What’s Up With Ellington on the Park?

Last summer we brought you news about the Ellington on the Park. A UF reader asked about the lottery selection process:

I’m wondering whether anybody has more information about the affordable housing lottery for the Ellington on the Park co-ops at 147th & Bradhurst. I was called in for a preliminary interview, but really don’t know what to expect from here. I was hoping some housing lottery winners, especially those who bought apartments at the Langston, the Sutton, the Hamilton, et al., could give me an idea of how the process works.


Does anybody have any experience with the process? Also, has anyone even seen an architectural rendition for this place?


154 thoughts on “What’s Up With Ellington on the Park?

  1. Hi. I am assuming by now if I havent heard anything (not even a 1st interview) the likelyhood that a unit at Ellington is probably not happening. I did not receive a call or any letter with a number so thats probably teh verdict. Congrats to al of you that did receive a number and are purchasing.

    The info in teh post has been helpful, as I did have an initial interview for teh Beacon Tower Coops and am considering them if things go through. Does anyone know much about these?


  2. Oh and thank you in advance for any input.
    So excited went on first interveiw today.
    Thank everybody.

  3. Hi all,
    To any owners at the other harlem lottery buldings.Just wondering if you want to upgrade the floors, appliances, tiles or counters on a lottery condo would it be allowed to choose not to use the less expensive products since the place is still early on the build could we have them install what we want.
    p.s. is it really loud in the playground area?

  4. Hi all,

    Are the apartments sold out? My first interview was in January and I did not get a call for the second one.
    Please let me know any information you have.

  5. What’s with the Google Groups page? It’s been taken over by ads! I vote that this page be revived. Is anyone out there?

  6. I cant wait to get my purchase agreement signed by hpd. i want my crib. what is the normal wait time?

  7. Tek,

    Months. For myself, believe it was 4 months. When you go for 2nd interview see if any apt’s are still available for under 200K. Otherwise, be prepared to pay that much plus 850+ in maint. It’s more expensive than I was hoping, but I signed up. Think it’s a good investment. Hopefully you earn enough, because it’s def not as affordable as I was wishing for. Once again, I did sign though.

  8. Dear all?

    How long is the approximate waiting time between first and second interview?


  9. DP,

    In the offering plan, it says the market rate apartments are the responsibility of the sponsor and they pay the maintenance on those until they are sold. That said, maintenance fees usually do go up at coops. It is important to have a vigilant coop board that contains costs to prevent that from happening.

  10. I see six people were shot on 142 and 8th. If the market rate apartments don’t sell, are lottery winners protected from higher maintenance fees.

  11. Hi Jennifer:
    Finally i met a neighbor, yeah, once i handed off the downpayment in the sales office Stacy was much nicer .i guess happy to make the sale,, well i did it ! see you soon i guess we will live out how the process will go………..Good Luck to all, your neighbor

  12. Hi DA,

    Yes, you have to pick an apartment at your 2nd interview. They will show you the floor plan and tell you which ones are available based on your income (they do not show you all the available ones. I don’t know if this is still the same case. They might show you all the available ones since there are not much left). Once you picked the apartment, you have to come back with 10% in about a week.

    Take your time picking the apartment because you only have one chance. It will be very difficult to switch your choices since they sell everyday.

    They told me all the ones facing the park are taken. Only a few on 148 st side are available and the ones facing the courtyard. The building is 12 stories (the top 2 or 3 floors are for open market). Most floors has apartments 1-11. For example, 101, 102, 103 and on. The apartments with the same number has the same structure. ie, 102, 202, 302 and up all have the same structure. The prices goes up by 5k or 10k by each floor. The monthly maint fee range from $700 to $1350.

    Hope this will help. I end up not taking the apartment because all the good ones I like are taken. Good luck to you.

  13. Hi Elle,

    Thanks for your insight. I meet with my lawyer on Tuesday so I will make sure to get more clarity on this area as well. And phew, I’m glad I have a little longer to get the commitment letter 🙂

    Thanks again!

    Your potential neighbor,


  14. Rena,
    I agree the sales office seems so hush, hush about details when it comes to the Ellington. I wish everyone the best of luck and to breathe a sigh of relief when it’s all said and done. I know one person in the Sutton and one from the Bradhurst and they are completely in love w.their apartmens. Their one advise to me was BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET…..
    Also, I need to make a correction, it’s about 30-45days max for getting the committent letter from the bank. The 7 days is the time to come back w.the check 5% or 10% after you have spoken w.your attorney. :))

  15. Hi Jennifer:
    My process was completed by the mid of April. They did give 3 choices for banks to use. My advice would be to go with the bank that you have the longest standing relationship with and see what incentives they have to offer. Once you give your downpayment and see your attorney you have about 7 days to get a committment & to protect your downpayment. Your attorney should have spoken with you about that process.

  16. I read most of the comments and concerns on this post, and i agree with the fustration of not knowing and being pushed or should i say pressured, The sales office isnot to helpful but u have to read the offering plan, look at the house rules, i hope im making the right desicion too bec i sign on monday and give up my life savings, if you decide to pull out u r out the 10% downpayment, its n0t 5% any more, the maintaince is high but a write off, not a bad price to move to NYC, good luck to all/…….

  17. hi everyone,

    i’m a bit confused on the banks we are allowed to work with for mortgages for ellington units. i read in the beginning of this forum about the ‘first home club’ through hsbc and the sonyma mortgage options, however, when i went for my interview they only referred me to chase and citibank. can we choose a different lender? if not, does anyone have any preference on either of these banks?

    i’m supposed to submit my down payment on wednesday, so any input is greatly appreciated.

    thank you and happy 4th!

  18. Hi: Sam

    I have a question for you. You went to the 2nd interview, did you choose an apartment ? Did they offer you the floor plan ?

    Because, what I know is that on your second interview you have to be ready to get the apartment and bring the money.

    Am I correct ? Can you give us some info.?

  19. This is a really good forum! I’m glad I found this.
    Everyone here gave a lot of good questions and insights. I realized no one ask the question about the neighborhood. How is it? Is it safe? I went there during the day, it looks good. But how about at night? The walk from the ABCD train station is not too long, but still some blocks. I work late a lot of times and safety at night is one of my biggest concern getting the apartment.

    Also, someone mentioned eariler, now they require to put down 10%.

    I went to the 2nd interview. They don’t really tell you exactly which ones are available. They just gave you the ones that they think your income is qualify for. I think of this is an unfair process and it should be more open. How do we know if they are not favoring some applicants?

    Does anyone know if there are any 2bed & 1 bath left?

  20. Hi: Mike

    Thanks for your advice. How can we talk to you if we cannt through this blog ?

    I will like to talk to you and see how can you help me.


  21. Dear all,

    What is the approximate waiting time between the first interview and the second interview? I did my first interview in January.


  22. Folks in Blog Land.

    I am the selling agent for this an many other city developments. Although I generally read and not reply, I an concerned about comments about SWAPPING apartments.

    Since we interview in Log Number Order by preference, a buyer would never be able to SWAP.

    Good Luck to All. These income restricted units are definately WORTH IT!

    Please do not respond with questions, I will not have an opportunity to answer them in this type of forum.


  23. For my attorney, I went to Yasmin on 145th and she was great and thorough. In the end, I decided not to purchase though.

  24. Hard to say what is left exactly in that they don’t show you all avails, just a few based on parameters you give. There are some sweet 3 BR’s ($330k-ish), some 2 BR / 1 Bath (only one 2/2, and it’s on ground floor). Don’t know if there are 1 BDR.

  25. Has anyone compared their “apartment line” with the layouts on the ellington on the park’s website of floorplans? Is it similar?

    PS–Chloe- Do you minding posting what was available when you went in?

  26. Hi Swap,

    Thanks for the info. Any idea what size the over 220K apartments are? And what the maintenance is?

