If you live in New York you are going to know what co-op housing is since it makes up the majority of residential units in that city. Los Angeles is the direct opposite of New York. The majority of buildings are condominiums.
In a co-op the resident does not own the unit. They have an interest in the building and a share in the stock which allows them to live in a unit in the building. There is usually a co-op association which is a corporation which owns the entire building, including all the units, and each owner owns shares in that corporation. Or, if there are no shares they have a proprietary lease. Each prospective owner has to be approved by a membership committee of homeowners. The only two criteria for rejection of a prospective buyer are financial viability and unwillingness to abide by the rules.
A benefit of a co-op building can be that there are less renter-occupied units since the owners are more involved in the process of managing the building.
If you are buying a condominium you are going to own the unit and the common areas.
It can be difficult for a prospective buyer to get a loan on a co-op, and this is something to consider in terms of resale in Los Angeles where you are competing with condos on the market where a loan is easier to get. Basically you are limiting your buyer pool.
If you are thinking of buying in one of these buildings and looking to finance the purchase, I can direct you to a lender who will be able to help.
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