborhood you want to live within. Then, once you've picked a few areas to look into, you or your NYC real estate agent will research that neighborhood's in greater detail to see if it's a good fit for you. It will be helpful to know the area before visiting a place and understanding what the area is like regarding school systems, nightlife, restaurants, and more.

Some neighborhoods can be more expensive than others, so that's why it's important to know what you can afford when looking at condos for sale. You should also make sure your commute will work when considering buying a condo in NYC. For example, if you work in the Financial District, you might want to rethink buying in the Upper West Side. Your daily commute might be longer than you want.

One of the most popular neighborhoods with condos for sale in NYC is the Upper East Side. This neighborhood has easy access to public transportation and some of New York's best schools. Plus, the Upper East Side neighborhood has excellent restaurants, parks, and shopping nearby.

What Amenities Do You Want?

Another critical thing to decide when buying a condo in NYC is what amenities you want in your building. Some condos offer pools, fitness centers, and yoga studios, while others offer outdoor kitchens and rooftop terraces. Some condos come with a full-time door attendant, while others do not.

NYC Condo Amenities
Image Credit: Tishman Speyer

Full-service luxury buildings are a fantastic place to buy a condo and live in, but of course, that comes at a cost.

If building amenities aren't important to you, you won't need to spend as much money as someone who considers them the utmost importance in their search.

Knowing what amenities you want or don't want is critical in choosing which NYC condo building is right for you.

How Much Money Are You Willing to Spend?

Ah, everyone's favorite question to answer!

One of the first things to consider before deciding if a condo in NYC is right for you is your budget. Condos can be found at all price points, from a studio for $500,000 to a penthouse suite that may cost upwards of $10 million. You can find condos that are more affordable to buy than rent, but you also need to account for things like common chargers, taxes, insurance, and tips to building staff.

While owning is undoubtedly better than renting in the long run, owning a condo comes with costs that aren't always clear on day one.

Understanding your finances will help narrow down your search and ensure that you're able to afford the home you choose.


Buying a condo in NYC is a big decision and requires careful consideration. That's why if you're serious about buying a condo in NYC, you'll want to have a great real estate agent and real estate attorney on your side helping you.

To get started with your condo search in NYC or to have a conversation about the NYC real estate market, don't hesitate to contact me and discuss.

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