It's a personal decision, based on the type of ownership that is most appealing to you. Generally, the traditional housing co-op involves the formation of a corporation for the purpose of acquiring title to a multi-unit building and, in turn, leasing individual units (apartments) to the shareholders of the corporation; whereas condominium ownership involves acquiring title to individual apartments or units. In fact, condominium ownership is, for most practical purposes, only one form of cooperative housing and, like the co-op, must include provisions for management and maintenance of the building(s) and common areas, usually dictated by an elected Board of Managers, in the case of a condominium, and a Board of Directors in the case of a co-op. The condo advantage of individual unit ownership can be compared to the benefit of being able to choose your neighbors in a co-op setting, where the application process is very often quite selective. In the sale of a condo, once a price is agreed upon, the deal is done; whereas the sale of a co-op requires approval by the Board of Directorsâ€”which can be (and often is) withheld based upon arbitrary selection criteriaâ€”with no recourse to the buyer or seller if the sale is not approved.
Co-op ownership represents an interest (i.e. stock) in realty; â€œcondoâ€ ownership is actual ownership of realty. Price differences reflect demographic and geographic distinctions. You decide whatâ€™s best for you.