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Condos Vs Co-ops

Which one is right for you?


As you look to purchase a home in New York City, you’re likely seeing a lot of options labeled “condo” or “co-op”, and wondering what the difference is and which is better for you. Considering both often share similar spaces and layouts, are in multi-person buildings, and share neighborhoods, it can be confusing.

In general, a condo, or condominium, is buying an apartment as if it’s a home. You own it in its entirety and co-own the public spaces of the building in which it’s located. You can sell your condo without an issue, rent it out, or use it as a secondary home, all without question.

Contrasting that, a co-op is more of a community that you buy into. Essentially, it’s as though you and six friends purchased a single home - it’s a shared space, and even though you’ve claimed your individual space, the building is legally considered owned by everyone living there. So which is better for your life? There are several factors to consider.

Which One Is Right for You?

  • You want to use the property as a secondary home or rent it out.
  • You want to put less than 20% down and finance the rest.
  • You prefer newer construction and more amenities.
  • You won’t be living there, you’ll live there for a short time, or you love meeting new people in the building.
  • The property will be your primary residence.
  • You see the beauty in historic architecture.
  • You can afford a higher down payment or can pay cash.
  • You have at least two years of expenses liquid and have a low debt-to-income ratio.
  • You want to see the same neighbors for years and build relationships with them.

There is no objectively wrong decision when choosing between the two – it’s simply a matter of preference. People who love pre-war buildings are more likely to end up in co-ops, whereas people who want a view tend to choose high-rise condos. Regardless, we can guide you in the right direction based on your personal preferences and needs.

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