The good, the bad, the ugly of condos, co-ops

Even Richard Nixon was barred from co-op ownership in New York City

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

The primary benefits of buying a condo (or co-op) include: (1) condos are usually less expensive than equivalent-size houses; (2) lack of exterior maintenance responsibility and worry; (3) the security of just turning the key in the door (called "lock and leave") while being gone for an extended time period without worry; (4) virtually the same homeowner tax deduction benefits as for houses; (5) pride of ownership; and (6) resale profit potential as a long-term investment. But the potential drawbacks include: (1) having the homeowner's association (HOA) board of directors determining how your monthly assessment fees will be spent; (2) encountering unexpected increased monthly fees and/or special assessments for major expenses, such as a new roof or other expensive repairs if the reserves are not adequate; (3) rules and policies you don't like (such as no-pet rules, rental limitations, and parking restrictions); (4) poor-quality management and/or maintenance that hurts condo enjoyment ...