What is a co-op you ask? For some people Co-op properties are a real estate secret. Before there were Stratas there were Co-ops. Co-op stands for COmpany OPerated, meaning the building is run by a company and as a Buyer you became a shareholder. The company owns the building and the freehold land. Along with being a shareholder, there is a lease attached to the shares to identify the specific apartment you are purchasing. The lease is for a predetermined period of time, 25-200 years, which was set when the company was incorporated. Once the lease has come to an end, it is renewed by the shareholders for another term.
Also it should be known that Shareholder’s Shares can be used as collateral and some banks and credit unions will give mortgages of up to 65%. Some institutions may charge a slightly higher rates.
It is very important to know that just because there is a lease involved it is NOT leasehold land.
Here are some of the similarities and differences between a Strata and Co-op.
|In a strata, you are the owner of the apartment and a
portion of the common areas, which is based on your
|In a co-op, you are a shareholder of the company which
owns the building AND the land, your ownership is
based on the number of shares you own.
|A strata has a Strata Council||A co-op has a Board of Directors|
|A strata has Bylaws||A co-op has House Rules|
|A strata has Financial Statements and Minutes||A co-op has Financial Statements and Minutes|
Co-ops are usually a little bit more conservative about their rental and pet policies and most do not allow either. Some have an Age restriction of 19+ for owners. Also it is common for new Owners to meet with the Board of Directors and supply letters of reference.
Think a co-op might be right for you? Here are some of the great co-op buildings in Vancouver's West End.