What does co-op mean?

Asked by Tom Kuzniar, Wilmette, IL Thu Feb 28, 2013

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Noah Seidenberg’s answer
Noah Seidenb…, Agent, Evanston, IL
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Evan please no offense to you. I bet you are an excellent agent "run away as fast as you can" does not apply to Evanston or maybe other areas. The top buildings in Evanston for Vintage well operated, fine historic land mark buildings are co-ops. I am not here to belittle or look down upon anyone you are my real estate brother but I do not agree.
1 vote
Evan Kane, Agent, HIGHLAND PARK, IL
Thu Feb 28, 2013
It means, run away as fast as you can.
1 vote
Marnie Beilin…, Agent, Northbrook, IL
Mon Apr 1, 2013
Not sure if anyone hit on the fact that a major concern to a co-op buyer (I have sold many mainly in Chicago proper) would be that a lot of them do NOT allow you to rent them out, so if you may need that option make sure to check the building rules.
0 votes
Joanne Matik, Agent, Glenview, IL
Fri Mar 1, 2013
There are significant differences between a condominium and a cooperative, but each is considered a common interest development or CID. The terms 'co-op' and 'cooperative,' are short for 'cooperative housing project.' Cooperatives were in existence and common before the condominium type of ownership was fully developed in the United States. They were especially common in New York City and the northeast.

In a cooperative the building containing the residential units or apartments is owned by a 'cooperative housing corporation. When you buy a co op you buy shares in the housing corporation.

In a condominium, each unit owner owns an individual apartment in fee simple. In addition, the buyer owns an undivided interest in the common elements such as the exterior walls, roof, any recreational things like pools, tennis courts and other areas.

Both condo and co-op owners have monthly maintenance fees to pay, but they can vary, depending on what expenses the fee covers.
0 votes
Noah Seidenb…, Agent, Evanston, IL
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Also legally a condo means you own from the walls in, you own that apartment and a CO-OP means you do not own your home, you own shares equal to its size in the building.
0 votes
Dayle Lively, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Hi Tom,

I see that the basic differences between condos and co-ops have already been explained. One particularly important requirement to note for buyers wishing to purchase a co-op is that they must be approved by the building's elected Board of Directors, which sometimes can be a difficult process. Condo Boards often also require a review of a prospective buyer, but this is mainly to ensure that the prospect is financially qualified.

In Wilmette, most of the buildings on the Sheridan Road lakefront are condos; however, 2 of the buildings are co-ops. Currently, there are 10 units for sale in those co-op buildings, ranging in price from $164,500-$625,000 and ranging from 2 bedrooms/2baths to 4 bedrooms/3.1 baths.

Let me know if you'd like to investigate any of these further.

Dayle Lively
0 votes
Michele Wils…, Agent, Lake Forest, IL
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Tom, not much to add to the answers below, but in many cases you will not get a mortgage on a co-op as the co-op board will not allow the entire building to be subject to a lien. Be sure to work with a professional Realtor when you decide to buy your next home and avoid unnecessary problems.
0 votes
Tina Baer, Agent, Evanston, IL
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Hello Tom:

In a co-op:
• Units are collectively owned by a corporation and occupants purchase “shares”
• Assessments cover all building expenses, including real estate taxes

Versus a condo:
• Occupant owns unit outright
• Assessments cover building maintenance and improvements of all common areas
• Real estate taxes are paid by the homeowner

Below is a link to a good top-line article from Realtor.com that addresses the general differences, pros and cons of each:


Please keep in mind each condo and co-op board have their own bylaws or covenants, but this provides a general difference between the two.

Hope this has been of some help for you.
0 votes
Yanoska Diaz, Agent, Miami, FL
Thu Feb 28, 2013
0 votes
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