Before deciding to research co-ops in your area, it’s important to understand what a co-op apartment is.
Cooperative housing is where you buy in to become a part-owner of that entire piece of property. When you buy into a co-op, you essentially become a shareholder in a corporation that owns the property. As a shareholder, you are entitled to exclusive use of a housing unit in the property. Rather than owning a single unit, you become a part-owner of the whole building. This gives you the right to live on the premises, in an available apartment.
Everyone who is a part of a particular co-op shoulder some of the financial responsibility of ownership. This includes primary expenses of mortgage payments, maintenance costs and taxes. Other fees can consist of utility bills, the expense of running the building, maintaining amenities and insurance premiums. Each cost breaks up among the total number of people vested in the co-op.