    Also, if you don’t mind sharing what does a 2/2 cost and what is the maintence?

    Thanks for any info. I’m working on numbers to try to figure out what I can afford.

    Thanks too to Friendly Neighbotr for your info, that’s good to know.

  27. Swap- find a way to finance it. I’m the 2/1 from the Hamilton. If I sold now, I would make about 180,000 (bought in 2004).. all for living in my own apartment. Find a way, SO worth it.

  28. For those of you going for an interview: I was told that there were only apartments left for 220K and above, which would not solve my problem. Good luck anyway!

  29. Hi Swap,

    I’m interested in maybe swapping. My meeting is first thing Monday morning, so we should talk right away. This could be really cool and is totally worth exploring.
    You can find me at jiwanesky@yahoo.com.

    Look forward to hearing from you.



  30. Tell us what’s available & what happens when you have your interview
    I have my interview this upcoming week and ideally want something with a terrace–either a 2BR/2BA or 1BR, but not sure what they will say I will be able to afford….

    how’s it work? If you turn down one, are you able to ask for a different apartment or is it that once you get the offering plan–you can either accept or reject that offer and that’s it?

  31. Reading these posts, I realize that I got a good apartment: 2 bed/2bath with a view of the park. My problem is that I cannot finance it. Is there anyone out there who would like to swap with me for an apartment under 200K? I am happy to drop the 2d bath or the view but I am looking for a 2 bedroom. I don’t know whether the Sales Office will go along, but it is worth trying.

  32. Hi TDP,

    Sorry to hear there are no 2/2, as a second bathroom makes a world of difference. Any idea what is left? Any 2/1 with terraces and/or on high floors?

    Thanks for your help.

  33. Sorry, but there are no 2b/2b left, nor are any there 3b/2ba left unless someone dropped out. Good luck!

  34. Credit Crunch Turns Condos Into Rentals

    June 12, 2008

    A coming wave of developments originally envisioned as condominiums will instead be rented, observers say, due to lenders’ reluctance to finance condominiums in the midst of a credit crunch.

    On the crest of the wave is an 18-unit condominium development in East Harlem, the Bridges NYC North, which is being repositioned as a commercial and residential rental property with Wachovia bank and two federal government agencies as anchor retail tenants, the developer will announce today.

    READ FULL ARTICLE @ [The New York Sun.]

  35. Try to buy a 2 bath- if you have some back luck and need a roommate, at least you’ll have your own bathroom. And you can charge the roommate enough to cover most of the mortgage.

    Also, 2/2 resells easier than a 2/1.

    Signed, a 2/1 in the Hamilton

  36. Hi Chloe

    Congratulations ! If you read through all of these comments you will find a lot of your answers.

    We need your help now that you are going to this second process.

    When did you have your first interview ? Are you on community board 10 ? I am asking you this to have an idea of how many people they have gone through already.

    Can you please let us know how may units they have left ? Can you post any information that you think could give us more details of what’s going on in this process.

    Thanks very much and All THE BEST IN YOUR INTERVIEW !

  37. Dear Chloe,

    Congratulations! My case is similar to yours; no expreinece at all. I am still waiting, almost for 6 months. I live in community board 10 and work for the city. HOW LONG DID YOU WAIT?


  38. Hi all,

    I just received a letter inviting me for a second interview–and I’m very excited & nervous. I’m not sure exactly what to expect and would love to hear from those of you who have already gone through the process. From what I have read here it seems that I will have to choose an apartment at the interview and I’m trying to figure out how best to prepare for this huge decision. Is there any way to get the offering plan ahead of time? Then there is the whole financial part which I feel very unclear about. I’ve never purchased anything more expensive than my shoes, so any advice or tips would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks so much!

  39. Hello everyone I am still waiting for my second interview maybe someone has answers to my questions.

    1. Have they started calling the city employee preference group for second interviews?

    2. Are there any 3 bed 2 bath units left for the lottery if so any clue on prices?

    3. Are there any 3 bed 2 baths available on high floors?

    4. Do the 3 bed available have terraces?

    5. Are all the floorplans shown on the ellington website?

    Thanks so much so excited to have stumbled upon this site.

  40. Wow. Great info from Sutton residents and interviewees. Still waiting on second interview. In the meantime, I’m actively seeking another coop/condo in the city. Please keep the updates and info coming!

  41. Hi everyone – I just looked back at this thread and wanted to answer some of the questions that have come up:

    First, the financial situation for the ellington sounds just like the sutton as far as resale rules are concerned. At the sutton there is an underlying mortgage on the building and that is why the maintenance is so high. 39% of it is tax deductible, so think of it as simply cancelling out – the maintenance you’re actually responsible for after taxes is only 60%.

    Also, though underlying mortgages are usually a worry as the rate can go up, these are secured by the city at a ridiculously low rate that’s under 4%, so you know the maintenance will not rise for that reason. It sounds expensive on paper and I was scared but everything has worked out so that I don’t feel any more stretched on my budget than I did when I was paying only about $100 more per month than my current maintenance for rent.

    As far as finishes and appliances are concerned, they’re fine but nothing special. Wood veneer paneling on floors, white GE appliances in the kitchen, buy your own laundry machines from PC Richards to fit in the closet. We had trouble with no heat in the building and with some leaks from the heating system but they were all fixed under warranty.

    My boyfriend and I are really happy here and don’t plan on going anywhere for at least 3-5 years. We have a 3 bedroom two bath for a payment of about $2600/ month after tax deductions for maintenance are concerned … if you include tax deductions for the mortgage interest on the actual unit, it’s even less. We paid about $330K for our unit and it’s on a very high floor.

    The park is definitely loud in the summer but it’s due to all-day music festivals or kids’ games, mostly on weekends. At night it’s pretty quiet.

    And just to acquit the sales office, I was frustrated by the switcheroo there but I do know it was about disorganization – they are very well meaning. Just be really organized yourself and you’ll be fine. I did use John Chang as my lawyer and liked him. I think it would be smart to consider another bank besides the ones recognized by the sales office as I was not happy with the rate I got from Citibank (but needed their closing cost grant so stayed with them).

  42. I went to the intial interview and found it to be quite interesting. I was told that my score in terms of preference was very very good however Community Board 10 residents got first preference. I am really concerned about the lottery since i will be footing this bill myself. Any advice with respect to a first time buyer, they (slaes rep) told me I would qualify for a two bedroom. How much is a two bedroom and what is the maintenance fees. I am worried about not having enough money down the road..Any advice I am am open….Just Cautious

  43. I’m a Sutton resident and came across the thread – the lottery can be a frustrating process but overall in my opinion is a really good opportunity to buy property on a quiet block. FYI – the contractor was the same as on our building and the delay in the Ellington build was that they had to change contractors that were building the concrete slabs for the flooring – took them a month to get back but usually each week, they are now blocking the street delivering new floors. Our process was a lot of waiting in between letters and phone calls and then mad dash to closing.

    Parking was supposed to be a lottery but was more of a first-come, first-served type of deal once they determined who the parking vendor was going to be. Parking is $250 a month at the Sutton. I would expect the same at Ellington.

    Our board changed our management company within 6 months as the one they set us up with was just average.

    Good luck with the process – be patient and definitely scrutinize anything they tell you.

    Also – bring a home inspector to your initial walkthrough – they will try to rush you through the process of introducing you to your apartment so you only have a short amount of time to go around and truly check things. I was really glad that I brought one along – he caught stuff I would have never seen.

    And don’t feel you HAVE to go with the preferred lenders. I went with another lender which added headaches but ultimately got me a better deal.

    The washer/dryer options will likely be the Meier/Bosch types that have condenser dryers. Expensive and smaller. Likely GE sleeve air conditioner units. The contractor setup a deal with PC Richard where we got a decent percentage off of the retail price.

