Co-Ops Vs. Condos: A Primer

While condos and co-ops share many attributes, confusion often persists about how the two function.

"There's an unusual real estate proposition often encountered by young, hip urbanites looking for their first stake in real estate: instead of purchasing a condominium, why not buy a share of a cooperative building?"

"Condos and co-ops (as they're popularly known) share a lot of common attributes. In both cases, the buyer lives in an apartment and turns all of the building maintenance over to someone else. It's one of the major perks of opting out of the white-picket-fenced family home. You don't have to cut the grass."

The difference:

"When you purchase a condominium, you own that unit. You also get the rights to use the exercise room, the party room, or any other common areas. When you buy into a co-op, you don't own any of the building's real estate. Instead, you own shares or a membership in the cooperative housing corporation. The corporation owns the real estate."

Full Story: Condo or Co-op?

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