The main difference between a Condo versus a Co-op is that with a Condo, you "own" your unit; walls,ceiling and floors. You will receive a deed to your property. In addition, you will pay your real estate taxes, just as you would with a residential home. In a Co-op, you are purchasing shares in an organization that owns the complex and those "shares" entitle you to what is called a "proprietary lease", which is just a fancy way of saying it's the proof of ownership of your co-op. The only thing is that you don't really "own" it. Your lease gives you the "right" to live in a particular unit. Unlike what some people tell you (or don't tell you) Co-op's do give you the "benefit" of paying real estate taxes, the only difference is that they are included in the monthly maintence fee (that's why you will notice that co-op maintence fees are usually higher than condo maintenance fees). HOWEVER, if looking at Co-op's ask what the "deductability" is; that's very important because that is the percentage of the maintenance fees that go towards taxes and are therefore deductible on your income tax just like real estate taxes are on a home or condo. Both Condo's and Co-op's have associations, just like some areas have civic associations, so don't be scared off of a co-op based on stories from the past that co-op boards have ridiculous rules. I have sold both condo's and co-op's and to be fair, I would not mind either if I were shopping for myself.
Licensed Real Estate Broker
J.E. Monaco Real Estate