  44. If you are moving to The Ellington next year–maybe just waiting for the seller to sign the contract or finishing up with mortgage paperwork–I’ve created a Google group to meet your co-residents. I can’t seem to add the link to the photos here either, so email me for the links.

    Editor’s Note: Here is the google group: http://groups.google.com/group/130bradhurst. I’ll be closing the comments on this thread as they have now reached well over 100. Thanks for all of your input! Please keep us updated about the progress of the Ellington. -D.B.

  45. Hi,

    This site has been really helpful–and I have a couple of questions I was hoping someone out there might be able to answer.

    I am a non-preference applicant, and I had my first interview in March. At the interview I was told that I should be called in about six months (September) for my next interview and I guess I would supposedly be offered an apartment to purchase at this meeting.

    I am wondering if people think it will really take that long–and if so, if there will be any apartments left. I’m really only interested in a two or three bedroom apartment and would love to have a terrace.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.

  46. RS:

    Deposit for Ellington is 5% to secure the apartment (at least that is what I was told before I started the process). 10% down for the bank depending upon your debt ratio and whether you qualify for zero down financing.

  47. Wow! I’m glad this forum is still active. It’s been a while since I’ve checked in.


    I think the reason they push for the bank commitment is because they have to show that the apartments are selling…probably for both the city and the builder. They need to recoup their money.

    The Toren (aka 150 Myrtle in Brooklyn) is already starting with their applications and that building is no where near being done. Although only 40 apartments out of the 220 are lottery ones. But they are pre-selling the market value ones as well. I did hear a rumor that they might open up more for lottery applicants because overall they are not selling as fast as they’d like in this current market

    I have to say the Briarwood Properties (The Palm, The Rio, Waters Edge…) seem to have their stuff much more together than the Ellington.

    I initially was trying to hold out for the Ellington and the Toren but finally made my decision a few weeks ago to move forward with Waters Edge, and they have been great!..from the first interview to making my down payment. It’s farther away from Manhattan, but in the end I think it will be worth it. Much more for your money.

    A few more lotteries have opened up though. I’d advise everyone to keep checking the HPD site.

  48. Can anyone explain why the sales agents push for a bank committment when the building isn’t ready until early Spring/late fall of ’09?

  49. Shawn, if you think your situation might change in the next several years, you could be stuck with something you can’t unload (for a variety of reasons) or rent out for an extended period of time. And the prices of the one-bedrooms weren’t that much less than the smaller two-bedrooms still available. The one-bedrooms are small, almost like a studio. Just my opinion, of course.

  50. Does anyone know if there are one bedroom apartments still available? (If so, around how many?)

    Also, I am interested in your thoughts on purchasing a one bedroom. Is it still that great of an investment? Clearly, I would prefer a two bedroom (so I would have the opportunity to grow and live in the area longer). I know with a one bedroom, I would most likely have to move sooner rather than later.

  51. Well I just had my second interview today. Honestly, I was even more disappointed than I thought I was going to be. The total monthly expenditure for the two-bedroom I was given (and there wasn’t much of a choice) was nearly $2000. At this price point for a single person, it’s really too much. If I wanted to spend that amount, I could go to the Shore Road in Brooklyn and get a much larger co-op apartment in a luxury building with a view of the Verazzano.

    $835 for maintenance – it will probably go higher by the time the building is finished. And then there could be assessments, and who knows what else tacked on.

    While I was there, there were some other people at the office for their interviews. Judging from what I heard, they probably couldn’t pay even close to this amount. And when some of the shareholders default on their maintenance, everyone else eventually has to pay more. In a co-op, it’s important to know that the buyers can pay the maintenance every month.

    And maybe I am reading the offering plan wrong, but it appears that only 20% of the maintenance is deductible.

    Unless I could somehow get the numbers to work in my favor, it looks like I’m another one who may have to pass this lottery up.

  52. Tek,
    Household income is the total gross annual income any working person “you put down” makes who will be living in the apartment.

    only includes overtime if you are a cop or a firefighter (this is what i was told be the sales agent) however I am sure if you consistently make that overtime over years(illustrated in your tax returns) then you can have your lwayer argue that point on your behalf.

    everyone else,

    When trying to decide if 2000 per month is too much for you esp. i fyou have a great rent deal now, you have to ask yourself, how long is that deal going to last. Also, a brand new 2 bedroom, rental unit in Harlem will run you about the same money.

    You have to think about the long term.

  53. Hi all,

    What does it mean by a House Hold Income?

    1. Is it the gross income of everybody in the house hold?

    2. Does it include overtime?

    3. Does it include inconsistent part time income?

    Thanks a lot,

  54. I live in Bradhurst Court. All of our units were sold out and there were no market rate ones available. Ellington on the Park has about 25 market rate units.

  55. Thanks everyone for all of your input; it gave me a lot of insight during this decision-making process. I’ve decided to pass on the 2-br I chose (for all I know, the sales agents might have already offered it to someone else before I told them today!)…. In the end, the numbers just didn’t add up for me. Good luck to you all!

  56. I was suppose to have my first interview in the middle of November, but I had to reschedule. (I actually went in at the end of November)
    I am still waiting… Hopefully I will be getting a call soon.

  57. Hello: People

    Shawn when did you go to your first interview ? I went I think the last week of November and I still waiting for that call.

    Thanks to this amazing group that is help us with their comments.

  58. Hi all,

    What does it mean by a House Hold Income?

    1. Is it the gross income of everybody in the house hold?

    2. Does it include overtime?

    3. Does it include inconsistent part time income?

    Thanks a lot,

  59. Peaceman:

    In your offering plan how is the fitness room described? For Ellington on the Park there is supposed to be three machines in the fitness “corner”. Can you be specific on the issues need to be addressed @ Sutton? How long has the building been occupied?

  60. Peaceman:

    In your offering plan how is the fitness room described? For Ellington on the Park there is supposed to be three machines in the fitness “corner”. Can you be specific on the issues need to be addressed @ Sutton? How long has the

  61. Peaceman:

    In your offering plan how is the fitness room described? For Ellington on the Park there is supposed to be three machines in the fitness “corner”. Can you be specific on the issues need to be addressed @ Sutton? How long has

  62. Peaceman:

    In your offering plan how is the fitness room described? For Ellington on the Park there is supposed to be three machines in the fitness “corner”. Can you be specific on the issues need to be addressed @ Sutton? How

  63. I moved into the Sutton in August. Overall, I am pleased with the apartment. The process, however, was not pleasant and the overall cost is more than what I initially expected. There were many significant problems with the building when we first moved in. Some problems are still being worked on. The building, however, is still under warranty, and all of the issues must be addressed.
    The maintenance fees are extremely high, but this includes the taxes and gym (which is still not open). In addition, some of the maintenance can be written off at tax time.
    All in all, if you plan to remain in NYC for awhile, a lottery apartment is worth the hastle. Especially since you can write off some of the expenses at tax time.
    The overall quality of the apartments is decent, but not great…..remember….you get what you pay for.
    Oh….I would recommend John Chang as your attorney. He is very thourough and can answer all of the questions. He memorizes the offering plans.

  64. Shawn:

    Once you have decided on a bank you must inform the sales agent and agressively seeking a mortgage is part of your purchase agreement. If you don’t you could forfeit the downpayment. I have received two calls about a week apart from the sales office asking about my bank choice.

    As for the time frame..I was told late spring of ’09 – early fall the building should be ready.

  65. Hello again everyone!
    Uhmm still waiting for my second phone call. Just curious- It seems crazy that you would have to get a mortgage (or pre-qualified) so soon. Do you have to show Ellington on the Park the paperwork? (Is it really mandatory that you get pre qualified within days? )
    Also I was told that the building would not be ready until Summer 2009. Have other people heard different dates? (Last time I checked they were only on the fourth floor)
    Thanks for all the information. I am hoping to hear from them soon.

