The differences between co-ops and condominiums matter

While you may think that a co-op and condominium are the same, the reality is that these are two very different kinds of real estate. Condominiums are real estate you can own, whereas a co-op grants you only a share of a building.

When you consider if you want to purchase a co-op or condo, consider the fees first. Condos typically have maintenance fees. They may have fees that cover routine maintenance, lawn mowing and snow removal. On the other hand, co-ops have higher fees and often cover at least some of your utilities.

Depending on the amount of capital you have available for your purchase, a co-op may be a better choice for you. They're cheaper to buy into, but they do tend to be harder to sub-lease if you don't want to live there. Condos are easier to lease or sell, but they tend to be more expensive initially.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are property taxes on both kinds of property. However, condos are individually owned and have separate taxes, whereas co-ops are a single building with taxes split among all the owners.

Speaking of taxes, keep in mind that you can deduct all the interest on your mortgage from your taxes if you have a condo, but you can only deduct your potion of interest from your taxes if you own a co-op.

These are a few differences between co-ops and condos. Our site has more on what to expect with these properties and what you should know about them if you choose to buy.