Before you’re allowed to buy into a co-operatively owned apartment building in NYC you have to survive a Co-Op Board interview and if you, your dog or even your spouse don’t pass muster then you will get knocked back no matter how much $$’s you have.
First you have to survive the Application Package stage where 90% of rejections take place. Interview stage is the last step not the first. In the application come clean on your financials: your net worth, debt to income ratio, still paying alimony to first wife (?), taxation records back for 3-5 years, pay stubs, children in expensive private school (?). It is incredibly intrusive and unless you pass the ‘in a strong financial position’ test you don’t have a hope.
In the Application Package you will also include a letter introducing you and your family and why you want to buy into the co-op in question. Flattery of the board is useful if done neatly, airbrushing your own past history is okay as long as their private vetting of you isn’t going to show up a criminal record or firing from a job in the past. Use the lessons you have learnt applying for jobs and gild the lily within reason.
Once you make the interview you will get questions directed towards making sure you will not disrupt the existing ‘atmosphere’ of the co-op. Are you really financially secure, are you power hungry and will try to takeover the baord, are you voting Democrat instead of Republican or vice versa, do you have wild parties and are you trustworthy. And most importantly will your dog fit in the elevator, eat fellow dogs in the building or bark all night. Be warned, on the whole French bulldogs are more acceptable than Alaskan huskies.
Of course no sensible applicant will answer these questions in the spirit of stark honesty. You are engaged ion a mutual process of bluff, counter bluff and blatant schmoozing, not real life. But then again if you steer too far from the truth and your subsequent behavior is judged to be horrid you could be out on your ear. So in reality be in the ballpark of what the baord expects.
Some attorney’s, those highly skilled in the art of the pleasing bland non answer, will prep you for a co-op and if you feel you need a bit of help then seek that help.
Ask yourself is it all worth it. The process is highly instrusive and frankly unfair but it’s the price you pay for buying into one of the older buildings in NYC.