There are so many benefits to owning a home in a housing cooperative, we had to break this blog up into 2 parts! Check out last month's blog "Part 1" for more!
Compared to renting, co-op's afford their members a lower cost of living, the ability to vote on community related matters, and a sense of pride in ownership. The benefits of owning a housing cooperative also include an almost maintenance-free lifestyle. Another is lowered real estate tax assessments and personal income tax deductions.
In addition, Cedarwood members are more likely to enjoy disposable income because of the low monthly "carrying fees". This allows more money for the piggy bank! (more on that in part 1)
Let's dig in!
COMMUNITY AND GOVERNANCE
Members of a housing coop, like Cedarwood Cooperative, elect a Board of Directors that help in the decision making process. When a topic of interest needs more attention, the Board may even establish a committee to focus on it. A co-op's Board of Directors is likely to decide on how the co-op's budget will be spent most effectively. They may also create new rules or procedures that can improve the co-op's functioning. They are likely to help decide which capital improvements are the highest priority. The best thing about this Board is that they are made up of co-op members; as such, have a vested interest in how their properties, as well as others', are maintained.
During monthly Board meetings, the floor is open for opinion and input. The co-op community is encouraged to voice their concerns and share in voting. This cooperative way of governing a community is just one reason why we feel cooperative living is the greatest form of ownership
On the contrary, renters usually do not have a choice in rules and regulations, nor do they have a voice in community affairs. They cannot help establish application criteria. They have no say in how high a rent increase will be. They also cannot choose their neighbors. The landlord is typically the sole decision maker.
Single-family home owners can of course, govern their own property (within limits established by the city). They can choose how to spend money on their own home and have the freedom to set rules as they see fit. However, they must also have the foresight to budget ahead for possible problems on their property and learn legal issues independently. They also do not get to establish criteria for acceptance into the community.
As a Cedarwood Coop member, your share of the property taxes and mortgage interest (if any) are deductible on your personal income tax return. These costs are already included in carrying charges, therefore, will not lead to a surprise tax bill that can throw your budget off mid-year.
Renters of course receive no tax benefit from renting; their landlord does.
Single-family home owners are able to deduct their property taxes on their personal income taxes. However, one must consider the heavy cost of paying those property taxes on top of mortgage, interest and insurance payments.
Cedarwood coop handles services to HVAC systems, hot water heaters, plumbing, sewage, wiring, selected home improvement projects, and much more, at no additional cost. They mow, fertilize and maintain the lawn throughout the summer and handle all snow and ice removal in the winter in all common areas. If you have a maintenance emergency, they have a 24 hour phone line dedicated to taking care of you!
Let's be honest, can a renter really say all of that?
Yes, renters are free from the headache of fixing their own apartment, but do they get such speedy service? While renting, I've personally experienced long wait times just to fix a leaky toilet! Because our coop staff has a vested interested in making sure these homes are well cared for, they schedule maintenance almost as fast as you can call them!
As for home ownership, the owner is 100% responsible for all repairs and replacements. When the water heater goes out, they must spend their savings or take out a loan of credit to get it replaced. Hopefully they choose a reputable company or the costs could skyrocket! Really, who needs all of that stress!
After reading through all the incredible benefits of co-op home ownership, you must be able to see the clear choice. Becoming a member is rewarding, inexpensive and a smart move towards your future! When you are ready to apply, give us a call directly and we'd be happy to walk you through the simple process. Call today 708-747-3833.