Most Floridians are familiar with the pros and cons of owning a condo. On the plus side, you may have a heightened sense of security surrounded by so many neighbors and possibly security cameras and guards in the lobby and patrolling the grounds. Well-maintained communities with money in reserve are also easy to finance with a conventional loan. Owners receive a deed to their unit. Disadvantages to living in a condo include rules and regulations that may be an inconvenience to a property owner. These can include: no parking for trucks, no pets, no leasing, and any other restriction that’s voted in that’s not discriminatory. Maintenance fees can be high, especially near the ocean, since the salty air causes damage to elevators and anything else with metal. Condos are prevalent throughout Broward County.
While New Yorkers may be familiar with co-ops, most Floridians are not. To the best of my knowledge, all of the co-ops in Broward County are east of I-95, and most of them are on or near the Intracoastal Waterway. The majority of the buildings were built in the 1950s and 1960s. The disadvantages include everything on the condo list. The primary advantage to buying a co-op in Broward County is the price. Most sell at a discount because the majority of the properties have to be cash deals. The owners receive a proprietary lease which gives them the right to live in the unit, but they don’t own it. The co-op is essentially a non-profit corporation, and all the lessees own shares in this corporation. The board of directors can evict someone from “their” unit. Many of these units tend to change hands among family members without ever being listed in the MLS.
Here in Broward County, trying to close on the sale of one of these units can be an onerous task for the title company or attorney managing the closing process. Corporate docs may never have been legally recorded, no one on the board of directors can provide a copy of the rules and regulations, or the board of directors are all snowbirds and will only allow closings during the winter months when they are physically present on the site.
So, if you’re a bored real estate agent and want a new challenge, try your hand at selling co-ops. It’s just oodles of fun.