There are a variety of different types of homes you can purchase, and one that is probably the least common is called a cooperative (co-op) home. A co-op home is not a specific type of housing structure, but instead, it offers a different type of homeownership. If you are currently in the market for a condo, you should know that a co-op home is not the same thing. In fact, there are some really big differences in these types of homes, and here are some of them.
What you own
A co-op home is not a home that you actually buy. Instead, a co-op is usually a group of homes owned by a legal entity. When you decide to buy one, you are really just getting a loan to purchase shares to the property. In other words, you do not own the home you move into; you only own rights to live there. A condo, on the other hand, is a type of home you buy outright. You may not own the exterior of the condo, but you will own the entire interior of it.
The setup of each type
Another thing to understand is that you can purchase just about any type of home structure you want in the form of a co-op. You can find apartments, condos, and townhouses that are co-ops, but you can also buy single-family homes that are co-ops. While a condo can qualify as a co-op home, a typical condo is generally attached to other homes. Condos are usually part of multi-family home communities, and you can find them attached to just one other home or to many other homes.
You will pay a maintenance fee for both
One of the main similarities with co-ops and condos is that both generally require paying a monthly maintenance fee. For a co-op, this is usually just called a maintenance fee. For a condo, this is usually called a homeowner's association (HOA) fee. The fee is used to care for all common areas of the communities and to pay for exterior maintenance and work the homes need. In a co-op, the maintenance fee may also be used to fix interior problems the homes may have, but this varies.
Co-op homes are not very common, but condos are. If you would like to begin shopping for a condo to buy, you should talk to a local real estate agent.