This is very much a case of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Co-ops tend to be spacious homes in older buildings with sizable monthly assessments that often include real estate taxes. What I urge you to consider as you move forward toward your purchase is to contemplate what it will be like to sell a co-op. There will be very many fewer prospective buyers interested in your home for two primary reasons - the high monthly assessments and the amount of money needed to be put down for purchase. I am curious with respect to the co-op you are considering, how much down is mandated by the board? While some co-ops go as low as 20% down, many others demand half cash if not total cash deal. As you can imagine, this restriction significantly minimizes potentially interested parties.
I wish you the best as you sift through listings and move toward your decision.
Other items included in the monthly fee may be heat, door staff, parking, and even electricity (purchased in a bundle by the corporation and then each shareholder is charged according to usuage)
Generally be prepared for a higher downpayment. Many Lakeview and South shore Co operatives allow financing of shares but will require at least a 20% - 25% downpayment. Many Gold Coast co operatives do not allow financing and in addition, you must have a large amount in liquid assets to be voted into the corporation.
For financing, ask a Realtor that specializes in Co ops to recommend a lender to you. Many brokers and banks do not lend for this type of ownership.
Lastly, be prepared for a through screening of your assets. Since it is a corporation, the shareholders do not want to have to assume responsibiltiy of another shareholders shares should he or she become unable to meet the fees associated. A simple credit report will not suffice. Your Realtor can help you with this process.
I think co -ops are wonderful properties and should be considered!
Co-ops take a longer time to sell even though they usually contain larger space. The reason for longer sales time is the large assessments usually associated with these buildings. Be aware that your portion of the building's taxes are included in your assessment. Also, since co-ops are usually older buildings, many of them have taken out loans or have special assessments to do tuck pointing or special
It is critical to review minutes for the last six to 12 months to get a good picture of how financially sound the building is as you own shares in the building and not outright ownership of your unit. And also to be considered is the requirement from the board to reveal all your personal, confidential financial data to a group of people on the board. Your income, what you have in your bank account plus items such as other assets may be asked for. Keep in mind, the board wants to make sure you can afford to live in the building as you will own a certain amount of shares in the building.