What’s the difference between a condo and a co-op?
Here's the deal: If you buy a co-op, you don't own the actual aparment; you own shares in an association that owns it. The affairs of the building is controlled by a board of managers usually made up of fellow owners, and this board gets to green-light how monthly maintenance fees are spent. To buy into the building, you also have to get approved by yep, you guessed it, the board. Typically, co-ops are less pricey and have lower maintenance fees than condos, and your property taxes are included in them. The catch: They require you to put 30 to 50 percent down (ouch!).
If you buy a condo, you acutally own the deed to your apartment and have to pay separate property taxes on it. Condos also have boards of managers, but you won't have to be grilled, er, approved, by a board in order to buy. The purchase price may be higher, but you only need to plunk down 10 to 20 percent as your down payment. You also have more flexibility about making renos to your place, owning a pet, and potentially subletting, whereas co-ops have stricter rules.
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