Co-operatives or condominiums? The differences matter

Before you buy a co-op or a condominium, it's important that you understand the differences between the two. In a city, it's common for people to purchase one of these two types of properties. They are similar, but they're not the same in every way.

Co-ops, for example, are collectively owned and managed, which means you own a portion of the corporation itself when you buy a co-op for a home. You obtain a proprietary lease as a resident, which then gives you the right to use the co-op as long as you follow the regulations and bylaws already in place. Condos, on the other hand, are private residences. They are in multi-unit buildings or communities in most cases, and the owners share common areas.

Which one is cheaper on average?

Condos are easier to finance, but co-ops are usually cheaper per square foot. You have more control over a co-op, since you are an individual shareholder in the corporation. Condo fees are lower than co-op fees in most cases, but your results may vary.

It is also very wise to understand that co-ops have rules and regulations that make it necessary to have a purchaser approved before he or she can buy a property.The board could, in theory, reject your application to purchase a property if you won't abide by the community rules or can't obtain the financial backing to make a purchase. If you're planning to rent out your property, understand that it may be harder to do so with a co-op, since you'd have to get approval. Our site has more on what to consider if you are thinking of making a purchase.