What Is the Difference Between a Condo and a Co-op? Does It Matter Which Property Type I Buy?

This is usually the #1 question from first-time home buyers. One big thing to know is cooperatives have long been the traditional way to own an apartment in NYC and comprise approximately 2/3 of all apartments in the city! But there are a few things to understand here. When you buy an apartment in a co-op building, you are actually getting shares of a corporation. Co-op shareholders pay a monthly maintenance fee to cover building expenses. A cooperative (or co-op) board of directors usually interviews potential purchasers and can set rules to determine how much of the purchase price may be financed and minimum cash requirements. Purchasing a co-op can be an intricate process, and subletting the property can be challenging. In general, co-ops are not the right fit for investors but can be perfect for those wishing to make a home for several years. Many co-ops have limitations for how long you can rent (or sublet) the apartment and any tenant must be approved by the cooperative.

A condominium is real property, and a purchaser is given a deed as if they were buying a house. Each individual apartment in a condominium receives a separate tax bill from the city. There is still a monthly common charge similar to the maintenance charges in a co-op, which is paid to the condominium association to cover such items as payroll, building maintenance and supplies, management fees, and building repairs. The straightforward nature of buying a condo, plus the fact that in some cases you can finance up to 90 percent of the purchase price and sublet your apartment at will, make this form of ownership a top choice for flexibility, especially among investors, foreign buyers, and parents purchasing for their children.

Interested in buying? Have more questions? I’m happy to answer any and all questions you may have about buying a home in New York City. Read more about me including client testimonials here.


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Alex provides clients with guidance, resources, and the support they need to be successful. He is a tenacious partner that’s adept at guiding others through all economic markets, whether bull or bear. “It always comes down to the customer experience,” Alex believes. “Every client is counting on you to be the game changer - the broker that secures the deal on the apartment of their dreams.”
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