Luxury Living In a Coop

Cooperative living is luxury living at its best.  It must be understood and it takes a real estate agent with the knowledge and appreciation for coop ownership to represent a buyer or seller in the coop market.

Chicago has gorgeous cooperative buildings that are homes to the most luxurious real estate in the city (Lincoln Park, Hyde Park and the Gold Coast).  I will be featuring many of our wonderful coops on this page as well as under our properties for sale.

Unlike purchasing an apartment in a condominium and getting a deed, a coop buyer purchases shares in a corporation that owns the building and obtains a lease to occupy a particular unit.

While monthly maintenance fees associated with a coop may at first seem a lot higher than for a condo, remember that these fees include the owner’s share of the building’s mortgage expenses and real estate taxes.

In contrast, while assessments in a condo will likely be a lot less per month, they cover only building maintenance and staff salaries. Real estate taxes must be paid separately.

Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a coop:

  • Financial strength:  you must be in a strong financial position to satisfy bank and board requirements.  If you plan to obtain bank financing, ensure that you are working with a knowledgeable mortgage broker to guide you through the process.
  • Prepare for board interview:  a good coop agent will be able to prepare you for board approval process, which doesn’t need to be intimidating when it is properly understood.  The agent will know how best to guide you through the process.
  • Time your purchase wisely:  buying a coop will take longer than buying a condo.  Allow ample time for board approval process since it involves reviews of financial records and scheduling board interview.

I have lived in coops and loved the lifestyle.  Coop buildings exude class and elegance and offer a more intimate setting than high-rises.  If you are thinking of buying real estate in Chicago, I highly recommend that you include a few coop apartments in your viewing inventory.  You will be amazed!

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