A Cooperative apartment, commonly referred to as a co-op, are the most prevalent form of home ownership in Manhattan, accounting for approximately 80% of all resident-owned apartment buildings in the Borough. As well as explaining what a co-op is I can also show you some tips for finding a Co-Op in Manhattan.
A cooperative is a building or complex owned by a corporation and operated for the benefit of persons living in the building. Co-op owners, often referred to as shareholders because each owner receives shares of stock based upon unit size, are entitled, by reason of a proprietary lease, to the exclusive use of a certain dwelling unit of space.
The home value of the unit is based upon the number of shares allocated to that space, along with location of the building and services offered. The cooperative is operated by a Board of Directors, elected annually by the shareholders at their annual meeting. The members of the Board act like the corporate officials of a business, except that they are unpaid volunteers and do not strive to make a profit or suffer a loss. They set all policy decisions for the property. In addition, they determine the monthly fees, referred to as maintenance expenses, used to pay for the staff and upkeep of the building, and for taxes.
Oddly enough, the ownership of a co-op apartment is considered personal property, as opposed to real estate, and no property title or deed is transferred.
See the Pros and Cons of owning a co-op vs condo before you make your final decision.