  66. The attorney fee is about 1k. 500 for explaining the offering plan and 500 @ closing. I am not pleased with the service I received from my own attorney but I was called a few years back for the Madison Court lottery and used the attorney on the list and he wasn’t all that helpful….just read a lot of the offering plan on my own and asked real estate attorney friends for clarification..but everything is etched in stone…you can’t change a thing. Oh I didn’t go with Madison Court because the sales agent gave my apartment to someone else and offered me another apartment that was smaller and cost more.

    Yes I was pre-qualified for the mortgage and initially told not eligible for zero down at closing because my debt ratio is to high. If I am 1k in debt then that is to much debt…did I mention I am college graduate from a private school…anyway…so 10% at closing will entitle me to a mortgage w/ B of A.

  67. holyroller,

    whoa. how much would you have to pay their attorney? (i see you didn’t use theirs) and you state that buyers can only use one of three banks for a mortgage!!! can anyone else verify? please tell me this is not true.

    and you must be getting pre-qualified for the mortgage, correct? i mean, the building won’t be ready for over a year.

  68. The $100 dollar money order is for the offering plan. If you decide against purchasing you will get the money order back and if you decide to go forward you will get the $100 dollars back.

  69. I was called for Ellington on the Park in October ’07 for the initial interview. I was told I would hear back in December of ’07. I didn’t get a call until early April. I was given an offering plan upon my second appointment and three days to see one of their attorneys and put down 5% for a two bed room unit facing 148th street. Once the deposit was secured I had 7 business days to find a mortgage. There are only three banks you can use Chase, B of A and Citibank. I have been working with B of A because the other bank representatives aren’t very responsive nor professional. I can say that I am pleased with this process …it seems like everything is such a mystery and you are walking around in the dark. I was told the building is could be ready late Spring/ early Fall. I am hoping for fall so I can save more. Looks like I would pay a little under $1700 per month…maintenance is estimated at about $768. I think its a good deal especially when rent in Harlem is skyrocketing and studios are going for 1350 these days. I did not use one of their attorneys. Appliances for restricted units are GE low end { white appliances 😦 } Well if you have any questions for me please feel free to ask.

  70. I completed the 2nd interview. The purchase price is very reasonable, however the maintenience fee is apprx $800 monthly for a 2br. *This deal no longer seem appealling. I’ll pass on this apt and wait for a better opportunity elsewhere.

  71. To answer some of these questions to the best of my ability (they may be wrong!)… The income cap is 175% of annual median income (something established every year by HDC) which for this year is at $70,900. That puts the cap at about $124,000. You’re supposed to remain under this cap within 12 months of the initial review (I’m not sure what this exactly is- maybe the first interview?). No one will be able to force you from the apartment once you purchase it . But I think between when you put down the down payment and closing, if your income incresases so much that it exceeds the cap, they may have to rescind the offer and refund your down payment with interest. I’m not 100% certain on this point- maybe someone with the offering plan can double check (mine’s with the lawyer). At no point do you get the 5% down payment back after you purchase- it goes towards the purchase price.

    The maintenance fee is not fixed; it’s an estimated amount that could potentially increase if the co-op board decides that more money is needed to cover costs. I have never heard of maintenance fees going down. I’ve been told that the maintenance fee is so high because it’s a brand new building/board so there’s an intial high cost that buyers have to bear so that a reserve builds up.

    The sales agents told me that the 5% down payment is really like a deposit to hold your unit. If you wish to pay more, then you can pay more at closing and that will lower your mortgage. I think this is something you can work out with the lender.

    FYI, something to think about: it costs about $57million to build the Ellington which has 134 units. Another more luxurious development in Harlem (W. 120th St) cost only slightly less for 55 units. That development had about 30% subsidized units. Puts things in perspective as far as quality’s concerned. We really do need some Suttoners to chime in to see if they’ve been satisfied with what they got.

  72. Dear all,

    I have some qxns:

    1. Is the maintenance cost a fixed cost? Does it go down after a while?

    2. Does the down payment affect the mortgage rate? what if somebody can afford to pay 20% down payment instead of 5%; is it possible to pay 1/4 of the mortgage?

    3. What if the annual income exceeds 124K, with somebody in the family getting a small raise in Nov. 2007?


  73. WOW!! All of the information we have found here has been so helpful. Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences. My husband and I were looking into the Ellington because our neighbor was just approved and told us about the lottery. We have a large family and need more room. Now after reading these posts we are having second thoughts.

    One question I haven’t seen here though is about the restricted cap amounts on the apartments. What is the min/max income requirement for a 3-BR? And what happens if you get the apartment, but then exceed the income requirement after you are living there for some time? Are there some kind of adjustments that will be in place in the contract for this as time goes on, such as increasing the min/max income requirements to allow for inflation/income increases? For example, one of the posts said you need to make 100K or more for a three bedroom…what is the cap amount on that income? Say for example, 150K maximum…so what happens to your apartment/contract if you exceed that income in some years? I mean we all hope to be making more money in a few years than we are making now, right? Will you be asked to move/sell your apartment because it exceeds city guidelines/HPD rules? What happens to your investment/ 5% deposit, etc?

    Also, at the point at which you decide to sell (whether before the 4-15 year period or after), do you get your initial 5% deposit back?

    Thank you all again and good luck to everyone. This has been very informative! 🙂

  74. Hello everyone,

    Just one question about the second interview:

    I was told to bring a $100 postal money order (along with all the financial documents again). Did everyone else who went on a second interview have to bring the same? I was informed that it is refundable even if I don’t get an apartment.

    Thanks again for a great forum.


  75. TDP,

    There are always lotteries coming up in all 5 boroughs. You should check out the hpd site and sign up to get announcements straight to your email about new offerings. Lord knows I applied for like 6 lotteries!!!

    I finally decided to move forward with Waters Edge at Arverne in Far Rockaway. AND they just opened up the lottery again for that location since they still have available apartments. You should definitely check it out if you’re interested. Ellington… I went in for the 1st interview back in March, but who knows if they will call me for a second. They said probably in the Fall. I guess I’ll have to back out if they call me since I’ll already be locked in and moved into Waters Edge.

    Wish me luck!

  76. Hello: People

    Jeff has a good question about the quality of the apartments in terms of appliances and finishes.

    Maybe Suttonner can answer this question because she has one. Can someone answer this ?

    Jeff keep us post it with your process in your second interview.

    Thanks again this forum is a great resource.

  77. Hello,

    I had an initial interview for the Ellington back in November. I just got a call from them asking me to come in for a second interview next week. I really didn’t think I had a chance due to the large volume of applicants, but what the heck, why not check it out one more time.

    My application was a preference one, since I work for the city. I live in Brooklyn and my rent is $800 a month. So the high maintenance fees seem to be a deal-killer like the others have said.

    It’s also disconcerting to find out that the lottery apartments have lower quality appliances and finishes than the rest. But is it really that much worse?

    Also, if you decide to take an apartment, then back out, what happens? This seems to be a pressure thing to choose your apartment, and put down a down payment within 5 days….then wait a year until you move in. Maybe I’m being cynical, but I have to think of everything when so much money is on the line.

    Do you lose your down payment if you don’t want the apartment after a few months but before you move in?

    thank for any info….glad I found this forum.

  78. I put down the 5% needed at the Ellington, and then found out that I would still have to wait for approval from the city. That was confusing because I thought all the approvals had gone through except for the banks approvals

    Very interesting and informative comments, please keep them coming.

  79. Well, we decided to pass on the apartment. It’s hard to give up but the idea of NOT being able to sell or rent when we want takes away a lot of the appeal – especially since you don’t really get the apartment that you want. I’m going to keep applying to lotteries, they aren’t all the same. GL!

