The decision whether to purchase a cooperative (“co-op”) or a condominium (“condo”) unit is a tough choice for some. Each has its pros and cons. When purchasing a condo, your name is on the deed. You own that condominium unit. Condos are like standalone “houses,” but there may be a common area that condo owners share, such as a pool or other recreational spots. Something to keep in mind is that there are usually fees associated with the common areas. Also, owners of a condo must pay out of pocket for repairs to their own condo unit.
When purchasing a co-op, you receive not a deed, but rather shares in a cooperative corporation corresponding to your unit. This means you do not own the unit; instead, you are a stockholder in the co-op corporation. All areas of the co-op building are jointly owned and all owners of stocks have a say in the rules of the co-op building – to a point. A major downside of purchasing shares of a co-op unit is dealing with the co-op board. The board makes most major and minor decisions and may deny the purchaser of your stock shares – for whatever reasons the board decides.
Weighing your purchasing options with an expert real estate attorney is strongly recommended to ensure a successful outcome for your sale or purchase.