Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Co-Op

Most people focus on location, size, amenities and price when purchasing a cooperative. This is understandable since those are the basic criteria that most home buyers use during the home search process. Be sure to find out what all the rules and regulations of the community are. Here are some sample questions to ask before making your investment:

  • What is the share price?
  • Where can I obtain share loan financing?
  • How much are the monthly carrying charges?
  • What is the underlying mortgage?
  • What is the pet policy?
  • What is the subletting policy?
  • What is the policy for making alterations to the unit?

You will also want to review your rights and responsibilities as outlined in the cooperative’s documents which typically include the articles of incorporation, bylaws, proprietary lease or occupancy agreement, subscription agreement and house rules. As a shareholder, you have a right to elect board members, to remove board members and to amend bylaws. You also have the responsibility to pay your monthly charges on time as well as follow all other rules and regulations of the cooperative. As you shop around for a co-op bear in mind that these entities are known to be highly selective in approving shareholder since most communities are seeking members who can not only meet their financial obligations but who share a similar lifestyle and will abide by the rules of the corporation. But that does not mean that they can discriminate. In keeping with the Fair Housing Act, it is illegal for a co-op to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, family status, religion, national origin or disability.