A condop is a type of entity that was invented to get around legal rules that don't exist anymore. There used to be something called the 80/20 rule. It meant that if a co-op derived more than 20% of its revenue from sources other than the maintenance of the shareholders, the shareholders would lose the tax-deductibility of the deductable parts of their maintenance. For example in the Village or SoHo, when the buildings started being able to collect enormous rents from the storefronts, it would be great for the finances of the co-op, but bad for the tax-deductibility of ownership of individual shareholders. That entity called a condop, sort of a hybrid of a condo and co-op, was created which got around this law by treating the entities of the commercial portion and the residential portions differently. The 80/20 law was abolished a couple of years ago, so there will be no new condops.
In practical terms, without expanding on the definition above, in most (not all) cases, the residential portion functions more like a condo than a co-op. This is not true in 100% of the cases though, as as I've come across a couple that were pretty strict with things such as subletting.
The best thing you can do is to work with a skilled, experienced agent who can help you decide, based upon your individual circumstances, which type of ownership is best for you. We can streamline your search, negotiate on your behalf and take you through the steps of buying. All the sellers have agents and you should too. There is no fee to you and your interests will be protected, as the listing agent works for the seller.
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