Gettry Marcus, a Leading Real Estate & Forensic Accounting Firm, Discusses Questions to Help Evaluate if a Cooperative Housing Unit is Financially Sound for Purchase

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Gettry Marcus, a leading real estate and forensic accounting firm with offices in Long Island and New York, provides answers to commonly asked questions for evaluating the financial soundness of cooperative housing units.

Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C., discusses common questions that will help evaluate if a cooperative housing unit is financially sound for purchase.

“Before purchasing a cooperative apartment, working with an accounting professional will enable you to identify important questions a buyer should consider in order to develop a clear picture of the financial health and value of their potential purchase,” says Joel C. Dressner, CPA and Partner at Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C., a leading real estate and business valuation firm.

What do the financial statements tell you?

It's important to review the financial statements to determine the financial condition of the property. Does it generate sufficient cash flow? What are the liabilities? Has a reserve fund been established for future repairs and replacements? The primary responsibility of the cooperative housing corporation is to maintain and preserve the common property at a cost that is shared by all the owners.

Should I be concerned about uncollected maintenance?

Uncollected maintenance charges at the end of the month are typical and are not necessarily a cause for alarm. However, maintenance receivables that accumulate may indicate that management is not actively pursuing late payers and poor cash flow may result.

What kinds of improvements have been made to the property?

Major improvements such as a new roof or boiler indicate that the property is being well maintained and the investment is being cared for. In addition, new equipment such as a boiler should be energy efficient and reduce future operating costs.

Are reserve funds sufficient to provide for future major repairs and replacements?

This is not an easy question to answer, but an important one to raise. Has a detailed study been done that describes the condition of the major building components and service systems? How does the Board plan to fund anticipated future capital improvement and repair projects? Are the reserve funds sufficient to pay for them? Will additional financing be required or will a special assessment be imposed? If so, what effect will they have on the monthly maintenance charges? After repairs and improvements are made, is there a plan to replenish the reserve fund? Are flip taxes being considered as a source of additional income at the time an apartment is sold?

Are the liabilities a liability for me?

Are liabilities higher from one year to the next? Do they seem excessive? The explanations may be simple. Or are unpaid bills accumulating because of inadequate cash flow? The largest liability of the co-op is the underlying mortgage. The notes to the financial statements will provide the term of the mortgage, the rate of interest, and the maturity date. Is the rate competitive with current market rates? If the loan is maturing, will refinancing result in increased debt service payments that could increase maintenance charges? If refinancing conditions are favorable, will a prepayment penalty be imposed when the current mortgage is repaid?

With the help of an accounting professional and through a critical analysis of the information described above, a potential buyer can develop a clear picture of the financial health and value of their desired purchase.

For the full article on analyzing a cooperative purchase, visit the Gettry Marcus website.

Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C. is a Top 200 firm nationally with offices in Woodbury, Long Island and New York City. We provide accounting, tax, and consulting services to commercial businesses, high net worth individuals and various industries which include Real Estate and Health Care. We have one of the premier and most credentialed Business Valuation, Litigation and Forensic Accounting Groups in the New York Area. Our experience in diverse industries and a highly talented and experienced professional staff gives us the ability to share valuable insights into our clients’ businesses, to better understand their goals and problems and to help them attain the vision they have for their company.

Gettry Marcus is "Always Looking Deeper" to build value for our clients.

Media inquiries: Contact Fayellen Dietchweiler at 516-364-3390 ext. 225 or via email at fdietchweiler(at)gettrymarcus(dot)com.

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Scott Darrohn
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Fayellen Dietchweiler
Gettry Marcus
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