Buying an apartment differs from buying a single-family house in several significant ways:

Your building will have requirements as to how much of a mortgage new owners are allowed to have (your mortgage broker will have financial information on the building you've picked telling him how financially sound it is).

Once you have signed a contract, the building's board of managers or board of directors must approve you.

You must seek approval for any and all renovations you wish to make.

To help the process move smoothly:

Get prequalified by a mortgage broker.

Decide on the price you want to pay, don't forget to include monthly costs.

Determine your priorities-cost, location, size, and amenities.

Decide whether you are going to purchase a coop or a condo.

Once you determine your priorities create a checklist and make notes at each apartment you view.

Don't forget to factor in closing costs: bank, attorney, building fees and expenses. In addition to these standard closing costs some buildings have special taxes. There are also NYS & NYC transfer taxes.

Newly constructed high rise buildings with amenities usually including state-of-the-art health clubs, some with pools and jogging tracks.

High rise postwar (World War II) elevator doorman buildings with generous room sizes.

Low rise non-doorman elevator buildings or walk-ups with locked intercom security.

Turn of the century brownstone walk-ups or with elevators. Some with original charm, others newly renovated.