What’s the Difference Between Co-op Maintenance and Condo Common Charges?

As a first time home buyer, you’re probably wondering what’s the difference between co-op maintenance and condo common charges? 

Let’s break it down. 

Co-op Maintenance

Co-op maintenance is a monthly charge that co-op shareholders pay. It usually covers the following items: 

  • Property taxes
  • Underlying mortgage (if applicable)
  • Insurance 
  • Building upkeep
  • Staff salaries
  • Managing agent costs 
  • Utilities (heat, hot water, etc.) 

The amount of maintenance a shareholder pays depends on the size of the apartment. So, the maintenance for a 1 bedroom is going to be higher than a studio, and so on. 

Maintenance charges can vary widely from building to building due to a number of reasons. You can learn more about them here – Why do NYC co-op maintenance fees vary so much from building to building?

Condo Common Charges

Condo common charges basically cover the same thing as co-op maintenance except for one key difference. 

Because condos are real property (and co-ops are not), taxes are assessed separately, per unit. So, condo owners will receive their own separate tax bill which they’re responsible for paying. 

There’s a persistent belief that co-op maintenance fees tend to be higher than condo fees, but that’s not entirely accurate. 

Condos are more likely to have tax abatements in place, which can result in much lower monthly taxes. But abatements do expire, and once they do, the taxes for a building could look very similar to a comparable co-op. 

Additionally, co-op owners may actually be able to deduct a portion of their maintenance from their annual tax return. Ask your accountant for more info on how that works! 

Co-op vs Condo – Which Is Right for You?

Not sure if you should buy a co-op or a condo? Take my quiz to find out which one might be right for you! 

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