Mortgage Refinancing There May Never Be a Better Time

 With interest rates at historic lows, never rising too far above 4% these days,  boards are looking at refinancing their co-op's underlying mortgage to build up  their reserves as a viable alternative to raising maintenance fees or levying  assessments on shareholders.  

 Even better, reports Andre Kaplan, chief financial officer for Manhattan-based  Orsid Realty, “Most of our buildings that are refinancing have taken a lot of additional cash  to fund their future capital reserves and have kept their debt service the  same.”  

 The payoff can be startling.

 “We have a building on the Upper East Side that realized a $20,000 windfall in  cash flow on a monthly basis,” reports Neil Sonenberg, a senior partner with the accounting firm of Rosen  Seymour Shapss Martin and Co. “That’s almost a quarter of $1 million for the year. We are talking sizable savings.”  

 Should Your Building Refinance?

 Not every building is in a position to refinance. Condominiums, which do not  have underlying mortgages, obviously don’t have much to gain. But co-op boards owe it to themselves to sit down to  evaluate the possibilities. “The first question you need to ask,” advises Kaplan, “is, do we need to refinance our mortgage?”  

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