Q: When buying a co-op in Manhattan on Park or 5th Avenue, how does the board interoperate debt-to-income ratio? Is debt considered just the maintenance?
A: Each co-op is different in terms of a debt-to-income ratio, but debt embraces all outstanding payables, including mortgage, taxes, college loans, credit cards, margin accounts, and so on. In high-profile buildings, your liquid assets after purchase are most important. Often, buildings use a multiple of the purchase price as a rule of thumb, which can vary anywhere from 1x the purchase price, to 3 or 4x. However, the foregoing cannot be universally applied to all co-ops. Each board is different, and their interpretation is subject only to their own rules, which are private to the co-op.