Unlike coop apartments, a condo apartment owner does actually own a piece of real estate or, more accurately, real property. However, there are several significant differences in this type of real estate ownership as compared to more traditional forms of real estate ownership, such as that of a single family home.
While the condo apartment owner does hold title to their individual unit, the land beneath the unit is considered part of the common areas and, as such, its ownership is shared by all of the owners within the condominium.
Other common areas for which title is shared within a condominium include, hallways, lobbies, roofs, the exterior of the building as well as any other area available for use by other apartment owners within that building.
The building or project is usually managed by a Homeowner's Association, which collects fees from
all of the condo owners which are used to maintain common areas.
Also, property taxes are paid by the owners of each individual unit - this is quite different from coop
apartments where property taxes are paid by the corporation that owns the cooperative.
Condo apartments are generally more desirable than coop apartments for a number of reasons.
When buying a condo apartment, you don't have to deal with the hassles of getting approved by the board, as is the case when buying a coop apartment. Also, condominiums usually have much less restrictive rules by which the owners must abide.
One of the main benefits is that there are usually no restrictions on subleasing the apartment, whereas subleasing your apartment in a coop is usually prohibited or highly restricted and requiring approval.
For these and many other reasons, owning a condo apartment is typically much more appealing than owning a coop apartment. And as a result, condo apartments are usually substantially more expensive than similar apartments in a cooperative.
As is the case with most forms of residential real estate, the primary method of valuation for a condo apartment is the sales comparison method.
To put it simply, the value of an individual condo apartment is ascertained by comparing the unit to other similar condo apartment units that have recently sold.
Comparable apartment units can be evaluated from the same building as the unit being valued or from other similar condominiums in the same market area.
Because no two apartments are ever exactly the same, adjustments must be made to account for differences between the unit being appraised and the recently sold units that are being used for comparison.
Once suitable comparables have been identified and adjustments have been made to account for significant value related differences, an opinion of value rendered by the appraiser.
When valuing a condo apartment, the most important features that are considered are square footage (also known as gross living area GLA), the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the unit, floor location, views (if any), and of course, the overall condition of the apartment including any recent renovations and amenities.
Also, when analyzing recent sales from other condominiums in the immediate market area, it's also important to consider building amenities, homeowner's association fees as well as a number of other factors.
"Recently you appraised a condo that my husband and I were interested in buying. Given the crazy real-estate market, we knew we could not trust the appraisal that would be provided by a lender, so we wanted a truly independent appraisal. As neither of us had a clue how to go about finding and appraiser in NYC, we simply turned to the Internet. Picking someone from the web always seems to be a chancy proposition. However, in this case our choice was excellent. In every way you impressed me with your professionalism and knowledge. You returned my initial call promptly. You arrived on time. You did a very through job at in inspecting the condo. At the end, my daughter did her best to get you to give a “ballpark” estimate on the spot, but I was very pleased to see that you insisted that you could not provide a meaningful estimate until you had all the information in hand. We received the appraisal report 3 days after the appraisal and it was extremely detailed. And all this for a very reasonable price. I would recommend you enthusiastically to anyone I know who needed an appraisal in NYC."
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Queens Village, NY
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