Posted by Provost on August 28, 2001 at 00:18:21:
In Reply to: What's a co-op? posted by Jules on August 27, 2001 at 23:38:21:
Coops and condominums are common ways to own your apartment in New York. The distinction between the two is one of legality:
In a CONDO, you actually "own" your apartment and its walls. You have a deed recorded with the city. You pay a maintainence fee just for upkeep to the building itself. As you own the unit, you can pretty much do as you please with it (renovate, rent it out, move your friends in, etc.)
In a COOP, meanwhile, you don't technically own an apartment. Instead you own shares in a corporation that owns the building as a whole. The shares give you the right to live in one particular unit and to vote to elect a coop board. Ideally, coop boards try to increase the aesthetic and monetary value for all apartments in the building. In practice, this means they are often very restrictive, with strict rules about roommates, renting, renovations and visitors.
Why own rather than rent ? Rent for 5 years and all you have is a stack of 60 cancelled checks. Own for that time, you have built up what is called equity in your unit. That means if you decide to move and sell the place, you can (hopefully) recoup all you have paid and maybe even make a gain.
With the sum of money you mention I'd definetly look into buying somewhere. If you have any more questions, just ask. Good luck.
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