Living in the city is exciting. From the bright lights to endless activities, there’s always something to see and do. However, finding a place to live isn’t always as entertaining.

It often costs more than owning a house. People who are looking for a place to live in the city might have their hands tied on finding somewhere that’s affordable. One option includes purchasing a co-op apartment, but it may not be for everyone. Here are the pros and cons of co-op apartments.

What is a Co-op Apartment?

A co-op apartment is a type of apartment building where people don’t exactly have ownership of the building. Instead of owning the entire building, people only own fractions of it. How much someone can own varies on the size of their apartment.

For example, let’s say one tenant-owned an apartment with one or more bedrooms while another owned a simple studio. The former would own more shares than the tenant with the studio would.

Pros of a Co-op Apartment

One of the most significant benefits of owning a co-op apartment is the reduced price. Co-ops are generally less expensive than a traditional condo. In fact, co-op apartments actually make up about 50 percent of New York’s housing. Furthermore, co-op apartments are very strict on who they allow to reside in the building, which means people won’t have to deal with troublesome neighbors.

Cons of a Co-op Apartment

For those who are intrigued by the low prices, don’t be fooled. Owning a co-op apartment is not like renting one. To start, people need to put down a down payment of at least 20 percent. However, this isn’t always the case, as some co-ops require people to put down as much as 50 percent. Not to mention, there are also fees that residents must pay, such as maintenance fees.

Secondly, remember how we mentioned that co-op apartments are strict on who they let it in? Applying for a co-op apartment is not easy because they need to get approval from the higher-ups who can refuse the application at any time. Lastly, those who sign up for a co-op apartment are expected to stay there. Co-op apartments are not for people who are looking to live short-term.

Co-op apartments may give people the feeling of homeownership, but they are both an investment and a responsibility. Take as much time as necessary to determine if a co-op apartment is the best option.