The Market

Are condos worth it?

Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral
By Teri Karush Rogers  |
December 15, 2010 - 10:09AM

Condos typically cost more than co-ops, but does paying up make sense?   “Condos are like divorce. They cost more because they’re worth it,” quips a commenter, alluding to ease of disposing of one's property without approval by a co-op board. Here's what some others had to say:

Worth it:

  • You can sell to whomever you want, unless the condo board is willing to match the price
  • Sublet rules are more generous
  • You’re not responsible for a share of the building's underlying mortgage, since there is none

Not worth it:

  • It’s harder to evict “questionable” neighbors such as “litigious crackpots…reality-tv stars, famous fraudsters, drug czars, NJ hair-restoration doctors looking for an investment, any schmuck who can rustle up a loan”
  • If you fall behind on your common charges, that information becomes public. In a co-op, “nobody knows but the board and the agent.”
  • “…once the sponsor sells most of its units and the owners realize the true cost of maintaining amenities (like all-night room service, three-tiered Morrocan-style rooftop club, concierge services) will be a billion $$$/month.”

It all depends:

  • “A condo’s differences versus a co-op are not set in stone.  Some co-ops are much more lenient on frequently important issues (renting/subletting, pets, parents buying) than others….Condo boards can impose restrictions as well, though they’re obviously more limited at the outset.  Personally, I prefer a no-frills condo for the flexibility it gives me if I needed to move and rent the place long-term, but I don’t see myself paying more than a 5% premium for that. Unless you throw in that three-tiered Moroccan-style roof-top….”

For an exhaustive if slightly dated assessment of the condo vs co-op value difference, take a look at this 2006 analysis from NYU’s Furman Center.


Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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