  80. Yep, I had a detailed conversation with an attorney friend who specializes in NYC real estate last night. She confirmed that the maintenance fees quoted are very high and speculated that it’s because — unlike some lottery situations — the building itself is actually subject to a mortgage.

    She also said that sometimes co-op boards in these lottery buildings are willing to overlook the income requirements in resale situations since there isn’t a lot of government oversight, but that obviously this isn’t something to count on.

    I totally agree that potential borrowers can be approved for mortgages far beyond what their income can realistically support — hence our current mortgage foreclosure mess! — but I’m worried by the power a co-op board can exert in these situations. As we know, co-op boards usually require a potential buyer to show that there will be “sufficient” (defined by the board) liquid assets remaining in his/her accounts even after the downpayment is withdrawn. And it’s not uncommon for boards to insist on a 20% downpayment.

    So, if you’re in a Ellington on the Park market-rate resell scenario, and the board ends up being a bunch of hard-nosed sticklers, that could mean that you’d need to find a buyer making less than 124K who can afford to put down 20% of market rate and still have “sufficient” liquid assets remaining. That really concerns me.

    But again, I’m still waiting on my second interview and probably have no business chiming in here. I really, really hope this turns out to be good deal. I love all the changes in the neighborhood and want to see the area thrive even more.

  81. I live in Bradhurst Ct and we are just entering our 4th year of opccupancy, whcih means we can all start selling for 50% profit.

    Two things:

    1) The more people that sell, the faster our obligation to the HDC note that subsidized our apts is paid down to 5Mil. – about 10-13 years at the current rate. This is the reason why ours (and prob. the Ellington’s) mortgage is so high – we have to pay down the subsidy.

    2) True – there emerges a certain ‘profile’ for potential buyers of our apts – <$192,000 a year household inc., needs to be a primary residence, and new buyers are subject to the same restrictions that we are until the HDC note is paid down to $5Mil.

    There is nothing in there about other ‘assets ‘ – so buyers with family or other money in bank accounts are eligible to buy from us, and this makes them look good to the banks in securing a mortgage.

  82. I do agree with Dion on that point. There are many people out there who have bought at market rate recently and you think, what, they can afford that? Usually their folks have helped out…

  83. I have to step in and address the resale from my point of view. Knowing a few real estate attorneys, there are plenty of people in the income range (at least documented) that have the cash to purchase these apartments. Its not about how much you make in most cases, its how much you have. Typically lenders will lend up to four times what a person makes in income. If I take that formula into consideration, it aligns itself with the market rate of the apartment.

    Even if you sell it 20% below market rate to make it more “sellable”, its still a homerun.

  84. Dear Jamie,

    Would you please tell us your info on other purchase
    opportunities that peopole are trying to re-sell?


  85. As far as income requirements are concerned, it’s a case-by-case determination (you pick an available unit and they look it up). And I believe the sales agents are allowed to exercise a little discretion to see if your income is sufficient. This information is unfortunately not included in offering plan.

    Has anyone tried to negotiate the terms of the offering plan or process? Or do they reject you right away and move on to the next lottery number?

    Since this process has started I’ve been also paying attention to other purchase opportunities; there seems to be plenty of pre-owned income-capped units out there that peopole are trying to re-sell.

    I’m seriously considering not taking the apartment.

  86. TDP, I totally agree with you it is really easy to get sucked into the I WON aspect of it-we picked a 3 br and our montly is close to 3000 per month- I live below 125th street and my rent is less than what the maintenance will be for my unit. My primary reason for choosing the ellington was definitely to build equity but with the HPD restrictions and the difficulty of reselling coops- we will take a pass on this one.

    BTW check the width of the terrace on some restricted units…its 2 feet 6inches wide!

    Good Luck to all of you it’s been really great to have this outlet

  87. People, Thanks so much for this wonderful info. I was called for the first interview back in November and I still waiting for a second interview even though I live in the Community Board. I will keep checking this blog to keep learning more and I will let you guys know when they call me for the interview.

    Thanks very much this answered me a lot of my questions.

    Good LUCK TO ALL OF US !

  88. To answer the above questions:
    1. There are a *few* three bedrooms left
    2. They are in the 300’s and require income over 100K
    3. Maintenance for 3brs start at 1050 and go up from there

    Btw, we picked our apartment and they called us later with them saying “oops, it’s taken. Sorry” so we have to go back. To be honest we are considering not getting the apartment. The maintenance is high, and while the apartment itself is inexpensive, with a 3br you’re looking at $2700/month or more.

    Another thing, the “lottery” apartments have lower quality everything than the market rate ones (e.g., parquet floors, vinyl flooring, cheaper appliances etc.) Also, with regard to the washer/dryer you HAVE to buy one of 2 or 3 specific models..

    All in all, it’s easy to get sucked into the lottery aspect of it (I won!), but if you aren’t sure where you’ll be in 5 years I’m not sure it’s a good choice. Having spoken with people trying to sell these apartments later on they are harder to unload because of the high maintenance and income requirements.

    Good luck.

  89. Tek,

    I got some of qxns:

    1. Is there anybody who signed for a 3- bedroom apt; is there any available?
    2. How much is the purchasing price range?
    3. How much is the maintenance cost?
    4. If the apartment prices have gone up, do you think the annual incomes have been raised too?

    Thanks a lot,

  90. I live at the Hamilton, 2 BR/1 BA, my maintenance is $771. About half is deductable, but my monthly nut is just under 1700.

  91. We are going to go for our interview tomorrow – and I’ve asked around, the maintenance is normal (in a way) but for middle income families, I think it seems high. The maintenance is more than our current rent! I’m curious, did anyone choose NOT to get the apartment? Why? Thanks!

  92. I’m having a hard time deciphering what’s included in the maintenance fee and what’s not, and how much control the shareholders would have over its potential increase (haven’t had a chance to sit down with lawyers yet).

    Does anyone know if the maintenance fee at Ellington is reasonable (i.e. $660 for a $168,000 1BR, $$840 for a $173,000 2BR) and comparable to similar new developments in the area?

  93. Having a good rental deal is causing me anxiety as well. With the maintenance fee, purchasing this co-op will stretch my finances.

  94. I went on the second interview on Friday and picked out a 2BR. There were still 2BRs left but they’re all north-facing (courtyard) and on F. Douglass Blvd. The prices are quite decent- cheapest 1BR for ~ $153,000 but for me the maintenance is what might break the deal. I pay $1100 rent now so I’m having a hard time justifying forking over $800+ for maintenance fee.

    Has anyone used attorneys not recommended by the sales office?

    Also- a random question for Langston dwellers- how high is the floor-to-ceiling height? 8′? Is that adequate? That’s what the Ellington would have but I find it quite low….

  95. The offering plan states they can request your updated income, credit history and assets every 6 months. My lawyer advised also not to make any large purchases until closing (buying a car, etc.) Since we have a year and some before the bldg will be complete you may want to buy a car now, but be cautious it doesn’t interfere with your ability to qualify for a home loan. All this checking and rechecking by the city is done to ensure no one is trying to take advantage for the program designed for lower income groups and the city want to make sure you are at a lower risk for foreclosure. We all know banks have given loans to people who really couldn’t afford them. And the banks will likely recheck your credit report at the time of closing to make sure you are still mortgageable.

    So if you are selected I think you should be prepared to submit 2008 tax returns as well. It sucks that they want to know so much of our financials for so long but you will own a piece of Harlem in the end.

  96. Hi all,
    I just came from my second interview yesterday and chose an apartment. The apt prices have gone up from when they’d advertised it; the lowest price for a 1BR starts at $157,000 with a maintenance fee of $600+. I ended up choosing a 2BR. There were plenty of other 2BR left but they’re north-facing (on courtyard side) and on F. Douglass Blvd. The apartment prices are very decent but I find that the maintenance fee is what might kill the deal. My current rent is $1100, and with the Ellington maintenance at $800+ I’m not sure that it makes sense for me. Can anyone shed any insight?

