New York City Tenant to Owner Condo vs Coop

Co-op vs Condo In NYC

What's The Difference? 


Condos and Co-ops are an attractive and relatively affordable alternative to buying a single-family home. 

Why should I buy a Co-op or a Condo? 

These types of properties offer home ownership without all the upkeep of an actual house.

But what exactly are the differences between a Condo and a Co-op? 

Condos Are Real Property. (You receive a Deed to the unit you purchase)  A condo is the more traditional real property ownership where a unit owner has a physical deed to the apartment. Think of purchasing a condo like purchasing a house in the suburbs. The purchaser is given an actual deed to the property purchased. Seeing that you own real property ( not like a Co-op owner who owns shares in a building), each individual apartment will receive a separate tax bill from the city.

Co-ops Are considered Personal Property (Like purchasing shares of stock in a company) 

Co-ops are not considered real property since buying a co-op apartment means you are purchasing shares in the corporation that owns the building. Along with shares, you receive a proprietary lease which entitles you to occupy your specific apartment within the co-op. These shares and the proprietary lease are personal property. The number of shares you own in a NYC co-op is determined by a range of factors including square footage, frontage, number of rooms, outdoor space as well as the floor of your unit. There is no correlation between the number of shares owners may have in different buildings, as each co-op corporation apportions shares differently.

What are monthly maintenance fees? 

Monthly Maintenance Fees are required to be paid if you own a Co-op or a Condo. Similar to a single family house, the maintenance fee pays for the general upkeep and maintenance of the whole building (house). These fees may differ between properties but will generally include the following:

• Property taxes (specific to Co-op’s)

• Any underlying mortgage on the building (specific to Co-op’s)

• Building insurance

• Management fees and salaries (i.e., doorman, maintenance)

• Common area upkeep, etc.

The maintenance may also include:

• Heat and hot water

• Electricity

• Gas

• Decorations

• Plants and flowers in common areas

• Bike room or storage room use

• Pest control

• Plumbing

• Parking spots

• Trash and snow removal

• Elevator and Pool maintenance 

• Etc

The fee is generally apportioned according to the number of shares your co-op unit holds in the corporation or in a Condo, the total square footage of your unit and in many cases the position of that unit in the building. 

Is A Co-op Or Condo Better?

It all depends! The straightforward nature of buying a condo plus the fact that in some cases you can finance up to 90 percent of the purchase price and rent your apartment freely makes this form of ownership a top choice for flexibility, especially among investors, foreign buyers and parents purchasing for their children. That being said, in NYC there are significantly fewer Condos to come by and they are usually more expensive. In addition to the lower price you might pay for a Co-op vs a Condo, Co-ops also tend to have more of a community feel which appeals to many buyers. Co-op owners are more likely to see their ownership as part of the whole building rather than their specific unit. Closings costs will also be lower in a Co-op. If you’re unsure whether a Co-op or condo is better for you, send us a message and we're happy to run through the pros and cons of each! 

Tell me more.

FAQ - Condo vs Co-op Questions:

1. Can You Deduct Co-op Maintenance Fee?

You can deduct the portion of your maintenance that pays the co-op’s property taxes. Your co-op will tell you this every year. However, because of the new tax law, there is a $10,000 limit for deducting state, local and property taxes. This prevents most people from deducting property taxes.

2. How Long Is The Approval Process for A Co-op?

While each co-op is different, you should plan on at least six to eight weeks for the entire approval process.

3. How Long Is The Approval Process for A Condo?

The process is much quicker for a condo - usually two to three weeks.

4. What Are The Rules For A Co-op?

New York City co-op boards are notorious for their rules which can be found in the co-ops “house rules.” These rules cover general topics such as common areas, noise levels, and pet guidelines. It is best to check each co-op’s house rules since they may be different.

5. What Are The Differences In Approval Process For Condo And Co-op?

Co-ops applications are usually more involved and require an interview. Your purchase can also be outright rejected. Condos also require an application, often with much of the same information requested by the co-ops, but do not require and interview and denials are extremely rare.

6. Can I Rent Out My Co-op?

Each co-op is different with its own house rules and policies. Generally, most co-ops either don't allow you to “sublet” (a co-op’s term for rent) the property altogether or require you to own the property for a certain amount of time before giving you permission to rent.

7. Can I Rent Out My Condo?

Yes, usually but that will be subject to the terms of the bylaws. since your buying real property, in most cases your allowed to rent out your condo but an application for authorizatmay still be required.

I'm an Interested Tenant to Owner. 
Do You Presantly Rent An Apartment in NYC or Other?

Thanks for submitting!