Co-ops and Condos

These are two distinct types of ownership, though sometimes the terms are mistakenly used interchangeably.

How to tell them apart? It’s not always possible to tell just by looking at the building, or even, at first glance, by the listing information.

Condo home ownership is described in full in the Condo Living Overview. A co-op, or co-operative, is similar to a condominium in that it has units within a larger building with common units and facilities. The difference is that the owners do not actually own their units.

Instead, they buy shares of stock in the corporation that holds title to the building. In return for stock, they receive what’s termed a ‘proprietary lease’ that entitles them to occupy a particular unit.

Also like condo owners, they pay their share of the buildings expenses. So the monthly fee and the taxes are details to look at for the sign of a co-op rather than a condo. The co-op fee is relatively higher than for a similar unit in a condominium building,Ā  but the co-op fee includes taxes. A condo unit is owned by the buyer and taxes are charged individually.