  97. They don’t check your credit again, I don’t think. But they do want to make sure that you are still within the income requirements and can have the assets for the down payment.

  98. Dear all,

    Why do they need all the updates of the papers we handed in for our first interview again?

    Do you think they
    1. Check credit history again?

    2. Income eligibility and etc.


  99. Hey folks! Just wanted to give everyone a heads up that the site for Ellington on the Park is back up and running. For a long time they took it down and there was only a page visible for you to sign up and be on the waiting list for market value apartments. But now they’ve opened the site back up and are showing layouts and renderings of the rooms. So maybe that will help!


  100. Oopsie. I mispoke. I was told that maintenance does include property taxes, but does not include utilities. Sorry.

    And maintenance won’t include homeowner’s insurance or mortgage insurance (if you’re required to pay that for a less than 20% deposit). So, the nut on that apartment would’ve been mortgage + homeowners insurance + PMI + $980.

    I know that the Langston is a condo, not a co-op, but given the fact that I was quoted significantly lower maintenance for much larger market rate apartments ($600-700 including taxes of $20-25) during a little fantasy lookie-loo excursion, $980 in maintenance on a co-op seemed which is supposed to be subject to a tax abatement seemed super high.

  101. I’m still not past the first interview so take this for what it’s worth, but when I was given a sample figure of $185,000 for a two bedroom, two bathroom, 1100 square feet, $980/month in maintenance. I was under the impression that maintenance is for building upkeep, staff salaries, etc., and doesn’t include property taxes or utilities.

    I’m starting to wonder if it’s a bad sign that so many apartments are still left. If people can’t afford to buy in now, how’re they going to afford to buy in 15-25 years from now with the same income restrictions?

    To have to hold on to the apartment for 15 years only to still not be able to sell it to someone making more than $125K fifteen years from now? That person would never, ever be able to afford to pay market rate which means that the current buyer really isn’t building up any equity since s/he won’t be able to sell the property for what it’s worth on the open market.

    Am I thinking wrong about this? I hope so.

  102. Thanks Tim. 680-1200. Wow! I’m paying 750 for rent. Maintenance plus a mortgage would be tough.

    Does maintenance include taxes, water, heating, energy, cable…? I’m getting ahead since I’m still waiting for a 2nd interview, but just wondering what other monthly expenses should be calculated that the maintenance won’t cover.

  103. we went in for our second interview yesterday and those of you that were worried about the availability-theres still plenty left some with terraces too-when people fail to turn up for the downpayment appiontment the apt becomes available again-The maintenance however is fairly high the range I see is between 680-1200 for restricted apartments its slightly lower than some market rate units. anyone else that is past the 2 interview and considering financing options

  104. Well, all lottery apartments facing the park are taken anyways. I would try to go for a high corner apartment. Maintenance fees have a big range depending on layout, floor, size, etc.

    Yes there were terraces still available for lottery apartments.

    Well all the new developments in the area to continue, police station only a block away, below market rate, very good deal.

    I already live in Harlem and its always noisy in the summer, you get used to it. A high floor will help.

  105. The neighborhood is why the city gives you the discount, but good points Tim. Still waiting for my 2nd interview.

    If anyone could pass along the maintenance fees … thanks.

  106. We are scheduled to go in for our seconf interview this week and I was so sure this is what I wanted 6 months ago on our first interview. Now I feel like is it really worth it- you are buying at a discount for a neighboorhood that’s not so hot- I heard Jacky Robinson Park gets really loud in the summer time. and who knows how stable the finance will be for this baby coop if any one has answers to these questions please respond
    does any one know how sutton is doing?
    what will the maintenance fee be?
    Did any lottery units come with terraces?

  107. Adi, it is 124K, probably old info on the site.

    And there are 3 BRs available. I believe the price range was around 330K for a 3BR, 2bth on a high floor.

    No model apartments avalailable, as signed says, feel comfortable with layouts. If you already live in the city, you should be ok with discerning square footage.

  108. TDP, there are still 3brs available for purchase. When you go for 2nd interview be prepared to select an apartment from the floors plans and building layout. Look closely at the room sizes though. Some masters are smaller than other. Just have a good idea of what you want and the space you are use to. Good luck everyone.

  109. Hello! We are just waiting to hear back for our second “interview” too – to the people who have responded with information – THANKS! I just have two more questions:

    1). Does anyone have any idea what they have left? We are a large family and hoping for a 3br.

    2). Do they show you ANYTHING about how it will actually look like? I know it’s a great deal, but it’s still a quarter of a million dollars or more for something that I haven’t seen.

    Thanks for any response!

  110. I am a preference applicant (I live in CB 10 and work for the city). I do not know my number, they would not give it over the phone. I can’t remember if I asked during my initial interview, but I know I was not told.

    I remember seeing a number on my folder (something over 1,000). I was hoping this was not my number, but it probably was.

  111. I am very glad to get all these valuable info.
    This is what I got from “Ellington on the Park” web site.

    “Ellington on the Park (not to be confused with The Ellington Condos) is now accepting applications for their cooperatives. Units are available below the market rate for households making below $177K a year, with some 3 bedrooms priced under $300,000.”

    Does it make sense to you? Max. price is less than
    300K and HH income is less than 177K(It used to be

    Would you please respond to this?

  112. Dion, I did not realize that they had lottery numbers, that has to be taken into consideration. They have done multiple projects from the Paladium, the Hamilton, Sutton, etc. There will be more for sure.

    DP, just like any real estate deal, your down payment is held in escrow, I actually put my down payment this week, basically a lawfirm. Obviously if the deal does not go through, you get your deposit back.

  113. Thanks Dion and everyone, again for your thoughts. It’s looking more like I’m headed down the sure thing route. But I have to say, my number for Ellington is not higher than 500 and was told that i have a really good shot because so many people 1) drop out since it won’t be done until 2009, 2) end up not qualifying, 3) don’t have the down payment 4) can’t afford it in the end, etc.

    Since there’s a certain % of apts for community board residents, government workers, disabled, etc., the remaining percentage seems like a low number considering the overall number of applicants. I mean out of 130 apartments less than half are available to folks in my category and even with that there’s no guarantee.

    Does anyone know more about the developers and other places they’ve built? They also do “The Sutton” right?

  114. Shawn,

    1. Are you a preference applicant?
    2. What is your high lottery number? You can tell me your number in a certain range; it does not have to be exact.


  115. Awaiting the call. Had the initial interview only one month ago and realize I’m a longshot.

    My question is for those who chose an apt: Who holds the down payment? When you go for a mortgage (not until 2009 based on the building not being ready), the down payment must be transferred to the bank? My worry is if the Ellington sales office goes under, what recourse does an applicant have to get his down payment back.

  116. Dazed, I would go for the sure thing. If I had my choice I would hold off until I could get a condo lottery apartment in Manhattan, but realistically this is a lottery with 6,000 applicants, I would go for the sure thing and be thankful you have something below market.
    Although the good days of the first project on Paldium (residents there pretty much only had to pay back a 12K subidy, but raked in the rest of the profits) its still a good deal, get it when you can. And although I didnt get to get the apartment with the 2 Bathrooms facing the park, now know its still a good deal and the odds of me even getting one.

    Im not saying that there will be no opportunities for the Ellington, but they are sure a lot of applicants!

  117. Thank you for all the information!!! I called the office and was told that I have a high “lottery number” and that half of the designated “preference applicant” units were already sold. She said to check again next month. I don’t know how to take this news. (Boooooo!) I will remain hopeful. Please continue to update. Again, thanks!

  118. Thanks for the response Dion! It’s the same rule for the condo as well. And yes it is also a lottery. You can check it out at http://www.briarwoodorganization.com/weii_model.html

    I’m just trying to figure out if i go for the sure thing or hold out for Ellington…and which makes more sense in the long run. There are great benefits to both really.
    It sounds like I’d get more from the queens condo – a garage, a back yard, 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths.

