Ask the Real Estate Agent: What’s the Difference Between a Condo and a Co-op?

by Dan Lesniak

Condo vs. Co-op


thinkingRecently, I’ve been receiving questions from buyers asking about the difference between a condo and a co-op?

Condominium (Condo)

A condominium by definition is is the form of housing tenure and other real property where a specified part of a piece of real estate is individually owned. Use of land access to common areas in the piece such as hallways,  amenities and parking, are associated with the individual ownership. These rights are controlled by the association of owners that jointly represent ownership of the whole piece.

The condo fee is going to some of your insurance and the real estate taxes will be taken care of by the owner of the unit.


Cooperatives (Co-op)

The co-op association, usually a corporation, owns the entire building, including all of the individual units. Each co-op owner either holds shares in the association or has a “perpetual” lease. That lease spells out the rights and responsibilities of the owner, as well as the obligations and duties of the association.

Management and financial decisions are made by the co-op unit members. The co-op unit members vote at meetings or an elected board of directors that handles day-to-day operations vote.

The co-op fee is going to include all of your insurance and real estate taxes. The lending is a little bit different when it comes to lending. In areas, like Arlington, that doesn’t have many co-ops the financing options may be limited.


If you have any questions regarding any of this information, feel free to comment below, send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 571-969-7653.


Back to Top