Should I buy a Co-op?
“Should I buy a Co-op?” asked my client. Hmmm…good question! We’ve been looking at condominiums in a higher end neighborhood in Seattle. It’s a good shoe-in for an expensive neighborhood.
I think we can largely agree it’s a good time to buy real estate in general right now. But let’s back up for a sec. First let me answer the question what is a condo association and what is a co-op association.
Condominium is a big building with individual units. Each unit has a tax parcel number and the owner has ownership of the interior walls inside. They also own the Title for the unit. Each owner pays a home owner due (HOD). Which it turn goes into an account managed by the home owner association. If there are any needed assessments (aka repairs) on the building or lawsuits to pay out, it is debited from this account. You qualify. You buy. You’re in.
Co-Op is a big building with individual units. The building is the company. The units are the shareholders within the company. You don’t hold Title. The co-op committee does. And usually the building is one big parcel number. There are home owner dues just like condo ownership. You interview with the co-op board. You buy. You’re in. Oh yeah, and no dogs (usually) and no leasing (usually).
Should you buy a co-op? Yes, you should. If you are a person who likes people, who likes sharing, who likes working together for a common goal, then yes buy a co-op. If you like relinquishing some of your control issues and collaborating with your fellow shareholders, then yes you should think about buying a co-op. If you don’t want to pay 1.78% excise tax as a seller in King County, co-op is a way to avoid this tax.
Should you buy a co-op? No, you should think twice about buying a co-op if you own a dog (usually), if you like larger buildings (co-ops are generally smaller buildings), if you are an investor/landlord and intend to rent. Oh, and perhaps you don’t want to know who your neighbors are.
Financing is no different for co-ops. You can do an FHA loan if you want. Just make sure you ask for the Financials Addendum from the building. This is similar to the Resale Certificate for a condo building. It contains meeting minutes, financials, and future assessments.
Hope this bit of info helped you make the right move. Questions? I’m here.