Sylvan Knoll has two of the ten coop complexes in Stamford, compared with well over 400 condominium complexes. Sylvan Knoll Sec. I has 122 units; Sylvan Knoll Sec. II has 144 units, out of just 753 total Stamford coop units. Condominiums exceed 12,000 units. In my opinion, if a coop were to re-declare itself a condominium, the individual unit market values would soar. It's the form of ownership â€” coop vs. condominium â€” that creates resale problems for coops.
Over twenty years ago, Peoples Bank promised us RealtorsÂ® that they were about to start financing coop purchases, but it didn't happen. We had to go to out-of-state mortgagors for financing . . . in states like New York or Florida where coops were common.
The problem then was described as follows: a coop is considered one piece of property, wherein unit owners buy shares in the non-profit corporation equal to the relative value of their unit to the total, and are issued a proprientary lease for their unit. Each condominium unit, however, is an individual piece of real estate, individually taxed, common charged, and deeded. If the coop has a blanket mortgage on the entire property, an application to finance the purchase of a single unit would be treated as secondary financing . . . at least by the Connecticut banks that had not had as much experience as the New York banks, for example. In other words, you would not be granted a first mortgage on the unit you were trying to buy because there was already a first mortgage on the entire property. Until the middle eighty's, you had to pay all cash for your purchase, and you could not deduct any property taxes because you were not paying those taxes directly, the corporation was. Then, a change was made to the statutes decalring an interest in a coop as an interest in real estate, allowing unit owners to deduct that portion of their common charges that represented their share of the corporation's property taxes.
Before you seriously consider a coop purchase in Connecticut, decide how long you expect to live there. Remember, Syvab Knoll was built in 1950-1951, a long time ago by our local common interest communities. This means, virtually everything else is newer, to much newer. Consider maintenance and repairs, such as the roof, the integrity of the brickwork, the relative small sizes of the rooms and storage, the vintage of the heating systems, etc. Perhaps you can do much better. And, lots of luck re-selling later.
Perhaps a small complex townhouse condominium would serve you better, now and later. It will appreciate much better, and be worth a whole lot more later than would a coop. Plus, you'll be able to re-sell it later. Try for a small enough complex so as to skip places with professional management companies. That will keep your monthly common charges lower, as common charges do affect market values.
I remain at your service.