    From the earlier posts it sounds like the prime apartments in Ellington are already scooped up (but some might open up later)…and the parking is not guaranteed, neither is more than one bathroom. But living in the city is prime in itself…closer to work, friends and most of my activities.
    The treck from queens will be a pain but doable nonetheless.

  119. You do not have to stay there for 15 years, the stipulation is however is if you sell between year 4 through 15, you must give 50% of the profits back to HPD. Even after 15, there are some other profits you have to pay. Its not until year 25 that you are clean free of 100% profit on the sale. 50% of the actual profit is still very good.

    Since the coop market represents 75% of the apartments in Manhattan, that concept is negligible, both still good invesments.

    What are the terms on the condo, is this an apartment lottery as well.?

  120. You have no idea how excited I am to see people posting about the Ellington and to see that it all started on my birthday 3/24!! I have been googling the property for the past 2 months for updates.

    My story is that I applied for a few lotteries since it’s really a luck of the draw that someone will actually get back to you. And when I got a call back from one in another borough I checked on Ellington because that was where i initially really wanted to live.
    Anyway…I called the number a dozen times and finally got to speak to someone who told me that I would be contacted because my lottery number came up for the “basic” applicants – meaning non-community board 10; disabled; city employee, etc. Well they never called…so I called back and they realized they skipped me. Understandable since they have thousands of people to go through, but persistence paid off. So I went in for my initial interview a few weeks ago and sent in all my paperwork.

    Here’s what I know… 1) They told me that the “basic’ applicants wouldn’t be contacted until maybe the summer / fall of this year. 2) The apartments won’t be ready until 2009 (I think it might be either Spring or Fall). 3) The parking situation is another lottery since it’s not managed by them.
    4) They mentioned that you have to live there for 15 years. After one year of living there you can sub-lease for a maximum of 2 years and then have to live in it again for 1 year before subleasing again (that i found weird).
    5) It is a co-op and not a condo so that should also be taken into consideration.

    Here’s my dilemma and maybe you guys can give me your insight. Should I hold out for the Ellington and live in Manhattan or go for the other property which is a condo but in Far Rockaway? There are pros and cons to both which i will list if anyone responds. Let’s just say this has been weighing on my mind for weeks!!! So any insight would help. (I currently live in the BK, grew up in Queens, work in Manhattan)

    Thanks so much!!! The info you’ve provided so far has been helpful!

  121. 1. Maintenace fees have a wide range, there are a lot of different apartment layouts with different fees. Coop maintenance ussually covers water. Electric is ussually paid seperately.

    2. Not that I know of. These are lottery apartments regulated by HPD and HDC. These are already offered at below market prices. I doubt that is an option, and Im sure that is why its called “lottery apartments”, for the good deal that they are.

    3. There are 33 parking spaces available and must be offered to the residents first. It will be managed and operated seperate from the Coop, and there is no mention of prices, too early.

    4. No mention in the by-laws about pets, Im pretty sure when there is a coop board formed, they can decide whether or not to implement.

    5. There is an abatement granted for a period of 10-25 years, not sure how the calculation is extended to individual unit owners. It is discussed at a very high level in the offering plan.

    6. There will only be two commercial entities, one being the parking garage, owners of these two commercial units are not known, most likey too early to determine.

    7. You are to bring updated paperwork of what you brought in before, this would include a 2007 tax 1040 forms, 2007 W2’s, last 3 months bank statements, last pay stubs (4 if bi weekly, 8 if weekly) and any updated assets for the last 3 months.

    If its going to happen, its going to happen before the summer I would think. There is a big rush to bring in as many qualified purchasers to the table for a “pre closing” to prove to the city that money is coming in for the project. If they don’t bring in and pre close 75% of below market apartment purchasers, the process would have to start all over again, or scratched altogether.

    And yes, you have to choose your floor plan on the spot. Just to save your time, for below market apartments, all apartments are taken facing the park. You can always look to make sure, since someone may have not been able to go through the process and provide down payment.

    They set you up with lawyers that are familiar with the process and have a wealth of information to let you know what you are getting into.

  122. Everybody has been so helpful. Yes, I am still waiting for a phone call, but I just want to be prepared. You guys have been so great. After talking with others these are some additional questions that popped up. ( I feel like I want to know every little thing… so basically any other additional tidbits are great, too)
    1. How much are the coop fees and do they cover any other expenses (elec., gas, water)?
    2. Has anyone tried to negotiate the prices, closing costs, or other aspects
    of the contract?
    3. How much do the parking spaces cost, if known?
    4. Can you have pets?
    5. Is there a tax abatement or any other incentive available to coop purchasers.
    6. Are any of the retail spaces purchased/leased? If so, who will be there?
    7. What updated paper work do they want you to bring to the second interview (pay stubs, savings info., etc…)?
    Also, I am not sure if I should call again. Last time I said my name and let them know of the situation, but overall the response was very vague- except for her saying, “no news is good news”. I also think I had a very high number on the lottery list, but still in the preference category. (What do you guys think?)
    Oh and just to confirm, during the second interview- you have to choose the floor plan on the spot.
    Please keep updating!!!! Thank you so very much! Hopefully we will be neighbors.

  123. Everybody has been so helpful. Yes, I am still waiting for a phone call, but I just want to be prepared. You guys have been so great. After talking with others these are some additional questions that popped up. ( I feel like I want to know every little thing… so basically any other additional tidbits are great, too)

    1. How much are the coop fees and do they cover any other expenses (elec., gas, water)?
    2. Has anyone tried to negotiate the prices, closing costs, or other aspects
    of the contract?
    3. How much do the parking spaces cost, if known?
    4. Can you have pets?
    5. Is there a tax abatement or any other incentive available to coop purchasers.
    6. Are any of the retail spaces purchased/leased? If so, who will be there?
    7. What updated paper work do they want you to bring to the second interview (pay stubs, savings info., etc…)?

    Also, I am not sure if I should call again. Last time I said my name and let them know of the situation, but overall the response was very vague- except for her saying, “no news is good news”. I also think I had a very high number on the lottery list, but still in the preference category. (What do you guys think?)
    Oh and just to confirm, during the second interview- you have to choose the floor plan on the spot.
    Please keep updating!!!! Thank you so very much! Hopefully we will be neighbors.

  124. Just to confirm my previous post, its right on point, the attorney confirmed it. First 3 years, 100% profit goes back to HPD, 4-15 its 50%. Resale is limited to income restrictions, but you can sell at market rate. I can see why they are doing that, they want to keep it middle income and there is an invesment from HPD, HDC and the city.

  125. Shawn, I actually rethought about it and I think my inital appointment was September/August. Don’t get me wrong they are friendly in the office and not out to get you because the process is totally legit. It’s just they have to handle paperwork for a lot of people and errors are made. Anyway, apartments range from $150,000 to $250,000 for housing lottery apartments. Can’t say what’s left at this point because people are still selecting their apartments and once people get the offering plan they may not decide to go through with it which puts more apartments back into the mix. There are def a lot of rules and regulations but it still seems to be worth it. All of the rules are created so that people don’t buy it and then flip it since that’s not the purpose of the program. But it’s an investment none the less and you still stand to make some sort of profit if you sell it after year 4. If you plan on selling before then fuhgeddabouit!! And once you do get a call be prepared to pony up your 5% downpayment within a week and $500-$600 to pay for the inital meeting with your lawyer where you review the offering plan with them. Good luck!! 🙂

  126. Just found an important note in the offering plan, within the first 3 years, if you sell, 100% of profits go back to repayment of the building to HDP. Years 4 thru 15, 50% of profits go back to HDP. Not as glamourous as I thought, but still a good deal!!

