When buying a co-op you are buying shares in a corporation. So many shares per apartment. This is why when I sell a co-op I ALWAYS advise my client to get elected to the co-op board as soon as possible. If you are a shareholder in a corporation you want to have some knowledge and input about HOW this corp. is run.
A condo is different. You own the apartment--walls floors etc.
This is a simplified version to answer your question.
As to why it has been on the market for 3 months? There could be many factors --poor marketing, slow time of year , over pricing etc. However, with an efficiency you have a limited market.
The big difference is in a condo you afre buying "real property". Closing costs in DC will be just under 3%; 1.1% in DC taxes; plys title insurance, etc. In a co-op; you are not actually "taking title". You are buying shares in a corporation and in turn receive a propreitary lease for that specific unit.
Closing costs are MUCH lower for a co-op; since there is no transfer of title - you will only pay a couple of hundred dollars over and above the lender fees. (maybe 2k total).
Co-ops are great investments if : You do not plan in renting out. (Most co-ops in DC will not allow non-owner occupied units - some will allow for 1 year only).
The monthly fee in a co-op tends to be higher; because it includes the Property Taxes. In a condo; property tax is added in to the mortgage payment. Figure a couple of hundred dollars a month.
Why has it been on the market for 3 months? A studio unit tends to attract 1st-time buyers. Many first time buyers simply shy away from co-ops because they (or their Realtors) do not understand them. Also banks require at least 5% to 10% as a downpayment for a co-op a loan( the co-op may require more); and they charge a SLIGHTLY higher interest rate. Visit: http://activerain.com/blogsview/253091/Condo-or-Co-op for more details.
If you have any questions; feel free to contact me directly. Remember as a Buyers Agent - the seller pays my fee - not you.
What is covered in the monthly dues...most have dues that cover taxes, water, garbage, etc. Try to find out all costs, what is included what is not. I will stop here as I could keep going...but want to allow someone else to give some insight too. Get the Bylaws...this will answer alot of your questions. Resale of a Co-op tends to be a little longer and 3 months wouldn't seem that far off.