For those looking to buy an apartment in Manhattan, deciding where to live comes down to deciding how to live -- either in a Manhattan condominium, or a co-op. While co-ops make up the majority of Manhattan apartment listings, a bumper crop of new construction Manhattan condominiums arrived during the previous decade, and many buildings have recently “gone condo.” So, what’s the difference between NYC condos and NYC co-ops?
Condos in Manhattan
There’s no more direct ownership stake available in Manhattan real estate than condominiums. Lay the money down for a Manhattan condominium, and you’ll get a deed, sole ownership, and -- in many cases -- the keys to one of the finest apartments for sale in New York City. While the vast majority of Manhattan’s apartment stock is in co-ops -- something like 85 percent, although the number fluctuates a bit -- many of the new construction apartment listings in Manhattan are of the luxury condominium variety. For a pure ownership stake on an apartment in Manhattan and the flexibility to do with your home whatever you wish, NYC condos are about as good as it gets -- and they’re getting more popular with every year that passes.
Co-ops in Manhattan
Manhattan real estate is still dominated by co-op buildings, which function as benign -- if sometimes notably persnickety -- vertical socialist communities. Real estate corporations own co-op buildings and sell company shares that entitle buyers/shareholders to proprietary leases -- co-op owners own the rights to their apartments instead of owning the apartments outright. Co-op shareholders contribute monthly maintenance fees that cover building expenses such as heat, water, insurance, staff, and taxes. Portions of fees, plus real estate taxes, are tax deductible. Manhattan co-ops are famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) for the sometimes-quirky and often restrictive policies enforced by their co-op boards, which are elected by residents and make decisions on building issues. Many of Manhattan’s oldest and most prestigious apartments are co-ops, and they’re nearly ubiquitous around Gramercy Park, as well as on the Upper East and Upper West Sides.