Five Reasons A Co-op May Be A Better Buy Than A Condo

The co-op market is slumping in NYC, which is why now may be the time to buy one.

By Jeff Vasishta January 9, 2017

Think of the word co-op, and most New Yorkers will think about snooty boards where prospective residents are expected to circulate in rarified social circles to be approved. They’ll also think of the 1980’s and earlier because the word co-op seems to be associated with a bygone era.

At one point, coops made up 85 percent of NYC’s residential buildings. But today, it’s rare to find a new building with coops for sale. The fact that they are so out of favor in NYC could be a reason to buy one. Here are five reasons you might want to reconsider a coop.

RelatedNew Condos For Ultra-Rich Come With A New Wave Of Super-Slick Amenities

Landlord-tenant laws

When you purchase a co-op, you are, essentially, a tenant. If you get hauled into court, landlord-tenant laws will apply. In New York that can be a good thing. Ask any landlord, and they’ll tell you that New York is the worst place to be a landlord. Because tenants by far outnumber homeowners, laws often favor the former. One who knows the ropes will have a landlord jumping through hoops and racking up legal fees for months on end as they head in and out of court trying to make their eviction stick.

Supply and demand

Real estate is all about supply and demand. While demand for NYC real estate is generally high, causing values to keep heading upwards, condo demand, conversely is down, particularly in the luxury $4 million and up sector. In fact, sales were more sluggish than they have been in any fourth quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal. That all points to now being the best time to snag a deal way below market—and way below what others are paying to live in the same neighborhood in a swanky new condo.

RelatedConstruction Of A Condo Giant At 242 West 53rd Street Is Underway

Selection process might be a good thing

Co-ops have been ridiculed for their selection process. But it’s worth bearing in mind that if you want a say in who lives around you, you may prefer a co-op’s selection process over a realtor or banks’, which is basically who has the cash gets the property.

No upkeep hassle

If you don’t want the hassle of being responsible for the upkeep of your property, a co-op may suite you. Sure, you’ll pay for it in the maintenance fees. But for many, the extra outlay is a reasonable price to pay for peace of mind.

Freedom of choice

Modern condos often come with a boatload of additional amenities such as gyms, swimming pools and dining rooms. It’s not included for free. Residents pay for that. What if you don’t want them? Perhaps you want your residence to be just a residence instead of a sports club as well. For those who prefer to select their own neighborhood gyms or work out at home, a co-op may prove a more streamlined use of their finances.

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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