For most people, buying a home is the biggest investment they will ever make. But in order to make sure it
doesn't become the biggest mistake they ever make, home buyers should do their homework before making a purchase. Following is an exclusive list prepared by The Cooperator that outlines 12 key items to examine before signing on the dotted line.
1. Know the Difference Between a Co-op and a Condo
A Co-op: Buying into a cooperative corporation, or co-op, is a securities exchange, not a real estate transaction. The buyer purchases shares in the corporation that owns the building. As a shareholder, he or she has the right to lease a designated apartment from the corporation. Each shareholder also has the right to vote for the board of directors, who in turn runs the building.
A Condo: Buying a condominium, or condo, is a real estate transaction. The buyer purchases real property, which comes with a deed, much like purchasing a house. Condo owners also vote for the board of directors, which runs the building in basically the same way as a co-op board, but with less sweeping authority.