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What are the Benefits of Cooperative Housing - Part 1

There are so many benefits we had to break this blog up into 2 parts! Click here to read part 2.

Owning a home within a housing cooperative can be very rewarding. There are exclusive benefits unique to this style of home ownership that renters and single-family home owners are not afforded.

One of the biggest benefits our members seem to enjoy is the almost maintenance-free lifestyle it allows them to live. Many first-time home buyers and "last-time" home buyers are attracted to the idea of having someone else to call for back-up in the case of a maintenance emergency. This allows more time to enjoy the little things in life that matter more than fixing your own plumbing!

happy co-op owners on grass

Another major benefit to co-op ownership is the extra disposable income it brings by having such low monthly costs of living. (Say hello to savings...)

The pride of ownership is another. Without further adieu, let's discuss the benefits below, and remember to read part 2 for even more!


Owners of housing cooperatives are shareholders of the corporation that owns the property. Ownership entitles members the right to occupy one unit or "home". Members retain the equity of their home throughout the life of their membership. When the member decides to move, they sell the home, putting money in their pocket. The selling process is cooperative as well, in that everyone has a vested interested in getting your home sold. The office arranges yearly open houses to showcase your home, lists your home up for sale on their website and provides tips on how you can market your home to get it sold quickly.

In addition, owning a co-op allows you the freedom to paint, modify and upgrade as you see fit (within limits...we must make sure the homes always stay structurally sound). Want a new bathroom sink? How about a new look for your livingroom? If you own a co-op, and get preapproval from the office, consider it done!

maintenance man in coop house

Renting an apartment or townhome, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. Not only do you not own the property you are living in, you are also paying to build someone else's equity. There is little sense of security as well. When your lease expires, your landlord can request you vacate with as little as a 30 day notice.

Owning a single family home, if we're being totally honest here, can actually provide the greatest satisfaction in ownership. But at what cost? Yes, you are able to modify your home and land any way you (or the city permit office) see fit. But owning a home can also lead to tons of unforeseen expenses. And when it comes time to sell, it's 100% on you to find the right buyer. Selling your home can take years, even when the market is in your favor.

for sale by owner sign in front of house


New Members purchasing their co-op home pay a $30 application fee, a one-time membership fee of just $200 plus their first month's carrying fees ($390-$502 depending on unit size). That's it! Getting into a new home has never been so inexpensive!

With renting, a prospective tenant has to pay an application fee, a security deposit, sometimes a pet deposit, a pet registration fee, as well as their first month's rent. This can be a huge financial burden that takes months to recoup from.

When purchasing a single family home, the buyer is usually required to pay a hefty down payment. In addition, depending on the terms of the purchase contract, they may also be liable for closing costs, realtor fees, taxes and liens. (Say good-bye to your savings) Unfortunately, this major lump sum of cash has prevented many people from ever buying their first home.

Fortunately, as stated above, move-in costs for a housing cooperative are minor in comparison.

money in jar


Members of Cedarwood Cooperative pay what is referred to as "carrying charges". This is a monthly fee which is their proportionate share of the operating costs based on the non-profit operations of the entire entity. The monthly carrying charges range from only $390-502. Real estate taxes are also included which means no surprise rent increases or tax payments that can knock your budget off mid-year.

These carrying charges also include capital improvements done yearly and major maintenance repairs. Furnace goes out? No problem, our maintenance men will be there to fix or replace it at no additional cost to you! Want to put up a funky new ceiling light? For a nominal fee, our maintenance guys will be happy to get it done for you. What's not to love!

new light in coop

Tenants of rentals are required to pay whatever rent is specified in their lease. When the lease is up, the landlord has the right to increase the rent and fees. The tenant has no say and if the tenant can't afford it, they are required to move. Renting can be very expensive and like we discussed above, renters do not build their own equity while paying every month.

It goes without saying that the owner of a single family home is on the hook for every expense that arises. This includes the monthly mortgage payment, housing insurance, property taxes, possibly private mortgage insurance and more. What's worse, when the heater goes out, it's 100% on the owner to pay for the replacement. Who needs that kind of stress!

stressed man sitting on couch

I'm sure you can already see that the benefits of membership in a housing cooperative are many. If you're ready to get started, call the office today at 708-747-3833. Still need convincing? Check out our part 2 of Housing Benefits!

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