Co-Op Apartment: For What It’s Worth?

By: ROS Team July 13, 2021

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NYC is a city bursting at the seams with new ideas. If you can imagine it, it’s probably in existence in NYC. Over the years, NYC real estate has coined new terms that caught on like wildfire across the nation and even the world. One such idea is the concept of co-op apartments. Let’s delve into what makes this living arrangement unique.

What is a Co Op Apartment?

Coop apartments are ones that are owned by corporations and the tenants are sub-owners of that corporation. The shares are directly dependent on the size of each apartment. The one with more shares will have a bigger say in the affairs of the corporation.

It is run by an independent body of elected members which is called a co-op board. They are largely responsible for making decisions for the general good of all. They make sure that the building is well maintained and financially stable. Additionally, they handle and resolve any conflicts between residents.

What are the Maintenance Costs of a Co-Op?

It might come as a surprise to some but it’s normal for shareholders in a coop apt to pay a monthly fee that goes towards the maintenance of the building.

Apart from maintenance, other expenditures are also included in the monthly fee such as property taxes, utility bills, and staff salaries. The monthly fee depends on the number of shares an individual has in the corporation; the more shares, the higher the monthly fee. Therefore, your neighbor may not pay the same amount in fees as you.

Pros of Buying a Coop Apartment:

Here are a few reasons you should consider getting a co op apartment instead of buying a condo:

  • Coop apartments are typically 10-20% cheaper than condos, primarily because most co-ops are in older buildings and may not have the same amenities and features as newer developments.
  • In most real estate deals, closing costs can be a substantial portion of the purchase expense. However, the closing costs of a co-op are way less because of the nature of the co-op and its waiver of certain taxes and fees.

Buying a Co-Op Apartment

  • Co-ops are plentiful in NYC (approximately 75% of apartments in the city are co-ops), so you would have tons of options to choose from should you opt for a co op apartment building.
  • The co-op’s board is extremely selective about who receives shares, which translates to who is approved to move in. Their selectivity helps to reinforce the stable financial values of the co-op. If we consider this from a historical perspective, the price of co-ops did not fluctuate as much during the 2008 recession compared to other real estate properties. This is a testament to the financial stability of co-ops and their boards.
  • You are more likely to have a friendlier environment at a co-op than in a condo. Co-op landlords tend to behave more respectfully than landlords of the condos as they view it more like a community than a mere residence.
  • In a co-op building, the board is instrumental in defusing residential conflict. They have the authority to impose fines if needed, which is not possible in a condo.

Living in the Co-Op Apartment

Cons of Living in the Coop Apartment:

  • The process to get into a co-op is very selective. The board digs deep to make sure tenants are the right fit and can bear the economic burden of living there.
  • As co-op is an older living concept; therefore most co-op buildings are very old-fashioned. It is less likely that you find a newly developed co-op. On the contrary, condos are often in newer buildings so they tend to be more luxurious than co-ops. You would definitely compromise on luxury and amenities if you opted for a co-op.
  • Co-ops offer very little wiggle room for negotiating new payment rates or reduced fees. The expectation upon purchasing coop apartments is that you have a stable income and good credit history.
  • Buying a co-op is lengthy and complex. They usually look in every corner of your background and financial history and ask for minor details. The process may take up to six months before coming to a close. On the other hand, you can buy the condo within a couple of months.

Conclusion:

A co-op is a common option for New Yorkers. Almost 75% of residential apartments in the city are co-ops, which proves how good co-op apartments are. However, the buying process is tough and lengthy. However, let us assure you, co-op life can be a pleasant way to experience NYC if you choose to go that route.