Relocation Guide: Understanding (and loving) Manhattan

Real Estate Broker with The Corcoran Group


Before you come to love Manhattan, you must understand our peculiar housing market. Manhattan is a unique place in the real estate universe. Not only does it have a large rental market (75% of the available housing units vs. about 5 - 10% in other markets), but it has ownership and other important differences that are often puzzling to newcomers.

70% of Home ownership in Manhattan is in coop apartments. The rest are condos, condops and townhouses. Most new construction developments are condos. Most pre-war apartments are co-ops. Manhattan apartments are either pre-war (WWII) or post -war (modern.) Most Townhouses or Brownstones were built in the 19th century.

Showings normally 9 - 5 p.m. (7p.m. the latest)

Most co-ops have restrictions on showing times that vary widely, but must be adhered to. Some buildings do not even allow weekend showings.

Sunday Open Houses are the way to go

Condos and some co-ops will allow public open houses on Sunday afternoons. That means that Sundays can be a good day to see a lot of properties, If you're not with your agent and you are working with an agent let the listing agent know that you have an agent to avoid conflicts. I always pre register my customers with the listing agent prior to the Open House.

Co-op ownership requires submitting a comprehensive Board application (called a Board Package), being interviewed by the Board, and being approved.

Co-op ownership means that you must decide not only whether you like the apartment, but also the building must decide if they will be willing to accept you. Passing a co-op board adds at least 6 - 8 weeks to the purchase process. A major part of my job is helping buyers prepare their packages.

Wear comfortable shoes and leave the car at home or park it for a few hours.

Shopping for a New York apartment is good exercise, so wear comfortable shoes and learn about the neighborhood at the same time. Taxis are hailed for longer destinations.

Manhattan Relocation Package:

Neighborhood Relocation Guides:

Courtesy of:

  • ©Mitchell Hall 2006-2009

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Real Estate General Information
New York New York County Manhattan
I Love NY
Local Expert
Urban Core - Returning to our Downtowns
relocation package
understanding and loving manhattan

Comments 15 New Comment

Lenn Harley
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate

There are a few very nice co-ops in MD.  The Pramanade in Bethesda is classy and very convenient. 

And then, there is the famous Greenbelt Homes, a wonderful co-op community in Greenbelt that was built right after WWII to put men to work when they returned from the war.  The community and the homes were all built, roads and all completely by hand.  The idea was to maximize labor and put as many men to work as possible.  There are 1600 homes and they are managed very well.  The grounds are lovely.  There's a co-op grocery store, gas station, and a great community center with pool. 

A lot of the homes in Liesure World are co-ops too.  Liesure World is a fantastic Over 55 community with about 8000 plus residents.  This is probably the most popular and complete seniors community in the entire area. 

There are some very nice co-ops in MD.  I don't know about VA.


February 16, 2008 06:53 PM
Linda Davis
RE/MAX Realty Group

Fascinating stuff.  I always enjoy reading about your market.

P.S.  Junior's is coming to Ledyard CT.  First store outside NY.  I will forever think of you when eating cheesecake.

February 16, 2008 06:58 PM
Kristal Kraft
Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022
The Berkshire Group Realtors

Hi Mitchell,

Thanks for reminding us that real estate is local. Your market is a perfect example of how we can't assume anything is the same as "back home!"

I so enjoying meeting you and having you show me around your city.  It was not only fun, but a memorable experience for me.  You are SO RIGHT wear comfortable shoes!


February 16, 2008 08:29 PM
Mitchell J Hall
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
The Corcoran Group

Adam, Thanks. Coop boards are much better when you're on one then being interviewed by one. The link to coops vs. condos post explains pros and cons and the entire coop buying process. I'll revamp it for my relo package.

Carole, Thank you. You should try it for a year but you might not ever leave.

Patricia, You're here often enough, it's time to get you a pied-a-terre. I'll give you a list of Open Houses.

Jo -Anne, Thanks I try to stay on top of the market.

Carole, Many showings are between 6pm - 7 pm when buyers get out of work.

Lenn, Greenbelt Homes sound wonderful. Coops can offer "quality of life" for some residents that they couldn't get in a condo - but that's another blog.

Linda, Thank You, Juniors Cheescake opening in Ledyard Wow! 

Kristal, I really enjoyed meeting you. I'm glad you got to see how we do brokers Open Houses. Now you know what I mean when I ask buyers "Do you mind walking"?

February 16, 2008 09:10 PM
Patrice Estess

Interesting Mitchell,

I always say, Manhattan (and the boroughs) are much more fun if you are not reliant on is a great place to be but is extremely frustrating in in traffic ( which happens too often )... gotta love the energy tho!!

March 12, 2008 10:35 AM

Mitchell J Hall

Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
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