What is the difference between a coop and condo?

Answer

Photo of New York City's skylineCo-ops and condos might look the same, but there are differences. When you buy a condo, you own everything included within the walls of the unit, and a homeowners association is responsible for everything outside those walls.

Share the building

When you buy a co-op, you don’t own your individual unit; you are a tenant in that sense, but you own a share of the building. Co-ops are not as readily available as condos are, which are everywhere.

Only in big cities

Co-ops tend to be in major urban areas only, such as New York City. The advantage of a condo is that you can buy one if you have the cash or a mortgage. With a co-op, besides the money, you also need to be approved by the co-op’s board.

Got to get approved

The advantage, if you are chosen, is that you get to live in a building where everyone has been approved. But if you want to sell, you’ll probably have a much easier time with a condo. The board needs to approve anyone you want to sell to in a co-op situation.

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