The Condo Advantage
The Advantage of Owning a Condominium Apartment
A condominium is managed by a Board of Managers that has significantly less control than a co-op Board does over apartment sales and leasing. As a strong general rule, a Board of Managers only has a right to purchase or lease the unit from the owner (called a "right of first refusal") when a unit is offered for sale or lease. This right of first refusal is almost never exercised and condo units trade with much less restriction. The right of a condo owner to sell his or her unit without Board interference is the most important advantage over co-op ownership. However, since there are few restrictions on selling or leasing a condominium unit, some condominium buildings do have a reputation for being more transient in nature. It is true that you will find more investment units in a condo as most co-ops frown upon owners who own but don't live in the building. To discourage investors, co-ops usually impose limitations on subleasing, such as restricting the length and frequency of sublets. Although there is truth to the notion of transience in a condo, taking real estate and rental prices into consideration, the difference between the quality of life in a condo and the quality of life in a co-op, in many, many cases, is a distinction without a difference.
For more about the basic differences between a co-op and a condo, See “If You’re Buying a Condo”.