A prime Lower East Side location for under $1 million, a top-floor duplex layout with lots of windows, and a super-low maintenance fee of $498/month–no, it’s not too good to be true. This charming unit at 208 Forsyth Street is an HDFC co-op, meaning that prospective buyers can’t make more than a certain amount in order to qualify. And with loads of exposed brick and wood ceiling beams, an adorable spiral staircase, and a country-chic kitchen, this $850,000 is even more of a deal.
This is quite the appealing one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment, located on the first floor of the Harlem cooperative 1919 Madison Avenue. And it’s asking $512,000, a reasonable price for NYC real estate. There is, however, a catch behind that asking price. This is an HDFC apartment, meaning that to qualify to buy it you may need to make less—rather than more—money. (Such tight income restrictions have kept hundreds of HDFCs empty around the city.) Still, the apartment value has seen a boost in recent years, as it last sold in 2013 for $140,000.
When it comes to affordable housing, the city’s offerings primarily focus on rentals, but the little-known pool of HDFC units (Housing Development Fund Corporation) provide low- and middle-income New Yorkers a chance to own a slice of NYC real estate below market rate. The program was created several decades ago so that tenants in poorly managed buildings could take control of their property and form cooperatives. At this time, they were selling for a mere $250 each, and though today’s prices range from $500,000 two-bedrooms to $1.8 million three-bedrooms depending on the neighborhood, the deals are still out there based on qualifying incomes. And to make the HDFC hunt a bit easier, CityRealty has put these current listings into a handy interactive map.
If you’re curious–and qualified–to take the leap and start shopping for an affordable HDFC co-op, don’t miss this Hamilton Heights listing at 409 Edgecombe Avenue. As an HDFC apartment, there are income restrictions that limit who can buy this $375,000 one bedroom. But for that reasonable price you get 945 square feet of lovely prewar space, including a spacious foyer and formal living and dining rooms. Best yet, the top-floor, corner apartment comes with views out over the Harlem River and out toward Yankee Stadium.
A two-bedroom in the East Village asking just $695,000
While perusing hundreds of real estate listings you come across one that seems almost too good to be true: it’s in a prime neighborhood, there are two real bedrooms and two real bathrooms, and it’s selling for well under a half million. While you may be pinching yourself over the price tag, rest assured that it’s not a typo. However, it’s probably also not a run-of-the-mill apartment, but rather, an HDFC (Housing Development Fund Corporation) unit. While these listings are totally legit, they also demand careful consideration before committing to a purchase.