Many people who look at senior housing are confused by the difference between a condo and a coop.
The first answer is that they are a different form of ownership. A condo is simply real estate, you get a deed for your unit and a percentage of the common areas. Simple.
Coop is an older form of ownership. Legally you own shares in a corporation which owns the real estate. You get a lease in perpetuity for your unit. You do not get a deed and, unless you get a loan, nothing is recorded. You must qualify financially with the Homeowners Association (Mutual) even if you are not getting a loan. You must apply for membership in the Association (Mutual) although the only standard they can use is financial.
In Rossmoor, people call me and are astounded by some of the prices because they are so low. That is usually because they are coops. One thing that people object to is the relatively high monthly fees for a coop as compared to a condo (although the condo fees are creeping up). You shouldn’t be too concerned about this because you get MANY more benefits from the homeowners association in a coop than a condo.
Here’s a little chart detailing some of the differences in Rossmoor (there are some other coops around, but that is the predominate project in the East Bay). As you can see, the heating/air conditioning benefit is HUGE (as the Donald would say).
I can help you sort out the differences, give me a call or email. I have owned both condos and coops in my long, checkered career.
|Coop Benefits||Condo Benefits|
|Heating/Air Conditioning||HOA fixes, repairs, replaces, even emergencies||You are on your own|
|Stove, Refrigerator Original to Unit||HOA replaces||You are on your own|
|Appliances, Upgraded by owner||You are on your own||You are on your own|
|Original ceiling light fixtures (fluorescent)||HOA maintains||You are on your own|
|Screens||Mutual 2 repairs and replaces||You are on your own|