STEPS IN PURCHASING A BRIDGEPORT GARDEN APARTMENTS CO-OP
You will want to meet with a mortgage broker or lender who is currently providing mortgages on BGA co-ops (this is an ever-changing list, so please check with your buyer agent) and obtain a pre-approval letter for amount of the purchase price of the home (not just the amount of the mortgage) when you find the right property.
Making the Offer
Your buyer agent will fill out a binder for you to sign. The binder should be submitted with the preapproval letter. It is customary to put 1% of purchase price in escrow. This check will be deposited within 72 hours of signed acceptance by the seller into your broker's escrow account.
Inspections are usually scheduled within 7-9 business days of the signed offer. You will want to schedule this ASAP to avoid paying application fees (see below) if you decide not to proceed with purchase.
Call the BGA office to arrange a time to pick up the BGA co-op application (phone: 203-333-5737, location: 2825 Fairfield Avenue, first floor, office is on left side of foyer). When you submit your completed application, include two checks to Bridgeport Garden Apartments, Inc.: $75 for application fee, $25 for credit & criminal check (per person). In addition to filling out the application, you will need two years' of tax returns, recent pay stubs, recent bank statements, and recent mortgage/rent payment receipts. The Board wants a mortgage commitment letter, but you cannot obtain that until the Board approves you, so you will likely need a Good Faith estimate from your mortgage broker instead.
You will also need to go to your local police department and ask for a background check on yourself. Obtain printout and submit with your application (this is in addition to the criminal check the co-op will do). Your application must be complete or it will not be reviewed by the Board. Ask for leaseholder number from your real estate agent.
When your application is handed in, the office will give you a copy of the Corporation's By-Laws, Rules & Regulations, Conditions of Apartment Leasehold and the Modification of Addendum to the Conditions of the Apartment Leasehold.
Ten days after accepted offer (a few days after the inspection), you will meet with your attorney to sign the purchase contract. At this time you will need to put down the remaining money in escrow (9% if you are putting 10% in escrow).
The mortgage company will send out an appraiser. It is not necessary for you to be there, the real estate agent will let the appraiser in and will hopefully be able to give the appraiser comps that support your purchase price (lenders want three recent comps that sold within the past 6 months, which may not be possible, especially if the sale price is high). If the unit does not "appraise out" then either the buyer has to come up with more money or the seller has to lower the price, or else the transaction fails and the unit goes back on the market.
Once the mortgage commitment letter is received, you will send it to the Board so the Board can put it in their files.
Board Interview & Resale Certificate
The Board meets 1-2 times a month to review the applications and then will schedule a brief interview to ask you questions about your application. At the end of the interview they will provide you with a copy of the Resale Disclosure Certificate pertaining to the Apartment Leasehold you are proposing to purchase. The Certificate will contain insurance information and financial information. It is important for you to review the Resale Packet in detail as well as your attorney to determine whether there are any bylaws, rules & regulations, or financial red flags to consider before purchasing. You have five business days in which to rescind your offer to purchase the co-op according to state law.
Either the morning of the closing (or the day before) you and your real estate agent will walk through the unit to make sure it is in the same condition as when you had the inspection.
Closings are always held at the Co-op Board office at the corner of Fairfield Avenue and Brewster Street (first floor, on the left). Keys to the unit and your leaseholder certificate will be given to you at that time.
You will want to obtain a parking sticker from the property management company, in case you ever park in the parking lot. This cannot be obtained until after closing as you need to change your address with the DMV and your car insurance first.
Disclaimer: This document may contain inaccurate or out-of-date information. Please check with the BGA office for accurate, up-to-date information.
How can I contact the BGA office?
The Bridgeport Garden Apartments (BGA) office is located at 2825 Fairfield Avenue in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport at the corner of Brewster Street and Fairfield Avenue. Park your car on Fairfield Avenue, not Brewster Street, when visiting the office. The office is on the first floor to the left.
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday - 9 AM to 2 PM