Jksailing, Home Buyer in Seattle, WA

what is a co op?

Asked by Jksailing, Seattle, WA Mon Feb 4, 2013

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This question was asked from this property: http://www.trulia.com/property/3017349777-3609-14th-Ave-W-20…

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8
Not a true definition (just an opinion) An easy to buy nightmare to sell place to live.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
Could it be a wrong listing number? The unit is clearly a Condo. Co-Ops aren't that uncommon in denser, older neighborhoods in Seattle. Besides the answers already mentioned, Co-Ops typically require more interaction with your neighbors. They tend to be the kind of thing where each resident has an opinion and the right to voice it. If you work well with others Co-Ops can be a great option. However they can be harder to sell. For financing reasons and because of the reason above.

Some of the docks for the floating homes on Lake Union are also Co-Ops. The financing choices for those can be very limited.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
Could it be a wrong listing number? The unit is clearly a Condo. Co-Ops aren't that uncommon in denser, older neighborhoods in Seattle. Besides the answers already mentioned, Co-Ops typically require more interaction with your neighbors. They tend to be the kind of thing where each resident has an opinion and the right to voice it. If you work well with others Co-Ops can be a great option. However they can be harder to sell. For financing reasons and because of the reason above.

Some of the docks for the floating homes on Lake Union are also Co-Ops. The financing choices for those can be very limited.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
You've been provided some very good answers already. Just know that co-ops are rare in Seattle. It can be more difficult to obtain financing on a co-op and your legal rights may be affected as well. Choose wisely. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
Any fractionally owned property can present major obstacles to a buyer seeking to understand the financial condition of the entity holding title. It may look great on the outside, be in a super location,
and have so many serious defects that are hidden from view that it becomes a money pit. That can be true of any condo situation. Just as with a partnership, the determination of how smooth it goes
depends on who the partners are.

Regardless of what state you're buying in, please be careful. And don't buy in the state of self
delusion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
To add what Kary and Michael replied about co-ops....this particular property is not a co-op. It is a condominium. Additionally, this specific unit is currently in escrow (offer accepted and pending inspection).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
In simplistic terms, it's more like a partnership, where the partnership own the building and each member of the partnership has a right to live in a particular unit. Technically you are not buying real property, but instead a personal property interest in an entity that owns real property. Co-ops were common before condominiums, and I believe most local coops are older buildings.

Note that many of the consumer protection items that apply to real estate may not apply to co-ops. For example, I don't believe you have either a seller's disclosure statement or a resale certificate, but I haven't looked into that for a few years so I could be mistaken.

The biggest knock on co-ops is probably the limited financing available.

All that said, from what I've heard, people who live in coops seem to be happy. I have not heard of a lot of complaints, and when I have visited co-op properties they have seemed to be well run.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
Hi Jksailing,

In a Co-op, ownership of the property is vested in a single entity---usually a corporation. The residents of a co-op building own shares in the corporation, rather than owning the property itself. They are tenants with long-term proprietary leases on their units (they do not own title to their units).

I would ask your Realtor to explain in detail the difference between buying a co-op vs. buying a condominium if you are considering a purchase in a co-op. They are not that common around here, but as you've found, they do exist.

Hope that answers your question, and feel free to reach out if you have others or need help.

Michael Copeland
425-213-8124
michael@mbcopeland.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
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