Are you seeking to purchase an apartment in NYC and confused about whether to buy Co-op apartment or Condo?

This article will clear all your confusion about the differences and provide you information about the process of buying condos and co-ops.

image - Co-Ops vs. Condos Apartments – What's the Difference In Them

Co-ops vs. Condos Apartments – What’s the Difference

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Co-ops (short for “cooperatives“)

These are apartment buildings run by a company. Functionally, they are not classified as real estate. Single renters do not own their apartments; rather, they hold stakes in the company.

Shares are assigned on the basis of the scale and floor level of the individual unit.

Ownership of the shares shall be determined by a stock certificate, and the occupancy shall be governed by an “owner’s lease.” The corporation shall pay all building expenses, including property taxes, maintenance expenses, and mortgages.

The monthly amount charged by the owner, in spite of these costs shall be in direct proportion to the number of shares held in the company.


Condos, on the other hand, are considered legitimate property and are purchased much like a single-family home. Condo ownership also includes a monthly Common Area Maintenance (CAM) Charges for the construction and maintenance of common areas, etc.)

Entirely predicated on the floor space of the owner’s apartment. Real estate assessments are exempt from the common area rates and are paid separately to the City by the owner of the property.

Possession and occupancy of a condo are regulated by a set of standards and regulations, known as Covenants, Codes & Restrictions, or CC&Rs, which cover everything including permissible noise levels to pet types and breeds allowed in the area.

Condos are regulated by a Board of Directors appointed by the tenant, which usually consists primarily of property owners.

They oversee the implementation of the CC&Rs and handle the budget of the building to ensure that they do not spend too much and have sufficient deposits for significant capital maintenance costs, such as a new roof, etc.

The homeowner and tenants often nominate the Board of Directors in the co-ops. It is their duty to consult and support or oppose potential new members.

Because it can often be challenging to get a co-op permit, tenants usually stay for extended periods of time.

Few co-ops permit a large owner-occupancy rate to be sub-leased.

In the co-op, a significant portion of the monthly service charge is deductible as tax, i.e., the distributed amount of the corporation’s property taxes, and the interest on the mortgage payment of the building

In addition to the inability to sublease your space, there are other drawbacks to buying a co-op.

A large cash down payment will often be required by the Board, some as far as 25% or more, and several structures do not allow funding at all.

Proprietors are generally not allowed to use their properties for professional or commercial purposes, almost all refurbishments and renovations must be authorized by the Board.

Furthermore, owners seeking to sell their properties should have the new purchaser approved by the board members through the application procedure until a sale can be made.

In the case of co-ops, you hold equity in a company. This ensures that you do not own a particular unit in which you live.

When it comes to condominiums, you simply own a particular piece of real estate— your unit and space within its four walls, plus the common portion of the common facilities.

How to Buy Condo or Co-op Apartment

The process of buying condos and co-ops can get challenging, unlike renting an apartment, and we don’t imply only economically.

For Co-ops:

If you are in a hurry to find a good home, a co-op is definitely not for you. In order to acquire shares, you must be approved by the Co-op Board.

This may take a little time because the stakes are so high. Co-op stockholders take the financial responsibility for the entire building.

For these purposes, co-ops may also require more funding in advance (such as reducing the amount of the property that can be mortgaged) than condos.


While you may still have to be authorized by a board, condominiums are usually easier to arrange than co-ops.

Since condo owners are directly responsible for their individual spaces, the condo association is unlikely to care about any specific economic scenario of a resident.

Co-op owners, on the other hand, take accountability for the entire facility, and therefore the board must be completely sure that potential buyers are financially stable. It often prolongs the certification process for co-ops.

Irrespective of your financial position, you’re going to stumble through a few hurdles to buy either kind of apartment.

The key difference in the purchase process is that a co-op board has more to do when considering whom to let in, so potential buyers will have to leap through a few more hurdles than condo owners.

Author Bio:

Jennifer is an editor and author at nyrentownsell– a leading real estate company in New York.