  127. okay, here we go.

    You have to be on your game before you step into your second interview which I felt I was. I agree with excited, very much unorganized, although they did recieve over 6,000 applications.

    Upon surveying what is available, no prices are given, it would make sense to do it the other way around.

    Floors 1-8 (which are really 2-9) are the lottery apartments. All lottery apartments facing the park are gone, and unfortunately if you are looking for one with 2 bath, those were included in the ones facing the park (go figure).

    I wish I had the offering plan (which is very comprehensive)before I went there, as I would have really put some more thought into it, but given the situation I am content with my choice.

    Upon reviewing the plan, which pretty much lists all prices and layouts on all apartments,
    there are few things to point out…

    Washers and dryers do not come with the apartment, they only give you the closet and hook up for it.

    There are only 33 spots in the parking garage, most likely would have to pay.

    Most important, when you sell, you must sell to someone within the income range that you originally purchased with. What is unclear is if you can sell at market rate or not. I plan to review with my attorney tomorrow about that.

    All in all its still a good deal.

    Shawn I would have to imagine you will get the call if you already came in for the interview, assuming your paper work checks out.

    As far as down payments, its 5% of the price which ranges from 100K and change and up to around $330K for a 3 bed 2 bath for lottery apartments.

    Any other burning questions??

  128. I am still waiting for a phone call… I guessing it will take a little longer since I didn’t have my initial interview until the end of November. (I am guessing/hoping this is the case] To the people who looked over floor plans… could you please tell me a little more about what is left and price ranges and the process. I am nervous about the “switcharoo” scenarios. Again thanks for sharing your knowledge and stories. Crossing my fingers…

  129. I’m so glad for this forum as I am going through the process for the Ellington now and want to compare notes. I live in Community Board 10 and had my initial interview over the summer. I believe they started calling people 2 weeks ago but only those who live in Community Board 10 as we have first order preference. I had my 2nd interview last week where I picked out my apartment and received the offering plan. I drop off my down payment tommorrow.
    Suttoneer, I also got the switcheroo from Stacy and while I still feel slighted I see that they are just extremely disorganized! She initially offered me an apartment that had already been signed for by someone else so I had to pick another more expensive apartment. No negotiation allowed even tho it was her mistake and she was not esp. apologetic. 😦
    Anyway, I’m so glad to hear that you are happy with your apartment. As my post name states I am excited but skeptical. I meet with my lawyer today to better understand the offering plan but are you also happy with the quality of the building, appliances, and are there any more hidden additional costs I should be aware of before I dive in? I’m so nervous!

  130. I was called, never recieved a letter. They told me to be prepared to pick an apartment and bring in updated paperwork. I think they are working through those hat live in Community 10 first.

    We’ll see, will keep you posted.

  131. Thanks so much for all the information. Please keep me updated. Quick questions- Should I be expecting a phone call or a letter? also… When do they check your credit? Do you pick the floor plan in the office or do you have time to really review everything? Again thank you so very much!

  132. Shawn, I was told the building would be completed in Spring 2009, but you know how those construction schedules go. When I went in for the preliminary interview, there was somebody there for a purchase appointment who was first interviewed in November, so it sounds like you’re on schedule.

    Dion, please do let us know what happens!

  133. Suttoneer, were you allowed to look at the offering plan before you were called back for the “purchase offer” interview? The woman I spoke to (not Stacy, LaTonia?) had a copy but she didn’t offer me one and I didn’t know whether I could ask.

    I’m told you’re given an opportunity to put a deposit down on one when you make your offer but since I’m still up in the air, it didn’t seem worth it to bargain for one.

    Also, it’s 5% down within 5 days right? Meaning the next time I talk to them — if there is a next time — I have to be ready to pick an apartment based on the floor plan and then show up with a check after a couple of days?

  134. Just got called in to pick out an appointment scheduled for this week. I was in the same situation where I didnt know what was going on. Everytime I called, it was pretty vague. I will keep you posted with what happens at the end of the week.

    Either way, you should be be getting word pretty soon about coming in.

  135. Now, I am really concerned. I was called for an interview at the end of November 2007 and I still have not heard anything. When I called (2 weeks ago- because their answering machine message said they were sending out “acceptance” letters)they let me know that no news was good news- since I would have received a leter stating why I was not eligible; but I am still waiting. I am very new to this process (lottery, house buying, financing, etc…) I was really happy to find this post. I would like to know if there are any other lottery winners out there experiencing the same thing and what is the process after you get an acceptance letter? (I am interested in knowing more about the process of selecting a unit..also considering your placement in the lottery) Also does anyone know when the building will be ready for people to move in? (or anything else they know about the building) I know this was a lot of rambling, but I am excited to learn more about the process. Thanks in advance to anybody who is willing to share any of their knowledge and experiences.

  136. I live in the Sutton, which is next door to the Ellington and run by the same developers. If you are already getting called for that building, which is only on its 3rd floor of construction today, you stand a good chance of getting pretty much your choice of apartments.

    All of the lottery programs are different, so make sure you are familiar with the terms of yours as stated in the offering plan. And don’t trust the sales office’s estimate of what %age of maintenance is deductible – look at the offering plan, that should be more accurate.

    I got the switcheroo from Stacy at the sales office several times so make sure that you sign for your apartment as soon as you know it’s the one you want (you’ll have to choose from a floor plan, so make sure you are comfortable with reading those) and keep double and triple copies of all the paperwork. It is all totally legit, though there are a lot of snags and craziness, it’s totally worth it and I’m really happy with my apartment.

  137. Hi,

    1.Do you know the prices of the apartments at Ellington on the park(3 bed room/ 2 bathroom apartments or 2 bed room appartments)?
    2.What is the percentage for a down payment?
    3.When will the construction finish?


  138. and yes… the preference people go first, but depending on how many units are available in total your chances still may be good. When they do the call ins, or at least for mine, you only had 3 days to come up with the cash down payment to secure the unit. Not everyone can do that, so they just move to the next person on the list.

  139. another good mortgage program:

    for first-time buyers… found out about it through the Urban League.
    5.0% 30-year fixed, no points.fees, PMI, down payment required, etc.
    Note purchase price would have to be under 362K for a single unit here
    in nyc… which your lottery unit should be…

  140. Thanks, you guys! I haven’t seen anything other than a skimpy flyer featuring schematics (schematics?) for a two bedroom/two bathroom and three bedroom/two bathroom. But construction is definitely underway.

    Justin, the sales folks say they’re working with four banks, one of which is HSBC, so I really appreciate that information. I’ve done a lot of reading about SONYMA today. I never even knew that program existed, so that really helps.

    I’ve got a non-preference lottery number. Does that mean I have to wait until they make sure all the preference — Community Board 10, municipal employees, visually impaired, etc. — units are under contract? And then if there are “leftovers” they call my number?

  141. I got in on the lottery at the Hamilton. Call the Ellington’s sales office and tell them you are following up on your application. See what they say.

  142. I went through the process for brownstone lane 2 — i believe there are some posts on this site that should be archived that raised some of the thigns various peopel went through in teh lottery process. My biggest pice of advice — look into a ‘first home club’ program as it is a $5K grant first-time buyers can use. I am still kickingmyself from that one. But i used thier ‘community works’ loan from HSBC – i was able to get a loan at 5.625% at the time, probably even lower now. The big advantage was being able to get an unsecured closing cost loan. My closing costs were nearly $20K. They don’t tell you about that stuff in a straightforward way. The guy I used tehre was Mike Rochette:

    The banks they were trying to push on the buyers (Shittybank) was a rip-off, even with teh grant programs as thei interest rate was much higher! I was not able to use a SONYMA loan for my particular development… but look into that stuff soon. Even if you don’t get the lottery it’s still good to have that in place.

    You can get my email from the UF editors, they shoudl have it.

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