-In a condo, if you can buy the unit, you can live there and **potentially** rent it out per condo rules. In a co-op you will have some form of interview (could be in person with one or more board members, or could be a paper questionnaire (such as River Place in Rosslyn). Some co-op boards may screen you out, for example, if they perceive that you intend to rent out the unit rather than live there.
-Financing a condo is like financing a house, you get whatever mortgage you can get, and you can get pre-approval so you know what works for you before you fall in love with a property. Financing a co-op is possible only through a small group (could be one, could be a handful) of lenders with more restrictive financing rules than for a condo. For example, you often need at least 20% down payment. Your rates may differ from the prevailing rates for "regular" mortgages--remember, the range of available lenders is smaller and hence less competition and possibly more risk for the lender. Co-ops often have an "approved" list of lenders they allow.Hence when you are house hunting, you may not have a clear picture of whether you can afford a particular property until you pick one out, rather than pre-qualifying with confidence about what you can afford.
-Monthly fees may be higher in a co-op relative to a similar condo. In some co-ops the monthly fee includes a portion of the underlying mortgage that bought the entire building a few years ago--but this portion would be tax deductible to the extent that any mortage is.
-Before you start house hunting, go ahead and get a solid lender pre-approval so at least you know what is possible. If you fall in love with a co-op, you at least have a head start with your documentation and thoughts.
- You can buy into a coop, usually, for much less than the price of a condo.
- If you like exclusivity, you can get it with a coop because all owners have to be approved by the coop board. They can disapprove if they don't like your hair or the way you dress because you are not buying a unit, but you are becoming a business partner with the ability to live in one of their units.
- Utilities are typically part of the coop fee
- You can get elected to the board and wield your own power over who gets to live there.
- Your coop fee is mostly tax deductible because it includes taxes and interest on the building mortgage
- They tend to have more security measures in place than condos for allowing outsiders in on a daily basis
- You don't actually own the unit you live in and any changes you make to it have to be approved by the board before you make them.
- The coop fee is a LOT higher than a condo fee, but that's because it typically includes utilities, taxes and interest on the building mortgage
- Coops can be very restrictive. If you need to move and want to keep the coop, they can restrict whether or not you can rent it out, or put a time limit on how long you can rent it.
- Selling a coop can be a long drawn out process, depending on who sits on the board and who manages the building. A buyer has to be approved before you can sell to them.
Each Coop is different and has different rules, regulations, and bylaws.
This Coop does allow for renovation of the unit upon approval. However, they will not allow for a installation of a dishwasher or W/D.
Please note, that effective January 2013, the income restrictions dropped from $59,000 to $45,000 for one person. In addition to the income restrictions, the coop doesnâ€™t allow pets (although they are working on revising that restriction), there is no off-street parking, the buildings doesnâ€™t have elevators, and as an owner you must resided in your unit for 18 months prior to renting it out for 24 months.
Not all Coops have income restrictions or such restrictions on renovating.
Is this property of interest to you because of it's price? Location? Size? Etc.? Along with being a Realtor I also live in another Coop in DC, so I am fully capable to help you should you be interested in exploring Coops, condos, or homes in DC. Email me or call me and let me know how I can help you.