Condo, Co-Op, or Townhouse: Which New York City Property Type is Right for You?

Condo, Co-Op, or Townhouse: Which New York City Property Type is Right for You?

  • The Catalyst Team
  • 10/22/21

Are you like millions of other New Yorkers who have decided to return to the city now that offices, entertainment venues, and restaurants are opening back up? Or have you stayed in Manhattan during the entire pandemic and now want to trade up for new homes for sale in Chelsea that better match your lifestyle? Have you decided to relocate to Manhattan to finally be a part of the city that never sleeps? 

No matter which situation you find yourself in, knowing the different options for housing is important so you can make a solid choice when it comes to buying a home. Here are the types of properties for sale in Chelsea, and tips on choosing the one that is best for you.


A condo is an apartment in a building with other apartments, each of which is owned by a different person. When you buy Chelsea real estate in the form of a condo, you are actually purchasing the space in which you live. You will also have some ownership of common areas of the building such as lobbies, gyms, and outdoor spaces such as rooftop decks. When you buy a condo, you will receive a deed to prove your ownership.

Condos buildings are usually governed by a board of directors or managers that take care of hiring professionals to care for the building and have some control over renovations owners make on their properties and other issues such as pet policies. However, the boards are almost always less restrictive than those that run co-op buildings.


Homes for sale in Chelsea in co-op buildings are similar in many ways to those in condo buildings. Co-ops are also apartments located in buildings with other apartments that are owned by different residents. However, when you buy a condo, you are not buying an actual property. Instead, you are buying a share in a corporation and, instead of a deed, you will receive stock in the property and a proprietary lease. This stock and lease allow you to live in your chosen apartment and also allows you to use common areas.

Like condos, co-ops are governed by a board of directors. However, the boards that run co-ops are more restrictive and have more power over what their residents do with their spaces. The board usually makes potential buyers go through a lengthy interview process before they allow them to buy in the building and also have a say in who owners can rent or sell their properties to.


Homes for sale in Chelsea that are townhouses have a different structure than both co-ops and condos. They are homes that are connected to other homes on either one or both sides by a shared wall and have their own separate entrance and outdoor spaces. When you buy a townhouse, you are purchasing the home itself as well as the property it sits on and exterior elements like outdoor walls, roofs, and utilities. Though some townhouse developments in Chelsea do have a homeowners association (and associated fees), these are usually only to care for tasks like lawn care or snow removal and have few restrictions on the owners.

Pros and Cons of Condos

Think a condo is right for you? Before you buy homes for sale in Chelsea in a condo building, consider the following pros and cons:


◾ Fewer restrictions. When you buy a condo, you will be able to sell it when you want and to whom you want—something you will not be able to do with a co-op. You will also have an easier time renting out your condo for longer periods of time.

◾ Lower ongoing fees. In general, monthly condo fees are lower than monthly co-op fees. This is because co-ops roll expenses like water, property tax, gas, and other fees into one payment and you will be paying a portion of the utilities of the entire building depending on your percentage of ownership.

◾ Less maintenance than townhouses. When you own a condo or a co-op, you will not be responsible for outdoor maintenance issues.

◾ Fewer surprise bills than townhouses. You will not be on the hook for an HVAC system that stops working or a damaged roof when you choose homes for sale in Chelsea in co-op or condo buildings.  


◾ You will have to share outdoor areas. When you buy a condo or a co-op, you will not have your own outdoor spaces like you will if you buy a townhouse.

◾ Upfront costs are higher than with co-ops. In general, you will have to put forth less money, in the beginning, to buy stock in a co-op than you would to purchase a condo.

Pros and Cons of Co-ops

Leaning more toward Chelsea real estate in the form of a co-op? Consider these pluses and minuses:


◾ Lower upfront costs.

◾ More amenities than townhomes. Co-ops and condos tend to have amenities like doormen, gyms, pools, or clubhouses while townhomes do not.

◾ Less maintenance and fewer surprise bills. Like condos, co-ops generally offer worry-free living.


◾ More restrictions. If you don’t want to be limited to who you can sell or rent to, you may want to look for homes for sale in Chelsea that are condos or townhouses.

◾ Higher monthly fees.

Pros and Cons of Townhouses

Are townhouses on your list as you begin your search for Chelsea real estate? Consider these benefits and drawbacks:


◾ Personal outdoor space.

◾ More living space and privacy. In general, townhouses have larger living spaces than both condos and co-ops and offer the owner more privacy.

◾ Lower monthly fees.

◾ Fewer restrictions.


◾ More maintenance responsibilities and unexpected costs.

◾ More expensive. Homes for sale in Chelsea that are townhouses are usually higher in cost than both co-ops and condos.

◾ Fewer amenities.

When it comes to knowing whether Chelsea real estate in the form of co-ops, condos, or townhouses is right for you, there are no easy answers. Work with an experienced real estate agent like those on The Catalyst Team who can help you decide which best fits your needs.


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