What’s the Difference Between a Co-op and a Condominium?

If you live in New York you are going to know what co-op housing is since it makes up the majority of residential units in that city. Los Angeles is the direct opposite of New York. The majority of buildings are condominiums.

In a co-op the resident does not own the unit. They have an interest in the building and a share in the stock which allows them to live in a unit in the building. There is usually a co-op association which is a corporation which owns the entire building, including all the units, and each owner owns shares in that corporation. Or, if there are no shares they have a proprietary lease. Each prospective owner has to be approved by a membership committee of homeowners. The only two criteria for rejection of a prospective buyer are financial viability and unwillingness to abide by the rules.

A benefit of a co-op building can be that there are less renter-occupied units since the owners are more involved in the process of managing the building.

If you are buying a condominium you are going to own the unit and the common areas.

It can be difficult for a prospective buyer to get a loan on a co-op, and this is something to consider in terms of resale in Los Angeles where you are competing with condos on the market where a loan is easier to get. Basically you are limiting your buyer pool.

The two main co-op buildings on the Westside are 201 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica and 10375 Wilshire Blvd., the Wilshire Terrace on the Wilshire Corridor.

If you are thinking of buying in one of these buildings and looking to finance the purchase, I can direct you to a lender who will be able to help.


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