Here's Professor Hans Van Puppet to explain the basic differences between a Condo and a Cooperative.
What’s the difference between a condo and a co-op?
The easiest way to differentiate between condos and co-ops is in the type of ownership. A condo is “real property” – like a house – where you’re given an actual deed.
In a co-op, you’re basically buying shares in a corporation that owns the WHOLE building. It’s kind of like being an investor and buying stock in a company. These shares entitle you to a “proprietary lease.”
Overall, most people find it is easier to deal with condos, both in buying/selling and potentially renting. Co-op boards have a stricter set of standards and usually require higher down-payments, in-person interviews, limited sublet policies, and an application process that can often feel like a “full-body cavity search.” Plus the boards can (and do) reject buyers as they see fit – often with no explanation given!
The flip side is that co-ops tend to be more stable investments and can often create a closer sense of community because of the shared interests. And even though most buyers today prefer condominiums, co-ops still account for nearly 75% of the housing inventory in Manhattan.
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