When shopping for the perfect apartment, home buyers may consider cooperatives (co-ops) and condominiums (condos). While both property types share a resemblance, prospective buyers need to be aware of the differences between co-ops and condos.
What Condo Housing Is Like
Condos and co-ops are similar in the fact that they are separate units in a single building with shared common areas, such as a lobby or outdoor recreational space.
The main discrepancy between the two property types comes down to the ownership terms of the units.
When a buyer purchases a condo, he or she is gaining a title or ownership of the individual unit. Condo owners are expected to pay fees to HOA, which manages and maintains the exterior and shared spaces of the community.
Due to a large amount of shared common space in condominiums, it is not uncommon for neighbors to cross paths. While the common areas vary depending on the specific condo community, many condo residents share hallways, stairs, lobbies, elevators, parking lots, and common building entries and exits.
What Co-Op Housing Is Like
Co-ops, on the other hand, are owned by a corporation. This means that rather than acquiring title over the physical unit, the buyer purchases shares of the company. A shareholder of the company is entitled to a proprietary lease, giving him or her the right to occupy a specific dwelling unit.
Co-ops, specifically ones situated in Chicago, often feature old historic buildings, boasting stunning architecture, unbeatable character and unique floor plans in each unit.
In a cooperative building, residents may get a few units on each floor or even multiple stories. Generally, the larger the apartment, the more shares the buyer must purchase.
When it comes to obtaining cooperative housing, buyers should know that it is a more extensive and restrictive process than condo purchases.
What are the Communities Like
Condo and co-op living can vary dramatically depending on what services and amenities the community offer, as well as where the building is situated.
Some communities offer residents top-notch luxury, with features such as 24-hour gyms, pools, and saunas.
Because residents in both condos and co-ops live in close proximity to neighbors, there is often a higher sense of security and community in these buildings as opposed to single-family homes.
However, condos have a higher turnover rate than co-ops, meaning that it may be more challenging to develop long-term relationships with neighbors.
Co-op residents usually get a say as to who gets to move into vacant units, making these properties more selective and unified.
The condo vs. co-op battle is one without a clearly defined winner. Both property types offer homeowners unique living experiences. Find an experienced broker today to help find the property that best fits your needs!